Creep of the Week: Rob Schenck

From the reaction of the religious right to President Obama calling for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” you’d have thought he had issued a call for assless chaps and ball-gags instead of body armor for soldiers.

Rob Schenck, president of Faith and Action, a Christian lobbying group, says repealing the ban on openly gay servicemembers is a sinister part of the homosexual agenda.

“The question really is whether it is appropriate for the military to be used to validate a dubious sexual practice,” he wrote in a Jan. 31 blog post. “This is about validation of a lifestyle that has, as its defining feature, a sexual attraction and even a set of sexual acts.”

By “sexual acts,” Schenck means anal sex. Guys like him are always talking about anal sex because to them, gays are nothing more.

Schenck believes gays are hot to make the military into a uniformed gay Pride parade, as if only by allowing gay men and women to openly serve will homosexuality become sanctioned nationwide.

And let’s be clear that by “openly serve,” I mean not forced by official military policy to pretend they’re straight. It does not mean fondle and have sexy time with everyone of your same sex in your platoon.

Schenck is missing an important part of the equation: the actual men and women serving this country who risk, every day, being “found out” and losing their careers.

For Schenck, it’s a matter of religious freedom to discriminate. He says chaplains of every religion would flee rather than minister to homos.

“You don’t have to have a Harvard degree … to know there will be conflict between what these chaplains are charged to teach and preach, and the president’s proposed policy change,” Schenck writes.

Last I checked, military chaplains weren’t “charged to teach and preach” about the evils of homosexuality. In fact, the mission statement of the U.S. Army Chaplaincy is to provide “religious support to America’s Army while assisting commanders in ensuring the right of free exercise of religion for all soldiers. In short, we nurture the living, care for the wounded and honor the fallen.” It doesn’t say “except for queers.”

Another problem: showers. Antigay folks always seem to think of wet, naked bodies when the subject of gays in the military comes up.

“Come on, let’s be grown-ups. There’s a reason the military doesn’t have men and women showering together,” Schenck writes. “The fact is you don’t generally want people around you in a shower that are erotically stimulated by your naked body.”

True. Much better to be surrounded by people who are repulsed by you. Pretty sure that’s in the grown-up version of the Bible.

“Now, I may be betraying my naïve ignorance here about how gay people get excited,” he continues. “[But the] site [sic] of an attractive nude body probably does for gays what it does for straights. (Unless, of course, you are gifted with a disinterest in sex, period. That’s another matter.)”

Um, yeah. What a gift. Think of all the cross-stitching and Sudoku you could get done. Complete disinterest in sex is, after all, what everyone strives for, gay or straight.

No wonder Schenck sees being a homosexual as unbefitting a soldier. It’s strange that Schenck seems to trust men and women in uniform to fight wars, but doesn’t trust them to know the difference between a battalion and a bathhouse. Support our troops, indeed.

D’Anne Witkowski is a freelance writer and poet. (Believe it!)

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