Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Gays In The Military

Here’s a letter written in 1779 by one young soldier in the Continental Army to another:

Cold in my professions, warm in friendships, I wish, my dear Laurens, it might be in my power by actions rather than words to convince you that I love you. I shall only tell you that till you bade us adieu, I hardly knew the value you had taught my heart to set upon you. Indeed, my friend, it was not well done. You know the opinion I entertain of mankind and how much it is my desire to preserve myself free from particular attachments and to keep my happiness independent of the caprice of others. You should not have taken advantage of my sensibility to steal into my affections without my consent.

Later, the same author, apparently feeling somewhat jilted, wrote his friend again: “I have written five or six letters since you left Philadelphia and I should have written you more had you made proper return. But, like a jealous lover, when I thought you slighted my caress, my affection was alarmed and my vanity piqued.”

How did those two queens get in the Army, anyway? Seeing as how homosexuals disrupt unit cohesion and lead to an overall decrease in troop morale, it’s a miracle we went on to beat the British. I guess we dodged a bullet there, whew!

Oh, by the way, the author of those letters was Alexander Hamilton. He was writing to one John Laurens, a fellow with whom he shared a very, um, strong friendship until 1782, when Laurens was killed by the British. Hamilton’s son later published their correspondence, but felt it prudent to redact a few lines from the first letter quoted above. “I must not publish the whole of this,” he scribbled in the margins. Hmm.

That’s my contribution to the DADT debate. Repeal the dumb policy already and let’s move on to more important issues.

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