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Before I begin I want to express that this is not to debate the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” nor is it to debate whether the policy was right to begin with. What I am writing for today is to ask the homosexuals who are coming out to please stop with all the boo-hooing and crying about how they had to live such secret lives.

They were not forced to live one way or the other. The choice to join the military was a conscious decision on their part and no one else’s. Before the repeal, the policy was that homosexuals can serve, just not openly. It was a plain and simple policy — again, not saying it was right or wrong. Knowing what the policy was, the decision was still made to join the military. When that decision was made to join, the decision was also made to join knowing that they couldn’t be open about their sexual orientation.

They chose to join, they chose to follow the rules and regulations, they chose to not be open.

Say you are employed where employees are not allowed to carry concealed handguns, although you are licensed to do so. You decide to carry anyway, get caught and are consequently fired. Is the employer wrong for firing you, or are you wrong for violating policy? Two separate scenarios, but the same principle.

I imagine that this was the thought process: “I want to join the military, but I am gay. They can’t ask me if I am gay and I don’t have to tell them but I cannot be open about it either. If I am, I can be discharged. I am going to join anyway and hide my orientation.” My question is, they chose to live secret lives so why are they crying about it?

Staff Sgt. Demetrius Davis

Kandahar, Afghanistan

Article placement was suspect

I’m retired from the Navy, and it saddens me that Stars and Stripes would take something as significant as the promotion of the first black female major general and reduce it to a minor detail (“Army’s highest-ranking black woman promoted,” article, Oct. 2). While I have no problem with “don’t ask, don’t tell,” I don’t think it deserved so much front-page coverage.

The fact is that “don’t ask, don’t tell” was bad policy and should never have been enacted into law. That being said, I think the article about Marcia Anderson’s promotion should’ve been given the respect it deserved and put on the front page. If I hadn’t been reading my Oct. 2 issue, I would’ve missed it. That in itself is a shame.

I hope that, in the future, Stars and Stripes will take more care and give something like this the honor it so richly deserves.

Lloyd Whitty

Yokosuka, Japan

Mormons are indeed Christian

In the Oct. 9 article “Mormonism center stage at conservative event,” Baptist Convention leader Robert Jeffress made mention that “Mormonism is not Christianity.” He also stated: “It’s not politically correct to say, but Mormonism is a cult.”

I’m Mormon. I was born and raised a Mormon. At age 19 I went on a “mission” for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka “The Mormons,” and preached Gospel to the people of Venezuela. I have met several people who were misinformed as to our beliefs and found that, through sharing the true beliefs of our church, people learned more of Christ [and] his Gospel and were able to establish a better relationship with him.

I feel the need to correct Jeffress when he says Mormonism is a cult and that we aren’t Christians. In all actuality, the Mormon religion doesn’t technically exist. Mormons are a nickname given to the members of LDS because we read a book of Scripture called the Book of Mormon. As you can see, Christ’s name is in the title of our church and we are his followers. Followers of Christ are frequently known as Christians, are they not?

For those who doubt that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a religion that follows Christ, I suggest you read the Book of Mormon and check the facts for yourself.

Spc. C. Trevor Bingham


Stripes in 7

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