After being given the choice between reform school and the military, a juvenile delinquent of years past would sometimes be told, “The army will make a man out of you.” But today, critics may say, we can’t be sure what the army would make out of him — or what to make out of the army.
As to this, the Army Times writes, “Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stunned many at the Pentagon recently by suggesting the military has a ‘deep’ ethical problem. His top spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, used the word ‘systemic.’”
Complaining about how cheating, fraud, lying, stealing, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual assault, and extra-marital affairs are apparently rampant in today’s military, Hagel said “he will appoint a new ethics ‘czar,’ a general or flag officer who will focus on this specific issue,” writes the Times.
For sure, these are not your grandfather’s armed forces. Homosexual and straight servicemen stationed at the Kadena Air Base in Japan performed in “what is believed to be [the] first drag queen and king show on an American military base,” writes The Week. And Business Insider reported in 2011 that an FBI gang assessment study “says the military has seen members from 53 gangs and 100 regions in the U.S. enlist in every branch of the armed forces. Members of every major street gang, some prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs) have been reported on both U.S. and international military installations.”
Yet is adding an “ethics czar” the solution? Some critics point out that our problems are deeper. As the Army Times also reports, “‘In many ways, this is just a reflection of what is happening across our society,’ said Jack London, … author of a new book, ‘Character: The Ultimate Success Factor.’ London pointed to mounting misconduct in the private sector, from the crimes that fueled the Enron scandal, Wall Street banking scandal and the fraud in the mortgage industry that helped lead to the recent real estate meltdown.”
Without a doubt, to paraphrase cultural critic and TV personality Fr. George Rutler, “We’re not going to understand these problems if we see them as disconnected social accidents; they are all part of a deep cultural malaise.”
Writing on how this malaise factors into military immorality, David L. Goetsch at PatriotUpdate.com blames liberals such as Hagel himself, saying that they are “crying out in protest against the very problems they have caused.” Touching on the heart of the matter, Goetsch writes:
Liberals have used the public schools, entertainment industry, and mainstream media to promote the concept of moral relativism; a concept that recognizes no absolute rights or wrongs. The moral relativist believes that individuals should make their own decisions about right and wrong. The best summary of the philosophy of moral relativism is this: if it feels good do it.
For Americans who grew up in an era when traditional moral training and positive character shaping were thought to be passé and even scoffed at, what feels good to them is often bad — for them and society. Choices based on moral-relativism lead inevitably to cheating, lying, stealing, and the other character problems that are plaguing the Army. On the other hand, moral relativism is a convenient philosophy for hedonistic people who don’t want to follow society’s historic rules of decency and behavior….