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At breakfast the other morning Tom, who’s liberal, folded back the page of his newspaper and slid it across the table to Mike, who’s conservative, rapped the headline with his finger, and said, ‘Now, that’s what I call progress.
Mike glanced down at the headline – West Point Chapel Hosts Gay Wedding. And laughed. ‘I reckon a battalion of ghosts all the way back to Winfield Scott are turning over in their graves.’
Winfield who?’
Last week an army chaplain conducted the first same-sex marriage in the Cadet Chapel at West Point for a lady who graduated from West Point in the first class to include women thirty years ago.
From Tom’s point of view that wedding is another small step toward enlightenment – following the three milestones of Minnesota, Maryland, and Maine voting in favor of gay marriage on Election Day.
But, if you think about it, Tom may have it backwards.
Because the Army is more than a collection of men and women in uniform – it’s an institution. It may well be the oldest institution in America – after all, the Continental Army was created before the Presidency, the House, the Senate, the Supreme Court or the public schools.
After we got drubbed by the British in the War of 1812, years ago, old General Winfield ‘Fuss and Feathers’ Scott, a sort of institution in his own right, decided a military academy was the cure to avoid future drubbings – so he founded West Point, and it gave birth to ‘the long gray line’ of cadets stretching from Robert E. Lee to Dwight D. Eisenhower.
West Point rests at the heart of one of the oldest and most respected American institutions – and if you share Mike’s point of view – the wedding last week in Cadet Chapel may be the real milestone.


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5 comments on “The Oldest Institution?

  1. dap916 says:

    The marriage of a same-sex couple at West Point isn’t earth shattering. When the military did away with DADT, it opened the door for gay couples to marry. The military isn’t about making judgements on social issues like this. Now, per the UCMJ, gays are allowed to serve in the military and as such, have all the rights and privileges given to individuals that are heterosexual. The UCMJ is far different than civilian…civil…law. Most folks that haven’t served and don’t even know what the UCMJ is, hasn’t got a clue of the difference.

    Me? I could care less about this. I guess it brings out my libertarian side where I believe that if it doesn’t affect anyone’s property, anyone from a personal damage standpoint and anyone’s personal rights…it should be allowed.

    The military is all about defending our country. It’s not about what is socially acceptable and such.

    Those that have a problem with this should get a clue, IMO.

  2. Carbine says:

    Interesting stuff. But you know, public schools actually predate the formation of the Continental Army.

  3. clarence swinney says:

    added 8 years to Medicare solvency
    recovered 10.7 B in crackdown on fraud
    preventative services to 47M
    800,000 youths added to parents insurance
    unemploy=8.6% in 2011—5.4% in 1996

  4. clarence swinney says:

    Tax Paid Federal-State-Local 2010
    Lowest 20%=16.2% of Income
    second 20%=20.7%
    middle 20%=25.1%
    fourth 20%=28.5%
    next 10%=30.0%
    next 5%=31.1%
    next 4%=31.3%
    top 1%=30.
    Total=28.4% (#3 least lowest in OECD)
    Bottom 90%=27.9%

  5. dap916 says:

    swinney…post the source for the information you post here.


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