Michael Craven Christian Blog and Commentary

Abu Ghraib: A Lesson in Sexual Morality

These past months the "left-leaning" media has persisted in its reporting on the prisoner abuse at Abu-Ghraib. In almost every instance this story has been postured as being both an example and natural by-product of right-wing militarism; a case of fundamentalist conservatism taken to its logical conclusion.

Don't misunderstand me; what these soldiers did was reprehensible and brought international shame and humiliation on the United States not to mention the thousands of men and women serving honorably in Iraq. However, these actions were not the result of conservatism taken to its logical conclusion nor the military establishment but rather the exact opposite: liberalism taken to its natural and logical conclusion; specifically liberal sexual ethics.

In a recent article which appeared in The New York Times. The author still posits that the Abu Ghraib scandal serves as a "twisted symbol of the American military occupation of Iraq" but goes on to acknowledge that perhaps something else may have contributed to what is in reality an isolated incident.

The article states that "the scandal is also one rooted in the behavior of military reservists working at the prison, an environment that testimony has portrayed as more frat house than military prison." Indeed. At the center of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse is a tangled web of licentious behavior, sexual perversion, infidelity and promiscuity.

Pvt. Charles A. Graner, 36, regarded as the "ring-leader" of the abuse scandal was "fresh from an ugly divorce in 2000" in which "his ex-wife had taken out three protective orders against him after he was arrested for harassing her." The Times article goes on to report that just after Graner's unit received orders to Iraq, he and Pfc. Lynndie England, 22, along with another soldier had a last party weekend in Virginia Beach. "They drank heavily and when their friend passed out, Private Garner and Private England took turns taking photographs of each other exposing themselves over his head."

The article describes Ms. England as "a hell-raising young woman," marrying "on a whim" at 19. In Iraq, Private England was disciplined several times for sleeping with Graner, against military rules. Graner and England apparently filmed themselves having sex and the now infamous picture of Iraqi detainees masturbating was apparently a "birthday gift" from Graner to England.

As a veteran of the US Navy's SERE school which trains soldiers and sailors in surviving prisoner of war situations I can tell you that sexualized torture and humiliation of the sort carried out by those at Abu Ghraib is almost unheard of among the world's military and intelligence communities. This was clearly an example of the American sexualized culture infecting our military establishment by means of a few recruits.

In January it was discovered that Pfc. England was pregnant and here the story really turns bizarre when Pvt. Garner becomes involved with another woman in the unit, Spc. Megan Ambuhl who herself had been involved with yet another soldier in the same unit. At one point he was seeing both women until Pfc. England was sent back to the States due to her pregnancy. Eventually Pvt. Garner married Megan Ambuhl abandoning Lynndie England and his child during his trial. Following Garner's conviction and Megan Ambuhl's guilty plea as a co-conspirator they are not allowed to see each other through the duration of his 10-year sentence. Lynndee England, now a single mother was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

All in all the prisoner abuse which took place at Abu Ghraib had nothing to do with political or military agendas; it was instead the natural consequence of selfish, immature and immoral people with no regard for sexual ethics, whose entire beings had become consumed with fulfilling the desires of the flesh.

As Pitirim Sorokin, the Chair of the Harvard Sociology department observed in his 1956 study, The American Sex Revolution, "No law-abiding and morally strong society is possible when a large majority of it members are selfish nihilists preoccupied with pleasure." In this case, the "society" was this small group of soldiers whose sexual proclivities came to dominate and ultimately destroy their microcosm of civilization. This is the inevitable result for every such civilization that embraces sexual anarchy and there are no examples to the contrary in all of human history, not one!

This should serve as a warning to those who continue to advance so-called sexual freedom beyond its intended boundaries of life-long, natural, and monogamous marriage.

Copyright 2005, National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families. All rights reserved.

S. Michael Craven is the vice president for religion & culture at the National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families and leads the work and ministry of Cultural Apologetics. The Cultural Apologetics ministry works to equip the Church to assert and defend biblical morality and ethics in a manner that is rational, relevant and persuasive in order to recapture the relevance of Christianity to all of life by demonstrating its complete correspondence to reality. For more information on Cultural Apologetics, additional resources and other works by S. Michael Craven visit: www.CulturalApologetics.org

Michael lives in the Dallas area with his wife Carol and their three children.

Send feedback to: mc@nationalcoalition.org

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