Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘patriotism’

I don’t apologize for a Biblical worldview.  It answers the important questions: Who am I?   From where did I come?  What is my purpose?  Why do bad things happen?  Is there hope?

So, as I continue to ponder the topic of women in combat, I do best to use God’s Word on the topic.

According to Genesis, man was created to be the defender of life.  He is the steward over all.  God gave to man the instructions for life and the warnings against death.  Sin messed up the perfect world, but God still used His created order for the benefit of women, children, and society.  Man would continue in his roles of stewardship and defense as husband, father, and warrior.

Woman was created to be man’s helper.  She would help him be a good steward over all of life.  Together with God, the two would procreate new life, but the woman alone would bear that life from conception until birth.  Sin may change how some women feel about motherhood but, nonetheless, women are still the bearers of life.  Generational hope comes through the womb.

So… what sane and civilized people would send the bearers of life to be targets for the enemy’s bullets?

I began really paying attention to what was happening in our military during the Gulf War.  A photo in the Dallas Morning News (2/20/91) of Spec. Hollie Vallance tugged at my mother’s heart.  Dressed in fatigues and helmet, Hollie was holding her 7 month-old baby in a final good-bye before being sent away.  She was quoted, “I never really thought about going into combat.  I never dreamed anything like this would happen in my lifetime, let alone right after I had my first child.”  She continued, “I’ve built an ice wall around my heart to try to cool the pain, and sometimes I worry that my husband and baby daughter won’t be able to melt it away.”  Hollie’s husband was quoted, “It isn’t that she’s a woman that makes it harder.  It’s that she has a baby.  I’m afraid Hollie might not be the same person when she comes back.”

Bearers of life on the front lines of battle.  Mothers separating from children.  What about womanliness itself?  The female anatomy?  A woman marine who served in Iraq as a Humvi driver explained that she would go all day without water.  It was one thing for men to stay hydrated because relieving themselves is a simple procedure and requires no bush.  But, it’s both difficult and risky for a female soldier.   First, it’s awkward to manipulate the clothing of war.  Second, if there is a bush for privacy, does walking to it require leaving a safe zone?  What about that time of month?  What about shared living space with men?   I know a guardsman who, while serving time in the Persian Gulf, had to share his tent with a woman soldier.  It mattered to him… because he was married.

Most men I know believe in chivalry.  Chivalry was first practiced by Jesus Christ.  He literally sacrificed His life for His Bride, the Church.  He laid down His own life so that she might be spared.  Although not every man on board the sinking Titanic was a Christian, most all practiced chivalry.  It was, after all, the rule of the sea: Women and children into the lifeboats first.  Men, whether they knew it or not, were influenced by God’s Word for life.  So, what does a chivalrous male soldier do if a woman soldier is being attacked?  If she is taken prisoner?  Sexually abused?  In battle, is she “just one of the guys?”  But, not in battle, is she different?  What is the price of honorable — or dishonorable — sexual distraction?

Memorial Day approaches.  I wonder what our veterans would have to say about “equal rights” on the beaches of Normandy or Iwo Jima?   About “equal opportunity” for the bearers of life to unload from amphibious transport onto the open spaces of water and sand under enemy fire?

I think I know.

Read Full Post »

This morning, I stood at the Iowa Falls Veteran’s Memorial under a brilliant blue sky and surprisingly warm November sun.  It was the right place to be on this Veteran’s Day.  It was where my uncles would want me to be.   I owe them so very much.

My uncles are heroes.  Five of their names are inscribed upon the WWII Memorial wall.  Uncles Wayne, Oswald and Ronald have died.  But, Uncles Victor and Kenneth still live to remind me of a great sacrifice.  One that I’ll never be able to repay by anything other than my promise to live on as a grateful and involved citizen.

The debt I owe my uncles is surely difficult to comprehend.  But, I know this for certain.  We are a safer people who can worship, work, live out dreams, raise families, and build a future because of the price paid by Americans soldiers — in the past or present.

When the members of our local American Legion fired their rifles in tribute, many things came to mind.  My grandsons aren’t old enough to understand what patriotism really is, but I want to be able to tell them.  America isn’t a perfect a country, but she is a free country thanks to immeasurable human sacrifice.  That human sacrifice even allows those of liberal, global, and non-Christian persuasion to voice their opinions, practice their vocations, and choose their lifestyle.   Sometimes, when I’m on a road trip and cross state lines, I’m physically reminded of the freedom I have to come and go as I please.

My uncles and all the others who willingly step forward in battle against evil do so because they are compelled to protect women and children.  They are compelled to stand against fascism, socialism, communism, and terrorism.  They are compelled to protect the freedoms of American citizens who go about their daily tasks on the home front.  What is this compelling force?  What instinctively beckons them to defend home and family?  I believe it is the Creator of human life, God Himself, who calls and equips men to fight the battle for life.  That battle may be against an enemy on foreign soil, but it may also be against the evils of everyday life on domestic soil.

Men of faithfulness are needed on all battlefronts.  Just as they are needed to fight against evil ideas of men like Hitler and Hussein, they are also needed to fight closer to home against ideas, policies, and choices that threaten marriage, home, and children.

We may say my uncles were men from the “greatest generation,” but there is no generation of men (or women) greater than another.  Every generation has its faults because we are all tainted by sinful pride and selfishness.  In spite of human failures, however, thousands and thousands of men serve as examples of humble, yet strong and faithful manhood so that sons, grandsons, and nephews can do the same.

If you’re looking for a “teachable moment” for your sons and grandsons, order “The League of Grateful Sons,” an inspiring film shot on location in Iwo Jima.  Watch and listen as veterans who fought there re-tell the story to a younger generation.  You may order this DVD from Vision Forum.

Then, thank God for your grandfather, dad, uncles, or brothers who stepped forward to protect and defend home and hearth.  It appears I am leaving out the women who serve their country; but, I’m not.  I’m grateful to them, too, although I hold fast to the Biblical teaching that women are not called into combat.  Discussions with women in the military prove that there are ways for women to serve the country they love without being placed in the direct line of enemy fire.

Thank you, my uncles.  Thank you for being my heroes.  Thank you for enabling me to live my days in a democratic republic, celebrate freedom, and practice Biblical faith.  In the words of General Dwight D. Eisenhower,

The purpose of a devout and united people was set forth in the pages of the Bible… 1) to live in freedom, 2) to work in a prosperous land . . . and 3) to obey the commandments of God . . . This Biblical story of the Promised Land inspired the founders of America.  It continues to inspire . . .

me.

Read Full Post »