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Posts Tagged ‘sexual equity’

women combat waitingAmericans have developed a bad habit of turning social experiments into policy and code.  Do you know what I’m talking about?

A social experiment arrogantly opposes God’s created order.  It has the look and feel of liberty but, in reality, puts human life at risk.   Abortion and the “marriage” of two men or two women are social experiments.  So is the political correctness of putting women into combat.  Social experiments are reckless and foolish.

Let’s Think About It

During His life on earth, Jesus honored and elevated women in remarkable new ways.  Certainly, He could have chosen both men and women to serve as His apostles.  He did not.  Jesus was not only aware of the created differences of male and female (after all, He was present at creation Genesis 1:26), but of their differing yet complementary roles and vocations.  Equality does not mean that everyone does the same thing, but that male and female each have the opportunity to serve God and others according to their design.

Q: How might the Christian woman consider serving in combat in this light?

A: We might begin with some personal introspection.  I know that God created me.  I am His design for His purpose.  But, like Eve before me, I am tempted to doubt the Creator and, in fact, position myself as lord of my own life.  My choices are too easily influenced by personal feelings, circumstance, convenience, pride, envy, short-sightedness, and search for identity.

Dr. Leroy Vogel, retired U.S. Navy chaplain and professor emeritus at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, writes, “While it may be argued that there is no specific Scriptural passage that forbids a woman to serve as warrior, the apparent accommodation of some within the Church to the spirit of the age that turns warrior into a unisex role would appear, at a minimum, to be a departure from the divine wisdom of the Creator regarding the differentiation of the sexes.”

Q: What is the issue – sexual equality or ordered equality?

A: Dr. Vogel notes that when we ignore the Biblical account of creation, sexual differentiation and roles are viewed as “social constructs and, if society has created the distinctions, society can abolish them.”  To overturn the created order of differentiation and roles is to abandon Biblical faith.  “Scripture is clear,” writes Dr. Vogel.  “God made two sexes [genders], equal but with assigned roles.  Sexual equality is not the issue; ordered equality is.  Scripture and the tradition of the Church assign to man the role of defender, protector, warrior.  To woman is given the role of life-giver, nurturer, sustainer.”  Dr. Vogel offers a curious Hebrew interpretation of a Deuteronomy 22:5 (NIV translation): “A woman must not wear men’s clothing . . . for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.”  Dr. Vogel submits that this verse is about more than cross-dressing.  He explains that “men’s clothing” in Hebrew is translated keli-gerber.  Keli denotes “equipment,” specifically a soldier’s equipment.  The Hebrew noun geber denotes “mighty man” or “hunter” or “warrior.”  So, writes, Dr. Vogel, “a legitimate translation of the phrase uses language of a decidedly military flavor: ‘No woman shall put on the gear of a warrior.’”  It seems that the church fathers John Calvin and Martin Luther agreed.  “Luther knew Hebrew,” writes Dr. Vogel, “and comments on the verse as follows: ‘A woman shall not bear the weapons of a man . . . it is improper . . . Through this law [God] reproaches any  nation in which this custom is observed.’”  Why, you ask?  Dr. Vogel answers, “Because God created male and female with specific and complementary characteristics.  It is in their relationship with one another that the two constitute the full expression of humanity.” (“Women in Combat: Two Views,” The Lutheran Witness, May 2003, p. 16-20.)

Q: What is the significance of Genesis 3:20 for this issue?

A: Woman’s glory is found in her God-given role as life-giver and nurturer.  Dr. Vogel paraphrases Luther, saying that “women were created not to kill and destroy, but to be a vessel for life.”  A culture that encourages women to destroy life is a culture that rebels against God’s design for His creation.  A culture that doubts the created differences between the “defender” of life (male) and “bearer” of life (female) is a culture that has been deceived by Satan’s question: “Did God really say . . .?” (Genesis 3:1).

Q: George Gilder writes, “The ancient tradition against the use of women in combat embodies the deepest wisdom of the human race.  It expresses the most basic imperatives of group survival: a nation or tribe that allows the loss of large numbers of its young women runs the risk of becoming permanently depopulated.  The youthful years of women, far more than of men, are precious and irreplaceable.”  (Men and Marriage, p. 135).  What brings a society to the place where it forgets or ignores this truth?  What does the future hold for such a society?

A: There are two worldviews: God’s and all others.  The Christian who trusts God’s Word can be confident that the Creator of life has a way that things of life work best.  Consider the words of God to Job (Job 38-41).  God speaks His worldview to us through His Word – from Genesis to Revelation.  He speaks His Word to us through Jesus Christ who, literally, is the Word become flesh (John 1).  But, perhaps, when we are blessed with resources and exist without threat of enemy at our door, we can become complacent and self-absorbed.  At such times, might our hearts and minds be influenced more by the foolishness of the world than the wisdom of God?  What does 1 Corinthians 1:16-30 say about wisdom?  What does the future hold for people who seek after personal desires or the world’s view?  “. . . [T]he world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17).

Before moving on to Part 3, here’s something to ponder.  Edwin Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation, writes, “The reason we all know the idea of women playing pro football is absurd is because we’re serious about football.  It’s tough game, and if you allow yourself to be distracted by irrelevant issues like ‘sexual equity’ when you should be making your team the toughest it can possibly be, you’re going to get creamed.  So why are we letting feminists impose ‘sexual equity’ on an area that makes football look like a tea party; something that is  not a game, but a matter of life and death for our nation as well as for the ‘players,’ namely, our military?”

“Bearers and Defenders of Life” is Lesson 11 of
Men, Women, and Relationships first published in 1999 and revised in 2004.
If you’re curious about this collection of 12 studies on
Biblical manhood and womanhood, please contact
Lutherans For Life or Concordia Publishing House.

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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.

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Today, a stint in the military comes with educational benefits.  Young women as well as men see opportunity.  There is also patriotism, especially after 9/11.  Both men and women find value and meaning in serving their country.

There are many ways for women to serve their country.  But, when foolishness rules, “rights” quickly become “wrongs.”  What we think we can do might not be what we should do.

Here’s a question.  When a man hears the sound of someone breaking into his house, does he send his wife, daughter or mother to face the enemy?

Late one evening, my brother and sister-in-law heard the sound of breaking glass.  Looking out their bedroom window, they could see a strange man attempting to break in their back door.  Did my brother send my sister-in-law to the door?  (After all, she is smart and athletic.)   Did he send his wife to confront the enemy?  No.  My brother went to the door where he found the intruder reaching through the glass to turn the inside lock.  He grabbed the intruder’s hand.  There was a brief skirmish before the enemy fled.   Soon, the police arrived.

Did my brother believe that his wife had no role to play in protecting their home?  Did he see her incapable of helping?  No.  He instinctively knew that he was to protect his wife and family, but he also knew that his wife was part of the “team.” So, from a secure area, he asked her to call 911.   The police arrived because she made that call.

An enemy at the door is not Xbox.  Nor is it equal opportunity for women.  When the enemy stood at my brother’s door, he knew better than to be distracted by the irrelevant issue of “sexual equity.”

I am certain it would be in the best interests of our nation — and surely the men engaged on the front lines of battle — not to be distracted by irrelevant issues.  Foolishness puts us all in harm’s way.

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