Women in Combat

February 9, 2016

Christian Pacifism & Women in Combat

The seeming endorsement by several Republican presidential candidates of registering women for a hypothetical military draft, and the Obama Administration’s removing remaining strictures against women in combat roles, have provoked controversy from some conservative Christians.  Nearly all of the critics so far have been Evangelical, mostly Southern Baptist.  My colleague Marc LiVecche offers his critique here and here. It would be helpful to find a substantive Catholic analysis, which seems oddly to be unavailable.

Maybe more striking is the silence of Christian pacifists, Protestant and Catholic, who define morality and faith by resistance to violence, and typically are quick to strike against any perceived escalation of societal militarization.  Yet so far there is only the sound of crickets, even from the normally quite outspoken guild of neo-Anabaptists.  If all violence is wrong, and if warfare for any purpose is the worst of evils, as they propose, shouldn’t any incorporation of women into military combat be profoundly troubling, especially if coercively mandated under possible conscription?

The silence so far of Christian pacifists maybe evinces a dilemma.  Most if not nearly all are gender egalitarians and utopians who would be profoundly discomfited to admit different vocational roles for male and female. Many, perhaps most, are so wedded to postmodern theology that they affirm or are quiet about same sex marriage and transgenderism.  They have accommodated, or at least pretend to, Western secularism’s current gnostic cri de coeur that gender is an artificial social construct divorced from physical reality.  Likely for most Christian pacifists, women in combat is bad in the sense that anyone in combat is bad.  But sexual differentiation, rooted in traditional Christian anthropology, is for them even worse.

Christian pacifists also tend to identify the sort of Christians who are critiquing women in combat as their theological, social and political nemeses. Conservative Evangelicals are militarists, nationalists, agents of empire, and Constantinians, according to their caricatures.  Probably most Christian pacifists would prefer to copilot a heavily armed fighter jet with a female flyer than be caught in the same suburban megachurch parking lot with a conservative Evangelical having strong traditional views about gender.

Traditional Evangelicals who oppose women in combat, and who are offended by any idea of a military draft for their daughters, root their convictions in the Judeo-Christian creation story and the expansive Christian cosmological understanding of male and female as equal partners under God but decidedly not interchangeable.  Probably most traditional Christians with these views would welcome collaboration with Christian pacifists.  But Christian pacifists are unlikely to accede to any such cooperation.

This resistance to any common cause with traditional Evangelicals by Christian pacifists is unfortunate.  The jackhammer political push to squash traditional roles and militarize young women will further coarsen and confuse our already deluded culture in ways that will hurt a lot of men in women, inside and outside the armed forces.

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9 Responses to Christian Pacifism & Women in Combat

  1. Montgomery Granger says:

    I agree with your conclusions and admire your style and insight. Well done. There is more at stake here than gender equality, as evidenced by feminists insisting all jobs be open to women, but avoiding the answer to the question of conscription; “no one should be drafted,” they will say – but won’t verbalize whether or not conscription should be for women, too. It takes them to a very uncomfortable place. It begins to reveal the real differences between men and women on the anatomy and physiology side of the coin. If they admit women should be drafted, too then they expose themselves to being drafted. If they say they should not be drafted they expose the lie in their philosophy of equality. Men and women are not equal, in just about anything. Women are actually better at some things than men, including giving birth, but God forbid we mention that one! Feminists refuse to accept that some women actually aspire to and enjoy having children and raising a family. The point is, equal is not always FAIR, and fairness counts. Coach John Wooden promised the best college basketball teams ever that he would NOT treat them all equally, but that he would treat them all fairly, because they were all different and had different needs and abilities. The BEST teams fight as ONE, but get there via different paths. Women can fight, and those who choose to do so should be allowed to at the very highest level. But let them do so together, as sister warriors, like we insist in sports from the age of 13 on. Women and men ARE DIFFERENT. Why can’t we embrace that, accept it, and then move forward with a common purpose: the effective defense, security and safety of this nation?

    • 4joachim says:

      I agree, however,
      the question still remains of whether or not allowing women into the combat role is a wise decision. It will compromise a male soldier’s actions. Is that fair to the whole unit if it puts one or all soldiers into jeopardy?

      • Montgomery Granger says:

        Joachim, women have been in combat for ages. Since 1989 in DESIGNED roles exposed to combat. SGT Leigh Ann Hester earned a Silver Star medal for her effective and exemplary performance in battle in Iraq in 2005. The Military Police branch of the U.S. Army has trained and deployed women for decades with the SAME standards they train men. Combat arms, Marine infantry and Special Forces are different, however. Kind of like the difference between college and professional football. We’re talking less than 1% could ever make it. My idea is to let them try it together, in all-women units first.

        • AndRebecca says:

          I see women police in “cop shows” on TV and they need backup all the time from the men. If one or even two of them had to handle a violent situation, they would not be able to do it without getting help from male officers. And, even L.A. is not considered a combat situation. Women do a great job when promoted over the men and become spokespersons for their departments, though. There are many physical problems to be overcome by the women, even if they are physically up to speed. For instance, women are not supposed to lift over forty pounds, and many women have life-long back problems due to trying to get around that fact. Women in the military like Maj. Gen. Jeanne Holm author of “Women in the Military, an Unfinished Revolution,” revised edition 1992are for women in combat. But, since the communists have stated since the 1950s that in order to weaken the military encourage women and homosexuals to join, I really have to wonder why anyone would think this is a great idea. Marxism is a reaction to the Christian West. Whatever they do, it’s to undermine Christianity.

          • Montgomery Granger says:

            I agree that we have a long way to go. There are lots of questions that need to be answered. But right NOW it’s being rammed down our throats. The generals are almost BEGGING for more time and thought to go into this, that’s why they are suggesting a female draft to go with the integration into combat arms, Marine infantry and Special Forces. They are using the draft argument to try and buy time because the CIVILIAN leadership in the Department of Defense and in the White House have NOT thought this through. Even devout feminists are avoiding the question about whether or not they want a draft for women – they say “we don’t want a draft for anyone.” That’s not the question. No one WANTS a draft for women. It doesn’t make sense. There’s no “there” there.

          • AndRebecca says:

            My problem is there is no end to where we go with this. And, women in combat is hardly the only change going on in the military. Pretty soon, they will have Jane Fonda running the place. The WH has thought this through and are ramming it down, just like homosexual marriage. The government signed into law LGBT Month 25 years ago, and now we have to deal with homosexual marriage, and that isn’t the end game. We have constitutional rights which are given to us by God, and the Left has been working at taking those rights away and they intend to replace them with other “rights.” Like the “right” of women to fight in combat. My family pioneered America and many of my women ancestors were in and around “combat” situations and they were not purposefully put in the front lines. William Bradford and those who came after him, had more respect for women than that.

  2. 4joachim says:

    Women In Combat
    The Mother of God conquered the Evil One through humble obedience, trust,
    and God’s Own Hand realized in His Son.

    Joan Of Arc was abhorrent to the idea of herself leading an army. God’s
    Hand intervened in her convictions to lead an army, through His saints, who
    spoke directly to her. Read Mark Twain’s work on Joan.

    Constantine outlawed rape as his army’s conquering action against a
    defeated nation. One could argue, this restriction was based on his Christian
    conversion: God’s Hand again.

    Every young man feels the command within to defend his own mother and
    sisters. Perhaps God has put that into every man’s heart. I doubt you can change
    that even with our present day, severely, gender-confused nation.

    Women are normally put into non-combat roles, which, I feel, also fits
    their innate ability to multi-task in other lines of defense.

    Men normally feel compelled to protect women, and their protective
    instincts are realized in combat; sometimes under extreme war conditions. It
    seems especially pertinent in today’s Middle East with warring factions who
    commit horrific atrocities against women, who will not respect any rules of
    decency towards captives and seem to thrive on destroying women in

    Putting women into combat roles will endanger all soldiers. It will
    restrict male soldiers from peak performance, in deference to protecting female

    We witness women Kurds going into combat. It is necessary. Their men are
    gone or are too few to protect their homeland. Does the United States have that
    problem? ..yet?

    So from The Hand Of God, to the human heart, to observable behaviors, it
    seems like there is good reason for women to not be forced into the draft, nor
    forced into combat roles.

  3. Kingdom Ambassador says:

    Had the 18th-century founders established a biblical government based upon Yahweh’s moral law (including His warfare statutes), sending America’s daughters as cannon fodder into the next international bakers’ war wouldn’t be a likely reality.

    “And Yahweh spake … saying, Take ye the sum of all the congregation
    … every MALE by their polls; from [not twenty-one or eighteen, but)
    twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war….”
    (Numbers 1:1-3)

    For more on how Yahweh’s unchanging moral applies today, see http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/law-kingdomFrame.html.

    Then, find out how much you REALLY know about the Constitution as compared to the Bible. Take our 10-question Constitution Survey in the right-hand sidebar and receive a complimentary copy of a book that EXAMINES the Constitution by the Bible.

  4. musicator says:

    I think one needs to understand that feminism has brought this upon themselves, and it is allowing a few to make decision for the majority. I have been to places where women are included in combat, and it only motivates an enemy to succeed because female prisoners can become prized sex objects if captured. The human cost of motherhood and abuse makes me think that is not being thought through at all.

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