A story surfaced recently concerning comments Senator Barack Obama made in 2007. From the article: “Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama may not have drafted a woman to be his running mate, as his rival John McCain has, but he does believe that America's young women should be eligible for the military draft and possibly combat duty. ‘I think that if women are registered for service … I think it will help to send a message to my two daughters that they've got obligations to this great country as well as boys do.’”


Whether or not women should participate in military combat is a discussion long overdue in evangelicalism. When the need for more troops outweighs the desire to keep women out of a combat, not only have we taken a dangerous turn culturally, but the issue of male/female roles as God has designed them is on the table. Aside from moral questions concerning the draft in general, while certain women might serve a limited role in the military, they should not be in combat units or housed with the men for a number of reasons.


First, to draft women into military service is to destroy the very essence of who women are as keepers at home. Senator Obama would shake his fist in the hands of the Creator in yet another way, further decimate the now thin thread of moral structure left to hold our culture together, and throw women under the bus, or under the tank in this case, at the same time.


Second, God’s role for men is to be the protectors, not women. This reality is grounded in the fact that He created male and female and designed them to complement each other. Men that allow women to fight in combat are laying aside their role as given by God. It must be added that this reality is not contingent upon power or ability. There may be women who are more capable than men, but that is not the issue. For example, if a man and a woman were walking down the street late at night and a mugger confronted them, and if the woman was skilled in the marshal arts while the man was not, would we expect the man to jump out of the way and let the woman defend him? Of course not! She may indeed have more ability but we would consider him to be a coward. God forbid that we should become a nation of cowards. The issue is not ability, but role.


Third, women must not be drafted and must, even as volunteers, serve in limited ways in the military by virtue of the fact that they will inevitably become sexual objects to men. The problem springs from the fact that we are fallen creatures and God’s design is often set aside because of our sinful desires. Temptation is unavoidable in certain environments. Moreover, in close quarters where men and women live and work together constantly day and night, men have a tendency to objectify women. It is ironic that in a culture seeking equal roles for men and women the opposite effect would be produced if women were to serve in combat or in close quarters with men in the military. This setting opens the door to rape, sexual harassment, compromising situations, and other unwanted consequences which are, sadly, well known but ignored in large measure. The military is a place where a job has to be done and these types of distractions are deleterious. Even most military personnel have serious concerns about women who become prisoners of war and among other things, the sexual harassment factor in that context.


Fourth, there is also the issue of married men or women working closely together in certain contexts away from home for long periods of time. Yet another front on the effort to destroy the American family will be opened up. Marriages are at extreme risk in such an environment.


Fifth, when women serve in combat, it is another step in the blurring of gender roles in general. In our postmodern culture men want to be women and women want to be men. Consider the Kinks’ lyrics from the 1972 song, “Lola:” “Girls will be boys and boys will be girls, it’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world, except for Lola.” The song is about an encounter with a cross-dresser. With increased acceptance of women serving in roles that traditionally belong to men and vice-versa, with the increasing acceptance of homosexuality as a valid lifestyle, with the constant redefining of marriage and family, there is a cultural confusion that has gripped the nation. Women serving in combat is yet another development along these lines.


Sixth, while there are exceptions, it is generally true that women are not as strong as men. Problems on the battlefield are created in light of such and physical problems for women manifest later in life. Again, the destructive consequences of the now thousands of women serving in combat is well documented.


These issues are directly related to the differences between men and women and the fact that the genders are distinct. Let men be men and women be women. Let us celebrate our differences and not celebrate a distortion of what God designed.


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