Thursday, February 7, 2013

An Egalitarian Perspective on Women in Combat

This is not an easy issue. Most Christians would agree that war is something to avoided at all cost, and that one doesn't go to war unless one has excellent reasons. This controversy over the service of women has been percolating in the back of my mind for a long time, and I think I'm completely uncertain about what I think. I'm a convinced Egalitarian in the church and in the home, so this is a new idea for me.

So this will be mostly off the cuff, just to put some thoughts down on pixelated paper.

I think that . . .

The physical and psychological duress can easily effect men as well as women. I've seen such things in both male and female friends, especially in some people I love. So in terms of "durability" I don't have much reason to be opposed to women in combat.

I think that . . .

I wouldn't exclude women from combat, or being on the front lines, if they were able to pass the standards set by the military and we had the complete support of not only the higher ups but also from those on the ground. This means testing such things and allowing for units to support or deny the motion.

I think that . . .

It would bother me greatly if, hypothetically, I were to hop on YouTube one day to find a minute long video of a female soldier being tortured. On an emotional level, it bothers me period but for some reason, to watch a woman suffer (as I have witnessed women being oppressed) has always bothered me. Violence towards women in film and television is a phenomenon that rattles my bones and I can't bother to watch. I nearly walked out of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo multiple times.

I think that . . .

The Bible doesn't seem to explicitly disallow a woman from serving in the military, though it doesn't give much positive reasons to support it either. Deborah was a leader, general and prophet over all Israel but it never says she picked up a sword. You have instances of women defending themselves with mighty force throughout the Scriptures (Jael being an example) but Scripture seems to be silent on the issue.

I think that . . .

I really don't know what to think. Part of me believes that if a capable woman wants to serve her country and wants to do so on the front lines, then she should be allowed to do so. Another part of me wishes we didn't have a problem with this in the first place.

All of me wishes it never came to any of this. A poll by Politico shows that 75% of American voters are in favor of women in combat. I wonder what the stats are for those in the Church.



1 comment:

  1. you mentioned living up to military standards. i think that is good enough for me. if a female passes the same basic training that men do, and there is no bias on the part of the person judging whether they fail or pass, then i believe they should be allowed on merits alone.

    once more into the fray...