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Women in Combat

November 22, 1996

Note: This resolution originally appeared in Volume 2 No. 2 (March 1997) of The Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. It was adopted by CBMW on November 23, 1996.

WHEREAS, President Bill Clinton, supported by the United States Congress, has succeeded in moving leaders of the military services to abandon their historic policy of limiting combat military service to males, and has opened military combat categories to females as well as males; and

WHEREAS, The military services of the United States are now recruiting and training women for combat, are assigning women to combat billets, and are planning for and deploying women into combat situations; and

WHEREAS, God created male and female with specific and complementary characteristics (Gen. 1:27), declaring them "good" (Gen. 1:31) so that male and female in relationship constitute a complete expression of the divine order for humanity, yet without blurring or denying the meaning or significance of gender-based distinctions established by God in the created order; and

WHEREAS, The equality of male and female as to dignity and worth, following from their creation in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), is fully consistent with and is in no way contrary to gender-based distinctions as to roles and responsibilities which are also established in the created order; and

WHEREAS, God, by creating Adam first (Gen. 2:18; 1 Cor. 11:8) and also by creating woman for man (Gen. 2:18,20,22; 1 Cor. 11:9), has set the gender-based role and responsibility of males in the most basic unit of society (the family) to be that of leader, provider and self-sacrificial protector (also cf. Eph. 5:25; 1 Peter 3:7), and likewise has set the gender-based role and responsibility of females to be that of help and nurture (Gen. 2:18) and life-giving (Gen. 3:20) under male leadership and protection (cf. 1 Peter 3:7); and

WHEREAS, The purpose of "combat" is to inflict deadly harm upon an enemy, and the essence of "combat" is to engage an enemy in order to kill, slay and destroy–a purpose and essence aligned with the gender-based role and responsibilities of males but opposed to the gender-based role and responsibilities of females; and

WHEREAS, The moral justification for military combat service is the duty to protect vital national interests, of which the most vital and most essential is the welfare, security and good order of families; and so moral justification for combat service is derived from, and is thus essentially linked to, the divinely assigned role and responsibilities of self-sacrificial male headship of the family (Eph. 5:23-24); and

WHEREAS, Intentional rejection of the connection between male headship in the family and the male protective role that defines and justifies service as a soldier in military combat necessarily strikes at the complementary nature of male and female relationships established in the order of creation, and unavoidably undermines the order, structure, strength and stability of families within any society that determines to ignore, deny or erase this gender-based distinction; and

WHEREAS, The pattern established by God throughout the Bible is that men, not women, bear responsibility to serve in combat if war is necessary (Gen. 14:14; Num. 31:3,21,49; Deut. 20:5-9,13-14; Josh. 1:14-18; 6:3,7,9; 8:3; 10:7; 1 Sam. 16:18; 18:5; 2 Sam. 11:1; 17:8; 23:8-39; Ps. 45:3-5; Song of Sol. 3:7-8; Isa. 42:13); and

WHEREAS, Biblical examples that record women serving in combat (Jud. 4:4-23) are presented as contrary to proper and normal gender-based distinctions between male and female roles and responsibilities, and as caused by a failure of male leadership that is worthy of shame (Jud. 4:9-10); and

WHEREAS, Willful rejection of the propriety, value and practice of a gender-based role distinction that limits combat military service to males is a foolish social experiment that: (1) threatens good military order and discipline by unnecessarily escalating sexual tensions among combat warriors, (2) weakens unit cohesion by adding the stress of sexual competition between troops under fire, (3) generates the certitude of female warriors taken as P.O.W.s and subjected to the special trauma of rape and sexual abuse, (4) places a major new strain on the marital fidelity of male warriors separated from their wives by ensuring they are kept in intimate isolation for long periods with females who are not their wives, and (5) risks the nation's military security on a scrambling of the moral framework defining male/female relationships among combat forces that has never before proven successful, and has never before been tried by a world military power that expects to maintain its security responsibilities.

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, that we do, with loyal respect and deep concern, warn against and oppose the opening of military combat service to females: because it rejects gender-based distinctions established by God in the order of creation; because it undermines male headship in the family by failing to recognize the unique gender-based responsibility of men to protect women and children; and because it subordinates the combat readiness of American troops, and the national security of the United States, to the unbiblical, utopian, social agenda of ideological feminism; and

Be it finally RESOLVED, that we call upon the President of the United States, each Senator and Representative of the United States Congress, and all military leaders to reverse the present policy and to reinstate the historic limitation of military combat service to males only.

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