So the other night at the recent Republican debate, three candidates said they would be fine with women having to register for the Selective Service. Those three were Christie, Bush, and Rubio. After the debate, Cruz said that he thought the idea was “nuts.” “We have had enough with political correctness — especially in the military,” Cruz said.
So let us talk about this for a minute, shall we? I have some random thoughts on the subject, which will probably require systematic organization later.
First, I want to say that there are a number of striking things about Rubio’s conservatism that I like. I like his free and open confession of Christ. I like how unabashedly pro-life he is. But this answer of his reveals that he is not functioning with an integrated biblical worldview at all. This is a profound and radical inconsistency in his professed conservatism.
Once you have signed off on the nation/state conscripting your daughters to go serve in combat roles, whatever it was you thought you were conserving — thus allowing you to call yourself a conservative — has had a fork stuck in it and is done. Nothing really to conserve any more.
A nation that conscripts its daughters for its defense is a nation that no longer deserves a defense. We may have to fight later as a practical matter, but this is a matter of rudimentary allegiance.
The compromise runs deep also (as it does with Christie and Bush), because the formal legality of women serving in combat roles is merely weeks old. The speed with which some Republicans roll over so quickly on issues like this is revelatory. If conservatism were an ornate Persian carpet, this is a six-inch swath of orange shag sewn into the middle of it.
Conscripted women in combat is progressivism, pure and simple. It is an essential part of their egalitarian new world order, and this is why we need something other than what Dabney called a certain kind of conservatism — “the shadow that follows radicalism to perdition.”
Second, this is one of the things I admire about Cruz. He is willing to fight to reverse progressive gains, and not just promise to be a more moderate steward of ongoing progressive gains. He fights, and people don’t like him because he fights. Not only so, but he fights uphill.
I saw at least one person wondering if this position that Cruz took was “opportunistic.” Well, if it is, then Cruz is a lot smarter than anyone has given him credit for, and everybody gives him credit for being plenty smart. It is not opportunistic to say and do things that cause the arbiters of all that is acceptable to declare you even more unacceptable than you were before, which was pretty unacceptable. If Cruz sees past the establishment smoke machine to a genuine “silent majority,” one that is actually out there, then you might call him a brilliant psychic who is an opportunist with the opportunities that nobody else sees. If that is what opportunism means, I’ll take it.
Third, to the merits. The business of a military unit is fighting and destruction. Success or failure is measured by how lethal that unit is. Success or failure is not to be measured by whether or not a stirring and patriotic and politically-correct commercial for the armed forces can be made with some brave women in it. Grand and idiotic experiments in social engineering have to limit themselves to fiction — to movies, to fictional commercials, and to lying propaganda.
But what if someone responds by agreeing that military standards must never be lowered, but argues that any woman who can meet those standards should be allowed in? There are a basic problem. It is that social justice warriors, of the kind that are driving this whole business, lie all of the time. They do not submit to the way God made the world, so why would they submit to accurate descriptions of the way God made the world? They are at war with the science as much as with Scripture, and their response to any obstacle is always the same. They lie about it. If you refuse to see the difference between a man and woman, why on earth would you be willing to see the difference between accurate data and politically-fudged data? Everything is always all the same except for the difference between “the agenda” and that which is “not the agenda.”
Fourth, some Christians will want to say that the Bible doesn’t say anything about this issue, and so — they say — traditionalists are just getting themselves whizzed up for the sake of some old-timey cultural values. Where does the Bible say anything about this?
Let’s wade into this from the shallow end.
First, when God had His people go to war, only the men were mustered. Males, twenty years old and up, were mustered for war (e.g. 2 Sam. 24:9). Incidentally, not to get sidetracked, but forced conscription for men is not biblical either. In Scripture the men were mustered, but were not forced to fight. If they did not want to fight, even for dishonorable reasons like fear, they were free to go home. So when a government conscripts men, they are forcing them into a vocation that men are in fact called to perform, with the coercion creating an injustice. But when a government conscripts women for combat, that government has declared war on the permanent things. It is degrading to the women involved, and an utter disgrace to the men who allow it to happen.
The second point can only be understood if we understand strength and weakness in terms of teleology and design function. Men are stronger at some things than women, and women are stronger at other things than men. We can say that women are weaker only if we place men and women in the same realm at the same time. When their different callings are remembered, the question doesn’t really come up. So we see that an excellent wife in her calling is identified as a strong woman. In Proverbs, the phrase translated excellent wife is literally “woman of strength,” or “woman of valor” (Prov. 12:4; 31:10). But if you put her into the wrong realm, if you try to use the most expensive vase in the house to pound in tent pegs, you will get a different impression. And this is why Scripture speaks about the idea of women in combat dismissively the way it does. “The warriors of Babylon have ceased fighting; they remain in their strongholds; their strength has failed; they have become women; her dwellings are on fire; her bars are broken” (Jer. 51:30, ESV).
Third, the Bible flatly prohibits the kind of perverse thinking that would put women into combat. “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God” (Deut. 22:5). That “which pertaineth unto a man” is a rendering of keli geber, which literally refers to the gear of a warrior. Men are prohibited from chasing after the transvestite kick, whatever that is, and women are prohibited from decking themselves out as an infantryman. It is easy for modern secularists to lump this in with the prohibition of clam chowder, but for those who read the Scriptures with understanding, it should be lumped in with the abominations of sodomy and witchcraft. Unfortunately, many Christians will fall for this latest abomination because it has been artfully decked out in red, white, and blue.
And last, the reason why this is a flash point issue should not be that hard to discern. For many conservative Christians, it has been possible to be somewhat shielded in a subculture where things like abortion and same sex mirage were issues on the evening news, but not day-to-day issues that applied directly to us. Those in favor of abortion were killing their own babies, not ours. Despite this, it is much to the credit of evangelicals and Catholics that they have sustained a vibrant pro-life testimony over the course of a generation when the outrage was largely being committed elsewhere. The whole issue of same sex mirage could have been the same kind of thing, and probably would have been, except that the intoleristas started to come after evangelical florists, bakers and photographers. That raised the stakes considerably. And now the Republican “establishment lane” is good with drafting our daughters. Well, that escalated quickly.
I have argued elsewhere that a man’s central obligation before God is to provide for his family and to protect them. He should bring up his sons to do the same. An essential part of that protection would be to protect your daughters from the appalling policy that would (apparently) be upheld by a President Rubio. So under a President Rubio, it is possible that some of my granddaughters might be drafted. But it is not possible for that to happen without a number of the men around them going to jail first.