[***Correction*** It seems as though the version that will come before the convention tomorrow may be different then what was already printed (because the committee was still working out final language). While I still think the original overture deserves consideration, I hope the version that reaches the floor is similar in spirit and essential points. Please read the below comments as directed at a version which may not be the actual resolution presented to the convention. But regardless of what comes before the convention, the following post is ultimately about the underlying issues at stake. Don’t you all love this conventioneering confusion!]
Well, Committee 2 has moved the overture on women in combat from the omnibus to be considered by the convention. Unfortunately, the resolution that will come before the convention is an entirely different resolution that was submitted by several circuits and congregations. This is a disservice to the members of those congregations and circuits that sent the original resolution. They deserve to have their resolution be considered by the convention. I would hope that even someone opposed to speaking out against women in combat would recognize that the just thing to do would be to put the original resolution before the convention, not a total re-write that fails to say clearly (or perhaps at all) what the original resolution says.
Beyond that though, this whole issue is painfully simple. (And it is a good reminder to us all that sin is not fundamentally a matter a ignorance but refusal to believe what God’s Word says.)
This issue comes down to two things:
1. Women are not to purposefully sent into combat. It is not given to them to do. Men are called by God (their vocation) to protect women. We as a Synod ought to confess this boldly.
2. The support our daughters ought to receive from the Missouri Synod is not some amorphous and undefined “support” (like in the neutered re-write resolution). This shows an amazing ignorance of the whole foundation of what a religious rationale for exemption from the draft is. It isn’t just some subjective feeling or desire to not be drafted that can be PC affirmed by the convention, “Those whom feel this way, we support”…whatever that actually means. Our daughters deserve a Synod that will confess the biblical truth before the world that it is against God’s will to purposely send women into combat . Doing that, boldly and clearly, would actually be a help and support. Then, when the government expands the draft to include women, our daughters and their fathers as their protectors would have a church body behind them saying, “We believe this to be wrong! We have a religious objection to women in combat and their inclusion in the draft.”
(Additionally, if you “aren’t worried about this because you don’t think a draft will happen soon and exemptions will always be easy to get,” then you must also be the person who doesn’t bring a tent on a week long hike because he is sure that it won’t rain tomorrow. But regardless, Christians should confess their objection to this boldly!)
Women and Children First!
-Are we such barbarians that we no longer believe this?
-There is a bump in the night. Who has the duty to go see what is wrong? What would you think of a man who sent his wife, mother, or daughter into danger, to potentially lay down her life for his?
-Is it really just an outdated custom to save women and children first, or is it a reflection of who we have been created to be?
-We all know that war is horrible. It is heart-breaking enough to send men into combat, our sons, but if needs be, they will go (to defend the country). But are we really going to send our daughters and grand-daughters? Are we really going to say that the Lord has no opinion on the matter?
Think of your daughter, your granddaughter, your wife, your mother. Ask yourself if it is right to purposefully send them into combat if there are yet any able-bodied men left to die for their sake. The answer is NO. We all know that that is the answer.
You know that sending women and girls into combat is wrong in the same way as when a boy punches a girl on the playground–it is just plain wrong. Please do not be deceived by words that would ask you to 1. put this aside for the moment, 2. to send it to committee, or 3. tempt you to wonder, “Did God really say that men are to protect women?”
There is no reason for further discussion on such a clear issue. “We as Christians should speak clearly. Our church body must speak on this issue, and we should expect it to do so, NOW, at this convention, by the grace of God.
I would ask all of the BJS readership to especially pray about this issue, and for the convention as it considers what to do concerning many issues.
Pr. David Ramirez
Something extra, from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
“Peter, Adam’s Son,” said Father Christmas. “Here, sir,” said Peter. “These are your presents,” was the answer, “and they are tools not toys. The time to use these is perhaps near at hand. Bear them well.” With these words he handed to Peter a shield and a sword …. Peter was silent and solemn as he received these gifts, for he felt they were a very serious kind of present. “Susan, Eve’s Daughter,” said Father Christmas, “These are for you,” and he handed her a bow and a quiver full of arrows and a little ivory horn, “You must use the bow only in great need,” he said, “for I do not mean you to fight in battle.” …Last of all he said, “Lucy, Eve’s Daughter,” and Lucy came forward. He gave her a little bottle…and a small dagger. “The dagger is to defend yourself at great need. For you also are not to be in battle.” “Why, sir?” said Lucy. “I think – I don’t know – but I think I could be brave enough.” “That is not the point,” he said. “But battles are ugly when women fight.”