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I am a 1967 graduate of The Citadel (Distinguished Military Student, member of the Economic Honor Society, Dean's List), a 1975 graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div., magna cum laude, member of the Phi Alpha Chi academic honor society); I attended the Free University of Amsterdam and completed my History of Dogma there and then received a full scholarship from the Dutch government to transfer to the sister school in Kampen, Holland. In 1979 I graduated from the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Churches of Holland (Drs. with honors in Ethics). My New Testament minor was completed with Herman Ridderbos. I am also a 2001 Ph.D. graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (Systematic Theology) in Philly with a dissertation on the "unio mystica" in the theology of Dr. Herman Bavinck (1854-1921). I am a former tank commander, and instructor in the US Army Armor School at Ft. Knox, KY. I have been happily married to my childhood sweetheart and best friend, Sally, for 43 years. We have 6 children, one of whom is with the Lord, and 14 wonderful grandchildren.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Christian Feminism? (VIII)

Lying to Emasculate the Warrior Culture
Don’t you just hate it when people lie to you? One of my most vivid recollections had to do with a parishioner from a congregation I served in a different country. It was a marriage counseling situation. The afternoon prior to the evening counseling session the wife dropped off a thick stack of photocopied phone bills. On each page there were approximately twenty phone calls to the same number: the “other” woman.
That evening as we began the counseling I asked the man if he were still having contact with the woman in question. He categorically denied it and swore that the whole sordid affair was the figment of his wife’s overactive imagination. “So you didn’t call her, say, on June the 4th of this year?” I asked. He laughed. “Absolutely not!” Then I recited the phone number to him. He looked at me askance. “You never called that number on June the 4th?” “No!” But now I could tell that he was having doubts. How did I know the number? I asked him what his cell phone number was and he told me. At that point, I reached down, took a pencil and circled the cell phone number on the bill, and tossed the packet into his lap and said, “Then explain this please.”
Of course, he was indignant, blathering, stammering, and flustered. In the final analysis, it was my fault for looking into private material and his wife’s fault for putting the material into my hands. He stormed out and the marriage ended in divorce. My point in telling this story is that when caught in his lie the man did not confess his sin—which, by the way, was forgivable—but tried intimidation tactics on me—which didn’t work—and tried making excuses for his contact with the other woman. His wife was a lousy and the “b” word.
This perhaps seems like a strange lead into a discussion of women in the military and women in combat, but I’m going to suggest—and back up—that the feminist agenda is so chocked full of ideology that lying, often with a straight face, is not considered unconscionable. As David Geffen recently said about Bill and Hillary Clinton, the frequency and ease with which they lied was chilling. With the necessary changes being made, the same applies to Feminism. The books by Stephanie Gutmann and Brian Mitchell that I have been citing in previous installments clearly document what I’m saying and are worthy of a read, especially in light of our politically correct society that is just now becoming cognizant of some of the problems that an integrated military fosters. In addition, it seems that some of our modern feminized men have no qualms with women going into combat; preferably they could go to take the place of the soft metro-sexuals. Someone asked me recently if I wanted the women to stay home, raise the children, and let the men do the rest. My answer: in general, yes, that’s my position; in particular an adamant yes when it comes to the military and combat. As a caveat: in the Christian home the man is the leader and sets the spiritual tone. He doesn’t relegate raising the children to his wife. He is the spiritual head. So, man up, guys!

The Women’s War
The auspicious New York Times or the Democratic Times of New York carried an article in the March 18, 2007 Sunday edition in the magazine section by Sara Corbett entitled “The Women’s War.” Ms. Corbett caught my attention with the first sentence: “One the morning of Monday, Jan. 9, 2006, a 21-year-old Army specialist named Suzanne Swift went AWOL” (Absent Without Leave for all the yuppies and non-combatants.) It seems that Swift’s unit—the 54th Military Police Company out of Ft. Lewis, WA—was two days away from redeploying to Iraq. Long story short: Swift didn’t return to her unit. The Uniform Code of Military Justice is swift—no pun intended—and decisive in these matters, but it hit a bump in the road: Swift was a woman and not only was she a woman but one claiming to be suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Even Corbett understood the implications of Swift’s actions: “Despite the fact that military procedure for dealing with AWOL soldiers is well established—most are promptly court-martialed and, if convicted, reduced in rank and jailed in a military prison—Swift’s situation raised a seemingly unusual set of issues.” (Italics mine.)
What might that “seemingly unusual set of issues” be? According to Swift she was suffering from PTSD—which, by the way, conveniently had not been diagnosed until after the AWOL, coupled with Swift’s allegations of “sexual harassment” and rape. According to the reports, Swift was not actually “raped” but was “manipulated into having sex…” It might surprise some, but I have no problem believing her story. My take on the matter is, however, that she should have never been in the military or in a combat (support) unit in the first place. There is simply no place for a woman in a warrior’s world.
Ever since Carter rammed women in our service academies down our throats we’ve been living a lie and operating on—at best—a double standard for men and women. And as we’ve been seeing in these articles, there is a feminist agenda looming large behind the scenes and on the front lines. What was once a more or less covert operation in the past has morphed into full-orbed attack on the warrior culture of the mentality with presidents like Carter and Clinton helping lead the charge. Mitchell is correct when he states, “Feminists…have always insisted that the attributes of a leader are neither masculine nor feminine, that virtues traditionally considered masculine or feminine can be found in both sexes, and that the military should look for an androgynous or ‘ungendered’ model of leadership not based on the ubiquitous male model.”[1]
Mitchell continues, “Attempts by the services to reconcile a masculine military and feminist philosophy have produced strange results. Service women here and there have become somewhat more masculine, but in general the military has been thoroughly feminized.”[2] In common parlance, our military is less battle ready with less unit cohesion because it has become a social experiment for the politically correct crowd and a generation absorbed with G.I. Jane and the insistence of having women on S.W.A.T. (Special Weapons and Tactics) teams. Lives are compromised and unit effectiveness lessened. As early as 1986—just barely a decade after the first women entered the Air Force Academy—the Army published a definition of the “warrior spirit” “that said nothing about combativeness, aggressiveness, an eagerness to fight, a willingness to die, or the courage to kill.”[3]
Our modern culture and metro-sexual, metro-spiritual men don’t see a problem because they grew up with political correctness and see this a “business as usual,” but when you go below the surface appearances, there are myriad serious problems and Ms. Corbett has just touched on a very few in her article. In “our time” men have lost their “raisins” and with all the posturing and angry ideologues running around we’ve created a recipe for disaster. No one seems to have the “huevos” anymore “to approach the issue of women in the military as one would any other issue, analyzing it with cold rationality in the simple terms of costs versus benefits.”[4] What price are we paying for this social experiment in the warrior culture? In brief, we’re paying a very high price indeed not only in loss of unit cohesion and effectiveness, but in other areas such as higher rates of attrition among women, greater need for medical care, higher rates of “non-availability,” lower rates of deployability, lesser physical ability, aggravated problems of single-parenthood, dual-service marriages, fraternization, sexual harassment, sexual promiscuity, and homosexuality, “all of which adversely affect unit cohesion, morale, and the fighting spirit of the armed forces,”[5] even though Bill Clinton still thinks “don’t ask, don’t tell” was a good policy.
This change in mentality has had a huge ripple affect on our military and even the experts do not yet know what the results will be. Currently, we have approximately 18,000 women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since our experiment in the military has swung into full force (Kate O’Beirne [Women Who Make the World Worse], reminds us, “Throughout recorded history, men have fought their nations’ wars. [Only the French looked to a teenage girl to lead them in battle], p. 113) more females have been killed in combat than any other time.[6] When we compare our current situation with Vietnam, the differences are striking, staggering, and to those who still have a masculine conscience, chilling. During Vietnam, women made up about 1% of U.S. troops.[7] In the entire Vietnam War only eight women lost their lives (of the 58,000 that died) and they were all unarmed nurses.[8]
The upshot of this is that from a strict cost-benefit perspective, “the military use of women makes sense for only a handful of jobs, largely in the medical professions, where the military’s need for doctors, nurses, and medical specialists well outweighs any difficulty of using women. For all other military jobs, the only reason to use women is not a military reason.”[9]
All this brings me back to Corbett’s article The Women’s War. What she misses—badly—is that this is not merely an isolated event or set of events that only touches, tangentially, a handful of women, but is rather a problem that strikes at the heart of our country’s military preparedness and readiness. When there is a mixture of women and men in a situation that is unbiblical and unnatural there are going to be problems. The feminists believed that they could feminized the armed forces and make them a “kinder, gentler” military. For example, on October 26, 1997 Sara Lister, then assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs, told a group of scholars, journalists, and military personnel, “I think the Army is much more connected to society than the Marines are. The Marines are extremists.”[10]
Much to Ms. Lister’s surprise, General Charles Krulak, one of those “extremists,” who was then commandant of the Marines told the media that her words “summarily dismiss 222 years of sacrifice and dedication and dishonor the hundreds of thousands of Marines whose blood has been shed in the name of freedom.”[11] What was the Army’s response? The typical, liberal, cover your backside, politically correct claptrap: they claimed that Ms. Lister’s comments were “taken out of context.” (Aren’t you about as tired of that hackneyed phrase as you are of he one, “Well, you just don’t understand me”?) Some things in life are still very predictable. William Cohen, Clinton’s Secretary of Defense, said that he was satisfied with her apology. Thankfully, many members of Congress weren’t. House Speaker Newt Gingrich demanded Lister’s immediate dismissal for such outlandish statements and within 24 hours Lister was removed from her post. Lister is typical of the feminists who want to feminize the military. But here is the proper perspective: “The Marines self-consciously train warriors, and compared to the new, more motherly Army, the Marines are indeed extreme.”[12]
The “extreme” aspect of the new military is not the Marines, but the feminization of our country’s readiness. At one Naval training center drill instructors carry cards reminding them not to “apply any punishment that might cause a recruit ‘undue embarrassment,’ while recruits carry ‘stress passes’ they can trade for a convenient time-out when the going gets too tough.”[13] Instead of military preparedness, the modern military is more concerned that recruits receive the proper emotional support and counseling in stress reduction and self-esteem. Helpful. And of course there is the ubiquitous sexual harassment seminar that wastes even more time.
At this time, no other military in the world depends as heavily on women as the U.S. armed forces. Next to Israel and Canada (11%) no other country has a military of more than 3.5% female. Germany, Spain, and Italy have virtually no women in their armed forces and Russia checks in with only 0.7%, and they perform mostly clerical and medical jobs. Mitchell puts it in perspective when he says, “It has been twenty-one years since women first forced themselves into the federal service academies, where they have shattered tradition, fractured morale, and confused the academies’ purpose—which is to train combat officers.”[14] I will argue in subsequent articles that this very mentality has not only infiltrated society in general, but can also be found within the walls of the Church as well.
Not only has this experiment been a dismal failure, but it has created far more problems than it has solved. The hard, unvarnished truth is that women in the military and their expanding presence “is destroying the military’s body and soul.”[15] Unfortunately, far too few care that this is happening. They’re so busy drinking the Kool-Aid that they have come to believe that this is actually a good thing: women in combat. Moreover, “The widely known but unaccepted truth is that most of what our senior civilian and military leaders tell us about women in the military is a lie.”[16] Anyone who has ever served in the military knows that a certain unpleasant “thing” rolls down hill. Even ranking officers—I’m talking generals and admirals—have lost their entire military career because of Feminism and its rabid ideology.
How have we been lied to? Let me count the ways! In the first place, it is clearly, clearly a lie that military women are meeting the same standards as men. Like it or not, women are constantly given preferential treatment. Suzanne Swift’s case is merely one of many. AWOL is dealt with decisively, but not in her case. (I have sat on military court martial boards, so I speak from experience. By and large, the preponderance of our cases were male AWOLs.) Many promotions among the females are based on quotas, but “our time” would never admit that. It’s just one of those elephants in the room that no one wants to acknowledge.
Second, it is a bald-faced lie that women meet the same physical requirements as men. It simply is not true. Integrated basic training classes now have two different obstacle courses or give women an undue advantage with their times. This flies in the face of equal pay for equal work. You can’t have it both ways. If you want to be equal then be equal.
Third, it is a lie that the presence of women has served a positive effect on military readiness. In point of fact, the military has been “softened” in the bad sense of the term. When the going gets tough the armed forces lower the standards for women to ease off on the attrition rate statistics. “The modern military’s emphasis on self-esteem and ‘positive motivation,’ inspired by the need to protect women from the harshness of military life, has led the military to an excessive reliance upon leadership and a potentially fatal neglect of discipline.”[17] While the men are being feminized, the women, in turn, are being masculinized. For example, when Corbett described Swift he wrote, “Swift has blond hair, milky skin and clear green eyes, which lend her the vague aspect of a Victorian doll—albeit a very tough one. (Thanks, I needed that.) She curses freely, smokes Newports and, when she’s not in uniform, favors low-cut shirts that show off an elaborate flower tattoo on her chest.” My point precisely.
This mentality is not merely prevalent in the armed forces, but can also be easily found permeating our society and, to a greater or lesser degree, also in our modern churches. The scholar David Wells describes what is occurring in evangelicalism this way: “What I suggest is that there are currently three main constituencies in evangelicalism. There is one in which the historical doctrines of evangelical believing are still maintained and even treasured. There is on that is oblivious to these doctrines and considers them an impediment to church growth. Finally, there is one that is thumbing its nose at both of these first two constituencies, in the one case because its orthodoxy is too confining and in the other because its church life, glitzy as it may be, is too empty.”[18] Wells goes on to suggest that some much of what occurs in evangelicalism today goes unchallenged that aberrant notions and theologies have become firmly entrenched and their seeming “success” has made individual Christians and denomination invulnerable and impervious to counter arguments.[19] The upshot of modern Christianity and modern Christians, in general, is that “They have no Christian worldview, they exhibit no Christian character, and they show no Christian commitment.”[20] Rather, modern Christians would rather bicker and quibble about someone like Deborah than admit that women have no place in combat; than explain to a “professional” woman coming into the church that certain roles are not open to her even though she is created fully in the image of God.
So we fudge, try to hide the fact that women are our “worship team leaders,” lead men in prayer in worship, and regularly teach me in church settings. Given the way things are in the world, why not have women in comparable positions in the church? And so our words and actions become self-serving and self-referential. This has certainly been the case with women in combat and it is rapidly becoming the case in mainline Christian denominations. Yes, times change. We are all aware of that. But some things don’t change, do they? The nature of sin hasn’t changed since Adam and Eve and neither has the meaning of Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross.
If we take nothing else from the current debates about women in combat, Feminism, and the place and roles of women in the Christian Church we should take this: “When all is said and done, Christianity is about truth (Italics Wells) and at the heart of that truth is the gospel, sola gratia, sola fide, in solo Christo. If Christianity is not about what is enduringly, eternally true (Italics mine), in all places of the world, in every culture, in the same way, in every time, then there is not reason to strive to find the most accurate ways of stating what it is, nor in other parts of the world would there be any reason to face persecution for it. But across time people have struggled to know it, because in knowing it they have come to know God whose truth it is and some have had to die for it. Who, one wonders, would want to die for something that was only true at some point in time, to some person, and not for all people in all places and times, or who would want to die for something that actually is not that important in the life of the church, which can be quite successful without it?”[21]There is still time for conscientious Christians to do something about these problems, but time is running out. God grant that we stop playing “pitty-pat” ball and really step up to the plate and act like being a biblical Christian really means something.

[1] Brian Mitchell, Women in the Military, Flirting with Disaster, (Washington, D.C.: Regnery, 1998), pp. 338-339.
[2] Ibid., 339.
[3] Ibid. Emphases mine.
[4] Ibid., 340.
[5] Ibid.
[6] By June 2005, 37 female soldiers had been killed in Iraq.
[7] O’Beirne, Women, 114.
[8] Ibid. 114-115. Italics mine.
[9] Mitchell, Military, 340-341. Italics mine.
[10] Ibid., xi.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Ibid., xii.
[13] Ibid., xiii.
[14] Ibid., xvi.
[15] Ibid., 341.
[16] Ibid., 341-342.
[17] Ibid., 342.
[18] David Wells, “Foreword,” in Gary L.W. Johnson & Guy P. Waters (eds.), By Faith Alone, Answering the Challenges to the Doctrine of Justification, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2006), p. 15.
[19] Ibid., 16.
[20] Ibid., 17.
[21] Ibid., 19.

8 Comments:

Blogger SolaMeanie said...

Well, Bleeeee...

You've just proven that you're a Freudian slip. And your slip is showing.

Now go away and leave this discussion to the adults.

10:25 AM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...

Ron,

Don't you think that we've got a host of people who watched too much "Xena, Warrior Princess," and believed that's the way things really are? As with most things that come out of the entertainment industry these days, that show was intended to send a message loud and clear. And yes, there was a lesbian subtext in it.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Whoever bleeee,etc. is, he or she has some serious mental problems. It's just part of the Foucault postmodernism pseudo-intellectual syndrome. He or she is probably a metro-sexual working on a B.S degree--and well on his way.
Rattlesnake 6

8:51 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:42 AM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Right. We can start with Hillary's love for Feminism and Bill's lack of character. I believe that both the Dems and Reps are humanists, but if I have to choose--and I do and so do you--I'll go with the party of life and not the party of death.
Why don't you explain to us lesser lights how a Christian can vote on the Democrat ticket in light of its platform?
Rs6

10:01 AM  
Blogger Randy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Rattlesnake6 said...

Randy,
How was the Kool-Aid? Apparently, you have swilled large, large quantities. If you had stated that Hussein has killed well over 300,000 of his own people, then I'd agree. "Some Accounts" is hardly qualified research. Where did you get those numbers? From Air America? What chaos are you talking about? The elections where people risked their lives to vote? If you want to discuss chaos I suggest that you look at the "bad guys," if you believe that there is such an entity outside, of course, of the U.S., which sounds like the ultimate bad guy to you.
If you want to vote Democrat you're free to do so, but given their platform I'd never vote for them.
You know, Randy, if anything in our conversations you've gotten worse and not better. You're in my prayers.
Rs6

10:52 AM  
Blogger SolaMeanie said...

Randy,

I have never said that the GOP stands for "God's Own Party." It is true that the Republicans' (at least thus far) position on social issues mirrors a biblical point of view more than the Democrats in my view. But that seems to be changing.

As Christians, we are supposed to form our worldview through the prism of Scripture and not a political platform. You mistakenly assume that conservative, Bible-believing Christians do it the other way around. The left's support for homosexuality, abortion on demand and confiscatory taxation are antithetical to Scripture.

You also have a problem with trying to attach moral equivalence to regimes like Iraq and the United States. That is more of a secular, leftist, postmodern vantage point than it is a Scriptural one.

Let's say for the sake of argument that Cheney, Bush etc. have lied. That hardly puts them (or our government) in the same league as Saddam, Pol Pot, Stalin or other bloody figures. Perhaps you are the one seeing things through a political lens rather than a biblical one. And I say that most kindly.

1:12 PM  

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