restoring our biblical and constitutional foundations


Transvestitism, Egalitarianism, and Women in Combat

Darrell Dow

Conservative Evangelicals have become unquestioning in their fealty to the modern warfare state and its imperial ambitions, and no longer even see fit to object to the continuing sexual integration of the armed forces.  In their zeal to prop up a Christ-professing president, Evangelicals are turning a blind eye to the fact that some grand moral failings are taking place on his watch while he cruises the heartland flipping-off the unsuspecting, takes in Shinto shrines, celebrates Ramadan, and publicly equates Allah with the triune God
Having swallowed the egalitarian presuppositions of the Enlightenment, Christians routinely deny that there are in fact God-ordained sexual roles.  And why should we be surprised?  Look at our churches. 
In January, 1996, John Ortberg, then a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church, authored a position paper distributed to staffers at the Illinois mega church.  Mr. Ortberg wrote that on the issue of gender equality, the church “has sought to insure an appropriate level of consensus on this issue with new staff members” in order to avoid a divisive environment that “would be destructive to authentic community and effective ministry.”  Ortberg goes on to say that “when the Bible is interpreted comprehensively, it teaches the full equality of men and women in status, giftedness and opportunity for ministry.”  Really?
Christians who aren’t embarrassed by their Bibles might beg to differ and could point to numerous texts, including Deut. 22:5, where we read, “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.” 
The law obviously made reference to clothes, but the meaning is far broader.  The intention is to maintain distinctions between the sexes.  As R. J. Rushdoony said in commenting on the text, it “forbids imposing a man’s duties and tools on a woman, and a woman’s on a man.  Its purpose is thus to maintain God’s fundamental order.”  That fundamental order is hierarchical and, for lack of a better word, patriarchal, and you shouldn’t allow braying theologians with more degrees than sense tell you otherwise. 
It is also striking that the Bible calls gender-confusion an “abomination.” There are various Hebrew words translated “abomination,” but the word used here is toebah, which according to Strong means “something disgusting” or “an abhorrence, especially idolatry.”   Keep in mind that it is the person, not the act, which is considered loathsome. 
The elimination and obliteration of distinctions between the sexes is rooted in rebellion against God’s order.  Indeed, egalitarianism denies the very principle of order and attempts to arrange creation on its own terms. Equality thus becomes a philosophical and religious faith that demands the fidelity of every individual and institution.  And since “conservative” evangelicals have been loath to do battle with the egalitarian ethos in our homes and churches, what shall we say when it attacks the military?
The Abu Ghraib prisoner scandal and the capture and rape of Jessica Lynch should have put the issue of women in combat into the national dialogue.  That it did not shows the degraded character of our culture and the seared state of our collective conscience.
The inclusion of women in active combat roles has been an ongoing feminist preoccupation.  Today, according to Bonnie Erbe, women comprise 15% of the active-duty military, 24 percent of the reservists, and one in seven soldiers in Iraq. 
But again, the Scriptures are clear that there is a comprehensive pattern of differentiation between men and women.  It is men who protect and lay down their lives for women, even as Christ died for the Church, and it is women who bear a responsibility as nurturers.  In Joshua 1:14, we read that the “wives, young children, and livestock” of Israel remained on the other side of the Jordan River while the “fighting men” crossed the river to wage war against the Canaanites.  Today, Christian men prefer to send their wives, sisters and daughters to die on foreign battlefields instead of fighting themselves. 
The progressive desexualization of our culture is running amok, and the distinctions between male and female are increasingly blurred, witness the rise of the “metrosexual.”  To quote Rushdoony again, “modern culture has a strongly transvestite character.  Here as elsewhere it prefers the character of perversion to the law of God.”  
Where are the pastors with the courage to preach on what God says about sending women into combat, and where are the Christian publications and leaders who will stand up and call the problem of women in combat what the Bible does: an “abomination”?  Where are the teachers who will call the doctrine of equality what it is: “heresy”?

July 22, 2004

Darrell Dow writes from Jeffersonville, Indiana where he works as a statistician.  A misanthropic Paleoconservative, Darrell is the husband of Kathy, and the father of Joshua and Andrew.  To see pictures of the boys and get a small glimpse into the Dow house, visit the family website.  Darrell also maintains a website and a new blog.  Darrell can be contacted here.

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