This morning, I’m processing Leon Panetta’s allowance of women to serve in combat roles. I have two reasons. The first is, I’m a Christian. Thus, I’m thinking about what this decision tells us about our society, and weighting the question: Does this make Jesus proud? The second reason is more personal:
I have 3 daughters: 10, 8, 2.
I love my daughters more than words can express and want them to have all of the opportunities possible. However, the thought of them going to war is almost nauseating. The thought of them being drafted (an eventuality), is even more depressing. I believe if I had sons, I would feel similarly, but I might feel differently.
I’m a believer that women should have equal access under the law to everything a man does, and vice-versa. However, something about this feels wrong to me. Perhaps it’s that ideology is often much simpler than reality. The implications of our government’s decision are potentially enormous.
For Christians, the question is: does this make Jesus proud? Is Jesus cheering the decision, or is he lamenting it? Does He care?
All answers affirming our government’s decision inevitably praise “choice.” Choice isn’t a bad thing. I love choice. But, I wonder when choice became God. It seems choice really has taken on a life of its own. Our right to choose when the unborn live or die, whether our daughters go to war or not. If we really want to be pro-choice, will it be OK for pregnant women to serve in combat?
We practice very selective choice, these days. For instance, in New York, a woman can now sign up for front-line combat in war–but not be served a soda of more than 16 ounces–because we’re afraid it’s unhealthy for her. So, apparently, women are smart enough to make life or death decisions for themselves and unborn children, but not the size of soda they want to order?
Maybe choice should be selective. The problem is that our society often doesn’t select things that glorify God. Choice is a weak and fickle God. However, it has its place under God.
If this post seems like a wandering process of thinking–that’s what it is. I’m working this through. I welcome your own wandering processes in the comment section below. What do you think?
If you want to read further, here’s a haunting article by Joe Carter in First Things, it’s title coming from C.S. Lewis in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Battles are Ugly When Women Fight.