Pastor Doug Wilson makes a biblical case against women in combat in Is Your God Scary?
“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” (Dt. 22:5).
This verse is a prohibition for cross-dressing when it comes to men. But the restriction placed on women here is not simply the reverse of that. When a man is getting kinky in the way described here, it is a straightforward transvesite problem. But going the other way, we should notice a different problem. Notice the odd construction — “that which pertains to a man.” The Hebrew underneath is keli geber, and should be read as the “gear of a warrior.” Whether we are talking about a man in fishnet stockings, or a woman decked out in full battle regalia, we need to recognize that God finds it loathsome. So should we.
This is a simple, straightforward biblical case, and I can find no fault with it. I can, however, understand why this wouldn’t be popular with the CBMW, since it has the problem of calling out bad behavior by women. More recently in Carve Outs and Ghettos, Pastor Wilson explains that the prohibition can be read more broadly:
Women are told not to wear keli geber, the gear of a soldier. The phrase can be understood as the panoply of a warrior, but it could also perhaps be extended to include something like a telephone lineman’s tool belt. So, no. A Christian complementarian woman should not become a cop, especially when it involves riot gear. No.
In the last quote he not only answers the question Dr. Piper punted on, but he comes through with a clear “no” (twice). The difference between the biblical argument against women in combat and the CBMW argument that “The boy goes down so the girl goes free” is night and day. There is no reason to bother fashioning a palatable chivalric response in lieu of a biblical answer unless the desire is to avoid the Truth of the Bible while still sounding traditional.
I do however differ slightly with Pastor Wilson in that I think a woman wanting to put on a military uniform and go into combat is not that different than a man wanting to wear a dress. Both are literal and figurative forms of cross-dressing. Both also are expressions of envy, and they are equally twisted. It also raises an interesting parallel for those modern Christians who are far more animated in their concern at the potential for women being drafted into combat than they are about a mass desire of women to have the right to to usurp men’s roles. If we had the mass of Christian men so devoted to the idea of wearing women’s clothing that even the most conservative pastors were terrified of pointing out that men shouldn’t wear women’s panties, etc, a sudden outrage by these otherwise silent pastors at the idea of men potentially being forced to wear women’s clothing would be as ridiculous as what we have today. Which is more troubling? A Christian culture devoted to cross dressing? Or a secular government which might in theory (but not in practice) force some of the very small minority of Christians who don’t relish the thought of a little cross dressing to do so against their will?
Interestingly Pastor Wilson is a part of The Gospel Coalition, although he does not prefer the term complementarian:
I began by saying that I am on the same team with Gospel Coalition complementarianism. I say that even though I don’t generally use the terminology of complementarianism because it seems to me too much of another -ism. As a friend said to me recently, why can’t we just call it common sense? When men are men, faithful women like it, and when women are women, faithful men like that. Anyhow . .
In the same post he makes a similar point to one that Vox Day often makes (emphasis mine):
In our corner of the Reformed interwebs, one of the points that has been made more than once is that I draw the animus of the egalitarian intoleristas because of the exuberance of my writing. If I would only tone it down, it would become evident that complementarians are thoughtful, engaging people, and that they do not use flamethrowers in debate. But please note. I have been making the point repeatedly that the thing that makes us the enemy is any kind of principled resistance to the sexual revolution. If you do anything other than offer full-throated support, you will be demonized. You can write with as many pastel adjectives as you like, and you will still find yourself in the same cattle car with me, being bundled off to the sensitivity camps. Now I do not mind different styles of opposition to the sexual revolution, and in fact welcome it. But never make the mistake of thinking that our enemies do nuance. In this post that RHE draws her inspiration from, no distinction whatever is made between those who are soft-spoken in their opposition to What Must Come to Pass and those who are flamboyant. What matters to them is simply this — are you effectively in the way? If you are in the way, they will try to take you out of the way, by whatever means necessary.
More recently Wilson even pointed out that SJWs always lie (emphasis mine):
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.”
He also points out the fundamental problem with 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.
Where some of the quotes above sound much like Vox Day, this next one sounds like something Cane Caldo would write:
The standard looks like a simple application of the biblical requirement of “equal weights and measures.” But once you have affirmed the “same standard” approach, good luck applying it. The same measuring rod will get you a first rate man but a third rate woman, or a first rate woman and a third rate man. Why? Because a defensive lineman is not a quarterback, a china vase is not a backhoe, and a crescent wrench is not a hammer.
And this brings us to our evangelical sophisticates who, unlike John Piper, believe that crescent wrenches are only “not hammers” in the church and family. Outside in the world, where complementarianism is thought to be the height of SILLINESS, feel free to pound in the brads with the crescent wrench, which actually can be done, come to think of it. You might run up against the limits of your theory when you try to get the lug nuts off your tire with a hammer though.
One last quote from Wilson on the topic of women in combat:
And last, let me make one quick appeal to the light of nature. The egalitarians who are pushing for this are not true egalitarians — they want the same access to the same positions for men and women, but they don’t want the same qualifying requirements. A true egalitarian would insist that all positions should be open to both sexes, provided they both were able to meet the same standards. But this whole (very rigged) joke depends on running two entirely different sets of standards simultaneously, and shouting down anybody who notices. So then, o ye treat-everybody-the-samers! When do you think you will start doing that? It’s your religion. Why won’t you practice it? It’s your temple. Why won’t you go in? Is your god scary?
If we eliminated the double-standard here, we would still have the theoretical problem, but we sure wouldn’t have a practical problem at all.