Bnonn Tennant (the B is silent)

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Wonder Woman wearing keli geber

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Why a woman bearing the sword is an abomination to the Lord

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11 minutes to read Despite modern, feminist-conditioned sensibilities, carefully trained by modern, feminist media icons, there is strong evidence from both nature and Scripture that women in combat or enforcement roles are the sort of thing the Lord spits out of his mouth.

Being raised on a diet of superheroes, Power Rangers, Starfleet officers and—my shameful confession—Planeteers, this conclusion does not come naturally to me. Thanks to cultural conditioning, drawing on generations of feminism, my intuitions about women’s roles are way off what Scripture and nature say they should be. And because of my affinity with certain geek subcultures, I have strong affective reasons to turn a blind eye on the matter; who wants to be that guy who says Wonder Woman and Buffy and Peggy Carter and Supergirl are detestable to God?

Well, maybe Supergirl.

I like many of these shows and movies and characters, and I don’t want to give them up. And I am not the only one; all the conservative, complementarian Christians I know see nothing wrong with kick-ass, bad-ass, and whatever-other-kinds-of-ass female characters in popular media. When even small-town, frozen-chosen baptists who recently voted against deaconesses think you’re an extreme fundamentalist nutjob when it comes to gender roles…

Nonetheless, an extreme fundamentalist nutjob I appear destined to be, because the evidence of both nature and Scripture looks pretty clear if you care to examine it.

Women should not assume roles in society which involve upholding justice through force. Two paradigm cases of this would be soldiers and cops; but this prohibition extends to superheroes and slayers too.

We can apply much of my reasoning below, with minor adjustments or extensions, to also show that women ought not to be judges or rulers or ambassadors, nor firemen or astronauts or MMA celebrities. I am choosing a more modest thesis here for two reasons: Firstly, it is shorter, and brevity is a virtue; Secondly, because this is such a counterintuitive and offensive notion to our modern sensibilities that adjusting to it requires baby steps.

Let’s now canvass the broad strokes of the evidence for this thesis, which comes in two basic kinds: the evidence of nature, and the evidence of Scripture.

1. The evidence of nature

Although we have to be careful with natural theology, since our intuitions are easily affected by cultural or personal factors, it remains that God expects us to recognize certain facts of creation as obvious (e.g., Romans 1:18ff). This is because he has built into us at least two intuitions which can be straightforwardly applied to mankind itself:

i. Design follows teleology

Put more simply, form follows function. I would hope this is an uncontroversial principle for Christians. I would hope that we’d all agree men are designed for protecting and providing, and women for nurturing and caring; and we infer this not because the Bible explicitly says so—to the best of my knowledge it does not, in as many words—but because God made us to intuit our functions from our forms. The reason the Bible is not explicit on this point is precisely because it is presupposed as innate knowledge.

It isn’t terribly difficult to see how this works with regard to men and women’s roles; you just have to be willing to notice it. The fact that, generally speaking, God created men with strong muscles and agonistic instincts, while he created women with weaker muscles and conciliatory instincts, is neither an incidental curiosity, nor a hurdle for women to overcome in their struggle for equality. The fact that men respond to sudden stress with anger and aggression, while women respond with fear and flight, [ Daniel Dashnaw, Startling Differences Between Men and Women (February 2017).] is not an odd quirk to be corrected; it is a central reason to believe that men were created for combative roles and women were not. God created Adam to exercise dominion by going out and subduing the world piece by piece. Adam needed a helper, not because he required backup in this agonistic task, but because the task itself was pointless if there was no one to then stay in each subdued area to fill it and make it home.

There is a reason that men are not generally attracted to forceful, aggressive women, and why women are not attracted to deferent, delicate men. Despite every effort of feminism, it is very hard to override our created natures to think of commanding women as capable rather than bossy; or of compliant men as respectful rather than feeble, because we instinctively know that what is virtuous in one sex is gross in the other. A manly woman has not added extra virtues to her femininity; she has destroyed her femininity by becoming butch. An effeminate man has not layered feminine virtues on top of his masculinity; he has defiled it by joining the ranks of the malakoi (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9, KJV).

Not being a woman, I can only observe the effects that adopting masculine roles has on women. It’s all rather theoretical. I therefore think it’s valuable to get a woman’s personal perspective on this, to help drive the point home more forcefully. One Reformed woman kindly shared with me her frank and eye-opening testimony of how military and police work badly damaged her femininity. [ Nicole Leaman, Why One Woman Quit the Police Force on The Reformed Conservative.] It’s worth reading.

ii. It is wrong to make a thing serve the opposite of its natural function

This principle flows from the first. The Bible takes it for granted in many places, and having discussed it before I shan’t repeat myself here. [ D. Bnonn Tennant, A brief theology of kink, #2: the natural order of things (January 2018).]

Suffice to say that the defining function of a woman is to give life. This is obvious from her design, but cf. also Genesis 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:15. Her special place as homemaker (Proverbs 31; 1 Timothy 5:14–15) is a natural extension of this. That is why God cursed Eve’s child-bearing, just as he cursed Adam’s defining functions: managing the earth and providing for his family. This being so, women carrying the sword as a matter of general principle inverts their natural function. Even if they did have the disposition and physique for it, their very nature is to create and nurture life, not to threaten and end it. For this reason also, it is a detestable thing for a woman to bear the sword. (Note that when I speak of carrying or bearing the sword, I am alluding to Romans 13:4; I don’t mean it absolutely literally.)

A third argument can be added as an extension of this: a woman bearing the sword may unknowingly be pregnant, thus placing an innocent life at risk in addition to her own, which is an avoidable injustice.

2. The evidence of Scripture

We should expect nature and Scripture to teach the same things, and they do. Our second line of evidence is therefore exegetical. Although there are many passages we could examine and synthesize, one in particular is instructive for serving as a clear instance of our general principle. This is Deuteronomy 22:5:

A woman shall not wear men’s clothing, neither shall a man put on women’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to Yahweh your God. Deuteronomy 22:5

Although translations typically say that a woman should not wear a man’s clothing, nor a man the clothing of a woman, the vocabulary is actually more specific in the first half of the verse. The second part, speaking of how men are not to wear the garments of women, does indeed use the standard term silmat for clothes, and ishsha for woman. But the first part, speaking of what manly things women are not to wear, does not use silmat; neither is man ish. Rather, the terms keli and geber are used.

This lack of symmetry is conspicuous considering the Hebrew tendency to rhyme ideas. What is the difference of terminology intended to convey?

Geber

Geber appears only here in Deuteronomy, out of the hundreds of times men are talked about; it derives from gabar, meaning strong or mighty (cf. gibborim; mighty ones in Gen. 6:4; Ex. 12:37; Josh. 10:2; 2 Sam. 1:25 etc). While it can indeed refer just to a man, as ish does, it carries a specific connotation: of “man as strong, distinguished from women, children, and non-combatants whom he is to defend.” [Brown-Driver-Briggs, geber.] Given its completely unique usage here, we certainly should expect that this specific connotation is intentional.

Keli

This is confirmed by its coupling with keli rather than silmat, referring not to clothes, but to articles or equipment (e.g. Isaiah 54:16). Keli is a general term whose meaning is typically inferred from the context. For instance, in the context of picking fruit it refers to a basket or bag (Deuteronomy 23:24), while in the context of embarking to battle it refers to combat gear (Deuteronomy 1:41).

Geber + keli

Coupling keli with geber therefore makes Deuteronomy 22:5 much more specific than mere garments. Some translations recognize this: the KJV walks a decent neutral road by saying, “that which pertaineth unto a man,” which at least makes clear that there are specific things a man wears that a woman should not. The ISV renders it similarly: “what is appropriate to a man.” Other translations like the LEB take a stab with “apparel of a man,” but this is rather too weak. To translate keli geber accurately, we should keep the generic nature of the words intact, but also recognize the contextual cues when selecting the best English rendering. What the passage is saying, in fact, is that it’s detestable for women to don the gear of men.

What would that refer to contextually? Obviously things like armor, helmets, swords and bucklers. When women’s apparel is rhymed conceptually with men’s, the difference in word choice is natural, because men’s apparel in a nation about to take the promised land by force included plenty of elements that women’s did not.

Older exegetes note the significance of the vocabulary used (Gill for example, and rabbinical exegetes as well). [While very poorly written, this paper competently marshals the relevant sources and arguments: Ovidiu Dascalu, The rationale of the ban on cross-dressing in Deuteronomy 22,5 (2014).] Many academic sources also note the lack of parallel vocabulary and speak to its import. For example, “Warfare, Ritual, and Symbol in Biblical and Modern Contexts” observes:

Interpreting כלי גבר as battle gear rather than “man’s apparel” (NRSV) was proposed by Cyrus H. Gordon (“A Note on the Tenth Commandment,” JAAR 31 [1963]: 208–209) and finds precedent in the Talmud (b. Nazir 59a) and Tg. Onkelos (see B. Grossfeld’s translation … “A woman should not wear a man’s armament”). The verse is situated in a chiasm that spans Deut 19:1–22:8 and is the structural counterpart of the warfare laws of 20:1–18 … Deuteronomy 19:1–22:8 applies the prohibition of murder (5:17) to various life-and-death situations, including warfare … [ Warfare, Ritual, and Symbol in Biblical and Modern Contexts, eds. Brad E. Kelle, Frank Ritchel Ames, Jacob L. Wright (SBL, 2014), 95 n. 35.]

Although many less technical commentators (along with translators) gloss over the distinction between geber and ish, and between keli and silmat, keli is never used of clothes in the Old Testament, and geber is unique in Deuteronomy. Words mean things, their connotations mean things, and the choices Moses made about which of them to use mean things.

The application for today is surely straightforward. Inasmuch as the same fundamental gear is still used for the same fundamental purposes, it is offensive, detestable, abominable to God that women should aspire to don it. The apparel itself is not what concerns God; rather the transgression of gender roles. [I.e., it is the function of the genders which forms the basis of this command; seeing it as a matter of mere form, viz. cross-dressing, leads to absurdity. See D. Bnonn Tennant, Applying torque to opposing corners of my Bible (June 2018).] Men are not to behave as women; women are not to behave as men. As the CEV puts it, Women must not pretend to be men, and men must not pretend to be women. The LORD your God is disgusted with people who do that. While popular culture shrieks in outrage at the very notion of a “man’s job,” God is outraged at the very notion of a woman doing a man’s job by transgressing the strict boundaries he built into creation.

Women donning fatigues, helmets, sidearms or riot shields is disgusting to the Lord. In fact, it is often disgusting even to acculturated men when it happens in real life, because without the gloss of a sexy actress dressed up in clothing designed to augment her attractiveness rather than her combat ability, and whose physical incapability for the task is hidden by stuntwork, it’s simply ugly.

For those who are inured, or wont to deny that ugliness reflects anything deeper, or triggered at my mere use of that term, the only plausible option for disagreeing with the Bible on this point looks to be cultural relativism. That was then and this is now. Roles change depending on society. It’s progress baby.

But this obviously begs the question against the principles of natural function I have already adduced, while also having no hermeneutical principle to justify it. A feminist might be cool with that, but no Bible-believing Christian should be willing to dismiss this instance of gender roles as culturally-conditioned while simultaneously insisting that other gender roles in the family and church are not. What is the principle on which we can say that the role of carrying the sword was culturally relative, but the role of ruling a family or assembly was not? It’s so obviously ad hoc—especially when we realize that the sword is the key instrument of rulership in the civil domain. [See also D. Bnonn Tennant, 5 clear reasons Christians should oppose female heads of state (November 2018).]

There are many Christians who would say, on the basis of (radical) two kingdoms theology, that gender roles do not apply to the civil domain. There is much I could say about this, some of which I already have, and some else of which I someday will. Here, let me make four observations: (1) Such a view fails to deal with natural law arguments like the ones above; (2) It is obviously ad hoc, driving a wedge between society and the families comprising it, while destroying any underlying principle on which gender roles rest; (3) It is patently unscriptural since Deuteronomy 22:5 is a civil law that clearly reveals the heart of God, and was given for the benefit of all other nations (Deut. 4:8); (4) It is not the historic Reformed position.

Thus, Deuteronomy 22:5 is a useful case that proves the broad principles of men and women’s roles. There are created distinctions between us: we are meant for different roles, exemplified in different virtues. Masculine virtues are exemplified in things like being alert and courageous, to engage in conflict and exercise strength against opposition (e.g. 1 Corinthians 16:13; 1 Samuel 4:9); feminine virtues are exemplified in deference, gentleness and quietness (e.g. 1 Peter 3:3–4). And as Peter immediately goes on to illustrate in that passage, men and women are therefore subject to different vices also: men to being overbearing and contemptuous (v. 7); women to being vain and fearful (vv. 3, 6). Elsewhere, other tendencies are also addressed—for instance, men must resist being too hard on their children (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21); women must resist idle socialization lest they become gossips and busybodies (1 Timothy 5:13). The virtues and vices we are inclined to are different because they reflect the functions we are made for, which are different.

Mutual guilt

By way of closing, one final thought: if a man’s function is directed toward protecting women and exercising authority, then a woman carrying the sword is not merely detestable because she is violating her intended purpose; it is detestable because it cannot happen except by a man first violating his intended purpose. To carry the sword is by nature to put oneself in harm’s way. Therefore, it is not just women who sin when they do this, by rebelling against their created design; it is men also, by failing to prevent women putting themselves into the kind of danger that men were designed for. Western culture is thus subject to double condemnation. How shall we escape it?

The evangelical way of preaching the gospel has not succeeded here; indeed, it has adopted feminism enthusiastically. [ D. Bnonn Tennant, Evangelical complementarian leaders mostly just teaching feminism (January 2017).] To restore God’s design for the sexes in the world, we must first restore God’s design for preaching his gospel as a message of the triumph of his chosen king over the world. We must start treating the great commission as a directive to conquer.

 44 comments

steve hays

There’s also stereotypical psychological differences. Men are generally into things and ideas while women are generally into people. Men are more likely to think in terms of right and wrong whereas women are more likely to be empathetic and accepting. Men are generally more single-minded.

Both masculine and feminine traits are good, but they need to be counterbalanced. Feminism is destructive to the military and the judicial system, where perpetrators are viewed as victims (disadvantaged). While many women make natural teachers, when a feminine viewpoint dominates education philosophy, boys are treated as defective girls. Competition is banned. Aggression is punished. Participation awards take the place of achievement.

In international relations, ineffectual soft power replaces the deterrent value of a credible threat of overwhelming force.

In addition to utterly predictable consequences of a coed military, military fitness takes a backseat to “fairness”, hence gay/transgender soldiers.

Men are better-suited to be guardians of orthodoxy because they’re more into ideas. That’s not just a Christian viewpoint. Consider how many atheist blogs are dominated by men. How hard it is for atheists to recruit female contributors.

Joe

Good article. Bnonn, you stated there are some other jobs (like a fireman) that women probably shouldn’t have as an occupation. Does it go the other way too? Are there occupations that men shouldn’t do as they’re more suited to women?

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Steve, excellent summary.

Joe, thanks. Yes, I believe so; we should expect that. Two examples that spring readily to mind are midwives (possibly also gynecologists), and so-called stay-at-home dads. Not that staying at home is the problem, but rather not working.

Bear in mind that I think all these rules are ordinary; i.e., they may be overridden in extreme cases.

Gloria Urban

Thank you. Much needed reminder that there is a battle raging around us.

gloria

YoreyC

I don’t think men were *designed* for combat, since our created-for, original purpose is to live in peace with everyone.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

If you double-check you will see that I didn’t say he was designed for combat, but rather for combative roles , and that I tie this to the creation mandate viz. subduing and exercising dominion over the world.

That said, there is an interesting conversation to be had about how far design intention extends. Given that God fore-intended the fall, it may be reasonable to suppose that there are at least some post-fall functions he designed people for, at least in a counterfactual sense; i.e., had he not planned the fall, he would have made us a little differently. A discussion for another time though, I imagine…

JT

Please be sure to heed some the other “abominations” mentioned in the OT law-books as well, while ignoring that we are no longer under the law, but under grace. Also, doesn’t 1 Timothy 2:12 disqualify you from posting this?? ;-)

Jerome

I’ve never seen a more twisted view of biblical teachings…
Start with the Gen 3:X curse.
The Turmoil is between the woman and the serpent and their off- spring, not the man [Adam]

But, by your flawed theology, let’s apply this to some other great biblical text.
Psalms 27 & 28
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

King James matt 26:52
Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

So, to create an army police or sheriff force and/or joining one by your theology would be an affront to God reguardless of your sex.

Lauren

Have you ever considered the possibility that scripture is not inerrant? That these words were written by men who were imperfect and could not see God’s vision completely and possibly inserted their own sentimentalities common to the time into their work? Back then, man considered it wrong for women to do these things. However, is that man or God talking? If you believe scripture is inerrant, that is God talking, but then why does God contradict Himself?

In conclusion, I do NOT believe scripture is inerrant, and I am not a fundamentalist Christian. I also do not believe that women should be put on the sidelines when they have the capability to shine as cops, as soldiers, as preachers.

YoreyC

It is interesting to think about. But I don’t see how one can square that hole by correlating combat with the subjugation of a paradisaic Earth, characterized explicitly by “no pain,” rev 21:4.

Tanya

Thank you, Bnonn.

Your article has finally convinced me of something I have long held true. That the Christian God does not love, appreciate, or really care for women. I’m not a feminist, only someone who has faced extreme abuse at the hands of men and always found solace in comic book heroines. I felt they were a visual representation of the spiritual warrior God has called me to be … But you cleared it all up for me, God is a man and bent on hurting me like all other men. I am now officially athiest. I just wanted to thank you for your contribution to my enlightenment. Xoxo

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Depends what you mean by pain. If you think our nerves won’t work in the new earth, then you and I have a very different understanding of how language works. I’m also hesitant to conflate the new earth and the prelapsarian one. I think the new one is better.

YoreyC

Well, I don’t “mean” anything, other than that’s what it says there. “No pain,” and combat necessarily involves the infliction of pain, so it seems to me there can be no combat.

Our perfect, incorruptible God describes himself occasionally as a God of war, yes, but I think only during wartime. For the most part he describes himself as loving, generous, powerful and capable. In a perfect world, with no evil demonic influence or imperfect humans walking around… when would wartime be?

If you’ve written about this elsewhere I’d be happy to read it. Also, I eagerly anticipate your address of the other garbage comments I’m seeing posted here. You have a lot of patience for your adversaries. I’m weary and tend to snark.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Right, yes we certainly agree there will be no war in the new earth. The very definition of the eschaton is the time that God has finished putting his enemies under his feet. There won’t be anyone left to fight.

YoreyC

Psalm 46:9, Isaiah 2:4: no war, literally no implements of.

If man is predisposed for combat, why would weapons be forbidden? What’s the guiding principle here?

Isaiah 9:7: endless, uninterrupted peace. Fighting is an interruption of the peace.

Matthew 5:9: peacemaking is what brings happiness, not fighting.

From https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/g200606/peace-on-earth-at-last/ :

There is a third reason why we should trust God: He has the power to halt violent bloodshed. In Noah’s time “the earth became filled with violence.” (Genesis 6:11) God’s judgment was sudden and complete: “[God] did not hold back from punishing an ancient world . . . when he brought a deluge upon a world of ungodly people.”​—2 Peter 2:5.

The Bible states a lesson we should learn from the Flood of Noah’s day: “Jehovah knows how to deliver people of godly devotion out of trial, but to reserve unrighteous people for the day of judgment to be cut off.” (2 Peter 2:9) God can distinguish between those who sincerely want a better life and those who make life miserable for others. He has set the latter apart for the “destruction of the ungodly men.” But for those desiring peace, he is preparing a new earth in which righteousness is to dwell.​—2 Peter 3:7, 13.

YoreyC

Right… so if we agree that there will be no enemies of God, why would there ever be combat? Certainly not in enforcement like police or soldiers. We’ll have everything we want (Psalm 145:16).

YoreyC

Interesting notion. How do you reconcile it with Psalm 11:5?

YoreyC

Combat sports are. MMA, taekwondo… the goal in combat sports is to damage the opponent’s body so badly that they are unable to defend themselves, or, points are awarded based theoretically on how effectively one disables an opponent. We see all sorts of parallels in games like Chess, where the goal is to capture an enemy leader and disable his army.

I myself am not clear on how God feels about friendly competition and gamesmanship. Is it truly innocuous? But I think the scriptures are very clear about God’s stance on violence. He hates people who love it.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

This is really a discussion for a different post, but in my opinion you are buying into a very effeminate view of violence; one which seems alien to the rough world of ancient Israel, and to the rough play which men instinctively enjoy.

KD

This is an interesting perspective. Personally, I’m not a fan of women being in the military, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a sin since that’s not expressly stated in the Law.

Bnonn, how does your understanding square with Deborah as a judge (and especially with Barak being counted as faithful under her authority -Heb 11:32) or with a חיִל (chayil) woman in Pro 31:10? The word חיל has warrior and army connotations and the context of this description in this chapter is positive.

steve hays

Lauren: “Have you ever considered the possibility that scripture is not inerrant? That these words were written by men who were imperfect and could not see God’s vision completely and possibly inserted their own sentimentalities common to the time into their work?”

I’m sure it never occurred to Bnonn until you just brought it to his attention that there are actually people who think the Bible is an antiquated culturebound projection of human thinking. Even as an atheist, Bnonn always assumed the Bible was divine revelation, and he assumed that everyone else shared that pious assumption. Now he will have many sleepless nights tossing and turning over this novel, revolutionary idea.

” I am not a fundamentalist Christian”

That’s not a reason not to be a fundamentalist Christian, but a reason to drop the pose of being a Christian at all.

“I also do not believe that women should be put on the sidelines when they have the capability to shine as cops, as soldiers, as preachers.”

Do they have the capacity to shine as cops and soldiers? For instance, why are standards of military fitness lowered to accommodate female recruits?

steve hays

JT: “Please be sure to heed some the other “abominations” mentioned in the OT law-books as well”

I expect Bnonn does heed some of those as well.

“while ignoring that we are no longer under the law, but under grace.”

The NT has a number of household codes. Likewise, a litmus test of loving Jesus is to…keep his commandments.

steve hays

Tanya,

In the middle of your comment you make a serious claim: “I’m not a feminist, only someone who has faced extreme abuse at the hands of men.”

That, however, is embedded in hyperbolic sarcasm. You make it almost impossible for Bnonn to take your claim seriously when you characterize his position, through the use of hyperbolic sarcasm, which he will not and cannot take seriously as an accurate representation of his actual position.

Finally, comic book heroines are unrealistic fictional characters. There are many real, quite impressive Christian women you can look to for inspiration.

steve hays

Just off the top of my head, here are some inspirational Christian women: Jane Haining, Helen Roseveare, Elizabeth Elliot, Florence Nightingale, Lottie Moon, Christina Rossetti, Selina Hastings, Susanna Wesley, Joni Eareckson Tada.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

KD—

Personally, I’m not a fan of women being in the military, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a sin since that’s not expressly stated in the Law.

Firstly, this fails to even acknowledge the fact that I demonstrate exegetically that it is expressly stated in the law. Secondly, it fails to anticipate obvious reductios like this: Personally, I’m not a fan of child soldiery, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a sin since that’s not expressly stated in the law.

how does your understanding square with Deborah as a judge (and especially with Barak being counted as faithful under her authority -Heb 11:32) or with a חיִל (chayil) woman in Pro 31:10? The word חיל has warrior and army connotations and the context of this description in this chapter is positive.

I’m going to deal with Deborah in a separate article. There are obvious issues there that gynocentric objectors conveniently overlook.

With regard to חיִל, while it may derive from military imagery, its semantic range in Scripture is much wider. What is being described in Proverbs 31:10 is a noble or valiant or perhaps we could even say heroic woman—but these terms are contextually sensitive. Proverbs 31 itself explicitly shows us that a heroic woman does not look like a brave fighter, but rather like an enterprising, industrious and generous servant.

There’s also something a little awkward about this verse that I’ve never heard anyone comment on: the noble woman here is clearly characterized as exceedingly rare…

Jazmyn

Wow, you spew some sexist crap.
All of the points you give are unfounded. You can’t use a holy book – any holy book or scripture – as politics. You can’t say “Women shouldn’t bear swords because God says so,” because there are plenty of religions and if laws were based solely on one religion’s scripture, it would be unjust.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

It would be unjust if all those religions had an equal claim to truth and justice. But they don’t. God has made Jesus king over the world, which means that his rule is law in every nation. Moreover, he has appointed a day to judge the world, and will deal severely with lawless people like yourself. Turn from your rebellion and find forgiveness; his patience does not endure forever.

Jazmyn

Well, for instance, in my country we have some of every religion. If politics were based on religion, how would we decide which?
Politics and religion have to be kept separate.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

We would decide based on what is true and just. A religion is simply an ideology when it comes to politics. You don’t seem to have noticed that your own political view is also an ideology. Secularism is not a neutral default. You have to justify your ideology as much as I do. Unlike me, however, you cannot.

Lauren

Bnonn, I disagree with both you and Steve Hays. Let’s just leave it at that.

Eddie Buchanan

As someone with extensive military and law enforcement experience, I can say from experience, God clearly did not design women for combat. In over 20 years, I’ve never seen a woman who I thought I could depend on in a violent confrontation or any type of battle. Furthermore, to allow women in these professions, standards are constantly lowered. The careerists in charge will deny this and do whatever it takes to cover it up. People are dying because little Susie wants to show everybody how tough she is but look at the firemen who died on 9/11 and tell me how many women you see. The whole thing is a disgusting, Satanic abomination.

Jazmyn

Eddie, you are correct in one thing – men are stronger than women. But when trained, women can even supercede an average man. You would not beat the female world boxing champion in a fight. A trained male could, but an average man couldn’t. Not that fisticuffs are particularly relevant nowadays. Women can shoot and pilot like any man if they are trained sufficiently and treated with equal faith in spite of their ‘inferior’ genitals. Maybe the reason you can’t depend on your female colleagues is your own stubborn misogyny and misconception, not their performance. And perhaps little Susie is passionate about helping her country and risking her life isn’t just about her vanity like you first assumed. Though even taking your premise as gospel, she wouldn’t have to take such drastic measures to prove herself were she accepted as worthy in the first place.

Calum Swears

A few short points.
Firstly I am currently a serving NZ Army Reservist in the Armoured Corp, I was on RTFACB162 in 2017.
Secondly I disagree with you entirely for two main points.

1. Females in the NZ Army have the SAME minimum fitness standard called the Land Combat Fitness Test, its standard is regardless of age or gender. As such all female soldiers meet are as combat capable as any male. as such a female’s telos is equal to any male’s when it comes to putting a round into a figure 11 (or actual human for that matter).

2. Having asserted that the telos argument is fatuous let me delve into personal experience. The key thing about soldiering is mindset not muscle. Big guys can be bad soldiers while the little guy almost always has the LSW. The top recruit of RTFACB162 was PTE Harvey (a female) precisely because of an excellent mindset. I would argue that the more masculine virtues such as courage (or stupidity) can be found in anyone regardless of gender so much of your argument applies as much to effeminate men as it does to women.

3. Maybe women are joining because we cannot get enough men?
The criminal here is men refusing to follow what you claim they are designed for. So why not solve the problem by volunteering? There is always the 2019 Basic. And here is a link so you can start the application process https://www.defencecareers.mil.nz/army/jobs/army-reserve/.
So when you have stepped away from your computer and have marched out of TAD please feel free to tell me how I am so wrong about women in the masculine roles. Until then stop casting aspersions on soldiers I hold in the highest regard and strive to reach their level of professionalism.

regards

TPR Swears

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

I’m afraid you either didn’t read me very carefully, or you aren’t arguing in good faith.

Firstly, the fact that women can pass the Land Combat Fitness Test demonstrates that it’s not a terribly difficult test, as bars to military service go. For instance, the Marine Corps had to abolish the Combat Endurance Test in order to accommodate feminist demands for female marines.

What it does not demonstrate is that my argument from natural law is false. That’s a straight non sequitur, and in fact you have completely failed to interact with that argument. You’ve given no reasons at all to reject it. The fact that you’re serving doesn’t give you any special authority to make claims about women’s combat fitness, since you’re obviously biased to begin with, and actual facts trump anecdote every time. The facts are not in dispute: women are not equipped, either physically or psychologically, for combat. I already cited a study in the article that analyses the difference between men and women’s psychological response to danger. I’ve given an example of physical response differences just above. And there are plenty more available. Moreover, despite your protestations about mindset, if you insist on going the anecdotal route I can rustle up plenty of people with more military (or police) experience than you, who will attest bluntly to the inability of women to perform in those roles at the same level of men, and/or how it destroys the femininity that God finds so beautiful (1 Pet 3:4). (Indeed, I even cited a woman with just such experience, who did just that.) Such testimony is hardly surprising to anyone whose common sense hasn’t been entirely washed away by the feminist narrative.

Secondly, while you fatuously dismissed my teleological argument despite having not refuted it, you didn’t even mention my scriptural one. But since my assertion is that women in combat are abominable to God himself, what God himself says is a fairly important strut in making that case. Should I assume that you simply don’t believe (or don’t care) that the Bible is God’s word? If I am supposed to find your high regard for women soldiers more impressive than God’s disgust at them, I confess you will be disappointed. A man cannot serve two masters, and I think at the final judgment it will be better to have agreed with God than with TPR Swears.

Thirdly, I agree that effeminate men are detestable to God as well as butch women. That should be obvious from my use of the term malakoi in the article. But it is tangential to my case in this instance.

Fourthly, aside from the amusing cliché of women having to volunteer because men are being cowards, you’re assuming that we should have a standing army. In the case of a country like America, prudentially that is true. But for a country like New Zealand you would need to persuade me. Deuteronomy 17:16 speaks against having a standing army, and the whole telos of the gospel indicates that even where it is necessary, it is only temporarily so (e.g. Isaiah 2). So perhaps the greater evil is actually those men, like you, who seek to perpetuate something God wants us to abolish.

Calum Swears

Dear Bnonn,

Regarding my failing to respond to your biblical argument, I ignored it since that was not my reason for objection. My objection is as you would probably put it “biased”. I agree that there is no biblical basis for women to be in the combative roles. I freely admit that my service so far has been both short and lacking. What I objected to was your dismissal of people who I have the utmost respect for, most specifically any person (man or woman) serving in our security services. You have now compounded that affront by dismissing the LCFT and questioning the need for the NZDF. To attempt to reason with you would be foolish since your mind is already set. Let me say this “blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9) and if a man must serve two masters, I consider myself fortunate that my second choice stands for “Courage, Commitment, Comradeship and Integrity”. Maybe the Church needs to focus more on those values and less on division (Matthew 22:37-40 after all), worth a thought.

Regards

TPR Swears

YoreyC

I think, Calum, that you seem to have had an experience that empirical statistics would indicate is exceptional. As you acknowledge, for the most part, women participating in combat roles is deleterious to the organization employing those roles. Since one can’t dictate rules to govern exceptions, what, then, is your point?

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Calum, two things:

Firstly, when you have an actual argument, I’ll be glad to hear it. Until then, your efforts to short-circuit reasoning together by appealing to outrage, as if your emotions are a reliable benchmark of reality, are a classically feminized method of discourse, and make your accusation of my being unreasonable look like both projection and a diversionary ploy.

Secondly, if you agree that the biblical case is clear with respect to women bearing the sword, then I must repeat my question: it seems you either don’t believe, or don’t care, that the Bible is God’s own word. Have I missed a third option?

 


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