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. Form follows function

I would hope this is an uncontroversial principle for Christians. I would hope we’d all agree that the design of things reflects God’s purpose for them. And so I would hope we’d all agree that men are designed for protecting and providing, while women are designed for nurturing and caring, 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 assumes we already know it innately.

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 that commanding women are capable rather than bossy; or that compliant men are 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, NASB).

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 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.


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 heed 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.

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: e.g., 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 angry and contentious (1 Timothy 2:8), and too hard on their children (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21); women are prone to deception (1 Timothy 2:14; 2 Timothy 3:6), and idle socialization as gossips and busybodies (1 Timothy 5:13; cf. old wives tales in 1 Timothy 4:7, ASV). 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.


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.


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.



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…


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?? ;-)


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 :

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.


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).


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


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.


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


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


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…


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.


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.


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.


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
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.


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.


TPR Swears


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?

Daniel Meyer

Dear Bnonn,

I would add a Scripture to your point that “It is wrong to make a thing serve the opposite of its natural function”:

Three times in the Scriptures, God says, “You are not to boil a young goat in the milk of its mother” (Exodus 23:19; Exodus 34:26; Deuteronomy 14:21). While this may seem obscure, I believe it is prohibiting the very thing you are talking about: making a thing serve the opposite of its natural function — particularly when the natural function is to nurture.

A mother goat’s milk is meant to nourish, so it is wrong to use it to destroy.

Similarly, a mother’s womb is meant to nurture, so it is wrong to turn it into a place of death and destruction through abortion.

In the same way, woman, whose very body is designed by God to nurture and preserve life, must not become a destroyer of life by taking up arms.


Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Hey Daniel, I’m in complete agreement. The only reason I didn’t include it is because the placement of that command makes it more exegetically difficult to defend that interpretation, and I wanted to focus on the clearest Scriptures, rather than one for which a lot of people claim the meaning has simply been lost.


I like Wonderwoman sometimes, if the story is not obnoxious. I think you’re wrong about superwomen being a perversion of natural order, if supermen are not also, in *mostly* the same way. Christ and the angels are called to war, granted, but not at this time; they are being held back by God for the appropriate time (rev 7:1 if I am remembering context correctly): the war of armageddon.

Christian men are not called to violence at all, so I put it to you that stories about resolving conflict through violence are a perversion of God’s natural order in such a way that supersedes any gender concerns.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Christian pacifism is unsupportable. By your own admission there is an appropriate time for violence. Superhero stories explore that. But when they give the role of conquest and defense to women, they abominate the natural order.


I put it to you that perhaps the only appropriate time for violence for a christian person is in self-defense. are women not to defend themselves also? surely they should.

God’s angels will be fighting armageddon, not us. we’re commanded to yield to his wrath and watch from the sidelines, as far as I can tell. so there really should be no aspiration at all for the “proactive” sort of violence superhumans engage in.

they’re modern-day nephilim. I like them because, as a fallen man I’m drawn to violence and vigilante justice, as a perversion of natural and appropriate desire for agency, power, and justice. Noah probably had to tell his sons not to be like the nephilim, like I had to be told as a boy not to watch wrestling or power rangers.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Since military service is predicated on the principle of self-defense, that would give Christians leave to join the army. And since the duty of self-defense is just a particular application of the broader duty to enforce justice, which we are explicitly qualified for, how can we be precluded from police service either?

And again, I don’t buy your assumption that men are drawn to violence because of sin. It’s too obviously a product of conditioned effeminacy. It’s what boys are taught in public schools by their feminist women teachers; not what they’re are taught in Scripture.


Jesus said that his kingdom is no part of the world. I think he made it pretty clear when he rejected earthly kingship from Satan and the Israelites on several occasions, that meant political neutrality. How could one who aims to be politically neutral go to war in service of his country’s interests?

This isn’t Jerusalem anymore.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Jesus said his kingdom is not from the world. He is not politically neutral; every nation belongs to him and he requires it to obey his laws.

Political neutrality is a red herring anyway. As I said, military service is predicated on the principle of self defense. A kingdom is a household writ large. If someone breaks into your house, you have a duty to defend your dependents. So the crown has a duty to defend its citizens, up to and including conscripting those of them able to act in that defense.


I should have specified that I meant neutral as concerns earthly governments. That’s part of showing loyalty to his kingdom government. Ambassadors don’t go to war in service of countries to which they do not belong.

Dana Perin

Yeah she used a tent peg. She one upped sword bearers here.

It doesn’t need to be clarified. You don’t want to get it.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Yael is obviously irrelevant to my thesis that women should not assume roles in society which involve upholding justice through force, so I’m going to assume that you’re projecting, and ask you to stop twisting the Scriptures on my blog.

Abram Hess

It’s maybe worth noting, too, that Yael’s actual weapons were not a man’s weapons of war, but her cunning and deception. She used her femininity and hospitality to put her adversary off his guard. Only then did she kill him; the tent peg would’ve been worthless without her sly cunning. It’s kind of a perfect analogy that a tent peg is not typically considered a lethal weapon; nor is a woman’s femininity and hospitality typically something to be on guard against. Unraveling this exception actually reinforces Bnonn’s original point.


Dana, Bnonn didn’t say women shouldn’t kill, or defend themselves. To circumstantially find one’s self in a place where one must take exceptional action is different than choosing to take on such action as one’s every day vocation.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

To expand on Abram’s point, Yael is explicitly rehearsing the ironic reversal inherent in the curse on Satan. The point of her example has absolutely nothing to do with gender roles in society, because it is actually about gender roles in redemptive history: Yael uses wile to deceive the seed of the serpent, as he in turn had deceived Eve, and literally crushes his head, prefiguring his defeat.


Both of my parents were in the police force. But back in the late forties women were taking on the role that social workers take on today. They looked after women and children who needed help or who were disturbing the peace. Having said that my mother was a staunch third wave feminist and home wrecker. She pushed all her daughters into careers they were absolutely unsuited for and totally emasculated her husband and son. There is more than one way to “pull down your house with your hands”. May I suggest that a wicked godless woman can destroy people faster and more completely than any butch Wonder Woman ever could.


“Most blessed of women be Jael,
the wife of Heber the Kenite,
most blessed of tent-dwelling women.
25 He asked for water, and she gave him milk;
in a bowl fit for nobles she brought him curdled milk.
26 Her hand reached for the tent peg,
her right hand for the workman’s hammer.
She struck Sisera, she crushed his head,
she shattered and pierced his temple.
27 At her feet he sank,
he fell; there he lay.
At her feet he sank, he fell;
where he sank, there he fell—dead.”
Judges 5: 24-27

Vincente Torres

So, what are your thoughts regarding women learning how to use guns or to do martial arts in order to be able to protect themselves & their kids, if there are no men nearby(eg Hubby is at work or deployed overseas in the military)

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

I think it’s good for women to learn to use guns, and I don’t have a problem with them learning self-defense in principle. However, there are a couple of caveats here.

Firstly, in terms of martial arts, it’s very hard to find a self-defense class of any real worth that’s targeted to women. Mostly they’re just nonsense that make women feel more powerful, without making them genuinely competent. That’s both bad for their femininity, and dangerous for their safety. In order to get serious self-defense training they will have to do something like mixed martial arts, and they’ll have to do it for quite a while. I think that’s generally a bad idea both for psychological and health reasons.

That said, doing full-contact MMA with a man even just one time is likely to disabuse almost any woman of the segacity of relying on martial arts in a genuine self-defense crisis. The physical dimorphism between men and women is much greater than most people appreciate, and making up for such a massive power differential with skill is an extremely dubious proposition—especially without extensive training, and especially while undergoing an adrenaline dump that causes tunnel vision and a loss of fine motor control.

Secondly, there’s the psychological dimorphism to consider as well. It’s great to train your wife to use a gun, but it’s not great to teach her to rely on it. This is because women respond differently to fear than men. If she is relying on the gun, she will be less likely to flee when she can, and more likely to use the gun even if she doesn’t need to (I’ve read that female policemen resort to their firearms much more readily than their male counterparts because they are more easily intimidated). Once flight is off the table, either she is more likely to attack prematurely, escalating the situation instead of escaping it, or she may find herself unable to attack (I’ve anecdotally heard of several men who have trained their women to shoot, but discovered that they simply froze up when they had to do it in a real self-defense situation). Either way, she is worse off than if she hadn’t had the gun at all.

Incidentally, it’s also important for a woman to have the right firearm for her. Most women have panic reactions to firing heavier pistols without wearing ear protection. Again, the psychological difference between men and women is not to be underestimated; the report of a firearm can overwhelm the nervous system of any shooter (this is how you get trigger flinch), but the effect is much more pronounce with women.

TL;DR: women are likely to lose in a fight with a man no matter what. The best defense is good training in situational awareness and proactive safety strategies.

Kael Wallace

“The reason the Bible is not explicit on this point is precisely because it assumes we already know it innately.”

In other arguments over why didn’t the founding fathers put some things in the Constitution, it’s exactly the same.

No one put any prohibition on homosexual activities in the Constitution, nor into any State government Legislature of the time, because absolutely *no one* at the time thought such a prohibition was necessary.

Literally every single living soul knew that homosexuality was wrong. There was no need to codify in Law what everyone knew was wrong innately.


I am in agreement with much of your writing on this page.

I am suprised to see Wonder Woman pictured as a representative example in picture for this specific topic.

Her background story is that she is the daughter of Zeus and the Queen of the Amazonians. Which may imply a series of other problems with her character, but the point is, she is not human.

From earlïest history in mythology, Mother Goddesses, or daughters of Gods and Goddesses or other divine or saintly female personalities have consistently been depicted has having powers and roles that normal human women don’t have and are not expected to have. Ancient Sumerian Goddesses and ancient Hindu Goddesses and Deities are examples. The humans that enjoyed, respected or worshiped these figures, never saw those specific characteristics, that are so obviously beyond the boundaries of *human* female design, as examples to be directly followed. For many hundreds of years, and still today, girls in India have grown up with picture-books of Shri Durga Devi. Please enter into a search engine and go to pictures. You will see a Goddess riding a lion or a tiger, holding multiple weapons, and in some pictures She might just be slaying a demon! No Indian girl thinks she should behave like this!

I assume the protective aspect of motherhood is such a powerful and important instinct and quality, deeply rooted in human design and sense, so that the human collective, from its collective unconscious psyche, creates archetypal Goddess figures with very imaginative, expressive and provoking symbolism to express this protective feature. A mother will do anything to protect and save her children, even if she has to ride a tiger and yield a sword to do it.

But there ïs probably more to it than that. The “Protective Mother” is such a powerful and continual archetype throughout history and so closely connected with religiosity through so many major cultures, that the collective unconscious may be telling us that a divine feminine of supreme power exists.

Possibly the reason you have experienced liking of female superhero characters is because subtle knowledge of this kind of archetype also exists within you, and you enjoy seeing it come to life in film.

And yes, the “Protective Mother” archetype, though less prominent and provocative as in other religions, does clearly also emerge in Christianity.

Please enter “Schutzmantelmadonna” into a search engine and go to pictures. “Schutz” translates to protection and “Mantel” to cloak. We are collectively under the cloak of protection of Mother Mary. These depictions of Mother Mary go back many centries and are deeply rooted in the religiosity of many European Christians mainly of Germany, Austria, Italy. Scroll down and you will find depictions of Mother Mary symbolically clearly in the role of a protector. Not only protecting children, but absolutely all of society, including Kings, Chancellors and the highest Clergymen. Most depictions show Mother Mary with an emphasis on a feminine-motherly pose and facial expression, but some show Her looking quite spectacular, clearly multitasking, protecting members of society under Her cloak, at the same time standing in straight pose, looking straight ahead with a stern expression as if watching out for any evil.
It is rare to see Mother Mary or the Virgin Mary bearing a sword, but such depictions do exist (For example Dürer). On the other hand, other saintly women bearing swords have been commonly depicted for centries in the context of Christianity. Please enter ‘Wiener Neustädter Altar’ into a search engine. One saintly woman standing next to Mother Mary with child Jesus, holds a sword. If you search for ‘saint with sword’ you may be suprised at the number of depictions of female saints bearing swords. I don’t think this is Christianity going off-track.


Martin, it is noteworthy how seamlessly you slid from “feminine goddess protector” into “the protection of Mother Mary.” This is what Protestants refer to derisively as “Maryolatry,” ie an idolatrous worship of Mary—for which there is no example or justification in the Bible.


@Dominic Bnonn Tennent.
I’ll check out the article, as soon as I get round to it. Maybe I’ll be back with a response…. Thankyou.


I do agree with you that women should not be in combat roles because women, as the weaker vessel, is not able to fight against men and she should not be in that role, military combat is for men. However, God told both Adam and Eve to have dominion over the earth. He did not only say that to Adam, he said it to Eve too. Both male and female are to take dominion. Better take another look at Genesis 1:26-28.

As for women using the “Sword”, it may be that it would be taking on a masculine role to use the sword because the sword requires strength but a gun? Nah, every woman should learn how to shoot a gun and she should become very capable of using it should the need arise. Some of the very best shooters are women and it’s not butch for her to be able to defend herself and her home should the need arise. Women do not always have a man to defend them and sometimes the man gets killed trying, she should not be forced to be a sitting duck because she is a woman.


If you are only talking about military combat then I would say that I am generally in agreement with you. I do not agree that women have no place in the military but I agree that women should not be in combat however, with every rule there is an exception, even in scripture. If an invasion of an enemy happened upon our homeland and we had a foreign army invading our communities, I would hope that every capable body would take up arms against them, women included. It does not take a strong masculine man to use a gun. Guns are not the same as swords where it takes much strength to use one and it is not Butch for a woman to help protect her community.

A woman should take up arms to protect her life and the lives of her children. I taught my wife how to use a gun and she packs whenever she leaves the house, she is armed and she knows how to use it too and if any man tries anything with her, I am confident that she’ll drop them. She should be able to protect herself from anyone who might try to rape her, or carjack her or kidnap her or kidnap the children, she should be able to stand her ground should anyone break into our home (weather I’m there or not, I might could use the help particularly if there is more than one intruder) and I would praise her if she shot them dead. I don’t particularly think that it’s flattering for a woman to be helpless and weak and run and hide, that’s not femininity that’s cowardice.

Self defense is a God given right for both genders. God gave every female the instinct to protect herself and her young, she should be allowed to do so. It’s a basic human instinct given to both male and female and this instinct is not only with humans but in the animal world too. Look at the mother bear, she will kill to protect her cubs as will every female animal. In fact a female animal who has young is the most dangerous animal there is. This protective instinct is also given by God to women.

I’ve known of cases where women have shot intruders dead who have broken into their homes. There are many instances of such women and all I can say is that it is very beautiful when a woman can stand up and protect what’s hers, God’s law already gives her permission to do so. I would hope that every female gets a gun and learns how to use it. She may need to use it someday. There is nothing in scripture that would lead me to believe that the women who took up arms to protect themselves and their families from criminals are ugly to the Lord.


“Brad, it seems like you think I deny women have dominion? not sure why you think that or what it has to do with this article”

Because you said: “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.”

God created Adam and Eve to BOTH exercise dominion and subdue the earth. Genesis 1:26-28.

I’m not denying that there are gender roles, God given gender roles but I think you have redefined those roles too narrow, more narrow than God made them and you have also given stereotypes of men and women that really don’t fit most men or women or at least I should say, they don’t fit the godly man or woman. For example, I do not believe that it is common for a Christian man to react in “anger and aggression” to sudden stress, nor do I think it is common for a Christian woman to respond with “fear and flight”. You might want to study up a bit and read about Lady Jane Grey, Anne Askew, Blandia, Perpetua, Felicitas, Lucia of Syracuse or Paula of Rome and see how those godly women handled sudden stress, even stress unto death, I can assure you that it was not with “fear and flight”.
You might also want to take a look at Polycarp and Jan Huss, Tindale, William Carey and many other of the Reformers and see how those men responded to sudden stress, I can assure you it was not with “anger and aggression”. You seem to be describing the natural man/woman rather than the spiritual man/woman. God has called the Christian to Peace. He has commanded that we not be quick to anger because the anger of man does not accomplish righteousness. A Christian is to be gentle, gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit. He has not given the Christian the spirit of fear and cowardice does not possess the Christian mind.

Also, You said, “women are prone to deception (1 Timothy 2:14; 2 Timothy 3:6),” That’s not what those passages mean. The passages are merely saying that because Eve was deceived and because man was made first, the woman cannot rule in authority. It’s her punishment for her deception. The passage is not saying that women are easily deceived it’s saying that because she was deceived her punishment is that she must not have authority, and also because her husband was made first she is to take a subordinate role. The Holy Spirit will lead ALL of His people into all truth. Deception is not something that the Holy Spirit will allow in any of God’s children.



It’s worth considering the perversity of woman, the life-giver, taking life. It’s intrinsic to the nature of woman that she is averse to life-taking. Most women don’t like killing spiders. They’re even more averse to killing mice; never mind snakes, cats, dogs, and larger animals. Even if a woman has become desensitized to the taking of life for smaller animals, taking human life has the potential to damage the person who does that, whether it’s deliberate or accidental, justified or unjustified; and whether it is man or woman who takes life. But in general men are able to handle the burden of life-taking much better than women are, because God made us that way. The life-giver shouldn’t be a life-taker.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Brad, it’s weird that you think my focusing on man’s outward-facing dominion (forming & subduing) entails a denial of woman’s inward-facing dominion (filling & multiplying). It’s also weird that you think self-control obliterates natural responses, rather than overrides them. You should stop talking down to someone when you know they have studied a topic deeply, and you yourself don’t know how much you don’t know.

R.J., I’m not sure why you thought this post was about self defense. I have already linked to a separate post on that in the comments above.


I am in the military and have been for 7 years. I am ending my active service in just under a year. I read and considered this article and have several thoughts. (Warning: lengthy post)

Christians as a whole are definitely influenced by the culture in this. This was not brought up to me at all when I first started talking about joining the military, when I was fifteen. My college Hebrew teacher (who knew I was preparing to join) even brought up this verse in class one day and while I don’t remember exactly what he said about it, I do remember that he specifically mentioned it did not apply to my future military service. When I told people what I was going to do, it was just accepted.

Second I have become increasingly, if reluctantly, convinced about your point of natural function. I am an officer so I have always been a leader. One of the main reasons I am getting out now is that I am tired of leading men. It’s unnatural, for both me and the men. And my current SNCO—the one who’s supposed to be my right hand and keep the men who serve under me in line—is not an alpha male at all, meaning that I have had to become more aggressive and domineering just to get things done, and I don’t like it. I’m not aggressive normally. Masculine men in the military are normally motivated by the challenge in front of them and they hunger to solve problems. I am motivated more by the fear of failure. I read a book about military incompetence and fear-based motivations were spoken of as dangerous for generals because it makes them do just the bare minimum to not fail and makes them risk-averse. That’s not a god leadership trait. I am also definitely very conciliatory and it is hard to be confrontational, though I have had to do it. I probably don’t get confrontational enough because I just don’t want to. This isn’t good for leadership either.

I don’t know if I think women shouldn’t join the military *at all.* I never pursued a combat role. I knew I was unsuited and it didn’t even appeal to me. I am in the field of logistics which I have long thought has more to do with life than with death. My job is to keep my people alive and well and equipped for combat. This strikes me as a role in line with being a woman because it is the role of a helper. But this is perhaps where I just want to justify what I’m doing.

I didn’t originally want to join the military; it was never on my radar in the slightest. I thought God was leading me to it. But when I first thought that I revolted against the idea. I somewhat reluctantly came to accept it after praying about it and then started preparing to join. Now, as I am not fifteen anymore my understanding of how to discern God’s will has changed—and certainly if something is forbidden in Scripture, it cannot be God’s will. So I very well may have been wrong. I don’t believe my original motives were feminist, but I know I have been influenced somewhat by feminism since. I hope I have not been scarred too badly though.

I am getting out soon and like any woman I do desire to be married. But I understand that being in the military makes me inherently unattractive to most Christian men, and I don’t rail against that fact. I am 29 currently and I know that my age also makes me unattractive. I made a choice; I have to live with the consequences. If I don’t marry, I plan to pursue missionary or Bible translation work; I’m not going to waste my life pining for a family and just working to keep myself alive. But I don’t think many girls who want to join the military are encouraged to second-guess their desire and weigh it against a desire for marriage and children. When you’re 18 you aren’t thinking about how you’ll feel when you’re 40, unmarried, and childless, but when you’re almost 30, it hits home a little harder. I think more Christians should talk to girls about this.


Amira, thank you for that. Your experience is a helpful encouragement that we should be talking about these things with young women. Our God is a God of new beginnings, and no life lived in service to Him is wasted. He puts widows and orphans in families, and makes barren women mothers. I trust He will bless you with family, whether or not that blessing includes marriage.


In your world with no female police officers, who would give female suspects cavity searches? Who monitors women’s prisons? Who is a rape victim going to give her statement to if she is uncomfortable speaking to a male officer?


Yes, it does. If you were truly principled, you would advocate for all of the Torah law; Saturday sabbath, kosher laws, feast days, etc.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Let’s stick to one objection at a time. You have said that pragmatic concerns should overturn my principled argument. Here’s another common example of pragmatic concerns overturning a principled argument (this time against murder): a baby in the womb may be killed if the mother will experience hardship by keeping it.

Would you agree with that?


I would disagree because elective abortion is an act of aggression against a rights-bearing human being.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

OK, but that’s a principled argument. Pragmatically, if there’s no abortion, how can the mother handle being bed-ridden for six months? Who will pay her for that time off work that she can’t afford? How is she going to manage with her severe chronic depression?


There are many parties that can be compelled in assisting a pregnant woman. What I don’t understand is why you keep calling my position pragmatic, when it is the same logic behind having sex-segregated prisons in the first place.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

I think we have larger disagreements. Your position is wildly unstable and inconsistent. You don’t think that pragmatic concerns can overturn God’s law when it comes to killing infants, but you do think pragmatic concerns can overturn God’s law when it comes to compelling people to help others (i.e., making them temporary slaves) and when it comes to women bearing the sword.

For the record, I believe prisons are against God’s law also.


Veronical the situation you presented strikes me as absurdly simplistic. It’s akin to the argument of “we have to extend marriage to homosexuals so that they can have hospital visiting privileges.” Umm, or we can change regulations around hospital visiting privileges, if that’s actually what you’re concerned about?

“If there are no women police officers, who will custodian female criminals?” Umm, surely female police officers are not the only solution to that problem? Surely roles can be created to custodian female criminals that don’t require other women to bear weapons, use violence, and mar their own femininity? I mean, some how civilization made it for a few thousand years, right up to the late 1900s, with female criminals and no female police officers.


Acts 8 describes the Ethiopian eunuch as being a court official of the “Kandake” or queen of his nation. Philip never tells the eunuch upon conversion that he now needs to quit working under the authority of a woman.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Veronica, you’re all over the place. Why are you throwing out new objections (and very silly ones, honestly, which you could easily answer yourself with just a little thought), when you haven’t even worked through your very first one!?

Mr Thomas

There should be women police officers who can take charge in areas that only women can help with such as rape victims, it’s an abination to put a man in charge of that sensitive task and then to subject a women to a rape kit and a pelvic exam by a man after she was just violated by a man. Women guards should most definitely be the ones in charge of women’s prisons. It’s an abomination to have a bunch of male guards watching women shower, use the toilet and do cavity searches. Mr Tennant is not a good source to listen to on any subject. Maybe he should go back to the Casinos and swindle them.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant

Mr Thomas, in what way would a woman who worked for the police doing rape exams be considered a police officer? Why would she need to bear the sword?

Prisons should not exist as they are a wicked and dehumanizing form of slavery; hence, women’s prisons should not exist. So that answers that issue.


Wow, just found this website for the first time. What an article.

Long-winded? Nope
To the point? Yep
Logically sharp and Scriptural? Yep
Timely? Helpful? Paucity on the subject?

I can see how some may not be ready for these ideas, even believers, but study to show yourself approved and give an ear for what Scripture says, not the world.

Way to go Bnonn. Looks like I’m gonna have some articles to read this weekend… hopefully I find some things I disagree with so I can argue in the comments…