Women Soon to be Required to Register for the Draft?

Tuesday, the New York Times reported that "the Senate approved an expansive military policy bill that would for the first time require young women to register for the draft." Things are moving very rapidly considering that a mere six months ago Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that all military jobs, including the most dangerous infantry and special ops positions, were open to women. Requiring women to register for the draft is the next logical step toward full "equality." It remains to be seen whether the bill will pass in the House of Representatives and be signed by the President making it a law, but the fact that it is being seriously considered, even by so-called conservatives, is alarming.

Out of the 98 Senators who voted, only 13 voted against it (govtrack.us). Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) objected to the bill stating, “The idea that we should forcibly conscript young girls into combat to my mind makes little or no sense...It is being used as a vehicle to further agendas that have nothing to do with actually defending America. Despite the many laudable objectives in this bill, I could not in good conscience vote to draft our daughters into the military, sending them off to war and forcing them into combat" (WND).

Many are quick to point out that there has not been a draft issued since 1973 and that it is unlikely to be needed in the near future, so signing up with the Selective Service will likely not have any impact whatsoever on American women and their families. However, if one truly believes that it is immoral to force women to fight in war, then it must also be immoral to force them to register to be potentially forced to fight in war. If such people do not stand against tyranny in principle, then they won't do it in practice should a draft ever be called and women forced into battle.

The fact that “more women service members were raped by male soldiers in 2008 than all American deaths in Afghanistan in the past 11 years,” even when, “80% to 90% of sexual assaults go unreported,” (Time) should give us pause about subjecting women to such a hostile environment. No matter how much training the military does to educate people about this terrible problem, they can't seem to stop it from happening. But more foundational than that, we need to ask ourselves what would be the purpose of war if we are sending the people in society most worthy of protection off to fight our enemies?

God created mankind male and female after His own image, equal, yet with different roles, strengths and weaknesses (Gen. 2:18; 1 Tim. 2:15; 5:14; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:7). God Himself considered women inelligible for war and enlisted only men in the armies of Israel (Num. 1:2-3; Deut. 22:5; Isa. 19:16; Jer. 50:37; 51:30; Nahum 3:13) so where else would the civil government get such authority? It goes against the very nature of God's created order for women to go into combat for war, that is why forcing them to do so is immoral. The passage sometimes cited as a defense of women in battle actually teaches the opposite. In Judges 4, the prophetess Deborah plainly told Barak, the military commander, that God wanted him and his men to go to battle (Judges 4:6). His pleading with her to come (v. 8) was not so that she would fight, but rather “being desirous that he might have her with him to pray to God for him, to give him advice and counsel on any emergency, she being as the oracle God…which he supposed would satisfy them [i.e. the soldiers] as to the mind of God in it, and animate them, and give them heart and spirit” (John Gill, Judges 4:8). The enemy commander having been killed by a housewife after barging into her home is (v. 22) a great example of women protecting their homes with weapons, but it can't be used to support women fighting in the military. Self defense is a great thing, but subverting God’s gender roles is entirely different. For a more exhaustive treatment of the natural and biblical case against women in the military and in combat see here.

Many churches have written official statements against women fighting in order to preempt this exact inevitability, which, Lord willing, should be able to serve as precedent for conscientious objector status for Christian women in America. Ask your church leadership if they have a similar official statement that can be used to protect members from this tyrannical government overreach. See here for a list of many of them. One joint statement by several churches states:

"The Commission directed the Chairman of the PRCCMP to establish a committee to draft a letter addressing our respective churches of the likelihood of a radical change of the Selective Service law of the United States, namely the required registration of 18 year old females on the Draft Rolls, most probably by 2016. Further, that this letter recommend adopting the following (or similar) declaration in individual congregational by-laws, namely that the Bible forbids women serving as warriors, as well as an explicit declaration that registering 18 year old women for the draft or being drafted is evil and unbiblical. This will provide a valid argument for conscientious objector status for covenant daughters, granddaughters, and other women of our respective denominations." (Presbyterian and Reformed Commission on Chaplains and Military Personnel (PRCCMP))

This is good news as a last resort, but we must pray that God would not allow this nation to degrade so far as to force women to be drafted. Please contact your congressmen and demand that they not subvert God's created order by approving such an outrageous bill. Contact info for US Senators here. Contact info for US Representatives here


Paul J. Barth

Paul J. Barth is a confessional Presbyterian who holds to the original (1646) Westminster Standards. He is an Air Force veteran and currently an undergraduate Geography student at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, where he lives with his wife and two kids. Paul is not an ordained minister and offers his views as a private person.

My Website: http://PurelyPresbyterian.com