What the Bible Says About the Draft and Women in Combat
Massachusetts and Virginia resorted to military conscription in 1777 during American War for Independence. Other colonies rejected compulsory service, raised troops via local militia. US Constitution provides for military conscription via State militia (ART I, Sec 8, xvi). Constitution also limits draftees to domestic service to (1) uphold laws of the Republic, (2) put down insurrection, and (3) repel invasion (ART I, Sec 8, xv).
Both North and South used military conscription (draft) during war between the States. In North, loopholes and public resistance held draftee total to 17,000 (98 Federal draft “registrars” were killed in anti-draft riots.) In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson, backed by US Supreme Court, was first to send draftees into battle on foreign soil.
First peacetime draft enacted in 1940 and extended in 1941, then continued through World War II. In 1946, Congress extended draft to 1947; then let it lapse.
Second peacetime draft come in1948. Selective Service System put on skeleton basis and then expanded for Korean and Vietnam. Draft was then allowed to extend in 1972.
President Jimmy Carter called for registration for draft on Jan. 23, 1980. All men reaching age of 18 now must register with Selective Service. President Carter’s draft registration order included women (see below). He stated pre-draft registration would (1) serve notice on USSR that US was prepared to halt further Soviet expansion and (2) would cut lead time for Selective Services process in event of emergency mobilization.
Reagan administration continued pre-draft registration; courts have held young men receiving Federal funds for education must register for draft or lose loan grant.
Opponents charged registration was a ploy, a sop to calm mounting public concern over executive ineptitude. Some saw it as first step toward easing nation into third peacetime draft; argued what was needed was not gimmicks or draft but backbone and consistency in defense and foreign policies. As for speeding up mobilization if and when needed, opposition contended studies had shown first inductees could be delivered to training centers within 25 days of call; that regular military, national guards and reserve could hold the fort for that period, and that armed service could not digest a greater influx and more rapidly.
Advocates of peacetime draft contended all-volunteer forces not working; said services could not meet quotas for required standing forces. Opponents responded better take funds from the $7 billion planned for “youth training and development programs” (plus estimated $25 million cost of registration) and use that money to (1) improve salaries and benefits in armed services, and (2) beef up ready-reserves and national guard.
(Starting wages in armed forces in 1981: $2.81/hr — below minimum wage. Thousands of service families forced to rely on food stamps. Many deeply in debt, living in substandard quarters, compelled to seek off-duty second jobs to make ends meet. As a result, enlistments and re-enlistments were dropping, causing shortage of experienced non-commissioned officers, increasing in-efficiencies, etc. Since 1981, military pay and benefits raised to attract new recruits and hold experienced professionals. Enlistments up in all branches and re-enlistments have increased form 55% to 68%.)
Those backing military conscription argue every person should be required to serve country for certain period of time. They point to laws in most NATO and Warsaw pact nations that mandate military service. Opponents counter such involuntary servitude in peacetime is in total contradiction of the American ideal. Further, suggest that with peacetime draft, nation could (as late senator Robert A. Taft once said) be led down dark and dangerous roads — such as Vietnam. Emphasize danger exists even more so now that Trilateral Commission (TLC) and Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) (international money manipulators and multi-national mega-corporations) have increased influence on national and foreign affairs.
Finally, those against registration and peactime draft charge that compulsory service, as it is structured, deprives one segment of nation’s society (youth) of freedom and forces it to carry brunt of nation’s burden while others enjoy business and pursuits as usual. If one segment is conscripted, they argue, then all should be “conscripted” also — business, industry, financiers, professionals, etc.
Most controversial part of President Carter’s call for pre-draft registration was inclusion of women. A radical break with American heritage and tradition; it was pushed by pro-ERA groups, and militant feminist forces. They argued failure to register (and draft) women into armed services was sexist discrimination.
US Supreme Court disagreed, ruled registration (and drafting) of women was unconstitutional. That, said opponents, underscores vital importance of defeating any move to exhume the so-called ERA.
Red flag seems to have been raised: President Carter’s SecArmy, Clifford Alexander, predicted future wars would see large number of women in battle zones. Further, “experts” say American women would be required to take a role in fighting “unparalleled in any other nation.”
Among hazards of military service: rape. Betty Ann Buckmiller filed suit vs. federal govt., claimed she was raped by two soldiers while she was in the Army. Judge dismissed case, said she could not sue govt. Rape, ruled the judge, was a risk of serving in the military.
Opponents made it clear: Conscription of women into armed services for battle zone duty would be repugnant to majority of Americans ... a move they would resist should it come before Congress.
Consider Biblical Principles
Conscription of women into armed services is anti-Biblical. It is against God’s word. See Numbers 1:1-3, 20. Christian women are not to serve in battle; not to be drafted, not to enlist. According to The Bible, armies are to be composed of men, only. As Matthew Henry commented: “None were to be numbered but the males, and those only such as were fit for war.”
See also Deuteronomy, chapter 20. God’s reference to military conscription in time of war (His rules for deferments, exclusions, exemptions, etc.) apply to men 20 years or older, only. (Each of the exemptions or deferments deal with the preservation of the family.) Women are to remain at home front, care for children, maintain the family unit, engage in homefront support duties. “The family has priority over the military and over warfare. As important as defense is, the continuity of life and godly reconstruction is more important,” emphasizes Rev. Joseph C. Morecraft, III.
And, nations that disregard and violate God’s word will be penalized.
Further, God’s law requires that the wages of the men in military service shall be comparable to (the same as) wages for the men who stay home (Num. 31:25, 27; I Sam. 30:21-25). God also required that the cost of war should be paid for by the enemy. The spoils of war were divided among the people of Israel.
God does, indeed, have His battles and His warriors (and priests/chaplains to minister unto them). And, although the great battle rages on a higher plane, it also has its skirmishes here on earth. God’s enemies are His people’s enemies and if He calls, His battles must be ours.
When God instructed Moses regarding the “mustering” of men into the military, He did that to send forth armies to fight His battles and win the victory and He does it in such a manner that the earth may know that He is The Lord God. Thus, the use of force was manifestly approved unto Him, done according to His rules and purpose. “When you go into battle against your enemies don’t be afraid...For The Lord is He that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” (Deut. 20:1-4)
God will protect those of His in the armed services; that seems to be plain in Exodus 30:11, 16: “When you take the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto The Lord, when you number them; that there be no plague among them.” The paying of the tax (an oblation which was the same for rich or for poor) was an act of faith that God would preserve the soldier in battle (is was not a matter of salvation, which is free, but of protection in battle). Ferrar Fenton says tax was “to protect their lives;” Mofat says, “to avert any stroke of doom.” Does God heed the ransom paid? Read Numbers 31:49-50. (Every Christian in the armed forces should know of this: our Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever; His blessings and His grace diminish not. Nor, should the responsibility of those in the armed services toward Christ’s Great Commission!)
Christians must take great care to make sure that any call to battle is from the Lord God and not from the would-be gods of this world, or the fruit of ungodly ambition of evil design. We must earnestly seek His will in prayer and meditation and be guided by His word, written and revealed.
God’s word makes it clear, also, that only defensive wars may be justified in His sight. Defending ourselves against injurious attack is a far different matter than rendering evil, or even rendering evil for evil.
We could not suppose that God would shed His divine providence on those who seek to defend His gift of liberty (as the Bible demonstrates that He has done and will do) if defensive war were inconsistent with His will or His law. Liberty is a trust committed to us by the Lord God; we are accountable for its use and are duty-bound to protect and preserve it.
If, however, the call to battle is clearly from men or forces of ungodly intent, if it is calculated (even covertly) to serve unrighteous cause (manipulated by agents foreign or domestic) then Godly Christians must search their hearts and take their stand: There is another King, One Jesus! Because we are His and know that we are accountable to Him, we must obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29). We must seek always to please Him rather than men. (Gal. 1:10)
The Prophet Samuel foretold of unholy conscription when he urged the people of Israel not to reject God for an earthly king (“like all other nations”). “They have not rejected you,” God said to Samuel, “They have rejected Me. Hearken unto them... (but) show them the manner of the king that shall reign over them” (1 Sam. 8:5-9). Thus, included in Samuel’s warning was this: (1) anti-Biblical military conscription (outlawed under God’s reign) would be enforced (for the king’s purposes); (2) compulsory labor forces would also be enforced, and (3) conscription would include both young men and young women — and God will not hear their cries because they chose to worship and obey the god-state (Moloch) rather than The One True and Triune God (I Sam. 8:11-18).
Therefore, we must weigh compulsory military conscription — and the potential drafting of young women — on the scales of God’s word and measure our decisions on these matters according to His perfect will and perfect laws.