Apr 032013 13 Responses

Am I Anti-Woman?

I believe my daughter has a fundamental right to life.

I believe it would be cowardly to hide behind my wife if a robber broke into our house.

I believe my son should never hit a girl.

Does this make me Anti-Woman?

Three recent news stories have made it seem so:

  • In Philadelphia, an 11-year old girl fought for her right to play offensive tackle in a Catholic Youth Organization football league.
  • In my home state, the legislature passed a law banning abortion after 12 weeks.
  • In the US, the Secretary of Defense and chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff signed a directive lifting the military ban of women serving in combat.

In all three cases, the position I took was deemed anti-woman.

I have a four year old son. I’m teaching him that, as a man, he was created with strength. The strength he has been given is not for his own benefit, but is to be used to help others. Specifically, it is given to him to assist women and children.

What God has given him to help others is never to be used at the expense of others. Put in the language of a 4 year old: you never hit a girl. This doesn’t mean girls can take a hit. It doesn’t mean he is better than them. It doesn’t mean he will always be stronger than them. It simply means, he cannot use what God has given him at their expense. You don’t hit a girl.

If a day comes and he decides to play football and the school allows a girl to play, he will not. You don’t hit a girl. Even if a coach tells you to, you don’t hit a girl. Even if everyone says its okay, you don’t hit a girl. Even if means you can’t play, you don’t hit a girl.

My daughter has Down syndrome. When the diagnosis of Down syndrome is made in a pregnancy, 95% of babies are aborted. Diagnosis or not, more girls are aborted than boys. I want to protect children who have a diagnosis like my daughter because I know the value they have and the value they bring to this world. I believe a baby girl has just as much value as a baby boy. Because I want to protect little girls, I believe abortion is wrong.

My grandparents were married for 70 years. During that time, my grandmother never pumped her own gas. It wasn’t below her. It wasn’t that she lacked the ability. She never pumped her own gas because in my grandfather’s mind that was his job. It was a sign of respect. Just as she served him in a number of ways, he served her in a number of ways. This was one.

In his mind, another way a man was called to serve a woman is to fight for them. As a military recruiter, he couldn’t imagine sending a daughter to war. It wasn’t because they lacked the ability. It wasn’t because they were second class. It wasn’t because they would fail. He couldn’t imagine sending a daughter to war, because men were to honor women by fighting for them.

I understand the recent change in Department of Defense policy was caching up with the practice in which women already served in combat. And I’m firmly believe women should be recognized for the work they are doing and rewarded with equal pay and access to leadership roles. However, why didn’t we debate the role of women in combat when the practice changed to put them in harms way?

As I read the Genesis account of Creation, it is clear that men and women are created equal. In generations past, the failure to recognize the lack of equality has been an abomination to God and has carried terrible consequences for humanity. Far too often, women have suffered at the hand of sinful men. As the son of a working mother, the husband of a working wife, the brother of a working sister, and the father of a daughter, I’m proud of the advancements we have made in creating opportunity for little girls to grow up and pursue what they want to pursue. However, as we correct the inequality, our generations sin may be the denial of differences between the sexes. As past generations have denied equality, we are quickly deny differences. We have confused being created equal with the concept of being created the same. We are not the same. We have different expectations and responsibilities.

Yet in a society where there is no difference, honor is lost. The uniqueness of the sexes is forsaken. And suddenly it is okay for old men to send our daughters to fight their battles; it’s acceptable to stop the beating of a little girls heart when one might let the little boy live; and its seen as normal for boys to hit girls. I think this is wrong. I think as a man, my god-given responsibility is fight for my wife, protect my little girl, and teach my son that boys do not hit girls.

We live in a day in which this thought is anti-woman.

13 Responses to Am I Anti-Woman?
  1. MC Reply

    Word. Great post KT

  2. DaltonPerson Reply

    To your point on women in combat:

    It appears as if your reasoning is dependent upon a man’s inability to allow his daughter to go to war. You suggest of your grandfather that, “He couldn’t imagine sending a daughter to war, because men were to honor women by fighting for them.” However, this argument implies male superiority if, in effect, the man has the ability–even responsibility– to determine the role and function of a woman in regards to combat. You describe this as “honor”.

    Yet, the right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins, former Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. once quipped. Undoubtedly, if Holmes were alive today, that quote would include “person” instead of man. While men may effectively honor those who wish to avoid combat, they unequivocally humiliate other women who wish to fight in combat by denying them their own “honor”.

    The role of women in combat is precisely whatever they want it to be. The Constitution guarantees them such a right. I agree with you that our duty as men is to protect and defend the honor of women, but following through with that pledge first requires knowing an individual woman’s aspirations, desires, and personal goals. There is no blanket defense to serve as protector and defender of honor for all. Only by showing women love and developing a relationship with them can a man truly conclude upon each woman’s “role in combat” or even in other aspects of life.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Good points Dalton. I would agree from a Constitutional perspective but disagree from a Biblical one. It seems as though the role of women in combat serves as a mirror of the sinfulness of men. It is never a negative statement toward women and I have a great respect for women in are protecting my freedom to write this blog. However, it doesn’t seem to be part of the original design–of course all war is contrary to the original design. It is important for me to point out that some Biblical scholars which I admire would disagree with me.

      • DaltonPerson Reply

        I appreciate your response, and of course understand that these are not black and white issues. That is why I particularly enjoy conversation on these matters between respectful, open individuals.

        My response is to simply build upon one of your own points– that all war is contrary to the original design. It is difficult for me to justify an application of Biblical principles towards something that in its totality inherently involves the loss of life. Therefore, I have chosen to take a flexible approach to the issue at hand by applying our Biblically prescribed duty to protect and defend women while simultaneously respecting their Constitutional right to choice.

        Concurrently, I recognize the irony in invoking love to defend my argument about combat; nevertheless, these issues remain complicated and worthy of continual discussion.

        • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

          Here is where I struggle with it–could I send your daughter to war. It would be tough enough to send your son, but if I were President I could not send your daughter to war.

  3. Denny Neff Reply

    It’s back, the ability to comment that is. Kevin I agree with you completely. I think if one would reread God imposition of the consequences of the sin of Eve, women are always going to struggle with their biblical position in the hierarchy of life, God said to Eve “…Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Gen 3:16). I think in the mind of sin infected women there is a subconscious struggle to not be subject to a man. That is why when any of us venture away from God and allow sin to overtake what God has created us to do and to be, that we want the opposite of what God says. I feel that’s what gave rise to the feminist movement and women seeking the sameness as men in their roles and in authority. I think the greatest fulfillment we all have is when we walk with God. I know many women who are in a godly and biblical relationship with their families and they are so happy and fulfilled in that role. War is not a design of God and when mankind wages war with themselves, sin rules and men often become animals to survive. Just look at the skyrocketing incidence of sexual assault in Afghanistan and in the military as a whole. You will never convince me that women have bettered themselves in seeking the sameness as men in this field. No women are to be honored and respected and I believe God protects women who submit to Him in their life choices. I’m just sayin…

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      All thanks to my friend Michael Collyar for fixing my comments section. We can once again converse because of his hard work.

  4. Steven Hill Reply

    How is the leadership role of Deborah in combat in Judges 4 to be interpreted, then? I fully agree with you: war in all its forms was never meant to be a part of the original. And God seems to use war in the Old Testament, at least that war the He brings about or renders certain, always only for justice. What do we do then, with a wuss like Barak in Judges 4? He begs Deborah to accompany him in battle, to help lead God’s people to accomplish God’s commands. These same commands seem to have been forgotten by Barak but Deborah takes him by the hand, reminds him of God’s commands, and leads him to do what he should have done the whole time. She even has to give him the nudge of when it’s time to begin the actual battle.

    With that said: I couldn’t agree more with that sinking feeling in your stomach which accompanies the thought of women entering combat. However, I think we might be doing women a disservice to paint them as delicate flowers created by God to be delicate flowers when it seems clear that God created Deborah to lead cowardly men, at least one cowardly man, to obey God’s commands, and to kick some Canaanite butt.

    What if the story of Deborah is not merely descriptive of this one woman who was forced by male ineptitude and passivity to act and instead, a prescriptive role for some women who are created by God to take positions of strong leadership in many spheres of life?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I wouldn’t paint women as delicate flowers. Remember, the toughest person I’ve ever met is my grandmother. I think the Deborah story is a wonderful picture of what we will see in our day–strong women doing daring deeds and leading with excellence. My post is in no way about women–it’s about men. Specifically, men who are wiling to send women into combat. No doubt women are capable. They are more than capable. I do not believe they can’t fight; I believe they shouldn’t have to fight because men are willing to fight for them. I think the book of Judges reveals to us what happens when God is not our king and every person does what is right in his own eyes. Judges 19 is the great picture of the end game–women are exploited for man’s gain.

  5. Steven Hill Reply

    Gotcha. Just wanted to make sure I understood. So you would you say that while Deborah’s involvement in combat is courageous and God-honoring, it should not have been necessary, right? If Barak does his job in Judges 4 and leads as he should, there is no need for Deborah, or any other woman, to participate in combat.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Yes, but I understand some would completely disagree with me. I get their point and think it is a fair one. Many use the OT examples as why women should be in combat. I get that side. I still think it would be awfully difficult to send a daughter to war.

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