In his last days in office Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta pushed two new social policies into the heart of the US military establishment. On Jan 23, 2013 he lifted the ban on women serving in combat. On Feb 11, 2013 he expanded military benefits to gay and lesbian couples.
This is the fruit of Platonic monism, the view that the universe has only one kind of essential substance (as opposed to the Bible’s Three-in-One God). The monist’s concept of male and female as interchangeable is being driven deeper into policy and into the new norm of American life. (For more on this subject see Male or Female: Which Better Reflects God?)
One of the blog sites I frequent is the Front Porch Republic (named for a typical neighborhood gathering place of earlier generations). After Panetta lifted the combat ban on women , FPR Senior Editor Katherine Dalton wrote a thoughtful piece: Woman At War.
Dalton’s reader responses included one from Robert M. Peters that took me back to another time. It was a time in which men and women were equal in dignity yet distinct as female and male, rather than interchangeable as Panetta’s dictum suggests. Western society was characterized by the motto immortalized on the decks of the Titanic: “Women and children first!” Women were women, children were children, and men were responsible to protect women and children. To save their lives, at the cost of their own if necessary.
In the tradition of the Christian Just War, the only just war is one in which those to be nurtured, children, and those who give the nurturing, mothers, and the means to be nurtured and nurture are threatened and that threat is met and hopefully eliminated by the proper means of force carried out by men who are endowed both physically and mentally, if they have not been emasculated, to kill and be killed so that mothers and children can live.
Do we still value the lives of our children? Or do our own lives–and lifestyles–take precedent over them? Do we recognize the unique importance of the mother and her nurturing nature, not only for the well-being of our children but for the future of our nations?
Panetta’s policies will create a different world, one less inhabitable from that we have known.
Alas, it’s no longer “women and children first.”
- Darrow Miller