Advice on Resolution 11-06

Resolution 11-06, Today’s Business 1, Pages 208, To Oppose Mandatory Registration of Women into the Draft

What should concern delegates?

This resolution will most likely come at the end of Committee Eleven’s time on the floor.  That doesn’t mean it can’t negatively impact the LCMS and individual members seeking to be classified as conscientious objectors.  Because this resolution objects to the possibility of the registration of women for the draft on religious grounds, it is akin to taking a doctrinal position on the draft. 

The CTCR has not produced a statement against the government drafting men into the military in time of war or national need — nor has the LCMS considered it.  So is this resolution proposing a doctrinal position or a cultural position?

If we in the LCMS don’t object to women serving in the military voluntarily, then do we really have religious grounds to speak against women serving in the military involuntarily?

This is a confusion of the Two Kingdoms and a confusion of culture and doctrine.  The resolution objects to women’s service on the basis of Scripture using an “order of creation” headship argument.  If that argument applied, the LCMS should also oppose women volunteering for service in the military.

In addition, the first resolve asks the President of the Synod to communicate our objection on religious grounds to the involuntary service of women to political leaders in the U.S. Government.  This could actually have an adverse effect on LCMS men seeking classification as conscientious objectors.  It could be seen by the government that the official doctrinal stance of LCMS allows for men to be drafted and only views women as those who can conscientiously object to service in a time of war.

Conscientious objection concerns one’s own personal credo and doesn’t need the backing of the whole church. 

What can be done about it?

Delegates will want to ask questions as well as amend this motion.

Delegates will want to move to amend the motion by deleting the first and second Resolves (Lines 33-37) because it is a confusion of our Two Kingdoms doctrine. 

Delegates will also want to amend the final resolve (Lines 38-39) to read “Resolved, That The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod assert and continue to support the right of conscientious objection on the part of individual women and men.”  We need to protect all people who seek alternate service on the grounds of conscientious objections.

Delegates will also want to amend the last words of the fourth Whereas (Lines 21-22) to include parents and sons (not just wives and daughters) OR just only state family and country.  To enumerate that the only family members “natural law” protects are wives and daughters is false.

Ask “There are also women among us who have faithfully served our nation in the armed forces — some of whom have sadly had to defend themselves from the enemy in combat.  How does this statement on the draft of women support their record of service and their personal decision to defend our nation (and all of the men who chose not to volunteer)?”

Ask how the argument of the first four Whereases (Lines 16-22) based on the order of creation extends to women serving as commanders of men in the military.  Do we object to women commanding men because men have “headship”? 

Ask all the delegates to have served in the military to rise.  Then ask only the ones who would refuse to take an order from a superior officer because she is a woman to remain standing.  This will show how the practical implications of the “headship” argument applies to military service.  If the doctrine of “headship” will keep a woman from serving involuntarily, does that same doctrine hold true when a woman serves voluntarily?

Ask how the argument from Ephesians 5 about men loving their wives and laying down their lives for them applies to single adult women.

Finally, does anyone actually believe we should spend a moment of our time worried about the implications of the draft when the military draft hasn’t been implemented at any level for decades? 

Shouldn’t we be more concerned for the thousands dying today without saving faith in Jesus than about the possible draft of women into the military — when a draft that hasn’t occurred in decades and the law authorizing it hasn’t passed either house of congress?

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