A Dangerous Game

At Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, soldiers used to talk about playing "the game." It was a euphemism for a competition among drill sergeants to see who could have sex with the most recruits. In recent court-martial testimony, female trainees described brutal rapes, followed by death threats if they dared to expose the assaults. It was shocking testimony—and it’s an ugly illustration of both an abuse of power and what can happen when feminist ideology is drafted into the armed services. In the last few weeks, Americans have been rocked by one military sex scandal after another: On May 6 Aberdeen Staff Sergeant Delmar Simpson was sentenced to 25 years for raping six Aberdeen recruits under his command. On May 7, the Army’s top enlisted man, Sergeant Major Gene McKinney, was charged with adultery and indecent assault against four servicewomen. And on May 8, the Washington Post reported that the U.S. military is currently investigating some 300 additional cases of sexual abuse at military bases worldwide. How do we explain this mind-boggling breakdown of morals and manners across all branches of the military? A major answer is that our policy-makers have tried to redesign human nature to accommodate feminist goals. Even hard-core liberals are beginning to accept that human nature isn’t as malleable as the feminists had hoped—that you can’t put men and women in confined quarters and simply order them not to feel sexual attractions. As liberal columnist Richard Cohen sarcastically observed, in today’s military, "all the old rules regarding men and women have been... revoked. Males and females can now be thrown together... and... everyone will behave because, of course, they have been told to." Isn’t it time we learned that the "old rules" cannot be revoked? We’ve already had the Gulf War, with its notorious pairing up of male and female soldiers. We already know about the high pregnancy rates aboard the Navy’s "love boats." But despite it all, feminists still insist that human nature can be legislated away. For example, Representative Tillie Fowler of Florida says that scandals or no scandals, the army must hold its ground on mixed training. Otherwise, she said, women will loose the "opportunity to succeed in... the military." There you have it: Human nature has to be redesigned so that women can advance in the military. And I thought the military was intended to fight and win wars. But human nature stubbornly refuses to bend to the whims of ideology. Those who rebel against the natural moral order are ultimately rebelling against the God Who created men and women to complement each other and to be drawn together to fulfill His purpose. Historically, every civilized society and even most uncivilized ones assigned the military role to men. Biblical societies followed the same pattern. Nations that tried putting women in combat—such as Israel and Germany—showed disastrous results, including higher casualty rates in battle. Today, both countries limit women to administrative and medical duties—and keep the sexes apart. Now, I’m not excusing or justifying male soldiers behaving the way they did at Aberdeen—or anywhere else. This is a lesson America’s cultural elites would do well to learn: Humans are not simply highly evolved machines that can be retrofitted to meet the demand of modern ideologies. They are created by God… male and female.


Chuck Colson


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