by Rev. Matthew Trewhella
On Tuesday, June 14th, 2016, the U.S. Senate passed a bill which for the first time would require American females to register for the military draft. The daughters of most all of these Senators are past the age where they would be part of the draft – yet they have no problem using the coercive arm of the State to take other men’s daughters for the State’s ends.
This is a huge evil.
Recently, I was listening to a Christian radio talk show. The question laid out to the Christian men was – what do you think about the government wanting to draft your daughters into the military for two years?
I was appalled and amazed by the responses I heard. All of the callers except one thought it would be just fine for the government to take their daughters for two years. A few of the common responses given for such thinking were – “We live in different times now” and “The women wanted this equality, so it’s only fair” and “With all the government does for us, we should be willing to let them (our daughters) give two years of their life for them.”
As I listened to caller after caller, Christian man after Christian man, declare how willing they were to give up their daughters to the government for two years, I realized how far gone we are as a nation. When Christian men can speak this way about their daughters they have lost a godly affection for their daughters. When you hear this kind of perverse talk, American men have forgotten their God-given function as fathers.
What has made American men this way? Why do they no longer have a godly affection for their daughters? Why don’t they know how to function as fathers?
There are two main causes.
Number One: American men no longer have a godly affection for their daughters and have forgotten their roles as father because the way that Americans raise their children causes an unnatural separation between parent and child.
This is seen from an early age. Many men have their wives return to work after their maternal leave time expires after giving birth to their child. So the child is taken away from the parents and goes to daycare. When the child turns four or five, they are off to the government school. Again, the child is separated from the parents, and this continues to adulthood.
Most men send their children away from them at church too. They don’t act as priests in their homes and instruct their children in the faith, rather they dump them off on the church with its host of kiddy programs to supposedly do the job.
This bill would allow the government to draft our daughters into the military for two years.
When the child gets older, most men allow their daughters to date. They send them away with a young man alone, rather than establishing some form of godly courtship, hence denying their role as protector. Finally, most men want their daughters out of the house once they turn eighteen. Most do so by sending their daughters away to the university.
This is how most American men raise their children and rule their homes. This is how most Christian men raise their children and rule their homes. My point is that this causes an unnatural separation between parent and child. Because of the separation which has been occurring since a young age and throughout the child’s life, it is easy for a man to say – “With all the government does for us, of course I’m willing to let them have my daughter for two years.”
It’s easy because he’s already been separated from her all his life.
Number Two: American men no longer have a godly affection for their daughters and have forgotten their roles as father because the State has become father.
Men are to be providers, protectors, and priests to their homes. Most men no longer know or exercise these roles as father because the State has assumed the role of father. Herbert Schlossberg, in his book Idols for Destruction, best defines my assertion here. Schlossberg states:
Rulers have ever been tempted to play the role of father to their people. The father is the symbol not only of authority but also of provision. “Our Father who art in heaven…Give us this day our daily bread” (Mt.6:9,11). Looking to the State for sustenance is a cultic act [an act of worship]; we learn to expect food from parents, and when we regard the State as the source of physical provision we render to it the obeisance of idolatry. The crowds who had fed on the multiplied loaves and fishes were ready to receive Christ as their ruler, not because of who He was but because of the provision. John Howard Yoder has rightly interpreted that scene: “The distribution of the bread moved the crowd to acclaim Jesus as the new Moses, the provider, the Welfare King whom they had been waiting for.”
This statement by Schlossberg encapsulates what I mean when I say the State has become father. Men no longer know what it means to be men or fathers because the State has become father. They’re still dependent little boys who’ve never grown up. All is taken care of for them. They’ve never learned what responsibility means because the State takes care of every desire, whim, and need.
Men have a duty as fathers to be providers, protectors, and priests to their homes, and the State wants to take that out of men’s hands and assume the roles of father.
The draft is the ultimate expression and evidence that the State has assumed the role of father.
Schlossberg goes on to state: The paternal State not only feeds its children, but nurtures, educates, comforts, and disciplines them, providing all they need for their security. Once we sink to that level, as C.S. Lewis says, there is no point in telling state officials to mind their own business. “Our lives are their business.”
The paternalism of the State is that of a bad parent who wants his children dependent on him forever. That is an evil impulse. The good parent prepares his children for independence, trains them to make responsible decisions, knows that he harms them by not helping them to break loose.
The paternal State thrives on dependency. When the dependents free themselves, it loses power. It is, therefore, parasitic on the very persons whom it turns into parasites. Thus, the State and its dependents march symbiotically to destruction.
The tyrant Diocletian, Emperor of Rome, in 301 A.D., declared the State to be “the watchful parents of the whole human race.” The State wanting to take our daughters away and draft them into the military is stark evidence that the State believes it is father, and has assumed the role of father.
Governments should have to convince their citizenry that the war they want to fight is just – we should fight voluntarily, not through the coercive arm of the State through the draft. The taking of our daughters is beyond the pale.
When Christian men allow the State to get away with this, they have abrogated their God-given duty as men and fathers.