Last week, the Obama administration opened up combat roles to women serving in the military. Word on Fire blog contributor Ellyn von Huben offers her counter stance, and considers what this could mean both for the sexes as well as the definition and fulfillment of valor.
I don’t often agree with President Obama, but his statement that “valor knows no gender” is something I wouldn’t dispute. The context in which he made this statement is where we part ways. Likewise, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated that it is “the responsibility of every citizen to protect the nation,” which certainly makes sense to me. It is in how men and women are to fulfill the call to valor that we would differ.
The lifting on the U.S. military’s ban on women in combat would appear to be reasonable in the 21st century. Women are already assuming dangerous military assignments — more than 150 women have given their lives in the current war — so common logic would embrace the expansion their duties. But what appears to be a fair extension of women’s rights to workplace equality will not translate well in reality. Military life is not a ‘job.’ This is especially true in combat.
Is it because women are weak or cowardly? Hardly. Women can be very fierce. (And what could more fierce than a mother whose children are in peril?) But I doubt if there would be any consideration made for the formation of all-female combat squadrons, battalions, and such. This might be an ideal situation for women with particular military genius, but would still leave these fighters particularly vulnerable when fighting in countries in which women are treated with particular contempt. And would a corps of American-style Amazonian warriors be in the interest of the equality, which the trending media frenzy is all about?...
It's an exciting time for Word on Fire, as we have just recently donated more than 450 CATHOLICISM DVD sets and study materials to the U.S. Armed Forces. Deliveries are being made to bases and military installations around the world right now, and we're proud to help those who have done so much to help us. Read all about it today on the Word on Fire blog.
On this President's Day, a day for which we honor the those who have worked tirelessly to preserve our freedom, prosperity and human rights, we are proud to announce that Word on Fire Catholic Ministries has donated over 450 CATHOLICISM DVD sets, Study Program Leader’s Kits, books and prayer cards to the U.S. Armed Forces, in order to be distributed to and utilized by servicemen and women stationed domestically and overseas. Integral to the effort was the work of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA.
The DVDs and study materials have been delivered in time for implementation before Lent.
“The CATHOLICISM Series provides an effective opportunity to engage active duty young adults in the Catholic faith,” Mark Moitoza, the vice chancellor for evangelization at the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, said in a recent press release. “We estimate that there are about 300,000 Catholic young adults in the military, and our archdiocese recently has been making a concerted effort to reach out to these young men and women serving our country."
The donation serves a number of important purposes: notably to catechize an underserved population of Catholics and others who are interested in the faith, to ensure CATHOLICISM is truly global in its reach, and arguably most importantly, to send a humble “thank you” to the men and women who have sacrificed so much for us.
Beyond the domestic bases, the series and accompanying materials will be used on ships, in Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, and among units stationed in the far reaches of the globe in order to teach, evangelize, comfort, connect with and thank our soldiers.
“The CATHOLICISM series is not just a documentary about the Church, but a means of instilling faith, hope and love, especially for those, like the members of the military, who might be separated from loved ones or find themselves immersed in the most difficult of circumstances,” said Father Barron, the series’ host and creator. “It is my hope that this gift will serve as a sign of the Church's comfort and care for all the men and women who serve their country."
The donations were facilitated by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, the only archdiocese without geographic borders, which enables priests in over 200 locations worldwide to minister to 1.5 million Catholic servicemen and women and their families. CATHOLICISM will now be a part of their efforts...