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Statement on Women in Combat,

Selective Service, and Conscription

Issued by the House of Bishops of the Lutheran Orthodox Church

16 February, 2016

In recent months, several political voices have been raised in the United States to compel women into registration with the Selective Service, and to make them eligible for forced conscription into military duty should another draft be imposed. This path has been cleared by recent political and military adjudications which have removed any barriers to women voluntarily serving in all combat roles and positions in the US Armed Forces, and for which they satisfy requirements.

Both men and women have served honorably and heroically in our military since its founding, often sacrificing life or limb for their country. And as our military has been an all volunteer force for over 40 years, both men and women continue to freely defend our nation with the highest valor through the various military service branches. For these men and women we give thanks to God Almighty, that He has blessed our nation with such valiant defenders. As citizens of this free and democratic Republic, we honor all who have freely chosen to make the sacrifices necessary to defend and protect our nation.

However, what may be morally permissible to a free volunteer (in this case, military service,) can also become morally reprehensible to a compelled victim (as would be a person compelled to military service against their will.) While we find the forced conscription of any person to military service against their conscience or religious principles a grave matter, we find the registration for forced conscription of women to military combat an unequivocal violation of Holy Scripture, the Church’s millennia of Tradition, and of universal Natural Law. It is our carefully reasoned determination, as those whose duty and Office it is to be stewards of the mysteries of God, that compelling women into military service or combat is a pernicious and odious evil, undermining the Order of Creation which God established in the beginning, and abdicating the solemn duty of fathers, brothers, and sons to protect and serve their mothers, sisters, and daughters.

We will continue to honor our veterans, and those who freely sacrifice of themselves to guard our Republic, even as we will defend the right of women to resist any godless and unnatural attempt to force them into military service, now or in the future.

God help us all.


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