The bodies were barely cold at Ft. Hood when writer William Saletan unlimbered his guns.  It is, he announced, time for the military to lift its policy exempting women from combat.  His reason?  A female civilian cop, Sgt. Kimberly Munley, took down Maj. Nidal Hasan and stopped the shooting spree that left 13 dead and 36 wounded.  Her partner, a man, watched, apparently in utter stupefaction.  Military brass put the gloss on Munley’s derring-do.  “It was amazing.  Without her, there would have been a lot more people killed,” said the fort’s commanding officer.  Thus, Saletan’s salvo: “The exclusion of women from combat is a failed social experiment.  It’s time to end it.”

Actually, after 200 years of exempting women from combat, the experiment is putting them in, but in any event the Ft. Hood story turned out to be too good to be true.  Munley’s black partner, Mark Todd, took out the terrorist.  The truth of this case does not change the fact that women are playing increasing roles in combat operations, in which they are regularly maimed and killed.  That truth means the military violates its own policies.  It has to, because it has permitted so many women in the ranks that it cannot perform its mission without using them in combat zones.

The statistics speak for themselves.  As ABC News recently reported, 10,000 women are serving in Iraq; 4,000 in Afghanistan.  More than 120 women have died, not all of them combat deaths, and 600 have been wounded in action, according to a report compiled by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).  Some of these lady warriors have received combat decorations, which naturally has the feminists whistling the Colonel Bogey March.  “We’re here, and we’re right up with the guys,” SPC Ashley Pullen told ABC.  Pullen was “awarded a Bronze Star for valor in 2005 for her heroic action in Iraq where she served with a military police unit.”

“It’s gotten worse,” Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness told the network.  “It’s the policymakers I fault in this.  They are the ones responsible for deciding who goes where.  The field officers are having to deal with problems like pregnancies, evacuation, sexual misconduct, romantic hostility.  Right now people aren’t discussing.”

Indeed, they aren’t.  A recent story in the Navy Times reported that

Some shore commands in the Norfolk, Va., area report that up to 34 percent of their billets are filled by pregnant sailors, and commanders are complaining about a “lack of proper manning to conduct their mission,” according to a Naval Inspector General report. . . . Since shore assignments for pregnant sailors were extended two years ago, pregnancies Navy-wide have increased.  The number of women leaving deploying units to have children rose from 1,770 in June 2006 to 3,125 as of Aug. 1.

This likely means that women are becoming pregnant on purpose to get shore assignments, and these statistics don’t disclose what happens after the child is born and Mom returns to service.  The Pentagon recently arrested a woman for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan because she couldn’t find someone to care for her infant.  The arrest, of course, sent the child into “protective custody.”

Consider again the report from the IAVA: 30,000 single mothers have deployed, and female service members divorce at three times the rate of male ones.  In some cases, both parents deploy, which raises the nettlesome question of who is watching the kids while Mom is off playing soldier.  Or what happens when Mom comes back missing a leg and an arm.  None of this, however, seems to be a problem.  Leadership, the military avers, solves everything.  Well, leadership can’t solve Mom’s lost limbs.

Mrs. Donnelly is right.  Most people aren’t discussing these things, and those who are wonder why any of it is a problem.  If women want to serve, the thinking goes, let them.  That, of course, assumes the feminists are right in saying women not only can handle the rigors of combat but have the right to fight.  But they can’t, and they don’t.

In the early 1990’s, I was a staff member on the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces.  All the evidence the commission gathered pointed to one conclusion: Women are not suited for the rigors of combat and serious military endeavors.  Among the biological facts commissioners learned (but in some cases did not want to hear) are that a woman’s bones break and fracture more easily than a man’s and that the average 20-something woman has the physical stamina of the average 50-year-old man.  Those things mean something when soldiers are training and even more when they are fighting.

Supporters of women in combat argue that some women are as strong as men and that the military should permit those women to serve.  But the statistical data suggest that such a recruiting policy would be folly.  The commission learned that the strongest woman recruit is typically only as strong as the weakest man, so recruiting the strongest women would mean recruiting the weakest men.  The military doesn’t seek weak men.  That doesn’t mean a few weaklings don’t make it through the vetting process, but purposely recruiting weak soldiers is insanity.  And even presuming Amazonian wonders who are stronger than the weakest man exist and are suited for the rigors of combat, they have to be found.  Once found, they have to enlist.  In other words, recruiting them is a monumental waste of time and money.  But going back to the average woman recruit, commissioners learned that sailorettes cannot pull fire hoses on ships, and women Air Force mechanics often need men to carry their toolboxes.  How, then, will a 110-pound girl barely out of pigtails and pimple cream haul a 190-pound GI to safety?

Feminists and other supporters of women in combat know that ideology cannot trump nature.  That is why they peddle falsehoods such as that of Sergeant Munley.  Other storied heroics of women in combat have also turned out to be a “fusillade of fiction,” as I reported three years ago, including the story of Capt. Linda Bray during Operation Just Cause, our “comic invasion” of Panama, where “this modern Athena crashed the gates of Manuel Noriega’s guard-dog compound in a Jeep, her .50-caliber machine gun blazing” as if she were a member of the Rat Patrol.  “But none of this happened. . . . Bray wasn’t there.”  Then we had Jessica Lynch, who “played Custer to the Iraqi Indians.  She fought to the last bullet, when she was shot, stabbed and captured.  She was beaten in captivity.”  But again, “Lynch did nothing heroic.  She did not shoot anything, and was not shot or stabbed.”

Yet all these practical issues are immaterial because the feminists will continue searching for the right candidate to prove the military’s exemption of women is archaic.

The issue, then, is a moral one.  It isn’t whether women can; it’s whether they should.  The answer to that question, at least for anyone claiming to be a Christian, is no.  For one thing, no one has a “right” to serve.  For military volunteers, it is a privilege.  For draftees, it is a duty.

More importantly, putting women in combat trespasses the natural order and mocks what God intended women to do.  He did not equip them for war.  Opening the battlefield to women is egalitarianism of a different order than opening the doors to the courtroom or operating room.  Properly training men to accept women as combatants necessarily requires training them to accept the brutalization and killing of women as a norm.  Given the constant drumbeat about domestic violence, you wouldn’t think inuring men to violence against women is something feminists would want.  Men are supposed to protect women; they aren’t supposed to kill them or stand by and watch them be killed.

Putting women in combat is a sin, and not just because it is barbaric.  It encourages bearing false witness—that God did thus prepare them—which in turn suggests that men and women are interchangeable, except for a few body parts.  It suggests, as presidential commissioner Charles Moskos said, that men are big women and that women are little men.

Like the story about Sergeant Munley, that is a lie.