When he first wrote the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers”, Sabine Baring-Gould could hardly have imagined its title applied to describe a story like this one.
But desperate times do call for desperate measures, and — while the hymnwriter meant something very different — the phrase precisely captures trends we are now seeing among families struggling to survive in territories held and threatened by ISIS.
In this instance, with their desperate struggle for survival, we are not just describing a conflict of ideas. This is war: bloody, visceral, and “all hands on deck”.
Maybe you heard about the female battalion formed up to oppose ISIS? Reports are that 50 Syrian Christian women just signed up. Their rationale was simple: they were tired of being kidnapped, raped, and sold into sexual slavery. They wanted to hit back.
The “Female Protection Forces of the Land Between the Two Rivers” has had its first graduating class of combat-ready women. Some have left kids and family in the care of others while they join the fight (Babylonia, age 36 for example) and in some cases have done so with the blessing of their husbands, who are themselves fighting with male fighting units.
They are getting training in a range of areas, including fitness, academics, and of course, combat training. Since they are still green, they are stationed close to home, defending their community, while the more seasoned troops go to the heavier fighting.
It isn’t just Christian women who have had enough of being raped, or seeing their children carried away by these gutless terrorist swine, either. The Yazidi women have had their own share of suffering.
So while tens or hundreds of thousands of able-bodied men are streaming away from the battle, seeking sanctuary in comfortable Western nations, these women have forgone the comforts of hearth and home, shouldered a rifle, and stepped up the job these men have refused to do.
This is a job that needs doing. If you had wondered whether the idea of Minutemen could still be relevant in a modern context, this is one example.
Rather than wait for the alleged “International Community” to come to their rescue, and to recognize that ISIS really IS bent on genocide (among other things) of Christians, these brave women are doing what needs to be done.
It’s just a shame so many of the “men” skipped town, leaving them to do the heavy lifting.