I haven’t seen Captain Marvel, and I’m not sure I will. But an article is making the conservative Christian rounds that needs something said about it.
Eric Schumacher writes in defense of the movie heroine:
The church is a “she,” and she is a warrior. The church is the Bride of the King. To see her is to behold your queen. Who is it that Paul commands to put on armor and take up a sword to oppose the devil? The Bride of Christ. Under whose feet will the God of peace soon crush Satan? The Bride of Christ. Who shall reign forever with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? The Bride of Christ. She is a warrior, dressed for battle, crushing the head of a dragon beneath her feet as she rules with her husband, the King. Behold your queen, indeed.
This is an example of typological typhoid. This is an example of poetry perversion. This is an example of metaphors malfunctioning. This is an example of exegesis with the brake lines cut. There’s no stopping this train.
I’m not saying that Eric Schumacher is intending to take us anywhere nefarious. I don’t know the man, and the article seems to indicate that he cares about biblical orthodoxy and fidelity. But this is trouble, people. And the point can be framed rather simply by asking where the brakes are and why.
So, a woman can be celebrated as a warrior because the Bride of Christ is a warrior? So can a woman be mustered for military combat? And if not, why not?
If it is glorious for a woman to be a warrior, then it is glorious for her to be mustered to serve her country. But if it is a wicked, shameful thing for women to don the uniform and weapons of a warrior, and wicked and shameful for women to give their lives in combat, then it is wicked and shameful for them to be mustered for war.
But you cannot have it both ways. You cannot defend the image of a woman as Xena Warrior Princess based on Scriptural metaphors and then try to pretend you didn’t just celebrate women in combat. Schumacher insists that the film fails as feminist propaganda (and maybe it does), and therefore he writes, “This film is not lobbying for drafting or conscripting our daughters to be maimed or die in war.” And maybe that’s true also.
But my question for Schumacher (or anyone who agrees with him) is not whether the film is lobbying for drafting or conscripting our daughters for war. My question is whether he is (unintentionally) lobbying for our daughters to be drafted and conscripted for war. Can he explain, based on his typological reading of Scripture, why our daughters shouldn’t be mustered for war?