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Oct 24 2012

Is rape something God intended?

I had a nice dinner and a long moonlit walk last night with a friend who might be loosely described as a Messianic Jew. The conversation strayed into things like equal pay, male reaction to women in the business world, and the subjugation of women over millennia. She’s proven herself to be an astute real estate investor so this is something she rightly resents.

I was thinking about all that this morning when the headline above jumped out in the daily Google search. Granted, it is an inflammatory title for a post, but it’s not mine! It’s the stated theology of a Senator (correction: senatorial candidate) from Indiana. He’s getting some shit for it too, but, imo, he’s not far off:

ABC News – Mourdock, who’s been locked in one of the country’s most expensive and closely watched Senate races, was asked during the final minutes of a debate Tuesday night whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest. …

“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” Mourdock said.

I’d argue that if a pregnancy is something God intended via rape, based on the observation a given rape and pregnancy happened (A break through of sorts for the Todd Akin crowd), then a late term abortion would have to be something God also intended for the same reasons. More to the point, I think technically, Mourdock would have to be right.

It gets into free will vs evil and all that philo-theo stuff. But any event including a rape would have to be something God knew would happen. Indeed, it would be something He could have prevented, ergo it would be something He planned. Otherwise an omnipotent and omniscient being would have had its will thwarted and/or be shown to hold a false belief, right? Either of which are clearly impossible by definition.

It might sound ugly, it is ugly. But this is the religion and the deity mainstream Christians profess belief in. Admittedly, a great deal of serious thought has gone into it from religious scholars over the centuries. Nevertheless, my experience is most rank and file Christians just don’t ponder the nastier implications. Or, when they do, they’re taught from birth to transfer all the responsibility for pain and suffering and misery and death from an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent being (And most conveniently, from the local male tyrants and rapists … and God’s annointed Kings) onto an illiterate neolithic woman and her little slithering friend; a woman who was created by the same deity in an isolated paradise to be deliberately and completely ignorant of even the possibility of suffering and death, not to mention the idea of dishonesty or the devious nature of supernatural serpants. It hardly seems like a fair transfer, amirite?

My own explanation of the shitty deal women have gotten over time is that’s how hominid evo worked out. Men are on average bigger and stronger and left to themselves, way, way more violent than women. In that stone age world and ensuing city-state society women didn’t stand much of a chance of enjoying consistent equality.

This is manifest in Abrahamic religions today (Not that the Old Testament is unique in this respect) because they all arose in a muscle powered world. IOW, it’s all that bitch Eve’s fault! A fable that has been used to  justify the pain of childbirth, the subservient role of women, and by astonishing coincidence gets every testosterone laden genocidal warmonger throughout the history Christendom off on a bullshit technicality…

I’d call that institutionalized sexism writ large and that’s saying it nicely.

20 comments

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  1. 1
    jeroenmetselaar

    This is the outcome of believing in an all-knowing, all-powerful god. Whatever happened, that god knew about and could have stopped it but didn’t.

    That includes rape, torture, people spending weeks slowly dying in mind-destroying pain, armies burning down villages and raping all women and childeren etc… et… etc…

    If you also define that god as good it means that all must be good too.

    As a consequence you can find christians defining *anything* as good and proper or at least educational.

  2. 2
    busterggi

    If everything is part of god’s plan then nothing should be illegal for fear of messing up that plan.

  3. 3
    Yoritomo

    [...] not to mention the idea of dishonesty or the devious nature of supernatural serpants.

    Hey! Don’t blame the serpent! Its prediction of what eating the fruit would entail is presented as entirely accurate. It’s God who lies about the effects, claiming the fruit is deadly.

  4. 4
    Gregory in Seattle

    Keep in mind that the origin story of Christianity begins with the holy rape of a young virgin.

  5. 5
    ladyatheist

    correction: senatorial candidate

    He ousted Senator Lugar in the state’s primary

    Yes, I am ashamed to live in Indiana

  6. 6
    davidct

    The god of the bible is not good if judged by human standards. In the Old Testament it is downright nasty. In the New it still demands blood sacrifice for forgiveness and condemns good people to eternal torment if they do not believe in it. At the same time it will forgive the worst sort of behavior on the part of believers who ask forgiveness. It demands worship not because it is good but because it can. This creature is supposed to be omnibenevolent. That certainly defies human understanding,

  7. 7
    Uncle Glenny

    To summarize, so abortion is part of god’s plan.

  8. 8
    Stephen "DarkSyde" Andrew

    Correct Glenny, how could it not be?

  9. 9
    coraxyn

    Hmm.

    If god intents this to happen, then Mr. Mourdock must also advocate that rapist must NOT be punished. Punishing this rapist would mean punishing those who do gods work.

    Hmm.

  10. 10
    heddle

    jeroenmetselaar,

    This is the outcome of believing in an all-knowing, all-powerful god. Whatever happened, that god knew about and could have stopped it but didn’t

    That’s true. The very definition of a sovereign god–nothing is out of his preview. That is certainly how the bible describes god.

    If you also define that god as good it means that all must be good too.

    No that does not follow at all. It is a rather crude error. If you think what you just wrote is not a fallacy you should publish it and become famous–for you have demonstrated that sin does not exist. Theodicy not required.

    As a consequence you can find christians defining *anything* as good and proper or at least educational.

    That is utter nonsense–unless you are going to use “educational” as a catch-all. Christianity has always affirmed the existence of evil which, by its very definition, is not good or proper.

    davidct,

    This creature is supposed to be omnibenevolent.

    No, he isn’t. There is nothing in the bible that says god is omnibenevolent. God as described in the bible does not claim the honorific of omnibenevolence for himself. Others pin it on him. God as described in the bible condemns people to eternal damnation–there way no way in hell (pun intended) this can be viewed as “for their good.”, i.e. it is not benevolent. In fact, eternal damnation means that for the lost, god is omni-unbenevolent. Therefore god is not omnibenevolent. The bible, at least arguably, describes god as omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent (although the only attribute actually described in the Hebrew superlative is god’s holiness.) If you remove the extra-biblical imposed attribute of omnibenevolence, then problems a la Epicurus’ challenge go away.

  11. 11
    Francisco Bacopa

    Keep in mind that the origin story of Christianity begins with the holy rape of a young virgin.

    Well, Mary does seem somewhat pleased to hear that she is going to have a child in the gospels that cover this. But could she really say no to an archangel?

  12. 12
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]
    As a consequence you can find christians defining *anything* as good and proper or at least educational.

    That is utter nonsense–unless you are going to use “educational” as a catch-all. Christianity has always affirmed the existence of evil which, by its very definition, is not good or proper.

    I’m not interested in the prior for which the conclusion is supposed to be a consequent, as it is largely irrelevant. You certainly can find Christians claiming that all sorts of evil things are good, though. (Or educational – whatever.) Possibly not anything which I would take as a mild hyperbole, but very nearly anything. Even things which would normally be taken as sins. This is not utter nonsense to note, but is utter nonsense on the part of those Christians who justify evil as good because that’s what they wanted it was serving God in that instance. Murder is the number one favorite, I do believe.

  13. 13
    Tâlib Alttaawiil (طالب التاويل)

    “rape [...] is something that God intended to happen”

    then nuts to this god character, say i!

  14. 14
    Jafafa Hots

    “Is rape something God intended?”

    Wait… is this a trick question?

  15. 15
    Jafafa Hots

    The god of the bible is not good if judged by human standards.

    Funny, that, since human standards were what were used to create the damned thing(s) in the first place.

  16. 16
    grumpyoldfart

    I wonder how long it will take before an American can get through a political campaign without mentioning god?

  17. 17
    Stephen "DarkSyde" Andrew

    It will take as long as there is a God believed by critical components of the electorate. IOW, FTFF. There could come a time here in the US — perhaps even in the lifetime of a middle aged blogger although that’s ambitious — similar to other nations where it only matters to a meaningful but dwindling plurality of voters.

  18. 18
    No One

    Singing and paraphrasing:

    “Just as every god is a criminal, and all your sinners saints…”

  19. 19
    Gregory in Seattle

    @Francisco Bacopa #12 – Keep in mind that the Gospels have been heavily edited over the centuries by men like Mourdock. OF COURSE Mary was delighted at hearing that she was going to be raped: that’s what women are supposed to feel.

    Or something like that.

  20. 20
    Nepenthe

    God as described in the bible condemns people to eternal damnation–there way no way in hell (pun intended) this can be viewed as “for their good.”, i.e. it is not benevolent. In fact, eternal damnation means that for the lost, god is omni-unbenevolent.

    Why do you worship such a horrific being?

  1. 21
    Recognizing the enemy | The Crommunist Manifesto

    [...] of Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock and his statement that pregnancies resulting from rape are part of “God’s plan” (much the way, incidentally, Trayvon Martin’s murder was part of “God’s [...]

  2. 22
    I underestimated the impact of Mourdock’s rape comment | The Zingularity

    [...] now witnessed firsthand the effect Mourdock’s quip has on women, I can say I misjudged the profoundly offensive nature of his warped view and by [...]

  3. 23
    This week in science | Hotspyer – Breaking News from around the web

    [...] thing as fatal complications from pregnancy, and being forced to carry a rapists baby to term is all part of God’s plan (The medical and child rearing costs on the other hand are the victim’s [...]

  4. 24
    Recognizing the enemy | Crommunist

    […] of Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock and his statement that pregnancies resulting from rape are part of “God’s plan” (much the way, incidentally, Trayvon Martin’s murder was part of “God’s […]

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