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.