I'm going to go out on a theological limb and say that while God's ways may be difficult to fathom, I have complete confidence he doesn't go around raping women.
Some right-to-life politicians, however, think otherwise. For them, rape is a gift from God, a special way for him to give some lucky woman a beautiful baby. Abort the kid? That would be like giving back God's present!
Recently, for example, West Virginia Republican Brian Kurcaba
argued against abortion exceptions for rape victims because having a baby is so magical: "obviously rape is awful ... what is beautiful is the child that could come from this."
One state legislator, by himself, saying something like that wouldn't be worth a column, but unsurprisingly, Kurcaba's not unique. Consider, for example, Indiana Republican and 2012 senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock explaining that if a woman gets raped and and impregnated, God wanted it that way: "I came to realize life is that gift from God, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape. It is something God intended to happen."
Rick Santorum likewise urged women to smile and accept God used the rapist to give them a special treat: "The right approach is to accept this horribly created -- in the sense of rape -- but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given you." And Kansas Governor Sam Brownback sees a baby born of rape as "a beautiful child of a loving God."
Now if these guys wanted to say "abortion is murder, so no exception for rape victims," I'd still disagree with them, but I'd understand their logic. Declaring the baby is beautiful, and an expression of God's love? Not so logical.
True, if a woman does choose to keep her baby, something beautiful may result (I hope so, for her sake). But Santorum, Brownback & Co. are talking about taking away the choice, forcing the victim to bear the child. There's no beauty in that, ever, only coercion.
While they do throw in "horrible" as well when talking about rape, the "but" that follows negates it. It's the equivalent of the rape apologist who assures us he objects to rape "but" you can't blame a guy when the girl is dressed like she's asking for it. Nothing good ever comes after the "but."
Real Men Don't Rape
Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or against a person who is incapable of valid consent, such as one who is unconscious or incapacitated. | Photo: |
And to describe the baby as a gift from a loving God? I believe God does things that the human mind cannot understand, but humans understand rape perfectly well. It's evil. If God arranges for women to get raped, that would be a good reason to start worshiping Satan.
Seriously, what do Mourdock and Santorum imagine goes through God's mind? "Hmm, I really think Helen should get pregnant, but she insists her boyfriend use a condom. I know, I'll compel hm to rape her and put a bun in her oven!"Or does God spot the rape in progress and decide "That's horrible! But I know what will make the trauma easier, I'll make her pregnant as well!" It seems to me a loving God would do something more compassionate, like stop her getting pregnant. Or better yet, incapacitate the rapist with a fall or a world-class migraine.
And if a rapist can be God's chosen instrument, why not an abortion doctor or a pharmacist prescribing morning-after pills? Maybe the victim not
getting pregnant is what God wants to happen. Oh, wait, that would require a God who doesn't think exactly like a conservative Republican, and the religious right doesn't acknowledge that possibility.
The most charitable reading of their statements is that the men know forcing rape victims to bear a child is cruel, and they're humane enough to feel bad about it and need rationalizations. This is just God's will. If the woman just opens her heart, something beautiful could happen. Bearing a rapist's fetus for nine months isn't that much to ask in return, is it?
Yes, actually, it is.