Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Sections
Blog Section Banner
 
You are here: Home >> Marie's Blog >> Knowing the Mind of God

Knowing the Mind of God

Nov 08, 2012 — Categories: , ,

In the midst of the campaign, Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock was asked if abortion should be allowed in cases of rape and incest. He responded negatively with this explanation: “I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something the God intended to happen.” Apparently, Richard Mourdock knows the mind of God.

In the midst of the campaign, Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock was asked if abortion should be allowed in cases of rape and incest.

He responded negatively with this explanation: “I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.” Apparently, Richard Mourdock knows the mind of God. As a theologian, I find this notion interesting and I would like to pursue this conversation with Mourdock. What exactly is the basis of this knowledge? How does he know that the fact of a pregnancy due to rape is God’s will?

Maybe these candidates should get their assertions straight. Mourdock’s statement is the flip side of Senate candidate Todd Aiken’s “in legitimate rape, women don’t get pregnant” position. If rape victims don’t get pregnant, then Mourdock doesn’t have to worry.

Then here in Washington State, Congressional candidate John Koster weighed in on the subject, also opposing abortion in cases of incest and rape: “…incest is so rare, I mean it’s so rare. But the rape thing [sic], you know, I know a woman who was raped and kept her child, gave it up for adoption and doesn’t regret it. In fact, she’s a big pro-life proponent. But, on the rape thing [sic], how does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and take the life of an innocent child that’s a consequence of this crime, how does that make it better?” (Seattle Times, Nov. 1, 2012)

Let’s begin with the rarity of incest. The lifetime numbers for children under eighteen who are sexually abused is 1 in 3 females and 1 in 8 males.

Nearly half of the sexual abuse of children is incest (see below). So that means 1 in 6 girl children and 1 in 16 boy children are victims of incest. Hardly rare.

And then the “rape thing”? Pretty important to the over 620,000 victims of rape in the U.S. last year.

But the real issue in all of the sentiments expressed by these male politicians is this: there is a glaring absence in their assertions --- the woman who has been sexually assaulted and finds herself pregnant by her assailant. She does not appear in their discussions; her voice is not heard.

Her bodily integrity has been violated once by a sexual assault. To deny her a choice in dealing with the consequences violates her once again. A rape survivor is struggling to regain control over her life, her space, her body, her self. The law should not exacerbate her struggle but should support her choice which she can make in consultation with her family, her doctor, and her faith leader.

Mostly I am just weary of these ignorant men pontificating about women’s experiences and then presuming to decide for women what their options are. Is there no end to these misinformed and callous attempts to control women’s bodies?

Elections matter. The take-away this time is that no longer can male politicians get away with ignoring and belittling the things that really matter to women. Some of these voices (Mourdock, Aiken, Koster, etc.) will no longer have a platform. What a relief!

Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune
FaithTrust Institute
www.faithtrustinstitute.org

Click here to subscribe to Marie's blog.

*Research indicates that 46% of children who are raped are victims of family members (Langan, Patrick and Caroline Harlow (1994). Child Rape Victims, 1992. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice.)

We welcome your comments. Please note that comments will not be visible until they are approved by the moderator.

Document Actions

rape and God's will

Posted by Debra S. Michels at Nov 09, 2012 08:34 PM
What a relief it is, for me, to read Marie's comments! You have confirmed my feelings and thoughts on these matters.

And re "God's will," calling rape God's will is akin to saying Cain did God's will when he murdered his brother, isn't it? Seems to me like not everything that happens is God's will in this world, where human beings have free will but often lack wisdom and self-discipline!

A country divided....

Posted by Susan at Nov 09, 2012 08:34 PM
Rev. Fortune,

The election is over, and the analysis is in: the country is more divided than ever. Instead of re-hashing ridiculous comments from ill-informed politicians that cause even the most "pro-life" people to shudder, I would prefer that we move forward and concentrate our efforts on issues that unite us rather than dwell on those that divide us (another form of aggression.)

What if we would work TOGETHER on eliminating the roots of violence, e.g. the violence that is "fed" in a constant stream to our children (and us) via "rap" music, video games, TV, movies, etc.? More and more studies are validating what common sense tells us -- media violence IS definitely a factor in aggression and violence in our society. (See ISRA, Dec./2011)

Please- let's spend time, energy, and passion working TOGETHER in educating the entertainment and mass media industry on their contribution to aggession and violence in our society. It seems there is more vehemence toward silly Republican candidates with "Foot in Mouth" disease than there is toward the Rapper Jay Z, who sings (?) and completely disses and demeans women as mere objects (which BTW he did so in front of our president at a rally to re-elect Pres. Obama.)

Where was/is the indignant vociferation and outrage toward this blatant abomination against women? Methinks that it will have to be a Republican politician uttering these same abhorrent lyrics before ANY attention is paid to this part of the violence/aggression equation.
How sad!


Nov. 9 blog

Posted by Mary Streufert at Nov 09, 2012 08:34 PM
Marie,
Excellent post today. I'm presenting a paper next week in a similar vein: on the focus on the woman.
Thank you all for your work,
Mary

rape & male politics

Posted by k at Nov 09, 2012 10:15 PM
9 of the candidates, spewing the creepiest & most inappropriate anti-abortion views in cases of rape,

lost their elections this week.

(specifics compiled approx. 2/3 through transcript:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/[…]/ )

Thank you!

Posted by Diane Weibe at Nov 13, 2012 11:00 PM
Thank you, Mareie. I am so thankful for voices like yours that speak loudly against "the rape thing" comments permeating our media.