Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said Tuesday when a woman is impregnated during a rape, “it’s something God intended.”
Mourdock was asked during the final minutes of a debate whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest.
He replied: “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that’s something God intended to happen.”
Thankfully, Orthodox theology does not require that one believe that God intended for rape to happen. We do not believe in the one decree that governs everything such that Calvinists are constantly having to explain how the one decree also decrees evil. But, Mourdock was not talking directly about that, but rather about the idea that a woman who is impregnated during rape has a child whom God intended to be there. It is that statement about intention that causes the problem. Because, really, when one talks about intention, one has to include all the steps that led up to that pregnancy. Each step leading to the pregnancy is a necessary prequel and consequence for the intention. In effect, if God intends a baby, then God is responsible for the preceding steps. Lest you think I am exaggerating, look at the Westminster Confession of Faith and see how many lines it spends in explaining the concept of first cause, subsequent cause, etc. I am not making up some liberal argument, it is something with which the Westminster Divines had to deal and one that has been discussed in various forms of Calvinism ever since.
But, more than that, think back on the various statements that have been made about women in this campaign, from the various deliberate lies about what Sandra Fluke really testified about to the statements that God had created a defense mechanism such that women who are raped have a significantly lower chance of becoming pregnant. Think of how God’s name has been used to justify some absolutely awful and untrue medical statements. More than that, in defense of pro-life themes, think of how biology has been twisted beyond what research shows to support political ends. Both God’s intentions and medical research have been twisted in order to try to argue against abortion in the case of rape or incest.
Am I against abortion in cases of rape or incest? Absolutely! But, not at the cost of twisting theology nor at the cost of twisting medical research. I will willingly argue for the life of a child in the womb who is another victim of rape or incest, just like his/her mother is a victim. But never at the cost of twisting truth or sound theology. Sadly, that is what all too many conservative politicians are doing. And, even more sadly, that is what some Christians are doing.