Friday, October 26, 2012

Mourdock, God, Rape, and Life

Indiana GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock has a very straightforward attitude about the sanctity of life: all life is created by God (we'll assume he means Yahweh), and therefore all forms of and reasons for any abortion should be illegal. He outlines just one intrinsically self-contradictory exception: to save the life of the mother.

In a debate this week, Mourdock restated this belief in the sanctity of life, going so far as to express his opposition to allowing abortions for rape victims who were impregnated by their rapists. Calling all life a "gift from God" regardless of cause, his statement opposing the rape exception quickly received widespread condemnation from people on both sides of the aisle.

It is safe to presume that Mourdock agrees with his fellow believers in the omnipotence and omniscience of his God. Further, it is safe to presume that this God is also all-loving and a being of infinite mercy.

By Mourdock's own reasoning, since anyone living was created by God, this would means that his God knew, in advance, that the male he once created would one day rape and victimize the female he also once created. This flies in the face of reason, morality, and justice.

Intentionally and willingly setting loose a man who WILL force himself on a woman against her will is immoral. If you were absolutely sure that a man would victimize a woman, and you were personally responsible for his presence in society, would you not share equally in his guilt? If you had the option of tweaking things just a bit to ensure that this man would NEVER rape a woman, don't you think you would have to exercise that option?

The reciprocal questions are equally valid: if you had the option of preventing that woman from being victimized, wouldn't you? If you knew, in advance, of the suffering she would undergo, and you had the power to prevent it, aren't you required by all conceivable standards of justice to do so?

Manifestly, Mourdock's God is cruel and amoral. Those who would enshrine this viciousness into the laws of our country have no business being in a position of authority. Believe whatever you like, but the point at which you attempt to impose such beliefs on people who believe differently is the point at which you disqualify yourself from the honor and privilege of governance.

The right of a woman to choose whether she brings a pregnancy to term is fundamental, whether her life is threatened by the pregnancy, and regardless of its cause.

Finally, his lone life-of-the-mother exception makes no rational sense in the context of his opposition to an exception for rape: if he's OK with a God who would intentionally create both the rapist and the victim who would suffer, then why isn't he OK with that same God killing a mother he created as the direct result of a fetus he ALSO created? It also begs the question: suppose the mother whose life is threatened by her pregnancy is pregnant due to a rape?

Remember: the life-of-the-mother exception shouldn't even be necessary in Mourdock's worldview: if his God was truly pro-life, NO pregnancy would EVER threaten the mother's life.