God’s gift of rape?
The following is a real* text conversation that took place on February 24, 2012, between me and @Bill1phd, who describes himself as an “Educated Christian Progressive Liberal and PROUD American.” (FYI, he lives up to it, and he also has a PhD in world religion.)
ME: Did you watch The Daily Show last night? I watched and then watched the Pierce Morgan interview the Rick Santorum clip came from. I feel sorry for Santorum’s daughters.
Bill1phd: Rofl… I feel sorry for women if this clown becomes president
ME: I’m serious. Pierce Morgan asked him what if his daughter was raped and he said he’d want her to make the best of a bad situation.
Bill1phd: I know…. that is his scary world view that he would impose on everyone if he had the power
ME: And to accept the gift of life God “gave” her.
Bill1phd: Haha GAVE her! Rape is a gift in Santorum’s world!
ME: I think he meant the baby is a gift, not the rape itself, but yes, the baby as a result of rape is a gift. From God.
Bill1phd: But by extension… in Santorum’s world rape CAN be a gift.
ME: Is he wrong? Don’t we always say “the devil meant it for bad, but God…”
Bill1phd: Technically he is right… but it is a very harsh right isn’t it
Bill1phd: And not a comforting right
ME: And not a right I would impose on a victim of any faith, including another Christian. So harsh & not comforting, r u sure it’s a right?
Bill1phd: God wants us to see he brings good to all the evils that come into our lives…but I am not sure if he would expect us to declare the good to a rape victim….
Bill1phd: Sure what’s a right?
ME: Sure it’s right to teach “the devil meant it for bad, but God…”
Bill1phd: Oh yes
Bill1phd: Because it’s true… things work out
Bill1phd: Even bad things…. but bad things are still bad.
Bill1phd: They don’t become good because it worked out.
I had to pull this out of my text archives after a week of Todd Akin and responses to his “legitimate rape” comments.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I learned Akin got his ideas from other sources, and much to my chagrin, but not to my surprise, they were pro-life, Christian sources.
And then they topped themselves.
“[I]f God has chosen to bless [a rape victim] with a life, you don’t kill it.” –Sharon Barnes, GOP rep inMissouri
“… even from those horrible, horrible tragedies of rape, which are inexcusable and indefensible, life has come and sometimes,” people born from rape live “to do extraordinary things.” –Gov. Mike Huckabee
Cringe, eye roll, sigh, remove cross necklace and fish emblems, and hide face in shame.
I hate when Christians speak like this, even though, as a Christian—one who believes many republicans will be unpleasantly surprised to find themselves in a lake of eternal fire—I understand it.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done … (Gen. 50:20)
These are among my favorite verses for helping me, a radical pessimist, believe things work out. Best example from my life: Laid off in October 2008, haven’t had full-time employment since, but I’m not in poverty, and you wouldn’t be reading this blog right now, or anything else I’ve written for the past four years, if the job loss hadn’t happened.
But surviving as a gig employee** isn’t the same thing as surviving a rape, or carrying a child resulting from rape to term, or raising that child. As much as I want children and as fearful as I am of the “advanced maternal age” condition that will surely exist by the time I have them (if I ever have any), if a rapist impregnated me, I don’t know that I would keep it.
My heart broke when I read this open letter from a woman who was raped—legitimately—at age 21, and kept the child the rapist—or God?—“gave” her. She says her “rape is responsible for both [her] roles” as a lawyer fighting against rapists’ parental rights and as the “busy single mother of an amazing second grader.” It worked out.
But I see that her choice worked out, not her rape. Had she chosen to have an abortion, that would have worked out, too. (Does Romans 8:28 not say “all things”?)
Anyway, I digress. I just wanted to point out the myopic hypocrisy in Akin’s, Barnes’, Huckabee’s and Santorum’s comments.
The point of this Faith and Feminism Friday post is this: The pride in their inexperience and their rush to judgment without compassion rile me. The arrogance, the self-righteousness—the nerve to think they know the mind of God, that they know what happened to a woman, that they know what she may have to endure as God works good out of that situation, that they know it so well that they can legislate her decisions, and that they know this but don’t believe what happened to her really happened to her?
These men and Barnes claim godliness motivates them, but I say those are unChrist-like mindsets pushing them to trample over women’s rights.
* This conversation has been edited for grammar, and you know how sometimes the other person sends a reply as you’re continuing a previous point, and when you read them back, you know what they were responding to but it appears out of order? Most of those instances have been put in order. Also, I’ll talk about that (…) part next week.
**I don’t want to be a gig employee anymore. Please hire me. I’m an excellent writer!