By Wayne Drash, CNN
(CNN) - The pregnant 12-year-old girl was strung out on heroin and looked like a walking skeleton when she arrived at the hospital. The conversation that followed, said Phoenix police chaplain John South, has stuck with him ever since.
“Do you know who the father is?” South recalled asking her.
“She said, ‘Yes, it’s my biological father. He’s the one who hooked me on heroin so he could continue to rape me whenever he wanted to.’ ”
The Protestant chaplain has consoled about 50 pregnant rape victims - typically girls raped by their fathers - in his years working with the Phoenix Police Department.
South describes himself as “pro-life,” but when it comes to dealing with a girl or woman impregnated by a rapist, he keeps his personal views to himself.
“I don’t give them a lecture or preach at them,” South said. “I’ve seen crimes beyond comprehension.”
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock stirred controversy during a debate in Indiana Tuesday when he said pregnancies from rape are “something that God intended to happen.” The instant reaction in political circles was predictable: Democrats decried him, and many conservative Republicans defended his position as steadfastly “pro-life.”
But theologians were quick with a more nuanced approach, saying the issue of pregnancies from rape strikes at the core of a timeless question: How do you explain evil in a world where God is loving?
That said, many expressed outright dismay by Mourdock’s remarks.
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South wanted to know what Bible Mourdock reads because “what he’s saying is absolutely wrong. It’s not biblical.”
The police chaplain said pregnancies from rape aren’t meant to be politicized and said the victims suffer from physical and mental wounds and are often suicidal. About 60% of the time, South surmised from his experience, the women or girls choose to give the baby up for adoption, as long as they never see the child at birth.
“I hurt for these kids,” he said. “Rape is evil.”
Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of the best-selling book “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” said Mourdock’s remarks were off-base: “He’s invoking the will of God where it is not appropriate."
People “should have compassion for the person whose life is messed up by this and not make her an instrument for our idiosyncratic, theological commitment,” Kushner said.
“If you believe she has no right to terminate that pregnancy, you're free to believe that,” Kushner said. “But for you to write your preferences into law and compel another person to mess her life up because of what you believe, I think you're going too far.”
“I continue to be bemused by the ultraconservative lawmakers who say they want smaller government and less government intrusion into people’s lives, except when it comes to who you can marry and how many children you should have.”
Plenty of liberal Christians bemoaned how Mourdock was being perceived by some as the face of American Christianity.
"Once again, expressions of Christian faith that honor the rights of women to choose their own health care options and what happens to their bodies are not seen or heard," wrote the Rev. Barbara Kershner Daniel, who pastors the Evangelical Reformed United Church of Christ of Frederick, Maryland, in a message that she circulated via email.
"The lack of another voice, another perspective, another vision from the Christian community leaves an impression that all Christians share this single perspective about pregnancy through rape," she wrote.
Father Tom Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, said he found Mourdock’s comments troubling from a Catholic perspective because “God does not want rape to happen.”
“Someone getting pregnant through rape simply means biology continues to function,” Reese said. “That doesn’t mean God wills it.
“If we look at the Scriptures, we see a God who weeps with those going through pain, who is compassionate for those who suffer and condemns those who do injustice,” Reese said
During the Tuesday debate, Mourdock was explaining his opposition to abortion in cases of rape or incest when he made his remark. “I came to realize life is a gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” said Mourdock, the Indiana state treasurer.
Amid the uproar Wednesday, Mourdock sought to clarify his comments, saying he was sorry if he offended anyone but said his comments were twisted and distorted for political gain. “The God that I worship would never, ever want to see evil done,” he said.
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Paul Root Wolpe, the director for the Center of Ethics at Emory University, said Mourdock’s comments were the equivalent “of saying you shouldn't pull people out of the rubble because God intended the earthquake to happen or we shouldn't try to cure disease because it's God who gave us the disease,” Wolpe said.
"That perspective was theologically rejected by virtually every major religion a long, long time ago,” Wolpe added.
Mourdock has been an active member of Christian Fellowship Church in Evansville, Indiana, for nearly two decades, according to Mike Deeg, the executive pastor of the 2,000-plus member nondenominational evangelical church.
Mourdock has gone on missions trips with a group connected to the church to Bolivia and is well-regarded among congregants Deeg said.
Deeg says the church tries to remain largely out of politics. “We don’t think God is Republican or a Democrat,” he said by phone from Evansville, noting they encourage members to vote, the church just doesn’t say for whom.
The pastor said of what he has read about Mourdock’s remarks, they largely lined up with the church’s teachings on the sanctity of life and their belief that life begins at conception.
“I think rape is a horrible thing, and I think God would condemn rape as horrible,” Deeg said. “I think we’re made in the image of God regardless,” he added, “I don’t think the circumstances dictate whether God knows us and loves us, regardless of how our conception comes about.”
South, the chaplain in Phoenix, said the 12-year-old girl he met years ago opted for an abortion and her father was ultimately convicted of rape. He said he grappled often with “why she was subjected to such horrendous pain and torture, mentally, physically and emotionally.”
“Did it shake my faith? No,” South said. “Did I ask God why? Of course.”
CNN’s Eric Marrapodi contributed to this report
The dumbest idea ever was "no God". Guess people actually believe we came from nothing :-)
Complete non-sequitur. Congrats on showing your lack of critical thinking.
The answer "big invisible sky wizard did it with magic spellz" is NOT better than the honest "we don't know."
It takes more critical thinking to evaluate the evidence of a intelligent design than to throw up your hands and say we came from nothing!
You are so right! Ya know calling yourself an atheist os really dumb because there will never ever be proof that there is no God, therefore since there will never ever be proof that there isn't a God, why not believe there is a God?
I'm not sure anyone would say they know for sure that we came from nothing; but there are certainly people who are confident that the God of Abraham is as fictitious as any other kind of god that man has dreamed up over the millennia.
So did god come from nothing?
There is no connect from "no god" to, we came from nothing. Hence the non-sequitur. You also have some words in there that could have multiple meanings, such as god, and nothing. So not only is your assertion a fallacy, but it also employs some very ill defined words.
Atheism does not equal the belief that there is no god. This has been pointed out to you many times, but then again when have you cared about facts and accuracy? Oh right, only when it suits you.
Unashamed your a beast!!!
@Rebgel4Christ: Because you have to rely on the belief of other men in the present or men who have lived and wrote things that are not provable and highly suspect (in order to get any kind of description of what a higher being might be). Some people are just better than others at recognizing rehashed spam when they read and study it. Spam did exist before computers you know.
Rebel,which god? There are so many to choose from.
"Why not believe in god?" Why not believe in unicorns?
Rebel. It's "you're", not "your".
How much critical thinking did you do to account for a belief in god, unashamed? Any? Doesn't appear so. Why would it make more sense to stop seeking answers as to how the universe began and simply throw up your hands and say "goddidit"?
. Don't waste time trying to educate Rebel. It's not possible.
@Rebel4Christ (to continue) so, especially when it concerns the supernatural, you need to have some proof, otherwise, it's most likely not true. Add the unproven writings of witnesses etc., and then include with it, other older, obviously rehashed folklore under it as a basis, and walla, you have one messed up unfounded religion. That's Christianity!
Experiments simulating the environment of the early earth have resulted in the production of virtually every amino acid and DNA base pair needed for life. Simple pseudo-organisms like viruses will even self assemble if you give them all the parts they need to do it. Does this mean life couldn't have been engineered? No. However, it certainly implies that intelligent design isn't a requirement and when I'm presented with two viable hypothesis I tend to go with the simpler one.
You also cannot prove that your alleged "god" just always existed! How can something come from nothing? Infinite regression. You are in the same predicament, religious dolt!
And why not believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster? You cannot disprove FSM's existence. There will never ever be any proof against the claim that FSM exists and is the one and only true cause for everything! Up yours, religious retards!
It takes more critical thinking to evaluate the evidence of a intelligent design than to throw up your hands and say we came from nothing"
You are confused as to who throws up their hands. Science keeps exploring, the religious lot throw their hands up and say "it was god, no need to look at anything else"
unashamed: how do you make that logical leap from a creator to a "god"?
rebel4christ: since you will never be able to prove there is no flying spaghetti monster, or leprechauns, why don't you believe in the flying spaghetti monster, or leprechauns?
Why won't the Mormons use their magic underwear to solve all our problems?
1Cr 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.
Our bodies being but "buildings" in God's eyes should make it simple when considering an abortion then? Women are aborting God's buildings are they not? To God and God's Godly, it doesn't matter much if a building is built to term or destroyed before completion. Heck, It matters little to God and the Godly as to what their buildings do as long as these "buildings" continue on eating and drinking things for them, the Gods and Godly residents of our body/building to find consumable.
Ain't this sum tin by God?
Pro-choicer I am
1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.
Unfortunately, this is politics as usual in a presidential race. It's not that difficult to understand what Mourdock was thinking. If you believe we live God's will (I don't btw) and that all that happens in His world happens for a reason, it follows that God has a reason or even a purpose for every single event, a worthwhile purpose. It might be something few, if any could understand but that's the character of the world in which those believers reside. Mourdock did not claim that he wished pain and suffering on anyone. Personally, I would not vote for a candidate who did not support a woman's choice. I think for most women having an abortion is a very personal and emotional moment that lasts a lifetime.
n 2010, Republicans used jobs to get control States and congress. Many of these states run by republicans laid off employees to boost the unemployment. All them have worked on laws to restrict abortions, voting, none worked to create jobs. Except Ohio where Obama helped Auto sector which also helped WI, MI, IN, TN,MO and PA. Primary Agenda for Republicans: Over turn Roe vs wade, kill medicare , social security and student loans, subjugate women, mandate religion, occupy middle east( exterminate muslims) for oil/Jesus, make or allow war for control resources and promote christianity. Reagan: South America/Lebanon/Afghanistan/Iran-Iraq, Bush Sr: Iraq/Bosnia, GW Jr: Iraq and Afghanistan
Why do we allow old gray haired MEN to dictate to us what we should do with our bodies? It is time we stop it and not be allowed to go back into the early 1900'a.
Holly~It isn't just the gray haired old men, It's Gods voice of reason and the voices of all of those lives that were ended because someone made a mistake. Are you happy that your parents decided to keep you or not? Why shouldn't all life form have the same chances at living as anyone else? Because of inconvience?
Kelly, shut up and get back in the kitchen.
Mr. Mourdock shouldn't be in public service if that's the best he can do to keep his religious views out of his politics.
Christians are experts in telling telling other people they are sinners or telling each other they are "not the right kind of Christian" in one way or the other. This has always been the case. Different Christian sects were even feuding and persecuting each other around the time of the founding of the U.S. in several states (or soon-to-be states). Because this feuding between these sects annoyed our founders so greatly, they made it a top priority to establish the separation of church and state (and to make it Amendment #1 of our Constitution). This is also reflected in what they had to say on the matter:
James Madison (our 4th President, was the chief architect of the U.S. Constitution):
During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.
(A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, 1785)
and then ten years later:
Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?
(A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of VA, 1795)
Thomas Jefferson (our 3rd President, was the key author of the Declaration of Independence)
Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.
(Letter (as POTUS) to the Virginia Baptists (1808))
and then of course we have clarifying moments in history such as:
President John Adams and the U.S. Senate on behalf of the U.S.
As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;
(from Article 11 of the U.S. treaty ratified with Tripoli in 1797)
Senator John F Kennedy said on Sept. 12, 1960, just prior to his winning the Presidential election:
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.
typo correction: subtract one "telling" in first sentence.
Sorry – that was one too many "telling" in my second sentence.
why arent my post posted?
o “bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN “awaiting moderation” filter:
Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the “offending” letter combinations.
ar-se…..as in Car-se, etc.
co-ck…..as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
co-on…..as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
cu-m……as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
cu-nt…..as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters…!
ef-fing…as in ef-fing filter
ft-w……as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
ho-mo…..as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
ho-rny….as in tho-rny, etc.
jacka-ss…yet “ass” is allowed by itself…..
ja-p……as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
koo-ch….as in koo-chie koo..!
pi-s……as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
pr-ick….as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
ra-pe…..as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
se-x……as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
sh-@t…..but shat is okay – don’t use the @ symbol there.
sp-ic…..as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
ti-t……as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
tw-at…..as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
va-g……as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
who-re….as in who’re you kidding / don’t forget to put in that apostrophe!
There are more, some of them considered “racist”, so do not assume that this list is complete.
Allowed words / not blocked at all:
raping (ra-pe is not ok)
shat (sh-@t is not ok)
you probably spelled râpe with an 'a' or used some other rude word fragment like t-it (t;tle) or c-um (docvment).
There is a word filter that prevents posts that contain these naughty words.
yours is an old list. Missing, from the top of my head: cl-it, f-ag, w-op plus some others.
Let's see, the Maternal Mortality Ratio, or the number of women who die due to pregnancy and child birth, runs around 12 per 100,000 live births. If this were a any other condition or procedure, and you were told that you had even this slim chance of dying if you went through with it, would it be right for society to force you to? Pregnancy is still risky for women, even in this country, and these people want to force women to take that risk? Amazing!
Still interested to see the long implications of a population that discards 20 % of viable offspring per year while other populations don't.
Just curious what the mortality rate of the unborn children who are aborted is.
Oh Don that's just so cleve of you. Well, it's 100%. And they taste like chicken. They're not children yet, though, so no worries.
GlendaK...Would you like to be frozen in a lab? Then lets not do it to our children. A fetus's place is in the womb.
A fetus (for at least most of the pregnancy) is a ball of cells that has never had a thought, never heard a song, never had a dream, never loved, never hated, never... well you get the idea. A fetus has no characteristics which would be ascribed to "personhood". Why then should it be treated like a person simply because it has the possibility of becoming one? Your sperm has the same possibility, but thousands of those died the first time you had a wet dream.
A fetus' place is in my stir fry over a hot, hot wok.
That is a completely false statement to say it is a ball of cells for most of a pregnancy. And to say a fetus is worth less than you because of its brain function shows how misguided you are. Otherwise those with Down's syndrome are worthless as well...that's a nazi mentality. And those who are smarter than you are worth more than yourself. Human life at ANY stage has worth and value or no one does.
This is a repost, since you ignored it on another thread.
Use whatever label you want. I don't care if you want to call it fetus, child, baby or whatever, the crux of the discussion is:
1) When are personhood rights attained?
2) Why should the bodily autonomy rights (namely her body being used against her will as a life support system for a seperate entity, if you want to label it as a child from conception) of the mother trumped when this is not the case at any other point in a humans life?
The typical dumb-ass bible-thumping Repulikkkan thinks "god" is justified in raping, murdering, doing magic tricks ("miracles"), etc., when at the same time, it is perfectly OK for this alleged "god" to tell mankind, "Do as I say, not as I do." What a bunch of fucking Retards!
Hey don't say 'retard'.
I'm so bored to see God to be exploited for politics or whatever. Please, can we be less hypocrites?
“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion.”
–Steven Weinberg (American, Nobel-prize winning physicist)
But then it's still questionable whether stupid bible-thumping Republicans are actually "good people."
I try and keep in mind that most of them have had this sillyness poured into their ears since they could understand english. Its tough fighting an ideology that ingrained. Its even harder to get people to give up the idea that their going to live forever in a magical fantasy land. All you can do is keep showing them logical, reasonable arguments for why religion is silly and hope that one day they get it.
Bill, it's "silliness" and "they're". Is there no hope for you?
Agree. The point is what does good people mean? The concept of good people should be universal, but it is not. Example: if a "good Christian" helped a Muslim, I'm sure that it would be a scandal for some people. And maybe vice versa (I have no idea, I'm not a Muslim) Why? I do not understand our society anymore. In the 70's I was a little girl, I grew up in Europe and I remember a happy environment: people didn't hate each other. Now everything is different, everybody is ready to judge and condemn. I remember that my father was used to speak about common sense, and it seemed to be a golden rule, but where is it now?
Whatever your so-called faith based views on life are, they have no , none zero , zip , nada place in politics in this country. I I can't believe any of these christian conservatives can get elected dog catcher!
The dumbest idea ever was "God". Proud to be an American Atheist.
I know, but people are scared sick of dying and they need to believe that all this bad crap happens for a reason. So here we are in the 21st century still believing the same rediculous stuff with a different spin. So sad.
* it is spelled "ridiculous"
Thanks for spell-checking me. Do you have anything useful to add?
No, it's riddikulus! Get those boggarts outta here.
The pro-lifers are all about forcing women to have unwanted children. The trouble is that most of them belong to the Republican party who's policies would eliminate or cripple the systems that ends up supporting those unwanted children. Try wrapping your head around that paradox.
Bill G. Why not teach abstinence?
how exactly does abstinence apply to râpe?
Abstain from being a râpist. Abstain from being a râpe victim.
Bill. It's "whose", not "who's". Your posts would have a little more clout if they appeared to be written by a grownup.
Hey '*' : It's spelled 'fuck off, spelling nazi'.
Ann. Nazi is a proper noun. You didn't capitalize it. Did you go to the same school as Bill?
If spelling and/or poor grammar disqualified one's arguments, half of the articles on CNN would have to be thrown out. Now, do you have something useful to contribute?
Did your mom have any kids that lived?
Well, Bill, did she?
Apparently, the answer to my question is "no". Congratulations on your top-notch spelling, but maybe you should work on your critical thinking.
And, Bill, you didn't misspell "who's", it's the wrong fucking word.
You should spend less time whining and more time sucking my dick.
And your comments might have more relevancy if it weren't a string of ad hominems.
There is still no intelligent point in sight, but at least you made me laugh.
@William: “Why not teach abstinence?”
Teaching abstinence only creates more women who need abortions. Why not teach birth control
God seems to be making people dumber by the day.
And the fools that believe there is a god have a head start.
I guess you missed the sarcasm.
Just another stupid republican. I sometimes wonder how these people made it this far in life.
And yet Romney, and those like him may still be elected. If Romney is elected (very unlikely) I believe we will see civil unrest on an immense scale.
Ain't this sum tin?
Another disguise of Satan's ... abortion and assisted suicide = taking as many of God's children with him to the flames of the eternal fire.
William please stop LoL
Go read your bible again, see all the innocent children God killed. And we're talking a lot, even back then before the world's population was in the billions. Oh, and let's not forget about all the innocents who are dieing right now on a daily basis, because your God refuses to use his omnipotent power to help them.
Is it NOT written that WE are God's Buildings? What does it really matter to God which of His buildings not yet born, come to term or are terminated before term? Don't be slinging satanic dribble on me and my words which BTW are in God's views written so in the Bible/Gospel/ KJVB. 1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's BUILDING."
Only for the new members of this blog:
Mourdock, the "not too intelligent" politician, should have said, "the morning after pill and ra-pe kits basically vitiate any pregnancy results of ra-pe with said ra-pist getting 20 to life if convicted. " In the case cited in the topic, the "father" should have been given the death penalty.
And a prayer just for Mourdock and a-nalogous red-neck Christians:
The Apostles' Creed 2012: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)
Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??
I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)
Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,
He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.
(references used are available upon request)
JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")
Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.
Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.
Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.
Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!
So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man or Mr. Moudur would do or say?
Why do women get demeaned and degraded at a trial for a rapist? Why do rapists get off a few years then released? To go into society again to destroy women throughout the world.
We care because his followers (ie romney mourdoch) might get elected, and do things that are not good for the country as a whole.
P.S. You left out the part about moses his magic mushrooms and the burning bush a burning bush W T F If I were God, I woulda appeared as a giant talking head like in the Wizard of Oz.
And people want to vote for Romney who endorses this creep....wonders never cease. Remember the next victim could be your daughter...vote wisely.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.