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
I find it arrogant that those who believe in a God – actually presume upon themselves to speak on 'God's' behalf.
Surely this is the most horrendous of sins – assuming that you are capable of speaking for 'ha shem'. How dare those who portend to believe in an all powerful being presume to be 'GOD"s mouth piece.
I have yet to see anyone live up to the the standard that would behoove one to speak on the behalf of a supposed ' higher being'.
Blasphemy. In the most pure form.
Well, friend, then you are totally lost... According to you all prophets and saints of old, and all Scriptures written by them are nothing but a pure blasphemy! You must have a very distorted view of God, if you think He is not able and/or willing to make Himself known to His created beings which He loves. And how else would He do it, but to make those who belong to Him His mouthpieces?! I hope you see your predicament and the fallacy of your thinking.....
HEY, PRISSY! Did Samuel Barber go to hell even though he wrote that gorgeous "Adagio for Strings" and later added the text of the Agnus Dei to it? Huh? How come you can't, or won't, answer? Too cowardly? Can't figure out how to explain your hypocrisy? Just too stupid?
I think the fallacy lies in the fact that there are so many mouthpieces spouting off different versions. I know, I know.... you are somehow one of the true mouthpieces and all others are false. They probably say the same about you.
Of course, Prissy, everyone who disagrees with you has a distorted view of god.....you are the one who speaks for god, so yu have the objectively correct view. Prissy.......you are an arrogand a$$.
Too Bad that you can't recognize the One True Source!
PRISM 1234, why should we believe what your sky fairy purportedly put in a musty old book for some ancient goatherders? Why can't your "god" get with the times and push some tweets out, or even get with the last decade and produce his own website?
On those grounds alone, a deity should expect reasonable doubt, to say the list. Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there, that can't even do basic stuff on the web that even kids can do.
PrissPot, did you miss my post? I asked you a question. Is Samuel Barber, composer of "Adagio for Strings"/"Agnus Dei", and gay man, in Heaven or in Hell?
On those grounds alone, a deity should expect reasonable doubt, to say the least. Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there, that can't even do basic stuff on the web that even kids can do.
Sorry, Tom Tom. Wasn't meaning to get in the way of your questioning of Prissy.
No worries, Bob. PRISSY won't answer because she/he/it can't do so without revealing what a hypocrite she/he/it is.
Bob, you poor, poor man! For you to think the almighty God , the Creator will stoop to level of corrupt, boastful, bratty western man who thinks the world revolves around him!!??
You've got it really bad, Bob.. But you've got plenty of company, I see!
Up here in Canada, we actually believe that you should choose elected officials based on how well they will do the actual job of running the government. We vote based on real world solutions to real world problems. We don't talk about all the religion stuff in elections like you down there in the United States of Lower Canada.
Yes, it's as you say. All canadians are smarter and better than all americans, Captain Broadbrush.
Canada is a wonderful place. Lots of moose. The frolicky Canadian Lynx. The plucky little Atlantic Chipmunk. The glorious Tundra Swan. The huggable and adorable Wolverine.
And we have the Mounties. Big furry hats too.
Really glorious place, Canada.
this can be explained easly.
there is no god.
How dare you face life bravely... How dare you take full responsibility for human behavior... this is not what MOST people want to accept... now hide... they're about to call you all kinds of names... and shun you... and tell you how their ancient fairytale superhero will condemn you to an eternal hell... and yes, these sick scared cowards may even try to kill you... for being "an athiest"... lol...
If you believe the God of Abraham does not exist, how do you explain:
1. The origin of the universe
2. The fine tuning of the universe for the building blocks of life
3. The origin of life on earth
4. Punctuated Equilibrium: the fossil record showing species experiencing millions, 100's of millions of years of stasis (no change, random genetic mutations are weeded out of the gene pool resulting in a pool 'wobbling about the genetic mean'), followed by extremely rapid change resulting in new species appearing fully formed in the fossil record.
5. The empty tomb, and the unshakable conviction among followers and enemies alike that they had witnesses a resurrected Jesus. A conviction they held so strongly that they went to their deaths proclaiming its truth.
remembering that: "I dont know" for the first 4, and "Jesus never existed" for #5, is not a response that explains anything so it can hardly be viewed as "refuting" any of the above.
I've dealt with points 1-4 in other posts so I won't rehash them here, but let's look at #5.
Let's say that I'm writing a heroic fantasy novel that has a band of people going up against dragons and evil elves and all sorts of Bad Guys. Now let's say that the leader of my group seemingly dies and everyone wails and cries and says, gosh we are going to miss him. Now I want to make him truly heroic, so I bring him back in the sequel by supernatural means, something like the good elf king cast a spell on him that brought him back. Does this mean my story is true and factual or just a good story to keep people entertained?
@Damocles, right, as I recall "I dont know" to the first 4..
and for #5, you're going with "they made it up"?
If they made it up, they knew it was a lie
and you think it's reasonable that people would willingly go to their death proclaiming that something they knew was a lie, was truth?
who dies for something they know is a lie?
I hardly think my answer to the first 4 were 'I don't know' and I apologize if I didn't make my answers simple enough to satisfy you.
What I am saying about your #5 is that it could just be a story. Is that simple enough for you?
@Damocles "I hardly think my answer to the first 4 were 'I don't know' "
@Chad "hmmm. what were they then?"
@Damocles "What I am saying about your #5 is that it could just be a story. Is that simple enough for you?"
@Chad " oh, I understand what your explanation is.. "they made it up"
but, again, who dies for something they know is a lie?
If you really want to know my answers, you can look for them. I don't keep a copy of them that I can paste to these boards like some.
What I am saying, chad, is that the bible can simply be and most likely is, just a collection of stories. By your stance, the stories of Hercules (son of a deity, righter of wrongs, had people willing to die for him) are valid as a belief system.
Sorry chad but when you ask questions you don't get to dictate what answers you think are acceptable.
But as for number 5, how do I explain it ? Easy......it's bull,it's made up, the whole story itself is nonsense. And I don't mean that therefore the followers went to their deaths for something they knew was a lie but that those followers and enemies in the story were also made up.
@Damocles "If you really want to know my answers, you can look for them. I don't keep a copy of them that I can paste to these boards like some."
@Chad "I dont believe that anyone has ever said anything other than "we dont know", so it's safe to say that is what your response was. Feel free to provide a different answer"
@Damocles "is that the bible can simply be and most likely is, just a collection of stories. By your stance, the stories of Hercules (son of a deity, righter of wrongs, had people willing to die for him) are valid as a belief system."
@Chad "Broad sweeps of the hand really dont do anything.. There are real historical figures, and legends/myths. What one must do is analyze the historicity of the claim.
If you are making the claim that the God of Abraham isnt real, then back it up.
If you are making the claim that Jesus isnt real, then back it up.
In fact, point out anything in the bible that isnt real..
You need to provide specifics to make any kind of a credible case. Right?
@Cedar rapids "Sorry chad but when you ask questions you don't get to dictate what answers you think are acceptable."
@Chad "well, I didnt say that, did I :-)
what I said was "remembering that: "I dont know" for the first 4, and "Jesus never existed" for #5, is not a response that explains anything so it can hardly be viewed as "refuting" any of the above"
the key word is "refuting"
@Cedar rapids "But as for number 5, how do I explain it ? Easy......it's bull,it's made up, the whole story itself is nonsense. And I don't mean that therefore the followers went to their deaths for something they knew was a lie but that those followers and enemies in the story were also made up."
@Chad "the entire thing was made up?
Jesus isnt real, the followers weren't real, none of it?
A. Very novel approach.. one that -0- scholars have embraced..
B. When and how did Christianity start?
Chad, why should we believe what your sky fairy purportedly put in a musty old book for some ancient goatherders? Why can't your "god" get with the times and push some tweets out, or even get with the last decade and produce his own website?
Oh joy Chd's back with the same refuted bullshit. What a surprise.
Personally, I always love it when people tell me what they really think. What I don't like is that when folks start crying out about how it offends them and then the person who showed their true self feels as though they need to modify their words. I want to know the devil I don't and the one that I do, so that I can stay the hell away from them.
Keep talking Republicans, I love watching you dig your hole towards hell.
Every pro-life Republikkkan ought to be required to adopt since they're so adamant about forcing women who get pregnant by their will or not to have their babies! But then that would be like expecting everyone who voted for George Dubya Dolt to have been required to send at least one of their children (or other relative) to fight in his phony wars.
It's not about "forcing women" to do anything, it's about protecting the life of the baby.
Do you realize it is against the law to let your children starve to death? Do you consider that law an infringement on the free will of the parents?
If you are going to force women to give birth to a child then force has got to be used at some point.
Do you feel you are being forced to care and feed for your child?
What if someone doesnt want to.. Is it ok for the parent to allow the child to starve to death?
What I would do is irrelevant, chad. I never said I agreed with having an abortion, merely that I agree it is a woman's choice. Starving a child is illegal, having an abortion is legal.
@Damocles "Starving a child is illegal, having an abortion is legal."
@Chad "why is starving a child to death illegal, but killing it by dismemberment legal?
doesnt that seem extraordinarily odd?
"Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
"Salvatore" degenerates to:
"Douglas" degenerates to:
"truth be told" degenerates to:
"Thinker23" degenerates to:
"Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
"another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
"Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
"tina" degenerates to:
"captain america" degenerates to:
"Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
"Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
"just sayin" degenerates to:
"ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
"Kindness" degenerates to:
"Chad" degenerates to
"Bob" degenerates to
"nope" degenerates to:
"2357" degenerates to:
"WOW" degenerates to:
"fred" degenerates to:
"!" degenerates to;
This troll is not a christian.
At least THIS CNN narrative is taking hold with the measley 100,000 CNN viewers?
Competi-tion is tough for CNN. It must be nice to be FOX News and have zero competi-tion for the rightwing version of the news.
I'm sick of tired of this. Your words are not being twisted. People know what you said, Mr. Mourdock.
What YOU seem to be missing is that you are forcing a living HUMAN to go through what is literally physical and psychological torture for 9 months because of a bunch of cells that have the POTENTIAL to become a living human. You are essentially saying that the life of the victim is worthless. People are criticizing you because you don't understand anatomy, or the world around you, and the result is a proposal which would force the victim to go through something inhumane.
What you have described is your typical religious republican.
This is who they are.
Backward, racist, uneducated, violent, paranoid, fat, did I say backward?
Well, you get the picture.
Republicans, like this moron, represent all that is negative in the human race.
Evangelical zionists should be put away.
And hopefully they take the radicals from other religions with them.
Religion: The best form of deception to control the poor and middle class.
I agree completely MT!
nope is false
For thousands of years it has been used as that. Today it's still partially like that, but not quite as bad as it had been although it still has a dominant effect on one's life. I am just glad I let go of that ignorant lifestyle when I was 12 and realized there is no god. Even if there was, religion has been desecrated by humanity and twisted into something no god would be.
Republicans want less government involvement in our lives. Except when Christian "values" are concerned. Then it's the more the merrier. The hypocrisy.
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
But this isn't Christian values, not really its more like "Lazy Christian Values"... If you were to follow the true set of values set out by Christianity then being Pro-life would begin with conception and end with death – a true follower of these values would also be pro-socialized medicine, pro-mother, pro-child, pro-poor, pro-environment. Fundamentally the idea that social responsibility means that we are "our brother's keeper" would guide policy. I am still pro-choice but I can at least respect someone who has true christian values and isn't just cherry picking his values at random and without compassion.
Why do politicians today think they get to decide what a woman can do with her own body? Outrageous.
Short answer – because they're idots.
Oh, you should ask Bill Deacon. He claims he "doesn't care what a woman does with her body." Just as long as she doesn't terminate a pregnancy.
Yeah, they're all idiots.
Trouble having people listen to your opinions in your own country? Don't butt into ours ass hole. There's your sign.
99 out of 100 Christians say "captain america" is not a Christian.
"Douglas" degenerates to:
"pervert alert" degenerates to:
"Taskmaster" degenerates to:
"Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
"truth be told" degenerates to:
"Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
"tina" degenerates to:
"captain america" degenerates to:
"just sayin" degenerates to:
"nope" degenerates to:
"WOW" degenerates to:
"!" degenerates to:
and many other names, but of course I prefer to refer to this extreme homophobe as
the disgruntled Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. writer boot camp flunkie.
Steve, I'm an American who shares your views, and also supports free speech. Please allow me to apologize for Captain America. You're right, he's wrong; and he sorely lacking in manners!
Hey ,captain america has small penis syndrome, his wife told me the other night.
I'll bet she did. Captain azzwipe doesn't actually HAVE a penis. He was born with a cl!t and tries to pretend.
As I've said for my many years, religion, ANY religion is the worst thing in the entire world. It causes more problems and bloodshed than anything else in our short history.
Just imagine how much less arguing, fighting, killing, terrorist attacks and wars, including WORLD WAR TWO there would be if religion was never born. It was, by the way, born or invented, by people on earth. think about that...
Who the hell do you think wrote the bible?
Here's a novel idea, why don't you mind your own F'n business and tell your own politicians your opinions and leave ours to US. There's your sign
You know what, Captain Azzhole? I live HERE, in the US, and I'm fine with anyone from any other nation posting an opinion here. If you don't like it, fvck off, you retarded sh!twad.
Yeah, but everyone knows what an ass hole you are Tom. What mouthwash do you use after you kiss foreign butt? There's your sign.
See here's the problem Capn. Your country's business seems to leak out around the world causing almost everyone everywhere a reason to care about what your government does.
No I like Tom Tom. I despise you Captain America. Do the world a favor and go step in front of a bus.
Absolutely right Steve. Again, please excuse Captain America; he's an embarassment, but all families seem to have them, and I guess he's our shameful secret.
None of you foreigners has earned the right to speak about US, your opinion collectively is way less of value than day old dog crap. There's your sign
I live here dipsh-t. Seriously, there's a moving bus with your name on it.
Oh, Captain Azzhole, you are too sweet.
I don't care if you like my breath or not. Canadians, Iranians, Lithuanians, and Serbs have every right to post here. Get the fvck over it, moron.
I'm sorry "captain america", but I should point out that you have not yet earned the right to post here. You'll need to begin from scratch and rebuild your English skills so that others can properly understand your posts. This is not an official requirement, but an understood requirement of the Belief blogs. I hope I can be of further help, "captain america".
absolutely CORRECT.... sad to think the human race will probably parish by its own hands before they figure it all out......
Captain Azzwipe hasn't even earned the right to breathe the same air as people with brains. He's a moron and should be snuffed out immediately. It would be a public service and deserving of a medal to eliminate such a dolt from the universe.
Hey, Captain America... I couldn't imagine ANY Canadian saying something to any American like what you just said to me. We're too polite... It's unfotunate that clowns like you create a sterotype of Americans that many in the world believe to be true.
I know MANY Amercians and 99.9999 % of them are first class, stand up people, so you are NOT helping your people by hooting off your big, loud mouth.
Now, go and read your bible. Maybe you should pray for me...
Mourdock's God is way different than mine. I found my "God" in the same book he found his in and life begins with the first breath. If Mourdock's community still elects him after that statement, they deserve what they get, and ignorant man for a leader. The depth of his ignorance may be unbounded, good luck.
Perhaps his supporters do deserve him, Keith, but the rest of us certainly do not. I think this once mighty nation will probably fail if pious asses such as Mr. Mourdock come to predominate in our government. In fact, I hope that it does fail in that case; it would be a blessing for the future of the human race. The NAZI party was composed of individuals with similarly twisted logic; and look what they did to Germany and all of Europe. It would have been better if they had all choked on their own vomit!
Rebel, YouTube is not a valid source of facts. Get a clue, moron.
No kidding. I saw a dog singing "Happy Birthday" on YouTube. I think it was a doctored video.
First off did you even watch the video?
Tom why does it bother you so much when someone believes in God?? Like I always say I have never met a happy atheist?
Yeah – it was doctored.
Nope. Why would I care to watch a video from an azzhole who thinks I'm a "jerk," can't spell "cat" without looking it up, and is a clueless boob who can't figure out that women don't need advice from men on how to manage their reproductive lives?
Rebel, you don't even know when to use a question mark. Why the fvck should I care what you think? I don't need advice from someone who never made it past high school. I'm successful, well educated, self-sufficient, and happy. Why should I give a ripe fvck about your opinion on anything at all?
"Tom why does it bother you so much when someone believes in God?? "
Because the next stage is usually....now here is how you are going to live your life based upon my belief.
Inner Tube, get yourself a shrink and meds.
What a worthless video.
Most politicians think they are subject matter experts on everything
this could be true – – it could also be true that prostate cancer is God's Will so let's just see what this guy does if he comes down with it.
if we pray, will he get it sooner? i will go back to church if people like this exit early.
There is so much suffering in the world...so many children hurt by those who should be protecting them and caring for them. It is heartbreaking to read this.
So true...and I think painful accounts like this are a reminder that we don't hold the right to judge others when we don't know what they have endured.
karl rove's plan to take over the "gub'mint" is perfect, except for the fact that his minions are idiots. they can't keep the fecal matter in their heads from periodically exploding out of their mouths. great for colbert though, so keep it coming. comedic material would be the one and only upside to a mittsy win.
We continue to see the Jukin N Jivin Prez O – DUCK the questions regarding the purpose of the Mohammad video diversion??? All Americans should take umbrage with any President who thinks he does not have to answer a question of this magnitude, before we cast our ballot. This has nothing to do with gathering intelligence anymore. What are you hiding? Honorable men LOST their LIVES. When do we draw the difference between American lines and party lines? >We are watching and listening.<
What's your conspiracy theory Johnny? Let's hear it.
f u johhny. f u.
If there was some conspiracy theory, the most reasonable would be some ultra-right wingnuts being involved with significant dirty money to make the prez look bad x number of weeks before election.
Wrong thread Johnnie. Wrong thread. Try reading.
Christianity without compassion isn't Christianity Mr. Mourdock.
What a simple yet elegant statetment. If only more Christians would remember that.
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.