October 25th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
When ‘God’s will,’ rape and pregnancy collide
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.
Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter
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.
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
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
About this blog
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.
Gosh, The Chard has been silent for what, at least 3 hours?
Where are you, Chardalicious? Still pretending you will only respond to "civil posts"?
Goodness, dear. What a shame you're so discriminatory. I'll bet women are delaying their procedures at Planned Parenthood clinics because YOU, the ULTIMATE MORAL AUTHORITY hasn't given them the go-ahead to decide what's best.
I'm certain that your guarantee of financial support for the potential offspring of these women would persuade many of them to continue their pregnancies to birth, rather than terminate them in the early stages of pregnancy.
How many babies are you willing to adopt, Chard? 10? 50? Inquiring minds want to know. Are you prepared to provide the babies that are born with private school educations? Because goodness knows, public schools won't be sufficient for the inculcation of religious tenets to which you so vociferously adhere, Chard.
And of course, this financial support will have to continue through private elementary, middle school, and high school years in order to guarantee the brainwashing you so value, won't it?
Ah, crickets chirping again. What a shock! I'm shocked! SHOCKED I tell you, that Chad, the guy who values the life of the fetus above all else, isn't stepping up to the plate to offer financial and emotional support to women facing an unintended pregnancy!
Chard, Chard, wherefore art thou a hypocrite?
They insist that the fetus be saved because that is what God wants. If that fetus grows up and becomes a murderer then they insist that they should have that person be executed. Apparently that's God's will as well.
There was no God, there is no God and there will never be a God. The rules and regulations that are made against humanity in the name of such nonsense must be abolished and obliterated into the real history books for real people and reality. Bartonisque garbage and Bible hypocrisy should be cataloged under fiction and taught along with other great deceptions perpetuated by genetically flawed evil humans.
Our minds and our children's minds are ours and not for the taking. Go away, leave us alone or we might get really angry and take your money. Do you get it now? In other words; fu*ck Off, back Off and shut the fu*ck up. Don't tread on us or you'll be sorry you did.
BOO fvckin' YAH!
You can't say that there will never be a God because we've got a pretty good record of inventing anything we can dream up, and God has already been dreamt of.
Got funding? A pilot program? A testing site? A system for evaluating efficacy?
By all means, launch your god project and see if anyone salutes.
No, you shut up. You are on a belief blog where believers come to talk about religion. I'm sick of a vocal minority of atheists trying to push around the Christian majority.
Get fvcked, Eva. This isn't YOUR country, YOUR blog, YOUR say. This is a nation of FREE SPEECH. No one needs the permission of some azzhole like you to speak as one wishes. If you can't handle that, then fvck off. Leave. Beat it. Go blow.Get the fvck out of here and go somewhere else.
Eva, your wacky Christian supersti-tion is in decline. That's great news. Get used to it.
Why don't you go pray about it Eva?
We would like to formally apologize to the rest of humanity, the planet and the universe in general for being such self serving, egotistical, haughty, violent, crazed lunatics with hubris to spare. We are sorry for attempting to convert most of the planet by the edge of our swords. We are sorry for claiming the spiritual and the divine as our own and harshly beating down any other who make similar claims. We are sorry for lying about our neighbors of whom we coveted and sending them to the pyre to burn as witches. We are sorry for feeling superior in our Christianity and lording it over our fellow man. We are sorry for stomping on other humans rights and cultures all while saying "We are better, Our God is better and our faith is better!!" all while backstabbing, lying, cheating, fornicating and stealing goods, property and lands for centuries. We are sorry for trying to shame and guilt others into subservience, it is merely we who are projecting our own shame and guilt. We are sorry, and the good things we have done like feed some poor and clothe some needy can never make up for the tragedy's we have caused upon mankind. Please forgive us, we know not what we do...
Can Christians honestly say that the good things they have done, the feeding and the clothing, were selfless, or were they done to help further the Christian cause? Aren't these things really more like the toys handed out with MacHappy meals, a means to hook people into coming again?
This world is not nor ever will be the KIngdom of God. We were and are all but buildings created by God so He and all His Godly beings can live their days in little want. Only thru our body dying may we be spiritually reborn and made anew within the Godly MicroCosm which is God's alone!
1Corinthians 3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building."
Luke 17:21 "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."
Unless one considers these two verses of scripture and contemplates their Truth, you will be lost and without substance for reason. These two verses are to be taken literally.
Re: "Allowing free will means god is absent"
First of all, "allowing" free will, is not in fact free will. Philosophically, this may be a very tricky mental undertaking, but stick with me and I'll do my best to explain it. If something is free, truly free, it cannot be given. I would argue from the atheist and religious perspectives both, that there is nothing free in the universe. There is always a "cost". Even religious so-called "free will" comes with the heavy price of "obey or pay," —worship and glorify me, or else... So maybe this is a semantic argument, but I think one that deserves discussion.
Now about allowing free will equating absence, let me simplify things a bit for you. I have a child who is prone to accidents and getting into trouble. She's young, but she understands the consequences of her actions well enough to know that when she's doing something wrong. Suppose now, that I apply your god-logic of allowing free will to her. Maybe she understands that falling hurts, but she can't possibly comprehend that falling from the balcony would kill her. I suppose that your god has some similar experience in the universe and there is an equivalent parallel that we can make to human's action as they relate to the universe. Having the mind of children comparatively speaking, where was god to teach us that slavery was wrong? Where was our parent when it came to condemning r@pe? If I allow my child to practice her free will and run into the street, how can I be defined as anything but irresponsible and absent?
GodFree, that's a great question. I doubt you'll hear a peep from the lying Chard in answer, especially since The Chard has no children or is even married and will likely never face either scenario.
Of course, that's if we're all extremely lucky-because who, after reading The Chard's posts, would wish anyone the curse of being hitched to such an arzehole or being the child of him?
I think it's rather funny that those whose arguments hold no substance always end up retreating to fake posts and snide remarks. The fundiots know they don't have a leg to stand on so they will just keep calling people names they invent and in their minds they send all their enemies to some fiery pit of personal vindication "They will Burn! Ha Ha Ha!" It would be funnier if it wasn't so sick and twisted.
Hey,Truth, I am amused by the number of responses I get posted under my screen name in response to my posts on this issue. It's telling, really. The fundies are so desperate to make their case that they will sacrifice their honor, their conscience, and their souls to attempt to make a point. They will lie, cheat, and steal to try to persuade others to their views.
One has to wonder: if they have a valid argument, why do they have to lie about it?
Tag your it, No tag your it No your it! Damn tag team wrestlers one can't tell if their a woman or a man.
*Sigh* It's "YOU'RE", you fvcking moron.
"I think it's rather funny that those whose arguments hold no substance always end up retreating to fake posts and snide remarks."
Unfortunately, some posters from both (all?) sides of the aisle sink to these depths here on these blogs - note @Christians ^^^ above. It's ridiculous... but I guess it does keep us on our toes.
Lameness, those who post under the screen names of other seem most desperate of all. Why should that be, when it's not THEIR personal Const itutional rights that are being threatened? One can only guess at the level of their insecurity.
I know what you mean, Tom, Tom, but I cringe at the actions of some, with whom I might agree on other things, who ran dopey HS off with the same relentless hijacking tactics.
I would like to formally apologize to not only patrons of this blog, but to all of humanity for the demon spawn I have imparted unto the universe. Tom Tom is truly awful, as I'm sure you all know. Atleast she stays inside her cave 23 hours per day, in order to correct bloggers for their extremely minor grammitical errors. Sorry universe.
Daddy is it really you? Why did you do all of those horrible things to my butthole? Strange thing is I enjoyed most of it.
It's amazing the effect I've had here.
We dislike you Tom Tom and your ways. I am organizing a city wide protest of all of your ignorance. You won't be there of course because you apparently never leave the house. Loser.
Oooh. However WILL I recover from the disapproval of some bean-brain? Gosh, I am bereft.
Couldn't you get a date tonight?
By the way, doofus, who's 'we'? Do you have a mouse in your scrotum? Your colon? Your left nostril?
What would const itute "formality" in West by-God Virginia?
The wearing of shoes? The wearing of a shirt without some asinine quote? The wearing of relatively clean underwear?
'grammatical'. And at least is two different words. You're welcome.
Wow. Tom Tom is easily the biggest idiot fvcktard faqqot in the history of mankind.
You mean, other than you, you poor little kid?
Splendid comeback!! You truly have a way with words. Did you write for "Seinfeld?" Your retort was so funny that I had a moment of clarity. You suck. Fvck you, fish bags!!
Oh, sweetie. You're too kind.
I'm flattered that you find me such a threat.
I like to wear my granny panties to the beach. I'm Tom Tom. Essentially, no one likes me.
Apparently, you do. Or at least you're intimidated enough by my posts to abase yourself.
How many abortions have you had TOM TOM? 3,472? Wow, your pvssy must be beat up. I suppose it is for the best though. You would likely pass aids unto the children.
Awww. How sweet of you to inquire as to my health.
Here you go:
Never had an abortion. Never sought one. Gave birth to wonderful children, all of whom are successful, independent adults. Never advised a single person as to her reproductive choices, ever. Never protested in support of abortion rights. Never worked as a volunteer at a clinic or any other facility that provided abortion services of any kind. Never marched in support of reproductive rights.
Any other accusations, honey?
There is no greater crime than the murder of an innocent. Abortion is murder.
Nope. Abortion was never murder even when it was illegal.
Get a clue. Grow a brain. Find a hobby.
People of faith, do not allow yourselves be baited by the evil ones. It is not worth arguing with the lost because they are so blind that they don't even know they are lost. They are to be pitied. They will never know what it is like to be chosen by God.
So 'Blane', how come your god treats certain people as "chosen" and yet lets millions of innocent children in Africa die of starvation and horrible diseases? Either your god is a very bigoted, unfair jerk, or he simply doesn't exist with the characteristics that Christians claim. When one honestly considers those and other reasons with an open mind, it is clear that Christian god does not exist.
Turd be a Tool Tonight, do you believe women who are victims of ra pe should be forced to give birth to pregnancies resulting from such a crime?
every sperm is sacred
Tom Tom you easily win the award for most hours logged on the CNN Belief Blog. I'm not so sure that is an accomplishment one can be proud of. Perhaps you should interact with people in the real world more often.
Why are you so concerned? Do you find it a problem for yourself if I spend every minute of my waking hours here dispelling your notions of "truth," dear?
I don't question the hours you spend sitting on the pot waiting for a BM. Why would you care how I spend my time, unless it's some sort of threat to you and your beliefs?
Sperm sacred? Millions and millions of miniscule spaceships disembarking their homeland and only one ship makes it to a place where they can build their heavenly structured Microcosm of celestial based Life that is us? Sacred? Hardly. The rest of the spermy little spaceships either got lost and their crews all abandoned ship along the way. Sacred" Hardly close to being sacred. Human Conception is a billion to one shot if that. Luck? Yes. Sacred? Hardly ever. Good litlle spermicoidal spaceship whose crews found its' way to build just a simple human cosmos of the sub-set style.
Regardless of whether you think a woman should have a choice or not, let's agree that abortion is evil and move on from there.
Stop describing it in terms of extremes or in terms of a religious tenet and you might have a better chance of having someone understand your point.
The sin of abortion is that abortion is murder.
An "evil?" By what measure? As evil as ra pe? Worse? I doubt it. As evil as child abuse? Ask a victim of such abuse.
Besides all that nonsense, Blane, dear, do you have a uterus? Is there ANY chance you'll find yourself pregnant unexpectedly? If not, then S T F U.
No, Turdy Tool, abortion isn't "murder." Never has been. "Murder" is a legal term and I doubt you have a clue about law. The closest you've ever been to "law" was the day your car was repossessed.
Before any woman gives birth and even afterwards we are but "Buildings", Nothing more nothing less. If therefore, a woman decides to 'abort', that which is being aborted is but a building as far as God sees it. To God, all celestial 'Life' is but buildings for God and His Godly to seek residence in and away from the sun's deadly burning rays. I was once a prolifer but as I now see things, a woman has ever right to abort abort abort for whatever reason.
My laundry needs a good whacking,,,,Thank you for wiping it clean with your arz hole. Just what was needed, a clean arz wipe.
I suggest you get some adult diapers.
Good idea. Get the kind with the extra capacity.
I'll take your word for it Tom, extra strength capacity
Oh, I wouldn't have an idea about your need for containment, dear. I'm just guessing as to the requirements of your bowel movements, based on what you've evacuated on this blog.
Real Tom Tom – It seems that replies by your handle for your post at:
October 26, 2012 at 10:10 pm
was tampered with – please correct me if I'm wrong.
I can't find the post. Which page is it on, mama k?
On page 64, Tom where your original post starts with:
"All this spew and venom from the fundies and yet R v W is intact. "
(I think it's about a quarter of the way down the page – maybe more or less.) But I would carefully check that page. Cowardly Fake Tom was having a field day.
Yup. The crap about "intrinsic rights" is all fake Tom.
Could be The Chard, but my guess is that it's Bill Deacon. He's been absent for a while now, since I chewed him up and spit him out on the Vice Presidential debate thread and he's definitely lacking in the ethics department.
Well I noticed Chad continued replying to my long post about church and state in the midst of some of these fake posts and other than that there were very few posts going on on any of the topics.
(except for the ones by "Innerspace" which I also suspect in Chad)
Wasn't it herbie that you are so afraid of?
I'm more frightened of dust bunnies than an idiot like herbie.
You are terrified of herbie you mention it all the time
mama k, Inner Space is a poster who's been around before. The silly writing belies an admitted abuser. 'Nuff said.
do not cuss,
Love let us,
why to fuss?
You, apparently, are not "god's building," but are clogging up the toilets.
Lets take the two opinions to their extreme conclusion.
Pro-Life... All babies are allowed to be born and live
Pro-Choice... All mothers choose to kill their children in utero.
In one case human life flurishes. (culture of life)
In the other, the human race goes extinct. (culture of death)
One opinion is struggling for life, the other for death.
Cowardly fake Tom, Tom (who wouldn't dare misspell flourishes), again makes grandiose suppositions to support his agenda (that are supposedly the only considerations that lead to his "extreme conclusions"). This is similar to asking a question by including so many narrow, possibly incorrect assumptions, that the only possible answer is the one that you want.
The "culture of death" phrase is one of Billy Deacon's favorites. What a sad commentary on ethics it is that he has to lie about his identi ty to try to make any point at all.
When the human race is in danger of extinction, I'm sure we'll all be well aware of it. Funny thing is, even if it were, it would be no reason to force women to give birth against their will and no reason to abrogate their rights under law.
It always makes me laugh when morons who misspell simple words like "flourish" pretend they know better than I do what's right and best for me.
Cracks me up every time. Why are fundies so friggin' stupid?
Tom's not that stupid. Try again.
Thanks, End. This moronic little fvcktard is amusing, though.
What I find truly incredible is that idiots like this have jobs and enough money to buy a computer as well as a pot to p!ss in. Yet they're so completely stupid they think that any woman who's pro-choice would of course terminate ANY and EVERY pregnancy. How does anyone get to be that ignorant? I've never had an abortion; I have grown children. I have always been pro-choice-I would NEVER attempt to influence anyone else's decision on whether to continue or end a pregnancy. To do so would be anti thetical to the very meaning of "choice." What part of that do these chuckleheads not get?
Prayer takes people away from actually working on real solutions to their problems.
Prayer has been shown to have no discernible effect towards what was prayed for.
Prayer makes you frothy like Rick Santorum. Just go to http://santorum.com to find out more.
Prayer prevents you from getting badly needed exercise.
Prayer makes you fat, pale, weak, and sedentary.
Prayer wears out your clothes prematurely.
Prayer contributes to global warming through excess CO2 emissions.
Prayer fucks up your knees and your neck and your back.
Prayer can cause heart attacks, especially among the elderly.
Prayer reveals how stupid you are to the world.
Prayer exposes your backside to pervert priests.
Prayer makes you think doilies are exciting.
Prayer makes you secretively flatulent and embarrassed about it.
Prayer makes your kids avoid spending time with you.
Prayer gives you knobbly knees.
Prayer dulls your senses.
Prayer makes you hoard cats.
Prayer wastes time.
Then,,,,, there's no hope for those who are of faith?
Dew tells do tell,
Casting worms into the well.
Dew tell doo doo,
We all are a lil cookoo.
Mtn Dew is one dew I do love,
Never belittle the lonesome dove.
Lettuce love all,
Must be really good peyote.
Prayer really changes things
I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".
I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:
I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
by the Alzheimer's Disease Society
The good thing about Jesus is that he can beam magic into a woman's cvnt in order to shut it down when she is having unwanted intercourse. Jesus is the man!
1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.
God's love is in the flows and ebbing of Life's crawling along and ever shifting the pawns for showman's sakes. Inside is truly God's place made in readiness, spots for the human-race.
Lettuce Love Let hers,
More chatty Cathy Paul junk from Gullible's Travels, part 2 I see.
deworming the brains of the compliantly complacent is in the measuring of verbose medicnes thereof.
Eay away and do drink up,
whatever's on plates or in one's cup.
We buildings need to give give and give,
To make it easy for God's kind to live.
Inside do God's kind live in their ease,
Doing this and that for God to please.
Inner dumbsh!t, how's that younger relative of yours faring these days? Has he learned anything about his treatment at your hands by seeing what Sandusky's victims have achieved by exposing their abuser?
My 'brother' is doing fine, thanks for asking Tom. Although he hasn't worked for years, I make enough for the both of us to live on. I even buy him cigarettes. I ask for no money from him to pay our bills. He is of my blood Tom and I will defend him and care for his needs no matterwhat anybody thinks about us. We are brothers Tom. We look out for each other.
What a sad state of affairs you made of your life and his.
We need each other. He needs me and I need him. It really doesn't matter what anyone thinks about us Tom. Our brotherly love will suffice.
Your brand of "love" is not normal, and in a court of law, were your brother to bring suit, would be criminal.
A 12 year old left unsupervised in a bathtub with a younger one seems to me to be the parent's fault. 45 years have since passed Tom. What I did no longer matters to me or my brother. We are nowadays living within our means and although I am the 'breadwinner' he is and will ever be MY Brother whom I love and will defend no matter what comes our way. 45 years has since passed. WE got over it. You Tom are but a maggot seeking to eat my or anyone's flesh to the bones. You and your 'maggots' who lay in waiting will never be ble to get between me and my brother. Act like a lady if one can do so. Stop already with your slimey words meant only to satisfy your own decrepit to the core insinuations.
Less than 48 hours ago, you denied you had committed the acts I mentioned.
Now you admit you're the poster I believed you to be and the perpetrator of the abuse described.
And you claim to a credible poster?
A poster child?