Richard Mourdock, the consistent Christian
“I just struggled with it myself for a long time but I came to realize: Life is that gift from God that I think even if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
Ummm . . . what’s not theologically accurate about that statement? Whether we construe Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s statement generously and limit it to his obvious intentions—that the life that results from a rape is a gift that God intends to happen—or construe it less favorably to what Mourdock meant to say but faithfully to Christian theology—that God intended the rape that impregnates the victim—either interpretation is required by the idea of an omniscient, omnipotent God. Given the nonstop stream of prayers that believers send God’s way every second, seeking favorable dispositions of, inter alia, their home foreclosure, their bypass operation, the election, the aftermath of an earthquake and every other natural disaster (belatedly), it’s clear that believers rightly reason that there is not a single aspect of life invisible to the all-powerful God and over which he fails to exercise utter control (even if he sometimes seems to get a little distracted). I mean, if he can perform such Iron Age miracles as ventriloquizing through a burning bush , he can sure as heck prevent a rape if he chose to do so. His will has no option but to be done.
Non-believers are supposed to respect belief as something deeply thought-out. But it turns out that Christians are actually closet Manicheans, unable to live with the unpalatable consequences of their theology:
“As a pro-life Catholic, I’m stunned and ashamed that Richard Mourdock believes God intended rape,” said Dan Parker, chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party.
“Victims of rape are victims of an extremely violent act, and mine is not a violent God.”
So if there are aspects of life that God does not control, he is not omnipotent, but just one magical force among many.
The Mourdock faux pas in airing the ineluctable implications of Christian belief will cost the Republican party. That belief itself, of course, will escape unscathed.