Wednesday, October 24, 2012



Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, in an attempt to explain why he opposes abortion even in the case of rape, opined yesterday during a debate:

“I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

Leaving aside for a moment the question of when life begins and/or when abortion is permissible, Mr. Mourdock displays a fundamental misunderstanding of how God works.

Put simply, God does not intend that horrible, or even just bad, things happen. God does not want a woman to go through the horrors of rape, nor does He want the children conceived under such horrid circumstances to endure whatever horrific circumstances may await them.

So if God is omnipotent and God does not want things like rape to happen, why do they happen? These things happen because God is not omnipotent. God is not omnipotent because He created us with free will and thus with the power to refuse God, to say “No!” to God and choose the path of evil rather than the path of His will. God is largely powerless to stop people who insist on refusing His love and His mercy and therefore to not follow His will. That is why things like rape happen…not because God intended a woman to be raped. What loving father could intend that his beloved daughter be raped? And God is the ultimate loving Father.

Since God clearly did not intend the terrible crime of rape to be perpetrated on one of His daughters, how could He intend the pregnancy that resulted? Clearly He did not. But God also works, as best He can, given that He must work through people, to make the best out of terrible, or even merely bad, situations. How that plays out under these clearly terrible circumstances is another issue, though it is very difficult to see how He would demand that a woman to carry the term the product of such an abominable violation of His will. But to say that God intends a rape and the immediate consequences thereof shows a fundamental misunderstanding of God as a loving Father…and an overestimation of His ability to control people and circumstances.


Anonymous said...

Don't you suppose by now that you wouldn't have to explain free will? But since you did, thanks.

The Pontificator said...

It is amazing, but a lot of people, and even people of faith, still don't understand free will; they think God can "make" us do things we refuse to do, but He didn't make us that way. And thank Him He did!

Thanks for reading and commenting.