Friday, October 26, 2012

Rape: Endorsed by God?!

I'm starting to hate Facebook. I'm trying not to blog every day, mostly because I have a life I have to keep up with, but damnit if I don't sign in and find some horrific thing laying around like dark chocolate laced with arsenic. Just…sitting there, coyly. "Come…enjoy the lethally tasty chocolate…"

What were we talking about? Right, right, Facebook and what I found that's pissing me off today. Welp, there's this Republican Senate candidate named Richard Murdock. On a side note, I'd appreciate it if a Dem would screw up where I can see them, ok? I hate all politicians and I'm feeling the need to scream at the other side. Dems? Get on that. 

Anywho, Richard Mourdock decided within his tiny, tiny brain that making the following statement in a public debate would somehow win him votes:

I believe that life begins at conception. The only exception I have to have an abortion is in that case of the life of the mother. I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that 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.

So, we open up with a fair opinion ('life begins at conception, ') head for something approaching the sanity horizon (he'd opt to allow abortion in situations where a mother's life was threatened,) and then take a sharp left into "I hope rabid chipmunks devour your body starting with your genitals while Nyarlathotep shreds and gnaws on your living eternal soul" territory.

What the bloody unholy monstrous hell?

Now, to attempt to be somewhat evenhanded, Murdock is using the classic political fallback of "That's not what I meant!" His attempt to clarify, unfortunately, make things worse:

Mourdock said what he meant to say was that god does not intend rape, but is the only one who can create life.
“Anyone who would suggest that is just sick and twisted. No, that's not even close to what I said," Mourdock said.

So … God doesn't mean for anyone to get raped … but he did intend babies. Quick! To the Analogy Cave!

This is the equivalent of saying you didn't mean to break that egg, but the resulting omelette was your goal all along. That's logically inconsistent. If you intend an omelette, then barring the equivalent of divine conception (teleporting the egg shell's contents into a pan, let's say) you kind of have to break the freaking egg. 

In order for a woman to get pregnant, there really kind of has to be man-juice involved somewhere in the process. Biological necessity, you know. So how do you justify claiming that God totally meant for that kid to happen with that woman, but the rape was not in the plan?

Was there somewhere else that man-juice was intended to come from? Does God sit up there on his throne and use some absurd version of Quicken to figure out where all the juice is and where it's going to be? This much makes kids, this much in sperm banks, this much in Kleenex…

So, are we saying that the woman was supposed to meet the man of her dreams and make babies, and this damn rapist came along and hijacked God's plan?!

Well…no, because that would be inconsistent with the fundamentalist description of God as an entity

I am not, nor can I, make the argument that God knows all and should stop bad things from happening. We're free agents, given license to be good or bad as we see fit. Rape happens because we are, by and large, a horrible species and certain portions of our species slip over into the "absolute monster" category. 

What I can say is that there is no sane, human reason to bring rape up as anything other than a horrible act that is antithetical to moral sanity in any belief system. Further, there is no reason to start picking at rape and trying to classify, sanitize, or justify it, or worse to declare that it's aftereffects are anything but traumatic and terrible.

Rape is rape is rape is rape is rape, damnit. It's one of the few words associated with painful trauma in our language that has no publicly acceptable euphemisms. None! Freaking suicide has euphemisms. We can't even conceive of a word or set of words for rape that is, as Merriam-Webster puts it: 

the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant.

That's how unfathomably horrible rape is to sane people: we can't think of anyway to make even talking about it less horrific.

And yet, we have individuals bringing it up as a talking point in the course of discussing the application of their religious opinion to legislation. And then they defend each other! Here's Rep. Steve King (R-IA) on Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO):

"Todd Akin is a strong Christian man, with a wonderful family.”

In his statement, King distanced himself from Akin’s statement.

“I have never heard of and categorically reject the so-called medical theory that launched this controversy,” he said. “The people who promote these vicious attacks are paid to create lies and to assassinate the character of elected officials.”

First off, let's take a second to point out that while King's comments might (conceivably) have been misquoted out of context, Akin's were made on the radio. There's not that many ways to misquote a recording of a statement taken directly from a person's own lips. He said it, he meant it, he thought he had documentation to back it up. But King's "character assassination" refers specifically to Akin, not himself.

So that's fairly ridiculous in itself. But then note that he doesn't make the distinction that Akin is a "good" man; he says "strong Christian." I've noted again and again that religious or miraculous thinking used in lieu of critical thinking leads to some fairly horrible places. And here it is again. The gist is that Todd Akin is an ok guy not because he gives two rat farts about the well being of half of his constituents, but because he believes strongly in Christianity.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: if your religious beliefs don't include "live and let the fuck alone" stay the hell out of politics. We are not a theocracy. We have specific constitutional amendments that allow us to live here without practicing your religion for you. And any legislation passed on the grounds that "the Bible says" 

So, again, shut up. Sit down. Take a some night courses at a local college so you can brush up on modern science. And then quit dicking around with human rights while claiming moral imperative. 

There has never been, and will never be, a unified moral imperative. And if you believe it is moral to force suffering on others for no reason other than personal righteousness? 

Then you are as much a monster as, or worse than, any rapist.