Thursday, October 25, 2012

How Not to Campaign for Political Office

UPDATE: As should be expected, Albert Mohler has written on this subject as well, and in a much clearer and better manner than I have below.  I recommend you take a look at his article.

Note to self: if you ever want to tank your bid for a political office, just tell the public that you believe in the providence of an Almighty God - particularly the God of the Bible.  That's essentially what candidate Richard Muordock did when he now famously said, "I struggled with it myself for a long time [the idea that a pregnancy as a result of rape being having intrinsic value], but I came to realize that life is that 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."

Hmm.  Nothing unbiblical about that sentiment.  Why all the hubbub?  Let's break down what he actually said:

1. Life is a gift from God.
2. Rape is an inherently bad thing.
3. God is sovereign over the creation of life, even in despicable situations such as rape.

Hmm.  I still can't find anything in there that I disagree with, or that is offensive.  So why is the media and everyone in the political realm up in arms?  The problem here is that people in the media and political machine are twisting the words to imply that Mourdock meant that the rape that caused the pregnancy (which he describes as a gift from God) is therefore also a gift from God.  This is a deliberate and shameful spin on this man's innocent statement.  The fact that our country has come to twisting people's words in order to assert that they are in favor of rape is disgusting and shameful.

What makes this even more of a non-story is that pregnancies that occur through rape amount o less than one half of 1% of all pregnancies that end in abortion.  But for political reasons, the pro-abortion crowd always likes to know where a candidate stands on abortion in the instances of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is threatened.  Study after study has proven that THIS IS A NON-ISSUE.  There aren't enough statistical instances of these situations to even register on the stat sheet.  But people keep bringing up these questions in order to demonize pro-life candidates through their answers.  It's a lose-lose for those who love life.  If they come down in favor of the life of the child, they look like insensitive jerks because they supposedly don't care about rape and incest, or the lives of mothers who are threatened as a result of the pregnancy.  Again, it's a non-issue, but those who would use these questions and arguments are intentionally and dishonestly twisting words and framing scenarios in order to further their pro-death agenda.  It's absolutely sickening.

Even the President of the United States falls prey to this twisted way of thinking, appearing the Tonight Show just last night.  "I don't know how these guys come up with these ideas..." Obama said.  "Rape is rape.  It is a crime.  And so, these various distinctions about rape don't make too much sense to me - don't make any sense to me."  He went on to say, "This is exactly why you don't want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women's health care decisions."

This response is astounding, at least in the sense that it suggests the president lacks the powers of reason to be able to accurately interpret Mourdock's statement.  If you want to disagree with Mourdock's position on abortion, go ahead.  But for the leader of the free world to play this ridiculous political game and infer that the man endorses rape?  Come on.  Do you honestly think that, Mr. President?  How low have we sunk?  Pretty low, apparently.  Not to mention his reframing of the whole conversation so as to make the debate about "women's health care decisions" instead of what it is and always has been about: human life.

Mitt Romney's response was no better.  He could have made taken a stand by refusing to play in the political game and stand up to clarify Mourdock's statement.  Instead, he distanced himself from Mourdock, saying that he disagrees with Mourdock, and that Mourdock's statement does not reflect his views.  Moreover, Romney has stated that he favors abortions in instances of rape, incest, and the health of the mother (again, a non-issue), so I guess it's not surprising that he played the same cards.

This whole system is hopelessly messed up.

The question is, did Mourdock mean that God intended the rape to happen, or did he intend the creation of life as a result of the rape?  I don't know how Mourdock would answer this question, so I'll only give you my answer: both.  God is sovereign, and either causes things to happen or allows them to happen.  God does not cause sin, but he uses it sinlessly.  For example, God allows rape to occur, for his own purposes, and uses that to create life.  In this, we cannot accuse God of evil, because God did not cause or force the rape to happen.  He simply allowed someone to carry out the wicked desires of his heart.  This is probably what Mourdock was getting at: something terrible happens (like a rape) at the hands of a terrible person, and God uses those bad things to bring about something wonderful: life.  Mourdock's point, I think is that we need to fight to protect life that God has sovereignly created.

The atheistic, pro-abortion response would probably be to ask that, if God is indeed sovereign, then why did he allow the rape?  The answer is that God does sometimes prohibit people from carrying out the sinful desires of their heart.  God does sometimes prohibit people from doing what they want to do, but not always.  Why not?  I don't know.  God has a plan that we are not always privy to.  What I do know is that the Bible says that God is in control of everything, and has a plan and purpose for every action that has ever, or ever will, take place.  Moreover, if God went around preventing all people from doing evil, we would be nothing more than robots, carrying out God's will.  But we are not robots.  We are free moral agents, given the ability to choose right from wrong - to do evil or to do good.  If someone rapes someone else, that is his problem - not God's.  

Assuming this was Mourdock's intended meaning, and even if properly understood, Mourdock's statement is still bound to offend.  People don't want to believe in a God that allows bad things to happen for his own sovereign purposes.  Why not?  Because they want to be their own God, and being able to accuse God with evil justifies their own evil in their minds.  Secondly, because they don't want to admit that their is a sovereign God who is in charge, and to whom they must give an account.  On a lower level, people refuse to believe in a sovereign God because it messes with their worldview, and in particular, their ideas about human life and abortion.  People want to be promiscuous; people want to live convenient lives that aren't "interrupted" with the "burden" of children.  And since belief in a sovereign God would throw a wrench in their worldview, they are willingly self-blinded.  If we could criticize Mourdock in any way, it would be to be wiser than to expect a lost, fallen, and blinded world to be able to discern spiritual truth.  Like I said earlier, this is not going to get you elected to political office.

What Richard Mourdock said is certainly not popular, nor is it good for a bid for a political office, but it is true.

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