God-Wants-You-Raped-Mourdock Just Wasn’t Smart Enough To Cover Up the Fact That Millions of Evangelicals Like Him Embrace A “God” Who Is Really The Devil

Lurking in the heart of the Jewish/Christian communities — the people of the book — is a strange take on sex that keeps exploding into public view. The Mourdock “scandal” is just the latest episode proving that certain types of religion make people sick.

Calvinist-style retributive woman-hating religion is the illness that’s infected the Republican Party. Republican Tea Party/Evangelical “Christian” candidate Richard Mourdock explained his belief that women should not have access to abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, stating, “I came to realize life is that gift from God.” Romney endorsed God-Wants-Rape-Mourdock and his campaign released an ad on Mourdock’s behalf. Romney’s campaign has said Romney “disagrees” with Mourdock’s comments on rape, but Romney has not withdrawn the endorsement or asked that the ad stop running.

But the media is missing the point: Mourdock just said out loud what millions of evangelicals think is true: women are second class citizens and God ordained and predestined everything, even the bad things that happen to people.

And though most Republicans are running as fast as their press releases denouncing Mourdock will let them, Mourdock is just stating what every Calvinist/Reconstructionist evangelical believes.

Read the Bible lately? There are people who take this violent mean book literally. Want to know what’s “wrong” with “these Tea Party people?” Look no farther than their book.

Worshipping a “god” who sniffs around women’s menstrual cycles, hands virgins to warriors to be raped as a reward, worries about who ejaculates where, wants unmarried women who lose their virginity (pre-marriage) stoned to death, recommends castration so that men can become eunuchs “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven,” is the sort of god who winds up attracting the worst nuts to his “cause” — for instance Tea Party revenge-seeking Ayn Rand crush the poor rape the women candidates who have hijacked the Republican Party.

And those born into that cause imbibe deeply from a well of sexual dysfunction. They are marked for life. Enter Mourdock and company.

Mourdock is a good Evangelical/Calvinist/Reconstructionist. That’s why he had no trouble speaking at a private “Christian school” that uses public whippings for punishment of its students. The Fairhaven school was in the news last year for its public whipping and humiliation of students. Rev. Roger Voegtlin, who runs the church school, had a run-in with the law in the 1970s, but was cleared of all charges. In a CNN feature last year, he said he still prescribes spanking children in a humiliating fashion.

If the history of Christianity proves one thing, it’s that you can make the Bible “say” anything. When you hear words like “We want to take back America for God!” the twenty-first-century expression of such theocratic ideas can be traced back to some of my old friends: the Reconstructionists. Before I fled the evangelical right these were the people I worked with to strip women of the right to health care and reproductive rights.

Most Americans have never heard of the Reconstructionists. But they have felt their impact through the Reconstructionists’ profound (if indirect) influence over the wider (and vast) evangelical community. In turn, the evangelicals have shaped the politics of a secular culture that barely understood the Religious Right, let alone the forces within that movement that gave it its nasty revengeful edge.

The Americans inhabiting the wider (and more secular) culture just see the results of Reconstructionism without understanding where those results have come from—for instance, how George W. Bush got elected and then reelected or how we wound up with a liar like Romney running for president with the support of evangelicals who say they believe Mormonism is a heresy!

Most Evangelicals are positively moderate by comparison to the Reconstructionists. But the Reconstructionist movement is a distilled essence of the more mainstream evangelical version of an exclusionary retributive theology that divides America into the “Real America” and the “saved”  and the rest of us “sinners” and “the lost.”

And it was those “Real Americans” who were Bush’s base and are the backbone of the women-bashing Romney campaign today.

The Reconstructionist worldview is ultra-Calvinist but, like all Calvinism, has its origins in ancient Israel/Palestine, where vengeful and ignorant tribal lore was written down by frightened men trying to defend their prerogatives to bully women.

Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, the Reformed faith, or Reformed theology) is a theological system. This branch of Christianity is named for French reformer John Calvin. According to Calvin his system is based on Five Points: total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints.

In its modern American incarnation, which hardened into a twentieth-century movement in the 1960s and became widespread in the 1970s, Calvinism emerged in its most extreme form as “Reconstructionism” and was propagated by people I knew and worked with closely when I, too, was a Jesus predator claiming God’s special favor. (You can read about my exit from this movement in my books Crazy For God and Sex, Mom and God.)

The leaders of the Reconstructionist movement included the late Rousas Rushdoony (Calvinist theologian, father of the modern evangelical home school movement), his son-in-law Gary North (an economist and publisher) and David Chilton (Calvinist pastor and author).

Calvin’s doctrine of predestination teaches that God established the course of all future events from the rape of a woman to the fact he’s created most of humankind for the express purpose of suffering everlasting torment. This doctrine was not only derived from the dumber parts of the Bible but also from the philosophical concept called the “immutability of God” (unchangeable) and the “impassability of God” (unaffectable) character of God found in the musings of the pagan philosopher, Aristotle.

Calvin lived out the doctrine of forced “predestined” choices. He forced the citizens of Geneva to attend church services under a heavy threat of punishment. Since Calvinism teaches that God forces the “elect” to believe, it’s no wonder that Calvin thought he could also force the citizens of Geneva to abide by the rules of the elect. And Calvin killed those who disagreed with him.

Michael Servetus, a Spaniard, physician, scientist and Bible scholar was Calvin’s longtime friend in their earlier resistance against the Roman Catholic Church. Servetus, angered Calvin by returning a copy of Calvin’s writings, (The Institutes), with critical comments in the margins. Calvin had Servetus arrested and charged with heresy.

Servetus pleaded to be beheaded instead of the more brutal method of burning at the stake, but Calvin and the city council refused the quicker death method. Servetus was burned at the stake on October 27, 1553. Calvin insisted that his men use green wood for the fire because it burned slower.

Fast forward to America’s Republican Party Calvinists — or Calvinist influenced believers from non-Reformed denominations — who have been one of the driving forces behind the religious right and the Tea Party. They may disagree with Romney’s Mormon “heresy” (their word) but are united with him in the hatred of free will, say women’s right to choose if they want a child.

And for those tempted to believe that this is some fringe movement I’d point out that one of the biggest and fastest growing churches in America is run by an ultra-Calvinist woman-fearing-hater  Mark Driscoll and his Mars Hill church.

God “called” Driscoll to preach to men — young impressionable men who are afraid of “uppity” women. The church, Driscoll said made Jesus into “a Richard Simmons, hippie, queer Christ.” He would straighten them out and show that actually Christ was an insensitive fool like him, mean, lusting for revenge on humankind for having disappointed him, and an enemy of uppity women.

And for members of the media who think women-hating remarks by the likes of Mourdock and Driscoll represent a mere “fringe” let me point out that Driscoll runs a mega church with thousands of members and millions of avid followers nationwide. And let me point out that the Republican Platform and agenda might as well have been written by the likes of Driscoll.

Human beings are totally corrupted by original sin Driscoll says and  predestined for hell. “God hates some of you,” screams Driscoll in one of his sermons. And some babies who die go straight to hell too with the rest of the damned, to “glorify his name by their own destruction,” as Calvin wrote and Driscoll quotes. (See the movie Hellbound? for what Driscoll looks like in full hate-filled swing.)

And that’s the “context” of “legitimate rape” remarks by idiots and likes of Todd Aken, Mourdock et al. These aren’t isolated incidents. They are just the political tip of the iceberg America will hit if the Tea Party Reconstructionists in Congress have their way in a Romney presidency.

Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible’s Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics–and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway and Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back.

About Frank Schaeffer

Frank Schaeffer is an American author, film director, screenwriter and public speaker. He is the son of the late theologian and author Francis Schaeffer. He became a Hollywood film director and author, writing several internationally acclaimed novels including And God Said, "Billy!" as well as the Calvin Becker Trilogy depicting life in a fundamentalist mission home-- Portofino, Zermatt, and Saving Grandma.

  • Maggy

    Terrifying. And I believe every word. Please tell the country Frank! OMG we cannot do this America!

    • Frank Schaeffer

      Hi Maggy, Thanks for reading my post. The fact is that the secular media is lazy, just doesn’t want to do their homework on religion or how it influences us. And on the other hand it isn’t considered polite to disparage peoples” private” beliefs even when they impact all our lives though politics. So far too little is said honestly about what some folks are up to.

  • Sophie

    Maybe men like Mourdock don’t want to know their god is the original abortionist. It’s all in gruesome detail in the bible. God teaches the use of a bizarre ritual, cursed “bitter water” to abort a fetus conceived through infidelity. (Numbers 5:11-21). This god promises to destroy the infants of Samaria and rip open the stomachs of pregnant women.Women ripped open. (Hosea 13:16). Looks like abortionists are doing god’s work. Numbers 5:11-21 Hosea 13:16 2 Kings 15:16 Psalms 135:8 & 136:10. This god isn’t pro-life, especially when it comes to making humans kill to appease him. Maybe pro-life should be pro-birth in Mourdock’s world. Make sure the baby is born, but to hell with him/her afterwards.

  • chas holman

    The Governor has NOTHING to say to concerned women.

    The Governor has shown us time and time again what kind of leader he would be when the going get’s tough.

    EVERY TIME there seems to be an issue that is ‘hard’, he avoids it like the plague.

    His mode of operation seems to be that if he just avoids anything ‘tough’ people
    just give up and move on to something else.

    That is not leadership, that is extremely weak and spineless. This is a man
    HE ENDORSED this week for high office and will oversea womens health
    legislation, and NOW he has ‘no comment’.

    ‘Gods WIll’ has NO place in the same sentiment as ‘rape’. Not even in
    some abstract Lenny Bruce joke. My boy just returned in August from
    whatever it is they are still doing in Iraq, and we SEND kids overseas to
    combat extremism brought around by the ‘Gods will’ mentality. It has ZERO
    place here at home in the US Government.

    Governor Romney is a disaster, you can not like the President, but at least he takes stands and you know where he stands on stuff like this. The Governor is acting like a pathetically weak and spineless chicken.

    Expect for Governor Romney to continue him to exhibit ZERO leadership when it is needed.

  • Brian

    The fact that Rep. Richard Mourdock believes that all raped women should be legally required to carry their rapists babies because they are “Gifts from God” is horrifying but the fact that Mitt Romney is publicly and officially endorsing him is dangerous for every single American citizen.

  • Jack

    The abortion debate should not focus on women who are raped and become pregnant, constituting maybe 0.05% of pregnancies. How about the generation of women who want to use abortion as the safety mechanism for their sexual activity, with no emotional/moral/physical consequences?
    While we whine about big business and the rich not paying enough taxes, the greed-motivated abortion industry wants society to accept late term abortions while the neo-natal unit upstairs is saving younger fetuses, that we then call “babies”.
    And you want lazy? How about using someone as a strawman after one poorly-worded sound bite, without giving any credence to his clarifications or any other moral/ethical position the man has espoused. It’s like saying Frank is a bitter, cranky old man b/c that’s how he comes across when he talks about Evangelicalism.

  • Lisa

    Jack, relax. My daughter is a registered nurse and an officer in the Air Force. She has read multiple articles on abortion statistics, and talked with many colleagues both here and abroad. The percentage of late term abortion is less than 1%. In most if not all states it’s illegal to have an abortion after 18-20 weeks unless the mother’s life is at stake or something is seriously wrong with the fetus. Conservative Christians often use late term abortion to rile people up, but it’s really just propaganda. I don’t remember the stats, but something around 90% or above abortions are performed with in the first trimester.

    BTW – As a conservative who feels strongly about protecting the unborn, would you be willing to pay extra in taxes to help support these women who are forced to bear a child as well as their children? The majority of abortions are performed on poor women, who fear they won’t be able to take care of their children financially. Are you willing to put your money wear your mouth is? If not, like most conservative chrstians, you aren’t pro life, you’re just pro fetus.

  • James

    I think this is a great piece. If any person who can read, actually reads the Bible they will notice a god that isn’t quite what they might remember from Sunday School. The issue is most American christians stop actually reading and only listen to the garbage that their pastors or priests feed them. Do me a favor… Read Genesis 1 and 2 for starters and think about it as a could this have actually happened or if their might be a different alternative. If you need any further proof to be an atheist, just keep studying the bible. Amazing.

  • Games

    Its a shame, you expend so much energy for what is basically a distorted view of every issue you present here. If you used that energy to actually honestly scrutinize the views you rail against here, you might come out with a more thoughtful writeup. You condemn the bible, yet you speak with venom that invalidates any moral high ground you might have had. I don’t care what view you endorse, your attitude makes none of it worth while. I hope swallow your pride hard next time and write a more level-headed critique rather than this venom fest that is really only feeding the people who are already walking lock step with you.

  • Share The Words

    In general, American politicians have made a name for themselves as Big Liars. In order to win a political election that they are pursuing, politicians tell the American people what they believe the American people want to hear and want to believe. All political elections comes down to, ‘Who do you trust?’

    Obama was elected president after a Republican had held the office for eight years. Obama took over when the nation was involved in two wars that depleted America’s bank account immensely and when the American economy was on the brink of collapsing. Obama has had to work with a gridlocking Congress. Gridlock should not be used in Congress and should not be in Congress’ vocabulary. Congress is where elected politicians come together, express their views, and resolved pressing issues that are facing the United States of America. The ‘meeting of their minds’ is to engage in solving America’s problems, not to gridlock, which plays with the lives of the American people. This donkey and elephant game need to stop.

    Republican Romney’s supporters need to ask themselves, ‘Is a president showing patriotism to the nation he is serving when one or more of his piggy banks are being fattened in a foreign nation, off the shores of America?’ What do you think, Romney supporters? If Romney could steal a leprechaun’s gold, would he export it offshore to help fatten his offshore piggy or would he use it to help enrich the American peoples’ lives? Romney lent his support to sending American jobs off the shores of America. Is his real concern for the American people or is fattening his offshore piggy his real top priority? Would Romney’s presidency cause an ongoing Halloween and April Fools’ Day in the United States of America?

    Todd Akin’s and Richard Mourdock’s outrageous comments about women and rape–what is with these two Republican elephants? Elephants, clean the wax out of your ears and infuse your brains with this truth. Rape is one of many evils in this world. You cannot justify evil. God created humans with the ability to procreate. God is not with humans when they are disobeying His laws and are doing evil.

    Know This and Believe It:
    On this side of the realm of existence, evil runs rampant, claiming human souls that have become evil. On the other side of the realm, hell houses all of life’s evil spirits and human souls. Hell is on eternity’s clock and hell waits ready to welcome newcomers.

    Americans, do you really, really want Republican Romney’s economic plans managing America’s finances? Choose and vote wisely. If you choose wrong, America will get the Devil’s treat. Happy voting, Americans.

  • Cheryel Lemley-McRoy

    If only the the church fathers could discover and be convinced of the fact that the Holy Spirit in the original Hebrew is the feminine part of the God head, perhaps their opinion of women would change. If Christian women could learn this inconvenient truth, their opinion of themselves would change.

  • Cheryel Lemley-McRoy

    Two thousand years of church history shows that every time the Christian church has become politically powerful, she has become apostate and fallen. I believe if she continues on her present course, this will happen. Another scenario is that the pendulum of opinion and power will swing in the other direction; the majority will tire of the irrational stance of the church’s teachings, and she will become unpopular, inviting a backlash. Jesus gave us assignments to preach the Gospel, disciple new converts, and care for the least of these. We have failed miserably. All the perceived ills of society stem directly from the church’s disobedience. We have rejected a servant’s heart and attitude, instead, seeking to bring moral rectitude through legislation and political means. We have abandoned the poor, instead blaming them for their plight.We do not truly love our fellow man. We have become the Pharisees that Jesus railed against. Jesus said we would be persecuted and there would be a great falling away of the church. This is the fate I see for the Church in America.