Christianity Today: It’s Disrespectful Not to Tell Rape Victims About the ‘Redeeming Power of God’

On Tuesday night, Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock said in a debate for Senate candidates that babies born to mothers who got raped are just a part of God’s plan.

Richard Mourdock

It wasn’t a “gaffe.” He fully believes it, as do many Christians. But perhaps that diversity of belief within Christian circles is worth exploring, so Christianity Today posted an article titled “Are Pregnancies Even from Rape a Gift from God?

While writer Mark Galli disavows any notion that God “pre-ordains rape”, his attempt at compassionate conservatism fails miserably at the end:

Though a prime example of gotcha-politics, this incident raises other issues, issues weighted with glory even. It almost goes without saying that for Christians, while rape is a terrible thing, in the providence of God, this too can be redeemed, a tragic event from which love can emerge. And yet we live in a society in which many find this view intolerable, outside the bounds — anathema. This is a delicate conversation we’re a part of in America, one that requires us to eschew the cheap advice or platitudes of Job’s counselors, to be sure. Then again, it may be even more “disrespectful to the survivors of rape” to fail to tell them about the wondrous redeeming power of God, even in the most horrible circumstances.

That’s gotta be an interesting conversation to have… “Hey, you know how you just got raped? Don’t worry about it. Jesus still loves you. Now have that baby or else you’ll be shipped off to jail.”

One of the commenters on CT likens it to telling a starving child “God will use your suffering for good.” I’m sure that line goes over well in church and makes everyone feel better about the world they think God created for them… but if you ever say that to an actual starving person, you’re a heartless jerk.

This is why religious extremism and the politicians who openly promote it (like Rick Santorum (who is Catholic), Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, etc.) don’t go over well with the nation at large. The ideas that come from that mentality are just plain awful. It’s one thing to say it in church where no one rebuts the pastor; it’s another to say it in front of an audience that doesn’t already agree with everything you say.

I’m still hoping Mourdock learns that lesson the hard way in a couple of weeks.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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