How God Gets Stuff Done

How God Gets Stuff Done October 25, 2012

Other people have said it–have been saying all week–but it bears repeating: God does not ‘intend’ rape. Ever. Are we really having this conversation, America?

Abortion is bad, m’k? We are all in agreement on this, whatever you may think of those who advocate for choice. I have another post with my thoughts on life , if you want to go there. But for now, let’s reflect on the appalling truth that a man like Richard Mourdock (did you know who he was before yesterday? me neither) can use the words, ‘rape,’ ‘abortion,’ and ‘God’ in the same breath, and somehow connect them all in a way that abuses and degrades women, while also giving Christianity a bad name.

Mourdock’s comment points to a deeply disturbing trend that runs through western culture. Aside from the obvious misogyny at work here, I see evidence of a really disturbing understanding of God. Which is to say–men like Mourdock really think that God, in order to get stuff done, must use force, abuse, and power-over. In other words–men like Mourdock think that God looks just like them.  For better or worse.

It explains a lot, really. If your God is one of male dominance and class authority, then of course, your God will be one who uses the female body by whatever means necessary, in order to carry out plans for world domination.

It seems Mr Mourdock didn’t get the message–that when God wants to get something done, and there is no penis in the room, $*^! still manages to get done. There was this whole virgin birth thing that maybe he didn’t hear about. But hey, Christmas is coming! Maybe somebody will tell him…Somebody tell him the story of how no male body parts were required to bring the Son of Man into the world.

I know a God who can get stuff done, with or without male anatomy. Know what God did get from Mary? Consent. Look it up, there’s a song and everything. No raping, no pillaging, no ‘miracle of God’ working in the woman’s body against her will. Just something so astounding and beautiful, they call it ‘magnificat.’

The body of Christ comes into the world, and into our lives, by invitation, by consent, by nurture and celebration. While God can certainly bring good out of evil, and healing to even the most desperate places, there is no abuse or violence in the world that has the hand print of God on it. If it is ugly, hateful, forceful, hurtful, or degrading in any way, then it comes from another place entirely. Call it the devil or call it a man; sometimes, they are one in the same.

Men like Mourdock and Todd Akin keep finding themselves in power, by invoking the name of God.  By citing faulty, horrific/hilarious scientific tidbits about the female body and its reproductive powers. (Or, in Akin’s case, its magical contraceptive powers.)  Let this be a sign unto us: they keep calling on an image of God that looks and acts just like them.

I know a different God, and i hope that you do, too. I know a God that empowers women to bring life into the world; a God that gifts women with strong bodies; a God who sanctifies sexual attraction so that the whole reproduction thing will be FUN, not to mention meaningful; a God who continues to call on women to be disciples of Jesus, and to share good news with the world–whether or not there is a penis in the room.

And, don’t get me wrong, I think penises are great and important. But am i the only one who thinks that these old white dudes should really stop discussing our lady business in a public forum? They obviously haven’t encountered any…you know, in person, for a very long time. Again, this explains a lot…

Meanwhile, I’ll say it again. God does not intend rape. Or domestic violence, or global conflict, or an AIDS pandemic, or any of the other horrible things that people cite as ‘God’s will,’ when it serves a political purpose.  When somebody says that some horrible thing is God’s will, we should look very carefully at what they are saying about God. Their understanding of God will shape what kind of leader they will be. For better or worse, so help us God.


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