Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's rape and abortion comments spark faith debate

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 24 2012 6:37 p.m. MDT

Candidates for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat Democrat Joe Donnelly, left, Libertarian Andrew Horning, center, and Republican Richard Mourdock participate in a debate in New Albany, Ind., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012.

Michael Conroy, AP

Enlarge photo»

Political fallout wasn't the only topic discussed in the wake of GOP Senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock's remark that pregnancies resulting from rape are "something that God intended to happen."

Religion bloggers have also weighed in offering their views on the age-old question of whether God causes bad things to happen.

"It is cheap, easy and wrong to attribute all that happens in the world to God, as this makes God the author of sin and evil, and thus less than all good," Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, former president of the Chicago Theological Seminary, wrote in the Washington Post.

She and Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, senior religion editor for the Huffington Post, blasted Mourdock for suggesting that God would approve of a rape even if the crime produced life.

"There are some things that God doesn't intend. At some point, sane religious people must insist that not everything was meant to happen, including rape — and including conception as the result of a rape," Raushenbush wrote.

Thistlethwaite said Mourdock's theological errors pale in comparison to the hurt and pain his remarks cause rape victims who are "made into political and religious scapegoats today."

Mourdock has said he was misunderstood. "What I said was, in answering the question from my position of faith, I said I believe that God creates life. I believe that as wholly and as fully as I can believe it. That God creates life. Are you trying to suggest that somehow I think that God preordained rape? No, I don't think that. That's sick. Twisted. That's not even close to what I said. What I said is that God creates life."

And those coming to his defense say the remarks have been politicized by his Democratic opponents.

"I think the entire issue has been blown out of proportion," Penny Nance told the Christian Post Wednesday. "The bottom line is that life begins at conception and babies in the womb are completely innocent."

Nance's Concerned Women for America also stood by GOP Rep. Todd Akin, who in August said women's bodies can prevent pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape."

Mark Galli wrote in Christianity Today that this latest example of "gotcha politics" also raises the point that "while rape is a terrible thing, in the providence of God, this too can be redeemed, a tragic event from which love can emerge."

"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," Galli wrote. "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."

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS