At the New Yorker, staff writer Amy Davidson explores the place of faith in the politics of rape and abortion. While most Americans who oppose abortion are willing to make exceptions for rape, incest, and a woman’s endangered health, Richard Mourdock, Indiana’s Republican nominee to the Senate, recently stated that rape victims should be denied abortion access because when pregnancy rape occurs “it is something that God intends to happen.”
Mourdock’s position has been denounced in most God-fearing quarters, but the theology behind the statement deserves further consideration, because — minus the abortion implication, perhaps — it is the sort of faith expressed in Christian houses of worship every Sunday. Don’t most Christians subscribe to Mourdock’s belief that “God controls the universe”? Don’t most Christians agree that every human being is a gift of God and bears the image or likeness of God? If so, then we share Mourdock’s problem of squaring this view with reality here on earth, no matter where we stand on the abortion debate.