IF YOU ARE PREGNANT FROM RAPE,
IS IT WHAT GOD INTENDED?
Running for the United States Senate in the state of Indiana, Republican candidate Richard Mourdock declared at a public debate with his opponent Tuesday night that God intends pregnancies that result from rape to occur.
For this reason, Mr. Mourdock said, he opposes abortion even in the case of rape or incest, the cable news network CNN has reported.
Mr. Mourdock joins Republican Congressman Todd Akin, who is seeking to advance to the U.S. Senate seat from Missouri, and Republican Congressman Joe Walsh, running for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in Illinois, in placing before the American public yet another statement regarding pregnancies and abortion that appear to be significantly in disharmony with the views held by the majority of American women.
Taken together, those statements are these…
From Mr. Akin: In cases of “legitimate rape,” a woman’s body automatically biologically rejects insemination and therefore, pregnancy rarely occurs in such cases.
From Mr. Mourdock: “I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.” Mr. Mourdock said he would not oppose abortion if a mother’s life was in danger.
From Mr. Walsh: Abortion as a life-saving procedures are not needed because “with modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” in which an abortion would be needed to save the life of a mother. After a firestorm of objections for the next 24 hours, Mr. Walsh the next day amended his statement, acknowledging that there might be “very rare circumstances” where life-saving abortions might be required.
All three candidates have had the stout support of the so-called tea party in the U.S., which has been seeking to move the Republican Party further to the right in setting the political agenda for America.
And so, for the third time in three months and the second time in two weeks, the American people, and women in particular, have had their most basic and sacred spiritual beliefs placed on the line as they go into voting booths or mark their advance ballots in U.S. election just ahead.
It has been said that politics are—or certainly should be—the civic-action outcome and the on-the-ground product of a person’s most sacred and important beliefs. If this is true, the American election could turn on the question of what God wants. Mr. Mourdock has made it clear in written statements to reporters following his debate on Tuesday that he was not in any way suggesting that God wants women to be raped. Yet if such a heinous thing should occur, he said, and it resulted in the woman becoming pregnant, that pregnancy would have to be considered what God intended.
“Life is a gift from God,” Mr. Mourdock said, “and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.”
The New Spirituality agrees with Mr. Mourdock. And it goes further. Everything that occurs in Life is intended by God, it declares. There is nothing that happens in the Universe that is somehow outside of God’s ability to control. A person could not so much as lift a little finger if God did not want it to happen. So if something has happened, it could not have happened against God’s Will. Such a thing would be impossible.
If this is not true, then we really are “children of a lesser God.” We are moving through a life that is placing circumstances and situations before us at the whim and whimsy of “fate.” The whole experience is just a roll of the dice. Yet Conversations with God says that just the opposite is true. Not a sparrow falls without God’s knowledge, and not a thing occurs against God’s Will.
Why, then—to stick with the present case—would it be God’s Will for a pregnancy to occur as a result of a rape? And, extending the logic of the New Spirituality, how could the rape itself occur if it were against God’s Will?
The true test of any spiritual belief must be in how questions such as these are approached and answered. And people of courage are invited by Life to speak their answers into Life, bringing their most sacred beliefs into the arena of their experience.
Mr. Mourdock did just that at the debate with his opponent on Tuesday, acknowledging with regard to the abortion question, and his position on it: “I struggled with it myself for a long time.” Members of the New Spirituality community may have opinions that differ from those of Mr. Mourdock on why it would not be against God’s Will for a pregnancy to occur as a result of a rape, and what “should” or “must” be done afterward, but they would be admiring of Mr. Mourdock for his bravery in so publicly announcing his beliefs.
Indeed, a major tenet of the New Spirituality is that “ours is not a better way, ours is merely another way” to understand Life and its events. Where the New Spirituality would differ from Mr. Mourdock would be in his belief that if a woman becomes pregnant as a result of rape or incest, it is God’s Will that she have the child. The New Spirituality would say that it is God’s Will that she have a choice as to whether to have the child, not that she be without choice—and that the very opportunity to make this choice in an integral part of the larger purpose for the experience itself. Indeed, it is the reason for every situation, circumstance, or event in Life, which continually creates a contextual field within which humans have the opportunity to decide Who They Are, and Who They Now Choose To Be, CWG says.
Life is not a series of random events, occurring without rhyme or reason, Conversations with God shares, but rather, an intricately designed and deliberately set into motion sequence of occurrences collaboratively and spontaneously created by all the Souls in existence for the purpose of giving that Collection of Souls a direct experience of Itself, both as a collection and as individuals within the collection. In other words, Life exists as a means by which that which we call God may know Itself experientially, through the expression in physicality of Its individual parts, within a realm of relativity.
The New Spirituality says that we are here on Earth to do more than just live and die and make the best of the experience. We are also here to do more than simply find a way to “get back to heaven”—or, at least, avoid going to hell. Those are simplistic views of the reason and purpose for human existence.
We are here, Conversations with God says, to advance a larger agenda. We are here to move forward an eternal evolutionary process in which our Soul is involved. It is a process through which each individual Soul experiences its True Identity fully, and by which Life Itself expands its expression to reflect the wonder of its ultimate and true nature.
And just exactly what is the “True Identity” of the soul? CWG indicates that the soul is the individuated aspect of Divinity Itself, and that its purpose through physical life is to express and to experience Divinity at the next highest level, in a constantly escalating spiral.
We don’t “have to” do it. Nothing is required of us in this or any other lifetime. Not the bringing to term of a pregnancy resulting from rape, nor any other thing in particular. We have an endless number of lifetimes, and nothing is specifically demanded, commanded, or required of us in any given passage through physical life. Our incarnations never end, with the soul moving from one physical expression to another on an eternal journey—and it is the eternality of Life Itself which makes it not necessary for a particular lifetime to produce a particular outcome.
To allow your Mind to get a handle on this, imagine that after 40 years of going to a job every day, you have finally retired, are in wonderful health, have ample financial resources, and can now look forward to years of doing whatever you please. Would you feel required to play golf next Thursday, as opposed to Thursday a week later? Other than for the sheer joy of it, would there be any other reason to do a particular thing on a particular day in a particular way?
The beauty of retirement, of course, is freedom—the joy and the freedom to do what you want, when you want, in the way that you want. You are said to have “earned it.”
This is also the beauty of Life Itself. And this freedom, too, you have “earned.” By the very act of coming into physicality (not an insignificant decision) and living day-to-day in the Realm of Relativity (no small task), you have earned the freedom to do what you want, when you want, in the way that you want. Freedom is God’s prerogative—and you are nothing less than Divine.
The Old Spirituality, of course, espouses a different view. First, it says (in most cases) that we do not have infinite lifetimes, but rather, only this one. Second, it says that while we have Free Will, we really do not, but are required or commanded to do certain things and not to do other things, and that violation of that command will “earn” us something alright—it will earn us eternal torment and unending suffering in the fires of hell. Finally, it says that God has told us exactly what our requirements are, and all we have to do is pick and listen to the Right Religion to know exactly what God wants and demands from us. If we pick the wrong religion—yes, even if we believe in God and try to serve God, but believe in God in the wrong way—we are likewise going straight to hell immediately after death.
The New Spirituality tells us that Life on Earth is part and parcel of the ‘heaven’ you have been told about. The whole expression—the experience between physical lifetimes and the experience of each lifetime—is what “paradise” is all about. “Heaven” for the soul is the ability to know and to express Divinity in you, through you, as you…in the way and at the time that you wish.
In truth, Divinity is expressed through you no matter what you do. It is impossible for you not to express Divinity, since Divinity is Who You Are. It is simply a matter of how you want to define Divinity in This Moment, Now.
Put another way, God is what you say God is, by how you are being in any given situation or circumstance. As Conversations with God says, “Every act is an act of self-definition.” And Life Itself, throughout the multiple universes, is God in the act of defining Itself as it wishes to know Itself through the here-and-now expression of Itself.
The greatest gift we have been given by God—or, to state it more accurately, that we have given ourselves—is Free Will. We can express our Selves in any way that we desire. The question is not, “How can the way human beings are be an expression of Divinity?” The question is, “Why would human beings choose for Divinity to be expressed in this way?” And, more transformatively, “What could cause us to define Who We Are, and Divinity Itself, in another way? A higher way? A grander way?”
If we are in the act of defining God, would we want to do it any differently tomorrow than we have done today? That is the question. Our answer will determine the future of humanity, and so is, in both human terms and Divine terms, The Only Thing That Matters.
UPDATE: October 25 — Reporter Wayne Drash writes in a copyrighted story on CNN’s website today that Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of the best-selling book When Bad Things Happen to Good People, said Mourdock’s remarks were off-base. Mr. Drash quotes Rabbi Kushner as saying that people “should have compassion for the person whose life is messed up by this and not make her an instrument for our idiosyncratic, theological commitment.
“If you believe she has no right to terminate that pregnancy, you’re free to believe that,” Kushner is quoted. “But for you to write your preferences into law and compel another person to mess her life up because of what you believe, I think you’re going too far.”
Mr. Drash ends his quotes from Mr. Kushner with this observation from the rabbi: “I continue to be bemused by the ultraconservative lawmakers who say they want smaller government and less government intrusion into people’s lives, except when it comes to who you can marry and how many children you should have.”
In the same CNN story, Mr. Drash reported on a Protestant chaplain who said that he has consoled about 50 pregnant rape victims through the years — typically girls raped by their fathers — while working with the Phoenix Police Department. This leaves open the question: Would Mr. Mourdock say that victims of rape impregnated by their own fathers or brothers or grandfathers be told in no uncertain terms to have the baby, because it is God’s intention?