Saturday, October 27, 2012

Theological Commentary on Richard Mourdock's Rape Comment

A selection of commentary about Richard Mourdock's recent statement about what God intends when women become pregnant due to rape: 

It’s convenient to appeal to God to justify power structures that benefit you. But it’s not really God Mourdock is worshipping. It’s misogyny.

Underlying the Republican rape comments and actual Republican political goals are a few fundamental convictions: first, women are vessels for childbearing and care-taking; second, women cannot be trusted; and third, women are the property of men.

What is so tragic about Mourdock’s statement is that he intends to deny the hundreds of thousands of women who are raped and fear pregnancy and the tens of thousands of women who actually become pregnant from rape, their right to religious freedom.

“What these people are saying betrays a worldview that is, frankly, completely different from my own, and it embarrasses me to even hear my name mentioned alongside theirs,” God told reporters, emphatically.

And don't miss Fred Clark's ingenious (and absolutely correct) summation of Mourdock's underlying theology at Slacktivist as a theology of "predatory providence."

And my own concluding comment: I'm tired--I'm beyond tired--of being told by affluent heterosexual married white Catholic women that, as a gay man, I can't understand the dynamics underlying the oppression of women, and have no right to comment about them.  I'm tired of being told this by affluent heterosexual married white Catholic women who have never invested any time or energy at all in understanding and critiquing the quite specific privilege they enjoy as affluent heterosexual married white women--privilege from which everyone who is gay or lesbian in American society and in the Catholic church is automatically shut out simply due to her or his sexual orientation.

If you imagine that by drawing lines between yourselves and others who stand in solidarity with you, and doing so on the basis of rigid ideological insider-outsider tests, promises to build the kind of solid, broad coalitions we need in the U.S. to overcome the nonsense of folks like Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan, you imagine wrong.  And if you imagine that this line-drawing and creating of insider-outsider, who-counts and who-doesn't-cout dynamics in Catholic conversations promotes real catholicity, you imagine wrong.

What you're really saying--and you should be honest about this--is that heterosexual women and heterosexual men count more than non-heterosexual women and non-heterosexual men, especially in Catholic dialogue spaces.  Since heterosexual men and women understand real-life issues better than gay and lesbian ones do, and don't bring to the discussion table crippling biases like those that gay and lesbian people bring to the table . . . . 

My say for the day, after having been bashed on more than one discussion thread of late because, I'm told, I have no right as a man to weigh in on these issues and nothing of importance to say about them--since I can't possibly understand what it's like to be targeted by the religious right and the Republican party!

The graphic is from the Facebook page of the Democratic Party of Sacramento County, California.  If you click on it, it will be come large enough to be legible.

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