Senate candidate Richard Murdock's answer to a senatorial debate question about abortion seems to not only be theologically wrong but also misses many of the more important points.
Mourdock said in the Oct. 23 debate, "I struggled with it myself for a long time but came to realize life is that gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something that God intended to happen."
To suggest that God intends or wills rape or incest is to say that God is or does evil, which is antithetical to who God is, the only Good.
The question of abortion following a pregnancy from rape or incest should not be the question.
Yes, rape and incest are horrible evils and those who do such things should receive severe punishment. The pain and suffering of the victim of the rape or incest should not be compounded in the long term by what only appears to be a fix in the short term -- abortion.
Yes, I am certain the daily reminder of the atrocity enacted upon the now pregnant woman is very painful, and I in no way lessen or disregard that suffering. However, the absolute, long-term suffering and even guilt over taking a life not only potentially adds to, but also increases, the suffering. Not to be trivial, but two wrongs don't make a right.
The unspoken truth is that many, many women who have had abortions live with a nearly unbearable guilt and shame that was either downplayed or even withheld from them when they came to the abortionist. Many women who have had abortions commit suicide, yet those numbers are not readily available, just as the number of women who are sterilized by abortions is unavailable.
We should punish in the most severe way (death, castration) those who rape or commit incest. We should provide the finest medical, spiritual and psychological help available to those who are victims of these horrible acts of violence.
And we should provide the financial resources to help those who have become pregnant from these acts with not only medical coverage through the pregnancy to ensure the health of mother and child, but also through delivery and then either with adoption or for the mother caring for this child should she decide to keep the child.
We address too many issues in the wrong way. Short-term fixes are not always good and often bring much worse long-term consequences.
God is Good, and He can and does bring good out of evil things -- but not because He wills evil so He can bring good to make Himself look good, for that would be spurious.
Although Murdock spoke unwisely or even unadvisedly, let us not lose sight of the true issue as we beat the political drums of self-righteousness.
William Foy is pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Valparaiso. The opinion expressed in this column is the writer's and not necessarily that of The Times.