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“Legitimate” Rape and Warped World Views

Nothing really screws a politician over than being caught on tape saying what they really think ab out something. Whatever spin or damage control actions Todd Akin takes now are pretty transparent half-assed explanations to mitigate the hits he took for admitting his own crushing ignorance on what should really be a very pressing human issue. I’m not going to go on and on about his bullshit opinions, but focus on what really allowed him to think this way to begin with. It’s called “Just World Hypothesis” and it’s one of the scariest things out there.

The idea really boils down to the notion that legitimately bad things don’t happen to legitimately good people. If they do, it’s either a ‘blessing in disguise’ or maybe they weren’t such good people after all. In this context, old King Combover probably feels very justified in his opinions. After all, god, or whoever is in charge of enforcing this just world policy would never let a virtuous woman suffer the after effects of a horrendously violent crime by sticking her with an offspring who shares half his DNA, right? A well designed woman would have a handy override switch to keep something like that from happening, and if it failed for some reason, well, she probably really wanted it to begin with.

There are a lot of reasons that such a philosophy is scary. Sure, in a just world the asshole rapist still has free will, but the victim would clearly suffer no more than a few minutes of uncomfortable intrusion in an area she probably would have enjoyed in slightly different circumstances. Child sex abuse survivors are probably not nearly as prevalent as the liberal media reports, and those few who are real likely learned a valuable lesson and will go on to live happy productive lives. Ethnic cleansing and genocide only happen to populations who willfully rejected the right god. Crime never pays. The good guys always win (generally the guys who did choose the right god or course). Oh, and women are never born with penises, so clearly the whole trans thing is nothing more than a grab for attention or a skeevy scheme to gain access to watch real women pee.

I know, it seems like it should be really, really easy to knock this whole notion clear into orbit, because seriously, every single human out there thinks of themselves as a good person, and who hasn’t had tremendously shitty things happen to them? Some days all you need to do is wake up. The problem is that it has a faith based fail safe that appears so much more effective than the Todd Akin version of the female body. In the faith based paradigm it’s very simple. Bad people who willingly choose to do bad go to hell, and those who are good and chose the right god, go to heaven, which makes the crap they suffered seem like nothing at all. They even get the added bonus of watching those who harmed them be tortured for all eternity. I mean what good person wouldn’t want access to trillions and trillions of years of unspeakable suffering? It’s not such a great reward unless you get some agonized wailing to go with it. Makes perfect sense, even though most people can’t endure the pure joyous laughter of small children without breaking after two hours.

It’s fine in and of itself if that’s what people really believe. That is never going to change given the panoply of stuff out there that seems positively goofy to all non-believers who likely believe in something equally wacky, only different. It’s not so fine when people tasked with the responsibility of leadership attempt to set policy on the basis of their beliefs even when they conflict with the readily apparent common good, not to mention common sense. If global climate change seems firmly pegged to our industrial habits, it is incumbent upon them to attempt remedy rather than fall back on a biblical promise to Noah that the earth would never be made uninhabitable again. Leading by one’s conscience is only admirable when that conscience is urging one to consider that their belief paradigm might actually be way wrong.

I know, people like elect the faithful because they feel they are getting a guarantee of morality. After all, such individuals have never before betrayed either personal or public trust, right? Too few stop to consider that more faithfully stalwart a person is, the more likely they are to trump any empirically validated concept with the word, direct or indirectly conveyed, from their own highly specific deity. This seems like a dicey gamble to me since there isn’t a whole lot of agreement out there. Christians alone have hundreds of different sects, so if was at all clear what Jesus really wanted, I would think there would only be one.

The point of this little rant is to urge some caution when voting whether you are liberal, conservative, democrat, republican, or allegedly independent. The horse you might be backing just may view the world as a magical place where fairies swoop in and somehow tweak a woman’s physiology to retroactively withdraw ovulation in the event of rape. I can’t see where that can be good for anyone.

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About michellelianna

I'm a transgender woman now in the maintenance stages of transition having all the electrolysis and surgery one can reasonably be expected to undertake. While busy exploring my new world, I took to blogging about it with dubiously popular results. I don't have quite as much to say as I used to, but I'm not quite done yet either.

8 responses »

  1. I could say way too much on this one but I won’t, we as a Nation are blinded by our own need to be right, their brand of right. Religion has in many ways ruined it for all of us. Quit hiding behind this and think about those around us, it’s not about us individuality, something is very wrong. I just don’t know how to say it, just think about it.

    Reply
  2. Let me clarify and add to my first comment, that I think you are probably right about this politician. He does seem to have the sort of worldview you are describing. But if he claims be a Christian, I’m not sure how he got there using the Bible, and I would want to point out to him his wrong views, as you are doing in this post. But I still want to say what I said, that such a view is not Christian or biblical. I’ve also rarely heard of any official Christian group proclaiming such views, except for health and wealth gospel televangelists.

    Reply
  3. As a Christian myself, I just want to gently point out I think you have a misunderstanding of the Christian faith. The Bible does not at all teach, nor do the vast majority of Christians, that if you are good only good things will happen to you, and if you are bad, bad things will happen to you. The Bible is full of laments and prayers to God about why the righteous are allowed to suffer while evil people prosper. Look at the book of Job. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Job+1&version=NIV
    Jesus makes it clear that accidents and events of suffering happen to everyone in this broken world. Jesus promises that his followers will be persecuted for doing what is right, and even killed for doing it. In multiple passages Jesus purposely and directly goes against this teaching you speak of, explaining that sin and righteousness are not the cause of every good or bad thing that happens to you. See John 9:1-5 – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john%209&version=NIV And Luke 13:1-8 – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke%2013&version=NIV

    It sounds like you don’t believe the Bible is true. Fine, I probably can’t convince you. But I just wanted to point out that your post is misunderstanding the true nature of the Christian faith. By the way, I’m not at all defending the politician, who said something really weird and offensive.

    Reply
    • I appreciate you weighing in on this, but feel the need to make a few
      clarifications. My intention wasn’t to attack Christians or any
      specific religion, but to illustrate what I think is a dangerously
      flawed world view. True, Akin identifies himself as an Evangelical
      Christian, but given that there are many dozens of denominations that
      identify as Christian, his views would not fall in line necessarily
      with others outside his, or even necessarily within.

      Because there are so many world views, faith based and otherwise, I
      think it imperative for anyone who assumes a leadership position in
      anything but their particular sect, is ethically bound to default all
      judgment calls to an empirically validated model. In Akin’s case, it’s
      fine if he believes that there is some mechanism (physical, spiritual
      or otherwise) that would prevent a raped woman from becoming pregnant,
      the empirical evidence is that women can conceive regardless of the
      circumstances. I find it deplorable that he clearly was legislating
      from his belief system.

      It’s essentially the same as if someone with deep racial prejudice
      allow themselves to be selected for the jury in a trail where the
      defendant is a representative of the very minority he doesn’t like for
      some reason. It’s a clear case of allowing personal belief to intrude
      unethically on the agreed upon common good.

      Returning to your original point that this isn’t a “Christian” viewpoint, I have to say which kind? Clearly you define yourself as such and take a stance that “just world” is not part of this whatsoever. There are others who would disagree because they interpret things differently. I argument I have been drawn into in the past when bringing up points like this is whether or not opposing Christian viewpoints are being made by “true Christians”. My personal experience (doesn’t mean it’s global; just my tiny tiny slice of perspective) is that most Christians consider their highly specific brand to be “true Christianity” and the others either misled or downright false. Defining the Christian viewpoint then really just depends on who you ask.

      I’m not trying to disparage you or your faith, but from where I’m standing it’s hard to make sense of a written truth that is incredibly open to misunderstanding and wide interpretation.

      Again, thanks for commenting and if you are interested I’d be happy to keep the dialog going. My thought is that just because we are starting with very different ways of looking at things, it doesn’t mean we can’t find common ground. 🙂

      Love, Michelle

      Reply
      • Good questions. I don’t mean to say that my denomination is the only “true Christianity.” I am familiar with almost all Christian denominations as a pastor, and the worldview you were describing, where bad things don’t happen to good people, is just not there officially in any denomination I know of. There is belief in God’s good plan, which I hold to as well, so that God can use evil for good. But that is different from saying bad things never happen to good people, and good things never happen to bad people. To get more detailed, the Christian view is that we are actually all bad sinful people, and any good we get from God is a gift of grace.

        On a different note, you said, ” I find it deplorable that he clearly was legislating
        from his belief system.” This is a common misunderstanding, (what I would call a misunderstanding), that I would like to address. I totally understand your reasoning, that you want someone in a public office not to just be doing whatever they want, but working for the common good. But I have to say, it is impossible for anyone to argue for anything, in personal life, or in the public sphere with laws, without doing so “from their belief system.” It is very naive and unfair to tell Christians they must work in the public sphere without drawing on their religious beliefs, their worldview. Just as it would be stupid for Christians to say non-Christians can’t legislate out of their worldview. ALL of us work out of our personal beliefs and worldview. We shouldn’t vote for those that won’t make laws for the common good, who won’t make laws in the way we want. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to vote for someone with the worldview. There are atheists who want to legislate religion out of society, and there are atheists who want to allow freedom of religion for the equal common good. Likewise there are Christians who seem to want to legislate the Christian faith, and there are other Christians who want to legislate freedom of religion and freedom of non-belief. I would be one of the latter. Now in arguing for that, I would still be doing so out of my Christian worldview, just as the other Christian is arguing the opposite under his different Christian worldview. Arguing for legislation out of my worldview does not have to entail me wanting to force my worldview onto others. Do you see what I mean?

        We can’t help but legislate out of our personal beliefs. There is no such thing as neutral non-religious beliefs. Even disbelief in God is a religious belief and I fully expect politicians who don’t believe in God to take that view with them into the public realm. But they will be a stupid politician who tries to force that view onto others, and they won’t get re-elected. Likewise a Christian who tries to force his view on others, suppressing their freedom, will also not get reelected.

        If you truly mean people can’t legislate out of their personal beliefs about what the common good is, than how can they legislate at all? We all have beliefs from somewhere, about what the common good is. Atheists get that view about the common good from who knows where, and Christians get that view about the common good from the bible and who knows where. I’ve probably said enough. Do you see what I mean?

        Reply
  4. Sis,

    Honestly, I did not read this before I used the term biblical mythology in the post I just put up.

    Sadly, one of the underlying premises of all religious thought is that everything else in the world has to be empirically proven except for my own sacred tome. After all, it was “inspired by God”. Don’t bother the faithful with facts. If the book says it’s true, then it’s true. Never mind that the only place that the veracity of the book is confirmed is in the book itself, and that the book was written centuries ago in a language that has evolved into a form completely unrecognisable to those who spoke at the time the book was written.

    People will make horrible political decisions in direct opposition to their own self-interest just to follow a perceived religious mandate. In the 2010 Wisconsin gubernatorial election, Scott Walker was on record both by word and deed when he was Milwaukee County Executive as the ultimate enemy of government employees. I personally know of several state employees who voted for him only because he opposes abortion. There is no legislation or issues related to abortion anywhere on the Wisconsin political horizon either in the recent past or near future. On the other hand, Walker completely gutted the civil service system, took away the right to collectively bargain and basically turned being a public servant into a living hell.

    Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it.

    Keep up the great writing. I love reading what you say, even if I should be working on my own stuff.

    Love,

    Becky

    Reply
    • You know, my original intention was to mention Walker as a bad example as well! I love it when we are on the same page, which of course is almost always. Seems we were both having irritable days with our news inputs. 🙂

      Love ya sis!

      Michelle

      Reply

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