I normally try to keep a general audience on this blog, but after reading a conversation yesterday afternoon I was left very disturbed. It’s an argument I hear time and time again from very conservative, fundamentalist and anti-choice folk: That rape is part of “God’s plan.” This is typically spoken in right-to-life defenses of the argument that if a woman is raped, she should have the choice whether or not she gives birth to that child.
Defeated Arizona Senate candidate Sharron Angle was attacked for making these statements when asked if rape and incest should be considered in matters of abortion:
You know, I’m a Christian, and I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives and that he can intercede in all kinds of situations and we need to have a little faith in many things.
I read the same argument yesterday by someone online, somewhere – that it’s all part of God’s plan and it is not up to us to question it.
So I’m left to wonder – if you are a woman, and suddenly a man forces himself upon you, humiliates you and does horrific things to you that you have clearly stated over and over again – is it “God’s plan?” Is God trying to teach you a lesson? And what if that ends up in a child?
During the days of slavery, slave owners often raped female slaves to “breed” additional slaves. They also did so out of sport, as if it were hunting for game. Was this part of God’s plan, too?
When you make an argument that rape is part of “God’s plan,” you excuse the rapist’s actions. You take the blame off of a person and put it back on God, but also the rapist’s victim. Rape victims are not raped because God needs to teach them a lesson. They are raped for many reasons. It provides no comfort to the victim and ill justification to the perpetrator when anyone touts the message that rape is all part of God’s mysterious plan.