The Story: Indiana U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock sparked controversy during a debate Tuesday night when responding to a question about limiting abortion he said, “I came to realize that 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.”
The Background: Many media outlets attempted to claim the candidate had said rape was the will of God. But Mourdock pushed back, explaining that what he meant was that God is the only one who can create life. “God creates life, and that was my point. God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that he does. Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick,” said Mourdock.
Why It Matters: Not only does this controversy provide another shameful example of how mainstream journalists have a pro-abortion bias, but it also highlights their appalling ignorance about basic Christian beliefs.
“‘As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good”‘ is one of the most well-known passages in Scripture,” says media critic Mollie Heminway. “The teaching that God causes good to result from evil is just basic, basic, basic stuff.” Ross Douthat adds that, “people who live and work in New York and Washington are generally much more secular and socially liberal than the country that they cover, and this disconnect inevitably has an impact on what kinds of statements the press treats as ‘shocking’ and ‘extreme,’ and what kinds of positioning it treats as mainstream and respectable.”
For Christians this is a teaching moment, a chance to explain to the world what we believe about evil, the sanctity of life, and God’s sovereignty. Unfortunately, many of us are embarrassed that by stating the obvious—all life comes as a gift from our Creator—we will be considered “extreme.” A prime example is Mourdock’s electoral opponent, Joe Donnelly. Despite being a pro-life Catholic, Donnelly responded by saying, “[Mourdock’s] words were extreme.”
Mourdock’s words weren’t extreme; they were theologically and morally consistent, if somewhat unclear on first telling. But what about the rest of us? Do we believe all life begins at conception, or do we take exception? Christians shouldn’t be surprised that the world doesn’t respect our beliefs when we are so willing discard them if they become politically or personally inconvenient.