As I’ve mentioned a number of times, I’m a collection attorney. When I drag a person to court, it’s not pleasant for them. I’m making them go to court and answer my questions so I can take their stuff from them. From time to time during these discussions, some folks will, for whatever reason, try to soften my role in the unpleasantness. “I know you’re just doing your job,” they’ll say. Usually I’ll respond along the lines of “I appreciate what you’re saying, but I could choose another job, so you don’t have to go easy on me on account of that.” It is a job, and it’s not personal to them. I have my reasons for my actions, and I think they are good and sufficient reasons. But I still bear responsibility for my actions, and it would be a cop out if I pretended otherwise.
The other day, I wrote a blog post about Biblical interpretation entitled “It’s Us. Only Us.” One of my points was that I think people should take personal responsibility for the moral positions they adopt. It’s not enough to say that you’re against marriage equality because the Bible tells you homosexuality is a sin. I think that’s a cop out; an effort to shove responsibility for your moral positions onto the authors of the Bible instead of standing up, explaining your reasons, and owning them.
So too do I think Richard Mourdock’s latest statement on abortions and rape is a cop out.
Life is that gift from god. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.
This, of course, is at odds with another Senate candidate’s contention that a woman’s body will “shut that whole thing down” if she’s been legitimately raped; posing the question of whether these children of rape are God’s plan or a medical impossibility.
I actually think Mourdock’s position on abortion is the one with the most internally consistent logic. He’s for making abortion against the law except when the mother’s life is in danger. Now, if you believe (and I do not) that, at the moment sperm hits egg, you have a fully human life, entitled to the same protections as all of us, then the sins of that child’s father don’t matter and abortion is exactly the same as walking into a first grade class and putting a bullet in the head of your kid. If both the child and the mother’s lives are on the line, then maybe you have to choose.
But, if as a lawmaker, you decide not only for yourself but for all women everywhere that the wrath of the government will come down on her if she tries to remove the growing child of her rapist from her uterus, don’t hide behind the “will of God.” You are choosing the job and you are choosing the policy that forces her to use her body in this fashion. God didn’t choose the rape. God didn’t mandate that the sperm combine with the egg. And God doesn’t vote in Congress. It’s us, only us.