Last Supper in Oklahoma City
The Huffington Post ran a story recently about a curious argument that took place in the Oklahoma state legislature. State Representative George Faught introduced a bill that would bar a woman from obtaining an abortion if testing showed that the woman’s fetus has genetic abnormalities or Down syndrome, with no exception made where the pregnancy came about due to rape and/or incest. He was challenged on the lack of an exception for rape/incest victims by Representative Cory Williams, and the back-and-forth went like this:
Williams: Is rape the will of God?
Faught: If you read the Bible, there’s actually a couple of circumstances where that happened and the Lord uses all circumstances. I mean, you can go down that path, but it’s a reality, unfortunately.
Williams: Is incest the will of God?
Faught: Same answer.
Williams: You won’t make any exceptions for rape, you won’t make any exceptions for incest in this and you are proffering divine intervention as the reason why you won’t do that. I think it is very important. This body wants to know, myself personally, whether you believe rape and incest are actually the will of God.
Faught: It’s a great question to ask, and, obviously if it happens in someone’s life, it may not be the best thing that ever happened [Ya think? – Ed.]. But, so you’re saying that God is not sovereign with every activity that happens in someone’s life and can’t use anything and everything in someone’s life and I disagree with that.
OMfreakinG (Irony intended). These people are arguing theology in the state legislature and it doesn’t seem to occur to them that this might not be okay, even in Oklahoma. Like they’ve never heard of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, not to mention the section of the Oklahoma State Constitution that mandates the separation of church and state. Two morons in the Oklahoma state legislature were actually arguing over what God thought of one of their bills. And whose god were they arguing about, pray tell? (so to speak). Why their god, of course, the Christian god. But I know for a fact that not everyone in Oklahoma is a Christian, because my brother lives there and he’s not Christian. The fact that we don’t all agree with regard to deities is the primary reason why both the U.S. and Oklahoma constitutions separate church and state.
It is completely reasonable to expect that a government official’s way of thinking and looking at things will be influenced by many factors, including their religious/spiritual beliefs. But it’s a totally different thing to say “My god believes this, this and that, and so the laws that govern every citizen in this state, regardless of their religion, must reflect what MY god believes”. Faught and Williams’ argument belongs in a divinity school, not a state legislature. Even though I agree with Williams on the merits, and I give him the benefit of the doubt that he was trying to make a good point, he shouldn’t have allowed himself to get sucked into a theological debate with Faught. You don’t need divine guidance to know that rape is horrific and that punishing its victims a second time is repugnant. Look at Faught; he has plenty of god in him and he still doesn’t know right from wrong. Williams should have made his argument on the merits and left god (and whatever s/he might think about rape) out of it.
PS: I can’t help commenting on Faught’s suggestion that god is sovereign with every activity that happens in a person’s life, including, apparently, rape. Not being overly familiar with religious gobbledygook, I assume he means by this that everything that happens, including a woman getting pregnant as a result of rape, is intended by god, and therefore must not be questioned. So I guess if some day I happen to run into this knuckle-dragger and proceed to punch his lights out, I have the perfect defense: if it happened, god must have intended it, and you can’t punish me for doing god’s will. Would probably work in Oklahoma.