Orlog and Having Your Rapist’s Child

People are naturally enough outraged by the idea that a woman should have to give birth to her rapist’s child. Many pieces of Republican legislation offer no exceptions in cases of rape or incest. The Republican ideal is that a rape victim should make the best of her situation, or, as Sharron Angle infamously put it, ”make rape lemonade.” So when Jeanne Monahan, the Family Research Council’s  head of its Center for Human Dignity (I know, it’s a contradiction in terms given the FRC’s position on rape and abortion) says that a raped woman should be forced to give birth to the rapist’s child, it’s only fair that it be pointed out that this is, actually, in accord with the Old Testament and God’s will on the matter, where a woman must marry her rapist.

Monahan wrote in January:

All can agree that rape is a horrific act of violence that no one should ever undergo. But abortion after a rape robs an innocent victim of a very beautiful life.

The Bible seems to agree at Deuteronomy 22:28-29 (NRSV):

If a man meets a virgin who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are caught in the act, the man who lay with her shall give fifty shekels of silver to the young woman’s father, and she shall become his wife. Because he violated her and he shall not be permitted to divorce her as long as he lives.

Of course, the male-centric Bible says nothing about the poor girl being forced to not only marry her rapist but to remain married to him as long as he lives. It is obvious that God wants the poor girl to not only marry her rapist but it follows that she shall also bear his children.

That’s the Christian viewpoint too, apparently, from all we are being told. And we are also being told that we should all of us be required to abide by their beliefs. But what about our own?

As a Heathen, you have to take into account orlog. All humans have orlog, and when you associate with them you bind their orlog, good or bad, to you own. This would include especially a woman who is raped and impregnated by that rape. She has literally taken her rapist’s orlog into her own body.

Orlog (ON: Ørlǫg) is sometimes known as “primal” law or “ahead” law, or simply as a “a path of choice” as opposed to say, luck, or fate. It is the past, the starting point, the most significant things laid down and the earliest things accomplished. It is not only something we inherit when we are born, but something we shape ourselves through our actions (some Heathens also believe the gods make contributions to our orlog). Ørlog is not only shaped by but contributes to the shaping of our present circumstances (as can luck). Ørlog is important because acting without knowledge is unwise – when you interact with other lineages you gain access to power/luck which can result in positive changes to your own life. Ill-ørlog can have the opposite effect.

Thus, according to my religion, a woman has every right to abort such a fetus. You have a right to choose whose orlog you want associated with yours. You can no more force somebody to be your friend than you can force them to have your child. The very idea is ridiculous and not only against any reasonable code of morality but against common sense as well. It doesn’t matter that a potential human life is involved because it is a potential human life that you had no say in.

As a Heathen, I am mindful of orlogs not my own. I don’t associate with people who make me uneasy or seem to have ulterior motives or who are too pushy about their politics or religion. You might have to endure in-laws and grandparents because such things you have no control over (you did marry their son or daughter, after all) but you can still minimize contact. On the occasions on which I have relented to pressure I have always have cause to regret the outcome.

It doesn’t matter that science can no more identify orlog than such things as “momentum” in the NFL, or a soul or a ghost. Science cannot explain everything and likely, it will never be able to explain everything. Just as football players know such a thing as momentum exists, I know orlog exists and I have seen it evidenced repeatedly just as surely as I have seen cause and effect.

So while a Christian is perfectly within their rights to have their rapist’s child, they have no right to expect anyone else to do so. Their talk about “religious freedom” is nothing more than an insistence that we all adhere to their own belief-system. They have a right to violate our beliefs but apparently nobody has a right to violate their’s, and that’s as unhealthy a concept as rape itself, compounding physical rape with spiritual.

They say two wrongs don’t make a right and I agree, but not in the sense they mean. Because it’s wrong to rape somebody, and adding another wrong – forcing them to give birth to their rapist’s child, doesn’t fix the first wrong. It only makes it worse. Naturally, Heathens have as much right as fundamentalist Christians to insist on our morality being legislated (that is, NONE) but I don’t think most Heathens would ever give thought to such an idea because we understand as a true religious minority the importance of the First Amendment, and that is to protect us from the very thing Monahan and others (e.g. Rick Santorum) are trying to do.


Author: Hrafnkell

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  1. Well said, Hraf! I particularly like these two lines:

    You can no more force somebody to be your friend than you can force them to have your child.


    It doesn’t matter that science can no more identify orlog than such things as “momentum” in the NFL, or a soul or a ghost.

    You’re nailing the issues as usual, my friend.

  2. Thank you, my friend. I am heartily sick of the fundamentalist definition of religious freedom.

  3. According to the Fundamentalist Christen beliefs, life is “Sacred” thus, all life, from conception on is to be protected, no matter the cost.

    I am a firm believer in “Freedom of Choice” where a women can CHOOSE to abort.

    I agree with the statement “…importance of the First Amendment, …is to protect us from the very thing Monahan and others (e.g. Rick Santorum) are trying to do.” Which is to foist their morality onto us and leaving us NO CHOICE but theirs…AND ONLY THEIRS.

    Being a male, I don’t have to make the choice of aborting a fetus, but I understand the enormous emotional and spiritual burden that a women faces in making that choice. I don’t think I have a right to take that choice away from a women, I strongly believe she should have the choice to abort the child or keep it, but the Choice MUST be there to allow her to make it.

    The fundamentalist would deny a women the choice, as well as the choice to use contraception and other medical care because it goes against their “Christen” beliefs.

    There is legislation currently in our Congress buried in a bill that would give individuals providing health care for people the right to deny that care based on their (the health care providers) core fundamentalist Christen beliefs if those beliefs conflicted with the requested health care. So, what that means plainly is that if a HIV patient were to go to a pharmacy and attempt to fill a prescription that would help dealing with the sickness of HIV, and the pharmacist were a fundamental Christen and this type of treatment was against his/her core beliefs, then the pharmacist could refuse to dispense the medicine.

    Without sounding like an alarmist, sounds like population control to me, where the “undesirables” are culled from the population to please the Christen god?? But, life is sacred, so don’t abort that fetus, even in cases of rape and incest??

    I’m confused here. If life is “sacred” than how can people be denied medical treatment based on their behavior because it goes against the fundamentalist beliefs? Does that not sentence the person needing the treatment to a death sentence?? But…”life is sacred”??

    We’re in for a rough election cycle, and it seems the “far right wingnuts” are gaining “momentum”.

    Being new to your site, your beliefs (I’m Jewish, but what’s that got to do with the price of tea in China) I find the idea of “Orlog” interesting. I kind of look at it as a life force that his a history to it that we tap into, it’s what makes us who we are, and there seems to be some “fate and luck” mixed in there for good measure.

    For the record, I am a spiritual person, so Heathen and Pagan beliefs are choices people make freely, and I embrace those choices. I fight and argue with my One God (think Good Orderly Direction) but have no trouble discussing other beliefs). I am still exploring your site and your ideas, and I find them interesting, confusing, and, at times, spiritually enriching. Just thought I’d drop that in there.

  4. Thanks for your thoughts, David. That “all life” is not really all life as it doesn’t include mothers, or, apparently, Muslims in other countries who should be shelled into the Stone Age as people once proposed shelling the Vietnamese and others into the Stone Age. Collateral damage too, leads to deaths and is apparently irrelevant. For a party of moral certainty, moral relativity sure plays a huge role in their thinking. And I agree with you re: population control.

    The thing with orlog is one of the aspects of Heathenism that sets it apart from Paganism as a whole. I tend to think of it as Heathen karma – you get out of it what you put into it, and this ties into Heathen concepts of fate, which I personally believe most people get wrong. It is not fixed, but shaped by us as we live our lives, and as I have argued here in a previous post, I think Beowulf demonstrates this. But as you say, that’s neither here nor there as far as the present topic of conversation is concerned.

    Again, thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts.

  5. I have heard it said, “There are no coincidences”. What I take that to mean is that there are things that take place that were “meant to be” so to speak.

    I was thinking; When I read your explanation of “OrlQg” the first time, I was thinking of Karma, so the path I was walking on was not that far off from the “OrlQg” path.

    I was introduced to you in Politicususa and have been keeping an eye out for your articles.

    We have the same views on a lot of things, just different roads or paths to get to them.

    Santorum is a danger to our very freedoms in this country, and what I find so very frightening about this whole election cycle is how these radical right wing views can be, not only voiced, but openly embraced by a minority of the population, but is presented as a mainstream idea for the whole GOP.

    You get the message out to readers of Politicususa, and that is well and good…but…how do you, I or the moderates in this country let our voice be heard? How do we find politicians who will run on a platform of moderation, who will work within moderate party lines with the opposition to help govern this great country of ours?

    This country is in grid lock, based on a handful of Tea Party zealots whose idea of governing is the total dismantling of our government. The current mentality in our Congress and Senate is “my way or the highway”. That is not how this country was founded, but the conversation has been high jacked by the zealots.

    My question to you is: How do we turn the conversation around?

  6. I have heard that too about coincidences. And maybe there are things that were meant to be. If we believe in god/gods then perhaps the gods do at times step in – the ancients certainly believed that.

    The entire political process is very frustrating right now. Like you say, finding politicians who will stand up for moderation (even sanity) is difficult and Democrats can be as rapacious as Republicans – they can even be Religious nuts, apparently (I don’t understand Heathens who vote Republican either…)

    My hunch is that things will come to a head the day after Election Day 2012 when the GOP implodes on its own ideological contradictions and small-tent thinking. There either has to be a new party to replace the GOP or a split in the GOP that will allow sanity to reign once more on the so-called political right. They can’t possibly hope to remain a viable political force representing an ever-shrinking electorate of angry white Evangelicals and conservative Catholics.

  7. I’m a severely disabled Heathen (chronic pain and paralysis in most of my body), who was date-raped 20 years ago in college. As if being haunted by the memory weren’t bad enough, the rapist left me pregnant–and the doctor told me that my paralysis would cause several harmful complications if I tried to give birth. If the Religious Right has its way (no pun intended) with abortion laws, thousands of women in similar situations could get severely injured or even killed. No thanks!

  8. I like this article very much and look forward to enjoying additional articles from you. Thanks for helping to explain the variations in religious belief and how that can influence decision making when it comes to issues like this. I feel you’ve been sensitive to differing viewpoints and hope others will read.

    If I may offer one very small point of constructive criticism? A woman has a “right” to an abortion. You used the word “write”. No worries as I easily grasped your point – just thinking that mainstream readers will take Heathens more seriously if we mind our spelling. Maybe this can be blamed on good ol’ spellcheck? 😉

  9. Fern, thank you, and thank you for catching those errors. They have been corrected. I am going to have to blame auto-correct or spell-check for it. If you follow my writing at PoliticusUSA you’ll see that I quite often “write” about a woman’s “right” to an abortion. :)

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