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.
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.