Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Foiling God's Plan

One of the positive aspects of religion is that it teaches people to think outside of their own tiny existence, and focus a little on the Big Picture; so that they see things beyond their own specific perspective.  Not that that's any guarantee, as many religious people merely translate their own specific perspective onto their god's, and insist that their goals are identical to their god's.  But still, even that's a start.

And so it can be somewhat encouraging to see a stupid person applying their concept of this bigger picture onto their own policies, as demonstrated by crackpot Senate nominee Sharron Angle in this radio interview from January:
Manders: I, too, am pro life but I'm also pro choice, do you understand what I mean when I say that.

Angle: I'm pro responsible choice. There is choice to abstain choice to do contraception. There are all kind of good choices.

Manders: Is there any reason at all for an abortion?

Angle: Not in my book.

Manders: So, in other words, rape and incest would not be something?

Angle: You know, I'm a Christian and I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives and that he can intercede in all kinds of situations and we need to have a little faith in many things.
And first off, please note the childish rewriting of what "pro-choice" might mean, showing Angle to have all the flair of a clever fourth-grader riffing on a variation of the rubber-glue paradigm.

But seriously, I do like her use of God's Plan here, because it really does show some signs of mental maturity.  It's about thinking outside of our immediate goals and desires, and enters a theoretical realm in which we attempt to comprehend the workings of an omniscient being.  And no, I'm not suggesting this is some novel idea for Angle, but merely noting that she's engaging in a slightly higher level of thinking than your average numbnut. 

The Bigger Picture

But of course, Angle lacks the ability to think this through any further.  Because, yes, perhaps the impregnation of a rape victim is part of God's Plan.  But why stop there?  Wouldn't the subsequent abortion also be part of God's Plan?  Of course it is.  How could it be otherwise?

In fact, if we believe that God has a plan, then it must be argued that everything we do is part of God's Plan.  How could it be otherwise?  To suggest that a mere mortal could conceivably screw with God's Plan is shear blasphemy and must be unthinkable by any true believer. 

So if God truly wanted a rape victim to give birth, he not only could have used the virgin birth option (thus sparing her the rape), but he could have foiled the abortion doctor.  Or...he could have changed the mind of the victim, making her choose life; something he did repeatedly in the bible.   And if he didn't do any of these things and allowed the woman to abort the fetus, then this surely was part of his plan.

And so, while Angle scores point for at least considering the idea that there's a Big Picture; she definitely loses major points for not considering how much bigger that picture is than her own.  Because once we start considering the idea of God having a plan, we're stuck acknowledging that nothing can possibly be outside of that plan.  It simply can't happen.  If you think that everything happens for a reason, that means every thing; not just the things you want to happen.

If God has a plan to have rape victims give birth, he must have planned for when they abort.  Perhaps that's God's way of getting babies in Heaven, I don't know.  But of course, I don't know any of this stuff, which is why I'm agnostic.  When thinking about questions only gives you more questions, it's time to give up and start finding questions you can answer.  I suspect Sharron Angle doesn't often see those sort of questions.

1 comment:

Doctor Biobrain said...

As a post script, I wonder what Angle thinks God's plan for rape is. I mean, really. If a rape victim confronts her about this, will she stand by her statement and insist that God had a purpose for them being raped, and that it was somehow for the best? I seriously doubt it.

If anything, she'd claim that God's plans are mysterious, and that we can't do anything but go along with it. That's the standard response for this sort of thing. But you've got to wonder about someone who insists that God's Plan is too mysterious to know, yet also insist that God's Plan tells us that incest victims should be forced to give birth to their father's baby.

But of course, all this is hogwash. The anti-abortion people who insist that rape and incest victims shouldn't have abortions aren't talking about real people. They're speaking hypothetically, to show how firm their opposition to abortion is. If anything, they think the rape and incest exceptions are loopholes pushed by the "pro-abortion" crowd in order to weaken abortion laws. Somehow, they fail to see how this involves actual people at all.