Monday, August 27, 2012

Rep Paul Ryan and St Augustine Both Slandered In Abortion Rape Discussion

A few days ago St Augustine of all people unfairly got trashed if you can believe it or not as to Congressman Akin's comments on abortion and rape. See ‘Let It Be Unto Me’: Akin, Rape, and the Early Church -A Q&A with historians of the early church .

Most people that have seem that and  have gone and actually read what St Aug was saying as to that  SINGLE LINE seem to agree the good Church historian has very much  warped what Augustine had to say here. Augustine in that single line is pointing out a half hearted what if and this as a part of his argument seems to dismiss it since that is not how the Romans view the story.

For more background on this famous bit of Roman prose St Augustine is referencing go here  via Westminster Wisdom The Rape of Lucretia and his related post to the issue at hand  St Augustine and suicide . See also St. Augustine on Rape by Alien in this World. As we see St Augustine is pretty PRO WOMAN here and yet the above Religious Dispatches column being re posted and re posted has clearly slandered him.

The Political season does weird things.

Which brings us to Rep and now VP nominee Paul Ryan. There is no doubt when we talk about rape , incest, and health of the mothers life as to abortion the conversation gets emotional will quick. See at the Catholic Thing  the post Reflections on Rape and Abortion which talks about the challenges here

One of Rep Akin's problem was he tried to dodge the controversial and tough question and with some wather controversial medical opinions to boot.

Paul Ryan was asked about this and gave the straight forward answer. Sadly some , like the St Augustine quote,  tried to use it for something it was not. One being Think Progress that ran the very misleading headline  "Rape Is Just Another 'Method of Conception' which got repeated all over the web.

Of Ryan did not say that. He said that the" method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life,” That does not nearly sound as "flippant" does it.

Which brings us to Joel Landon Watts post via his blog Unsettled Christianity Rape is just another ‘method of conception’

He says among other things?
"I really want to give fellow pro-lifers the benefit of the doubt… but this is nuts"


...I’m not it is spiritually wise – who cares about politics – to declare rape, incest, etc… as just another method of conception.

Are we are callous to women that we can honestly say rape is another method of conception? The next step is to suggest rape is God’s will.

Well that is pretty much nonsense. Also as Mr Watts values science a topic of much interest on his blog does he call this something other than a conception? Of course Ryan did not say "it's just another form of conception" but that basically the living being still has rights and status.

Strangely we have gone to push back against Akin's comment that a woman's body can prevent a conception if it is rape to now don't call it a conception. It seems that we are a in a  damned if we do damned if do not situation.

Disagree with this if you may  , but it is a honest viewpoint .

Here is the larger question. Christianity is a radical religion at times and at some points the teaching is tough. In the Catholic Faith this teaching we are discussing in this context is very tough.

However we have a lot of other issues where Christians have to combat some very emotional hard cases. If you are anti State execution how do you go yes even the Aurora Colorado shooter despite his horrific crime should be be executed without sounding rather unfeeling toward the victims.

In the debates over torture it is often not a very winning argument to many that we can't water board a terrorist to perhaps save many lives.

If it now off limited for Christians to talk about the dignity of the unborn child in these hard cases , then how can we have the moral discussion on things such as the bombing of Dresden and the atomic bombings of Japan. Acts that might very well have saved lives overall , and indeed that that emotional hook. The Church views  these acts  ( at least through her Pontiffs) as an illegitimate war crime even though in the end they were done with good aims ( IE to end the war sooner).

We can go on and on with examples.

Christians I think both as a civil matter and as a religious matter must try to resist in a political season some errors I think we have seen.


Undergroundpewster said...

The newly conceived after rape is no less human than one conceived legitimately and that is the basic issue that the Church and its followers have to effectively communicate to an unbelieving world.

James H said...

Very true. It is hard finding the right languatge to get it across that is for sure