In a radio interview with Bill Manders on Jan. 25, Sharron Angle — the GOP candidate and Tea Party darling challenging Harry Reid for Nevada’s U.S. Senate seat — came out firmly against abortion. She even took the extreme position that women should not have control over their reproductive rights in cases of rape or incest, because it would interfere with God’s “plan” for them.
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.
Well, at least she’s consistent; if she believes that abortion is murder, then she’s not giving any ground on exceptions for mitigating circumstances like rape, incest, or the possibility that the mother might die in bringing the pregnancy to term; the most important thing in the world is the life of the child regardless of circumstance. It’s consistent in the extreme.
But then she brings in the God part and it all seems to fall apart. She claims to be a Christian — and who am I to say she isn’t — but she must be getting her god from somewhere else because the one she’s describing doesn’t sound like the one I read about in the bible, unless you’re talking about the vengeful and manipulative god in the early chapters of the Old Testament. That god toyed with his believers, tested their faith, and often tortured them for his own aggrandizement. Then that god had a change of heart in the New Testament and became a loving and forgiving god, willing to sacrifice for the good of a barely worthy humanity and granting his believers free will to live their lives without the minute and manipulative interference from a distant spirit.
So where Ms. Angle comes up with this hateful and spiteful god who sees fit to bring forth a new life through violence and torture like some spawn rising from the mud of Mordor is beyond my understanding of Christianity. Maybe her god speaks to her the same way he speaks to Fred Phelps or Pat Robertson, but if so, this deity has a poor record in choosing such flawed and arrogant messengers.
I also wonder how far she would go to define “interfering with God’s plan.” Abortion may be interference in her mind, but what about the child that is born with a horrible birth defect or a disease? Can we not interfere with God’s plan to correct the defect or cure the illness? Are we to accept the idea that all things that come to pass are divinely inspired and therefore we must leave them as they are, or are doctors and hospitals interfering with the divine purpose, and if so, how can he permit them to live? Does her god expect us to take this life lying down? Or are we supposed to strive for the perfection that we as humans all try to achieve through the eternal optimism that inspires us to live and reproduce — and that religion has co-opted into their product from a trademarked and patented corporate identity? Humans are fully capable of being good and moral beings without any help, and crediting — or blaming — a deity only shifts the responsibility and liability to someone else. It is easy to blame God for our own failings: God help us.
Ms. Angle’s statement is not meant as a point of discussion, it is meant to end the argument: God said it, I believe it, end of story. It also means that she and others who believe the way she does refuse to think beyond it and thereby avoid the nasty and complicated questions about who is more entitled to a right to life; the mother or the child, or if life is such a precious gift from God, why must it be delivered at the point of a knife from a rapist? And it truly makes you wonder why anyone would worship such a being.