In 2009, USA Today reported on study that indicated "Most Religious Groups in the USA had Lost Ground". The article cites some interesting notions as to why this has occurred: social mobility and technology being two of the examples. But, there were also examples given of formerly religious people or people from religious upbringings simply abandoning religion altogether. And thus, cue up the Todd Akin "legitimate rape" fallout.
For the sake of time and space, a rehash of Akin's comments regarding legitimate rape won't be rehashed; feel free to read here if need to catch up. While Akin's comments were so disgustingly stupid that mere words couldn't possibly do justice to the scope, one of Akin's Missouri GOP brethren threw her hat in the ring of stupidity. Sharon Barnes, Missouri GOP 4th Senate District Committeewoman, had this to say regarding Akin's comments:
Barnes “echoed Mr. Akin’s statement that very few rapes resulted in pregnancy,” according to the Times, and she added that “at that point, if God has chosen to bless this person with a life, you don’t kill it.” link
Yes, you read that correctly. According to Sharon Barnes, rape that result's in pregnancy is a "blessing from God".
Full disclosure: I spent the early part of my career working with foster care youth, some of which had been raped. I also later provided clinical therapy to foster care children - again, some of which who had been raped.
Having been raped virtually ruined the lives of some of the people I knew who had to experience such a horrible occurrence. The notion that said occurrence was a "blessing from God" is quite literally nauseating. I wonder what percentage of women who've had to actually endure that horrific experience feel "blessed" to have had it occur?
The level of unmitigated sanctimony that must be present for someone who's never experienced the sheer terror of rape to utter such a thing is unfathomable. It's this type of unabashed delusion that could be what turns people off to religion. This could be the reason that so many people are abandoning the religious 'principles' that a contingent of this country loves to say America was built on.
Of course, Sharon Barnes doesn't speak for every Christian, but she's not the only one defending Akin's comments. American Family Association's Bryan Fischer went as far as to equate Akin to a rape victim because of the criticism Akin was receiving. The Family Research Council has voiced strong support for Akin as well. Rep. Steve King of Iowa called Akin a "strong Christian man". And, for what it's worth - Rick Santorum has in the past echoed similar sentiments to Sharon Barnes as well:
I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you. As you know, we have to, in lots of different aspects of our life. We have horrible things happen. I can’t think of anything more horrible. But, nevertheless, we have to make the best out of a bad situation. link
Quite frankly, this type of nonsense must stop. There may indeed be a rape victim who too believes this. And it would certainly be that person's right to believe as such, and make choices consistent with that belief. But, it's probably fair to assume that the vast majority of rape victims who become pregnant don't consider the occurrence a "blessing from God", and the decisions that said victims make thereafter should not be forcefully determined based upon this unfalsifiable notion that all the physical and mental pain that they have and will endure is somehow of divine intervention. Forcing that upon someone else who's already dealing with more pain than most of us will ever know isn't "Christian" - it's downright absurd.