Thus saith professor Christopher Tollefsen on The Public Discourse. Tollefsen dissects Mourdock’s theological critics, showing them to intellectual light-weights.
Perhaps even more egregious was a Washington Post column by theologian Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, former president of the Chicago Theological Seminary, who wrote: “No, God does not ‘cause’ either rape or conception following rape, nor is this ‘God’s intention.’ Rape is a crime.”
(But) Mourdock nowhere suggested that God intended the crime of rape, nor did he deny that rape is “horrible.” On this he and Thistlethwaite, as well as virtually everyone else, are in clear agreement….
But Thistlethwaite is quite wrong, and Mourdock entirely right, as to God’s intentions in the conception of the child….
Mourdock’s remarks presuppose that there is a child, that is, a living human being, when there is conception after rape. This presupposition is straightforwardly a matter of science: contemporary embryology teaches us that the result of the penetration of ovum by sperm is a new living organism, a distinct member of the species Homo sapiens. No one, clearly, would assert that rape changes the science of the matter;…But the admission that the conceptus in rape is a human being is fatal for remarks like the following, again from Thistlethwaite: “When you make God the author of conception following rape, you make God the author of sin. This is a huge theological error, and one that Christian theologians have rejected since the first centuries of the faith.”
The great error here, however, is Thistlethwaite’s, for human life, considered in itself, is no sin, no wrong, no evil. As another theologian John Paul II put it, “life is always a good,” a “priceless gift,” to its possessor.
For pro-lifers, the key thing about Tollefsen’s article is that he is so obviously intelligent! The pro-abortion forces would like to portray pro-lifers as knuckle-dragging numnucks. The pro-death side is the anti-science, anti-intellectual side, and we need to say so.
Read the whole article here.