I have seen Oklahoma State Representative George Faught’s face in my social media feeds far too many times today. Maybe you have, too. He is responsible for yet another Christian anti-abortion bill that would ban abortion in cases of abnormalities or Down Syndrome – with no exceptions for rape or incest. People are tearing him apart for saying that rape and incest are God’s will. But is that what he really said?

First of all, let’s stop pretending we are shocked when those who believe a fetus is a person and abortion is murder suddenly claim we shouldn’t murder people who were conceived in ways we don’t like or who have a disability. It would be incredibly hypocritical for a pro-life supporter to make an exception for any of those reasons. Life is life. Right? 

But Representative Cory Williams wanted to dig deeper into Faught’s beliefs. The following is the conversation between Williams and Faught:

 

Williams: Is rape the will of God?

Faught: If you read the Bible, there’s actually a couple of circumstances where that happened and the Lord uses all circumstances. I mean, you can go down that path, but it’s a reality, unfortunately.

Williams: Is incest the will of God?

Faught: Same answer. Doesn’t deal with this bill.

Williams: With all due respect, I think it absolutely is on point. You won’t make any exceptions for rape, you won’t make any exceptions for incest in this and you are proffering divine intervention as the reason why you won’t do that. I think it is very important. This body wants to know, myself personally, whether you believe rape and incest are actually the will of God.

Faught: It’s a great question to ask, and, obviously if it happens in someone’s life, it may not be the best thing that ever happened. But, so you’re saying that God is not sovereign with every activity that happens in someone’s life, and I disagree with that.

 

Faught also released this written statement to a local news station:

 

Life, no matter how it is conceived, is valuable and something to be protected. Let me be clear, God never approves of rape or incest. However, even in the worst circumstances, God can bring beauty from ashes.”

 

This was met with outrage from liberals everywhere, but I don’t understand why. Every Christian knows what he is saying, and every Christian agrees. If you believe in God, you believe he is in control. A Christian who is raped will absolutely be praying and trusting God to “bring beauty from the ashes.” Was it the will of God? What a silly question. Even I can see that. God will be their comfort; if they are faithful in the Lord, he will reward them with some greater spiritual understanding or something.

Do I believe that? No. But they do.

We are wasting our time attempting to shame Christians for what they believe. The only question is what place do their beliefs have in government? Until Christians can convince a lot more Americans that abortion is actually murder, they have no business making laws against it. When two sides are split this equally, the answer is not to deny the rights of one side because of God; the answer is to find a compromise which best allows both sides to live as they choose. Christians are obviously not being forced to have abortions, so the solution seems clear.

When Christians say they are fighting for the rights of the unborn, they are back at square one again. They must first convince the other side those rights exist before attempting to create laws protecting them. Christians should not get to skip this step. 

Representative Faught is saying what every Christian believes. It isn’t controversial, or any more terrible than anything else a Christian believes. The only part that alarms me is that he is a lawmaker who thinks those beliefs should be turned into laws which apply to me. 

 

13 thoughts on “Rape, Incest, and Ignoring My Free Will

  1. A thought provoking read, but I can’t get far beyond “every Christian knows what he is saying, and every Christian agrees.”
    It’s simply not accurate to assume all Christians think alike any more than it is to think all women, all Muslims, or all Americans think alike. I disagree with other Christians on a great many things. A great many. My heart is still evolving on subjects like abortion. I don’t pretend to have it all figured out, as you will hear some people, including Christians, claim. Don’t assume I agree with this guy, or the position of anyone else who calls themselves Christian.

    1. All Christians don’t agree that God is in control? That is all he is saying, rather than that “rape is the will of God.” And that is the only part I mention Christians all agreeing with. I understand the words “every Christian agrees” sounds like something one should never say, but I am pretty sure they do all agree that God is in control. I think you went ahead and just applied it to everything, but I did not mean it that way.

      1. In control? No, I can’t totally buy into that theory. God is sovereign, and God loves me, and that’s why He gave me free will. He does not control my thoughts and actions. He allows me to believe in Him, or turn my back on Him. He could crush me like a bug for defying Him, but He doesn’t, because He loves me.
        However, I am ever learning, studying, and growing. You have brought forth a question that deserves more of my attention, and I will explore it. I never assume I’m right about anything.

  2. LAD “…Faught is saying what every Christian believes.”

    I agree with Jerry Carnes. You are incorrect in stating Faught is espousing the belief of all Christians. Many – yes, far too much. But certainly not all.

    God is sovereign in that He’s the supreme/paramount being, having the highest ranking. However this does not mean God controls everything.

    If God controlled everything He would not tell us things like: I’ve set before you life and death, choose life
    When you pray, pray that His will be done here in this earth as His will is being done in heaven
    Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by renewing your mind to the perfect will of God

    “Typical teaching on the sovereignty of God puts Jesus in the driver’s seat with us as passengers. On the surface that looks good. All of us have encountered the disastrous results of doing our own thing. We desire to be led of the Lord, and teaching that nothing happens but what God wills fits that nicely. However, the Scriptures paint a picture of each of us being behind the wheel of our own lives. We are the one doing the driving. We are supposed to take directions from the Lord, but He doesn’t do the driving for us.

    If this belief is true [that God controls everything], then our actions are irrelevant, and our efforts are meaningless. What will be will be.
    If we believe that God wills everything, good or bad, to happen to us, it gives us some temporary relief from confusion and condemnation, but in the long-term, it slanders God, hinders our trust in God, and leads to passiveness.He tells us what the right choices are… He does not make those choices for us.” -A.W.

    1. Look. I wrote this post because I was annoyed with fellow liberals who waste time twisting words and battling over who is right and who is wrong – when what matters is how we inject our personal beliefs into government.

      I do not believe Faught was saying that rape and incest are God’s will. I believe his answer to that question, along with his written statement, are not controversial in the world of Christianity. I did not find his words offensive. And those words were the only part I related to other Christians.

      Could it be that some Christians disagree with the words “Life, no matter how it is conceived, is valuable and something to be protected. Let me be clear, God never approves of rape or incest. However, even in the worst circumstances, God can bring beauty from ashes.”

      Yes. Half of them could disagree. I’m completely wrong. But it really doesn’t change my point. And if that is all you want to talk about after reading this, I’m not interested.

      1. Your anger is irrational.

        You said the point of your post was that all Christians believe God is in control.
        I simply stated that’s not the belief of all Christians [with explanation].

        1. Anger? I am not interested in a long discussion on something that I am totally okay with you being right about. I’m sorry if that translates to you as being angry. I assure you I am not. I have nothing to add to your thoughts on this. And I certainly did not say that was the point of my post. That makes no sense. Why would you think that?

        2. Point of my post: “I wrote this post because I was annoyed with fellow liberals who waste time twisting words and battling over who is right and who is wrong – when what matters is how we inject our personal beliefs into government.”

          Is what Faught said the belief of all Christians? You’re right. Maybe not. I’m not disagreeing with you. Are you asking me to? I don’t understand. But if we agree or disagree, the above point remains unchanged.

          Is that clear enough, or would you like to ignore the main point further and instead convince me that I disagree with you about this other thing?

  3. This did not have to be a discussion. It was a singular correction of the word all.

    I thought that was the point of your post because you wrote:
    This was met with outrage from liberals everywhere, but I don’t understand why. Every Christian knows what he is saying, and every Christian agrees. If you believe in God, you believe he is in control.

    We are wasting our time attempting to shame Christians for what they believe.

    Representative Faught is saying what every Christian believes. It isn’t controversial, or any more terrible than anything else a Christian believes.

    from comments:All Christians don’t agree that God is in control?…….I understand the words “every Christian agrees” sounds like something one should never say, but I am pretty sure they do all agree that God is in control.

    So excuse me for misreading and misunderstanding the point of your post. [No need for a discussion]

  4. I think shame has little value regardless. If one person makes a truth claim that we disagree with, we should be demonstrating why it is wrong. We can do this in several ways. First we can address it from arguments from other Christians, who might disagree with Faught’s biblical interpretation. I am sure there are victims of rape and incest from Christian households who are still waiting for that beauty from the ashes moment, but it has not arrived. We can educate people on what trauma does to the brain, and how painful the feelings might be for a mother who has to look down into the eyes of the child of their rapist. We can talk about how that the victim at the very least needs treatment and that given the stress of their trauma their ability to raise a child is questionable. We can point out that this person may not have the support structure to care for the baby, care for herself, hold down a job, and have health care, etc. Will that still convince anybody that abortion is right in at least some cases? Perhaps not, but I also will simply not let such ideas expressed by Faught go unchallenged. It is to me, one of the most horrible of religious ideas, that shows so little sensitivity to a victim, and goes against everything we know about the psychological impacts of trauma that such ideas must not persist. But shaming ideas out of existence never works. We must demonstrate how other points of view lead to a greater degree of compassion. Some will still resist perhaps over considerations for the fetus, but I think that when you make an argument that builds empathy and is relateable you can do much better.

    1. Overall, I was troubled by the accusation that he had said rape and incest were the will of God – only because I don’t think that’s what he actually said. I mean, if we are going to be outraged, let’s be outraged based on the facts…and he offers us plenty of real crap to complain about.

      But I do have a soft spot for Christians when it comes to abortion. I was pro-choice as a Christian, based solely on the idea that I didn’t believe creating laws was the answer. I know most Christians who oppose abortion do so because they truly believe it is murder. I don’t agree, but I can at least wrap my mind around that thinking. And even victims of rape and incest who believe this would find it difficult to murder an innocent.

      I don’t have much hope of changing most of their minds; and pretending this guy said all rape and incest is God’s will when he didn’t actually say that isn’t doing any good, either. So let’s try and convince them that there are better solutions than making abortion illegal and banning sex education.

      1. I agree with your general thesis here most definitely, but it’s really not clear that Faught didn’t say that rape an incest is the will of God even if he didn’t say the words directly. First of all, he didn’t outright deny it. He didn’t say, “NO! Of course not…that’s ridiculous!”. The sort of sensible answer you hope someone might say in response to that question. The bible is filled with examples of God doing horrible things to people as a test of their faith, a test of their morality, a test for them not to fall into temptation. When he says that God is sovereign over people’s lives, he is supporting the very idea that even if God does not approve of a particularly action, he does nothing to prevent a particular action because God wants you to bring the “beauty from the ashes.” Thus we can say that at the very least he’s implying it is God’s will to allow horrible things to happen to us as a test. I think the morality of a God like that is troubling and that notion would be best purged from human society, because it minimizes the deep trauma that can be experienced by victims of such horrendous crimes. So I guess we’ll have to disagree here, because I read nothing in the interview, nor in his statement afterwards that he doesn’t believe that God permits such actions to happen, thus making it part of his will for us.

        I will agree that there is a lot of taking things out of context by the left to tickle their emotional centers in the brain and that it’s not helping. But this man’s religious views, which are very old testament, are harmful and I don’t feel his views were being misrepresented here. I still don’t agree that shaming is the best way to oppose such views however.

        1. I agree with you, it’s only that I do not think from a Christian’s point of view his answer was strange or unusually ridiculous. Obviously they would not describe their beliefs the way you are describing them; they do not share your vision of what it means for God to “permit such actions to happen.”

          I do not think he is implying that God allows horrible things to happen as a test. His written statement makes it clear that he believes God does not approve of rape or incest. Now, clearly we can debate how correct he is about the Bible’s evidence of that…but his words were only that God does not approve. So I imagine he, like millions of other believers, believes that sin is the root cause and God is the refuge. God will have mercy on a victim, and may bring comfort, spiritual strength, or a new direction in life. There is zero reason to believe that, but that isn’t the point. The point is that he believes it, and that is how I interpret the “beauty from ashes” bit.

          Do not get me wrong. This guy is dangerous and believes a lot of bullshit. But his specific words about God’s thoughts on rape are not what worry me most.

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