Thursday, August 23, 2012
TODD AKIN AND ST. AUGUSTINE
Todd Akin didn’t just pull his rape comment out of thin air. It's Christian theology from the Dark Ages. Rape victims who kill themselves (or who get pregnant) must have enjoyed it. When St. Augustine heard that multitudes of Roman women, raped by the invading Visigoths in 410 A.D. were committing suicide rather that living with the consequences, he wrote:
“‘No one can dispute that if a woman remains firmly opposed to the act upon her, no violation of a woman is her fault as long as she cannot avoid it without sinning. But because a woman’s lust may be gratified during such an act, the woman will experience shame, even though she is pure of spirit and truly modest, because such an act cannot be experienced without some sensual pleasure, and people will believe that she gave her consent.’” St. Augustine, City of God.
In The Flight of the Sorceress, Hypatia lectures on this dogma, as expounded by St. Augustine. When I wrote it, I had a premonition that the political debate on this issue would come to pass. A significant portion of our country is advocating a return to Dark Ages thinking. They may not like it characterized this way, but St. Augustine, Pope Innocent I and attendees at the Council of Nicaea (322 A.D.) would be comfortable with Todd Akin's thinking and vice versa.