Rape is never OK
On a recent episode of Law and Order SVU, there was a group of young Christians on a trip to New York, and two of the young ladies who were virgins were suspected lesbians. One of the young men in the group went to her bedroom and raped her in an effort to ‘cure’ her of her ‘temptation’. He was sent there on orders from the pastor leading the group. They referred to the act as ‘curative intercourse’. In their explanation, by raping the young girl, she will feel “the glory of God inside her” when she is joined with a man and be cured of her ‘temptation’ her lesbian feelings.
What was a recurring theme during the episode was that the law should not be allowed to prosecute the church members because the ‘rape’ happened out of love and concern for the young lady’s well-being.
Both the victim and the perpetrator believed in the teachings of their church and felt that curative intercourse is OK because it’s sanctioned by God.
The defence of the church, in the television series, is that it’s the way that God intended and that the sin of fornication is a suitable sacrifice to cure her of the more serious sin of homosexuality.
But I found the concept of ‘curative intercourse’ disturbing on many levels.
It doesn’t work
Sexuality is not something that can be forced on to an individual. It’s a personal, innate feeling that an individual has, and forcing intercourse on them, in addition to all the trauma and negative consequences they suffer, simply does not work.
Rape is NEVER a cure
There is no human condition or behaviour that can be cured with rape. Rape is sexual intercourse in the absence of consent. Many people associate violence with rape, but physical violence doesn’t have to be involved. In this case, there wasn’t, but the belief system that these individuals employed justified the act because in their words “it was God’s will”.
Isn’t all sin is sin?
It’s no secret that I’m not a religious person, and I’ve been in many debates with my religious colleagues about sin, and the same point is always made. According to the ‘word of God’, all sins are equal. They are all wrong. So, how then can these Christians say the fornication is basically a lesser sin than homosexuality? Personally, I think this is just another instance where my Christian colleagues twist ‘the word’ to justify some crazy beliefs.
Is God OK with rape?
Rape is one of the most violating and traumatic acts that human beings can experience. Beyond the act itself, the mental anguish and other negative consequences are life-altering, and the victims are scarred for life.
If God is OK with using something as sacrilegious as rape to ‘correct’ someone, I have a fundamental problem with that. And if I was a believer, I would question this act passionately. Ask yourself, as a parent would you be OK applying rape to your child?
I know there are many persons who feel that homosexuality is a choice that perverts make and any method that can be applied to cure it including rape is acceptable. I disagree. When it comes to sexuality, the debate about nature versus nurture continues, but I think that if it is indeed a choice, should we be free to make it?
If being in a religion is about being loved unconditionally, then these types of practices are very poor representations of love. Sexuality is already complex, and for a young person who is trying to understand the feelings they are experiencing and the physical changes happening to their bodies, further judgment and punishment is the last thing they need.