Bumper Sticker Theology

There’s a car loaded up with anti-abortion and “Yay God!” bumper stickers that is often in the parking lot outside my girlfriend’s dorm. One of these stickers says “It is a child, not a choice,” not unlike the back of every Covenant Transport truck (when you absolutely need it to arrive in 40 days and 40 nights, call Covenant Transport!).

One of the other stickers says “Children are a Gift from God.” My immediate thought upon reading this was “well, then abortion is just ‘re-gifting.'” In this day and age, if God can’t show the common courtesy of finding out whether or not you want that gift, or at least give you a gift receipt, then he shouldn’t be surprised to get it back the next time there’s a holiday.

But the more I thought about it, the more apt that metaphor seemed. See, for the whacknut fundie assclowns who believe that shit, that’s exactly how it is. Children are a gift from God, and women? Women are wrapping paper. Their only purpose is to open up and bring forth more ‘gifts.’ And if it comes down to a choice between the gift and the wrapping? Well, duh, who wants wrapping paper?

So thanks, bumper sticker bumpkin, for showing me the world’s most efficiently-worded anti-abortion misogyny.

9 Responses to Bumper Sticker Theology

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Here’s a fun one: ‘If Mary had been pro-choice, there’d be no Christmas’I always say to that, oh, how true,we’d still be calling it Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun. Which I think I want to start doing anyway, just to bug people.But so many things wrong with that.1. Assumes that ‘pro-choice’ is the same thing as ‘would automatically have an abortion’, which is not accurate at all. (If it were, how do I exist, then?)2. Implies that God is either dumb or spiteful. Dumb, I posted about over at my place, (here). Spiteful, however…Basing the giving of your grace to man on whether or not your randomly chosen woman wants to keep the baby is just spiteful – ‘oh, you could’ve been saved, but bitchface over there didn’t want to be a holy vessel, so fuck you all, you had your chance.’ You notice that He had to talk her into it?Then again, if you follow my line of belief, it’s irrelevant – I believe that God chose a baby that had already been conceived and claimed to ‘tag’ as Jesus – otherwise why do we care that Joseph is of the line of David?And yes, I just had God call the Virgin Mary ‘bitchface’. It was fun.(and the deleted one was mine – needed to fix the link.)

  3. Doubting Tom says:

    Well, furthermore, it wouldn’t have mattered if Mary was pro-choice. What mattered was whether or not Joseph was anti-infidelity. Because it’s entirely possible that Joseph would have had his harlot wife killed, as per Levitican law. Thankfully, God covered his bases and sent an angel down to tell Joseph “hey, promise you won’t freak out, but God slept with your wife.” I seem to recall God sending an angel to tell Mary the good news before it happened, though there wasn’t much asking for consent involved. Seems to me that then would have been a good time to say “oh, and if it’s not too much to ask, don’t throw yourself down any stairs for awhile.”Maybe, again, this betrays anti-abortion nutcase feelings about women, God, and Jesus. God didn’t ask for consent; the case could be made that Mary was raped, and if she had been pro-choice and the methods were available, she might have aborted the product of that rape. And that’s why we can’t make concessions in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother’s health; if we allow abortions then, God might have to ask for permission.So, either God is a short-sighted moron who can’t bother to pick a willing mother to his only begotten son, or he’s a rapist who lucked out because this happened before Plan B. Bumper sticker theology, you have truly outdone yourself.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I hope I’m not posting so late, that I bring up a discussion of resurrection…Anyway, thank you to philisophizer for reminding the world that pro-choice does not mean anti-life or automatic abortion, as her existence and that of my children can attest (especially the inconvenient one *winks).I must however disagree with the whole God as rapist idea. “Be it done to me according to thy word” (or whatever translation you like) would probably stand up in court as consent. Also, what makes you think that Mary was chosen randomly? Most humans looking to procreate try to find a willing partner – I suppose God might have enough sense to do that, too.I hate to bring this up, but the only reason I can think of to call this rape is on the basis of the power differential. But, hey, what’s a God to do?-CJV

  5. Doubting Tom says:

    Oh, I certainly don’t agree with the God-as-rapist idea, and I thank you for the added context (I kind of skimmed the relevant passages in the Gospels when I looked up that part). I think both philosophizer and I are playing Devil’s Advocate here, following some of the logic of these nutty bumper stickers out into the realm of absurdity. I don’t think anyone believes that Mary was chosen randomly (and if you’re into Catholic doctrine, she was chosen specifically), but that’s one of the consequences of the “if Mary was pro-choice, we wouldn’t have Christmas” ‘argument.’ That scenario would suggest a God who didn’t plan ahead, and a Mary who had some reason to abort. I doubt that these consequences were ever considered by the bumper sticker manufacturers (especially if they buy into that oft-repeated fallacy that women primarily get abortions because they don’t want to lose their figure during swimsuit season), but taking a look at the absurdities only makes these glib ‘arguments’ look that much more empty.Now, playing Devil’s Advocate again, while I really don’t think the “rapist God” interpretation holds any water, it certainly wouldn’t be out of place. I don’t recall Zeus asking for permission before impregnating his various mistresses, whether as a golden rain, or as a swan, or as a bull. Calypso kept Odysseus more or less as a sex slave. And Hades kidnapped his wife and kept her imprisoned in the underworld! Gods have a tendency to be less than progressive with their sexual activities. What’s significant and unusual about Jehovah is that he did send an angel down to inform her of the decision, and could be said to have gotten consent. It’s like the story of Abraham and Isaac. It’s not odd that God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, it’s not even odd that Abraham was willing to do so. Those things were common practice in other religions as Judaism started out. What’s odd is that God said “nope, you don’t have to kill him. That’s not the way I roll.” While much of the New Testament is spent showing that God is merciful and loving in general, or in a philosophical sense, much of the Old Testament (from Abe & Ike to Lot to Noah) is spent showing that God is merciful and loving compared to the brutal, vengeful gods of the competing religious traditions. So, in that vein, God’s treatment of Mary is really quite progressive, by comparison. So, valid points all, but don’t think that I actually believe God is a short-sighted date rapist. I don’t even really believe that the Bumper Sticker Theologians think that. But they really need to think these slogans through just a little more; otherwise the logical consequences are downright nasty.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yes, of course. Exposing an statement’s lack of basis by answering it with a similarly unfounded one. That was the best part of the Darwin Club T-shirt, “If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve.” I should’ve recognized it — guess I’m slow sometimes.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hey.Maatnofret here. I found you through Feministe. That analogy is brilliant. If you don’t mind, I’d like to file it away for later use. Thanks!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hey.Maatnofret here. I found you through Feministe. That analogy is brilliant. If you don’t mind, I’d like to file it away for later use. Thanks!

  9. Doubting Tom says:

    Go right ahead. If you happen this way again, though, could you tell me how I managed to get linked through Feministe?And maybe you can tell me how they managed to get omitted from my blogroll! Oh, I feel so sheepish…

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