So, Richard Mourdock says God uses the uterus of pregnant rape victims as gift wrapping. As such, abortions should be illegal for women who become pregnant as a result of a non-consensual sexual encounter. And why? Because said pregnancy is a gift, and intended by God acording to the Indiana GOP Senate hopeful currently running for office.
Oh well, so much for the idea that it’s the thought that counts.
What’s up with Republicans running for office making ridiculous statements, and then in defense of said dumb shit, they then say that their words were taken out of context? Or, as in the case of Indiana’s Tea Party darling Richard Murdock, his words are being “twisted,” to mean something different than intended.
I realize that “context is everything,” when communicating. However, I’m a strong proponent for saying what you mean, meaning what you say and standing behind your words. Maybe it’s just me, but to do so says a lot about one’s character. Especially when thoughts and ideas are communicated from a position of power, to the powerless in our society. It might be a novel idea, but language and communication is important. It’s also especially important when running for office.
But don’t tell that to Mourdock who after Indiana’s Senate race debate last night, has found himself in hot water for making the following statement on victims of rape being allowed to have abortions: “I’ve struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from god. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” Here’s what Murdock offered as an explanation of what he actually meant:
God creates life, and that was my point. God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that he does. Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick.
Personally, I think you have to be a sick individual to justify rape. And as is the case with Mourdock’s statement, using “God” to justify rape speaks loudly to the issue of male privilege, patriarchy, and the all out insanity that is the marriage of religion and politics often seen on our political right. Case in point, check out the following defense of Mourdock’s comment from my friend David N. Bass over at The American Spectator – I found the following to be interesting:
It’s easy to be perturbed by Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s comments on rape, abortion, and God’s will. But a little context here is important.
One, it’s important to understand what Murdock actually meant. He wasn’t saying that the criminal, immoral act of rape carries the approval of God. Rather, Murdock said that life — that is, the unborn child — produced by the horrible act of rape is still precious to God. The two are quite distinct. Of course, I have no delusion that media outlets will get this right. If they do, it will be buried deep in the story.
Two, many Republican candidates have inarticulately expressed their views on economic and foreign policy concerns. The most damaging part of this presidential campaign for Mitt Romney was his “47 percent” remark. Admittedly, it was said in private and not during a televised debate, but it was both unwise and damaging. Conservatives hoping to see a change in the Oval Office should be just as willing to forgive Murdock as they were willing to forgive Romney.
Three, the pro-life issue isn’t a liability for Republicans. Democrats’ pro-abortion extremism — defined as abortion on demand, without restrictions, up to the point of birth (and after) — appeals to their base, and their base only. Republicans’ pro-life instincts appeal to their base and a growing number of moderates who truly want abortion to be rare. Far more Americans today identify as pro-life than pro-choice. Republicans are winning on this issue, and must take a principled stand.
Fourth, I agree that Republicans need to be more careful of “inartfully” (to borrow a phrase) articulating their views on the sanctity of unborn life. Don’t give the media or your opponent anything to run with. But the same holds true for their economic views. It’s easy for a wrongly phrased answer to come across as plutocratic and dismissive of the legitimate needs of the poor and the welfare of the middle class— and, in our current economic situation, that type of gaffe is far more damaging to one’s electoral hopes than misspeaking on a social issue that most voters are ignoring right now.
Yep, typical right-wing commentator response: “Our guy’s words are being misrepresented by the media who fails to provide proper context.” Maybe I’m wrong, or maybe it’s just the secularist in me oozing out; however, there is no other way to explain Mourdock’s comment as being what it was. His comment wasn’t “inartful,” it was downright ridiculous — becoming pregnant as a result of non-consensual sex is not a gift from God. No, it’s called being a victim of rape. It’s called being forced to have sex, and a woman not having the choice to protect herself from pregnancy.
If God is a God of love, I doubt seriously whether he, she, or it would use rape as a method of conception for a woman. But then again, maybe rape is one of God’s many mysterious ways.
That said, why should a woman be “forced” to accept an unwanted pregnancy because God, Jesus, or whomever you choose to believe in decided to slide down a chimney bearing the “gift” of life? Belief aside, is it too much to be human and give a victim of rape the option to legally terminate a pregnancy? See, that’s the problem: You can’t argue or debate belief. Nope, because belief is just that: belief. And thankfully there’s this awesome thing called Separation of Church and State that protects individuals from any one God’s plan or rules being imposed on the entire population.
In response to Mourdock’s comment, a childhood friend of mine on Facebook asked: “Who are these crazy men?” My response to her, was that “these men,” are believers. Unfortunately for her and all the women across the country, they’re also believers employ religious dogma to justify control of the female body. Which is interesting since God gave the world the gift of his son through Mary, a virgin. But yet if a woman becomes pregnant because of an act non-consensual sex, she should take comfort in knowing that this was God’s will. Yeah, in spite of how unpleasant experience of being raped, the bright side is that God chose her uterus as the gift wrapping.
Yep, rape victims should be honored; you know, just like the descendants of African slaves.
For men like Mourdock — and the countless number of people who may agree with him — it’s as though God gave men dominion over everything in the land just as he “allegedly” gave Adam. And what better way to impose one’s belief than to be in a position of power within government, right?