Richard Mourdock’s ‘sick and twisted’ critics


Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock pauses during a news in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, to explain the comment he made during last night Senate debate. (Michael Conroy/AP)
October 25, 2012

Honestly, I don’t understand what all the fuss is about.

In a Tuesday night debate, Richard Mourdock, the Indiana Republican running for the U.S. Senate made what turned out to be a controversial statement about abortion.

“I struggled with it myself for a long time,” he said, “but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

Mourdock made the horrible mistake of telling the truth about what he believes. He actually believes that abortion is murder. And he actually believes that God creates life.

All hell has broken loose among his fellow Republicans. They are twisting themselves into pretzels trying to criticize him and support their Christian beliefs at the same time. Mitt Romney, who has a campaign ad out supporting Mourdock, has said that Mourdock’s remarks were not in line with his views. His Democratic opponent, Rep. Joe Donnelly, who supports abortion in cases of rape or incest, came down on him as did Sen. John McCain. Donnelly said, “The God I believe in and the God I know most Hoosiers believe in, does not intend for rape to happen, ever.  What Mr. Mourdock said is shocking and it is stunning that he would be so disrespectful of survivors of rape.” We’ve yet to hear from Rep. Paul Ryan whose positions on abortion are so convoluted nobody knows what he believes any more. 

Republican Richard Mourdock, candidate for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat, participates in a debate with Democrat Joe Donnelly and Libertarian Andrew Horning in a debate in New Albany, Ind., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. (Michael Conroy/AP)

Mourdock is still trying to explain what he meant, but the more he talks, the deeper he digs that hole.

“What I said was, in answering the question from my position of faith, I said I believe that God creates life.  I believe that as wholly and as fully as I can believe it, that God creates life. Are you trying to suggest that somehow I think that God pre-ordained rape? No, I don’t think that. That’s sick. Twisted. That’s not even close to what I said. What I said is that God creates life.”  

Here’s the problem: All of these guys are anti-abortion. They believe life begins at conception. Therefore, they believe an abortion is murder. So if that’s true, how can they possibly believe it is okay to murder a fetus (a fully realized person in their eyes) simply because of the way the child was conceived? This is baffling. I admire Mourdock for telling the truth about what he believes.  

What are these Republicans screaming about when their own party platform calls for a constitutional amendment banning abortion and doesn’t mention, rape, incest or the life of the mother?

I’ll tell you what they’re upset about.  They want the Republicans to win, they need the women’s vote and the country is not behind banning abortion in cases of rape or incest. In fact, the majority of voters is not against banning abortion at all. So the conscience of these convictions is based purely on politics.

Look at Ryan, changing his position from being against abortion in all cases to agreeing with Mitt Romney’s (new) position that it’s okay in the case of rape or incest. How can he live with himself?

Murder is murder. Would it be any different if they said they thought it was fine to kill a child after it had been born because it was conceived by rape or incest? What’s the age cutoff? If it is a human being from conception on, what is the difference?

Where Mourdock got himself into serious trouble was saying that rape is “something that God intended to happen.”

He’s right there, too, according to his beliefs. And, by the way, the beliefs of many of his Republican critics. If God creates life, then He must create rape as well.  God is all powerful.  The others are trying to cherry pick what they want God to have done. Does God, in their eyes, only do good? If that is true, how do we account for all the evil and suffering in the world? These are heavy questions but Mourdock was completely within reason to bring up the discussion, and he puts his opponents to shame by verbalizing what they do not dare.

His backtracking was a bit unfortunate.  He railed at those who suggested that he meant that  God “pre-ordained” rape and said that what he really meant was that God creates life.  I’d like to see the list of what God pre-ordains and what he doesn’t. How do we know?

Mourdock may be the pariah of the moment but the real culprits are those who believe one thing about life and death and who say another. To me that is what is “sick” and “twisted.”

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