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Howlin' madHey, you know what’s tricky? Putting together a coherent philosophical system that reconciles belief in an omnipotent but also loving God with indisputable evidence that bad things happen to good people. And it can be frustrating when you’re running for Senate and someone at a debate tries to trip you up with a “gotcha” question that forces you into philosophical weeds that have baffled great thinkers for millennia. You know what’s even trickier and more frustrating, though? Getting raped and then getting pregnant as a result of getting raped! You know what’s not tricky at all? The decision of, “Hmm, will saying that your rape-baby is a part of God’s plan be good for my election campaign, or bad for it?” The correct answer is: bad. Do not imply this to people who might want to vote for you. Oh, wait, you already did it, Richard Mourdock? Oh, dear, that might not work out so well for you!

When we last heard from Richard Mourdock, the Tea Party dude who primaried Dick Lugar and therefore moved Indiana from a safe Republican Senate seat to something resembling a toss-up, he was busy recording hostage videos for every possible outcome of the Obamacare Supreme Court decisions. This was important because it proves that he believes in the concept of free will. After all, if God just moved us around on like pawns on a chessboard, then surely the devilish Obamacare would have been struck down, or never passed by Congress, or never even thought up by Mitt Romney in the first place, or something! National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius is evidence of mankind’s sinful, fallen nature!

Wait, where were we? Oh, right, rape! Mourdock had a debate with his opponent yesterday during which this happened:

Mourdock, who’s been locked in a tight race with Democratic challenger Rep. Joe Donnelly, was asked during the final minutes of a debate whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest.

“I struggled with it myself for a long time, 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 happened,” Mourdock said.

Mourdock further explained after the debate he did not believe God intended the rape, but that God is the only one who can create life.

“Are you trying to suggest somehow that God preordained rape, no I don’t think that,” Mourdock said. “Anyone who would suggest that is just sick and twisted. No, that’s not even close to what I said.”

So, again, Mourdock is actually trying fairly earnestly to thread the needle of this philosophical position, which goes like this:

  • Rapist’s decision to rape you? His free will, not God’s fault, not God-approved.
  • Rapist’s sperm’s success in hooking up with an egg and making a preborn human in your womb? Entirely under God’s control, as he weaves the gift of life inside your body.
  • Your decision to have an abortion? Your free will, not God’s fault, not God-approved.

You know who might have little to no interest in this theological musing, though? People who have been raped and gotten pregnant from it, or people who have been raped and went through some agonizing time wondering if they were going to be pregnant, or people who worry about whether they or someone who they care about might be raped and pregnant, or just people who care more about alive women than about clusters of cells inside said women! Those people might be receptive to the response of Mourdock’s opponent, who said that he didn’t believe that “my God, or any God, would intend that to happen.” What a communist! Like there’s more than one God. Anyway, enjoy Mitt Romney and Mitch McConnell and everyone else who’s publicly backed Mourdock squirming around and distancing themselves from him without actually de-endorsing him over the next two weeks. [AP]

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