Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock: When rape victims get pregnant, “it is something that God intended to happen.”

Here’s Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who apparently has some sort of direct line to God, talking about abortion and rape at a debate earlier tonight:

I just struggled with it myself for a long time but I came to realize: Life is that gift from God that I think even if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.

Mourdock has now put out a statement trying to sort of retract what he said, and a spokeswoman for Romney, who has endorsed Mourdock, has distanced the presidential contender from Mourdock’s remarks.  See Politico for more details.

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon,, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on October 23, 2012, in abortion, misogyny, politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 168 Comments.

  1. Hmmm… all of these frankly scrumptious Apple of the Earth pie variants aren’t going to bring a patriotic tear to Glen Beck’s eye. They sound quite British.

    Of course, so is Apple of the Tree pie.

    And Levi Strauss was from Bavaria.

    Ray Kroc was U.S. born and bred, though. So the Golden Arches are uniquely American. This is both telling and depressing.

  2. Nah, Quorn’s not vegan, it has milk and/or eggs in it. I only use meat substitutes about once a fortnight, usually seitan. I’ve been vegetarian for most of my life, and when I was a kid I only ate meat when I ate outside of the home, so it’s not something I’ve ever had to miss. Weirdly, and partially off topic, I found out yesterday that ASDA’s own brand soy milk isn’t vegan – or even vegetarian – they put fish in it! :S

  3. And Levi Strauss was from Bavaria.

    Don’t tell Ruby, it’s all she has!

  4. and I would not have the nurturing instinct of a laundry basket.

    I’m not sure I even have this much nurturing instinct. I mean, put a baby inside a laundry basket and set the whole thing on a table, and the basket will keep the baby from rolling off the table. Set a baby on a table in front of me, and I might neglect to do the same.

    Related: On one of the mailing lists I read, someone suggested this morning that Christian conservatives are hung up on this “rape babies are God’s will” thing because the central myth in their religion is that God made a baby be born of a woman whose opinion was never consulted.

    But I was under the impression that Mary *was* consulted and that she consented (see Luke 1:38, “I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be to me according to His will”). By implication, then, if Mary had been all “AHAHAHA FUCK OFF,” God would have found some other woman to carry His baby-self.

    After comments like Akin’s and Mourdock’s, though, I’m beginning to think my interpretation is an unusually feminist one.

  5. PS: That said, can we please get the feminist version in more churches? “God wants all pregnancies to be consented-to pregnancies” is a WAY better moral lesson than “God uses rapists to knock you up so the walking incubators need to look grateful for it,” IMO.

  6. Creative Writing Student

    Weirdly, and partially off topic, I found out yesterday that ASDA’s own brand soy milk isn’t vegan – or even vegetarian – they put fish in it!

    So, the list of people who drink soy milk:
    – Vegans
    – Some vegetarians
    – Lactose intolerant peoples
    – Health detox-y type peoples
    – Strange folk (it tastes like cardboard, why does it taste like cardboard?!)

    And they’ve cut out two major groups. Possibly three if the health detox-y type peoples can’t eat fish because detox-y. WTF?

  7. How do I get adults who are loud and obnoxious to shut the fuck up? I don’t think giving them paper and pens will help. (Adults are almost always more poorly behaved than a 2 year because we should all know better. A two year old, not so much.)

  8. Dani Alexis, I’ve always thought the same! I started calling the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25, 9 months before Christmas on the liturgical calendar) the Feast of Mary’s Consent after a conversation with a girlfriend of mine who said “You know, maybe Mary’s house was like the sixth house on the block the angel went to, and the other girls he talked to were like ‘you know, I don’t really think I want to be pregnant, but thanks for asking” and the angel was like “Ok cool beans” and then Mary said yes and the angel and God were like ‘awesome! ’cause we don’t want to make someone miraculously pregnant without their consent.” which is a lot of added speculation to a mythical origin story anyway, but I like that addition to the narrative.

  9. I mean, some days I feel like “BAN CHILDREN FROM PUBLIC FOREVER”, generally in the presence of loud, painful children, but then I realise I am being unreasonable.
    And this is a very good reason for me to not have kids.

    I disagree with that-being someone who wants to keep kids out of inappropriate places in public (for instance, I doubt you want to ban them from places like Chuck E Cheese) does not automatically make you a person who should not have children.

    Your simply not wanting to have kids is good enough reason for me. I know it should be for everyone else but we all know people are busy body nose pokers into business not theirs.

    Those aren’t OK to force people to do, but forcing someone to carry a baby is?

    Because baby. That is why! (Never mind it is not a baby but it could be a baby and who cares what women think? Not like they are people amirite?)


  10. can we please get the feminist version in more churches?

    That reminds me of a substitute pastor my church had while I was in college. I made it home in time for the Maundy Thursday lunchtime service that year, and on the way to church my mother was telling me about how up-in-arms some of the parishioners were about the possibility that the diocese search committee might send us a woman pastor. The substitute pastor (who was male) had obviously heard some of the same bluster. So during the sermon, which was supposed to be reflection on the Last Supper, he broke off for a moment to ask why Paul’s letters were the only Biblical source anyone ever quoted on the subject of women in church leadership. He asked us to cast our minds ahead a few days to when we’d be reading the resurrection story in Matthew, and then quizzed the assembly:

    To whom did the angel in the tomb reveal himself?

    To two women: Mary and Mary Magdalene.

    And what did the angel tell them?

    That Jesus had risen.

    And did the angel tell them to go home and wait for some men to figure it out?

    No, he told them to tell everyone.

    Now, the pastor concluded, does that sound like a God who doesn’t think women are capable of ministering and spreading his word?

    I loved that guy.

  11. I will never, never understand this sort of mentality. If I believed that God personally intended for women to be impregnated through rape, I would not worship that God. I find it unfathomable that anyone would. Maybe you still believe in that God – fine. But why would you want to worship or love or praise or obey a rapist God, any more than you’d worship the devil just because you believe he exists? (And really, how the fuck is a God who goes around instructing rapists to rape people superior to the common conception of the devil in the first place?)

  12. Polliwog: But you see, it’s good because God did it.


  13. And the American Taliban goes mainstream. Remember folks, Iran was also a modern country before her religious freaks went hog wild.

  14. The only way to top this is for these Baptist dumb fucks to start speaking in tongues on the campaign trail during the 2014 midterm elections.

  15. Creative Writing Student

    At best, Mourdock’s comment is basically “in the case of legitimate rape, God has a way of shutting that whole thing down”.

  16. Or maybe people believe in an evil God, but say that he is good and praise him for fear of his punishments.

  17. I’ve always had a problem with the way Mary was represented. It always came across as a woman severly lacking in personality or free will. Her whole life revolved around being Christs mother and nothing else. I had that thought even as a little kid.

  18. Creative Writing Student


    The Nativity story is pure nightmare fuel for me. It’s one of the things I’ve hated most about Christmas. Thank goodness I’m an atheist so I can focus on things like family and friends and shiny things and CAKE.

  19. @pillowinhell:

    I’ve always had a problem with the way Mary was represented. It always came across as a woman severly lacking in personality or free will. Her whole life revolved around being Christs mother and nothing else. I had that thought even as a little kid.

    Leo Taxil, however, put a very funny spin on the story.

  20. @polliwog:

    I will never, never understand this sort of mentality. If I believed that God personally intended for women to be impregnated through rape, I would not worship that God. I find it unfathomable that anyone would. Maybe you still believe in that God – fine. But why would you want to worship or love or praise or obey a rapist God, any more than you’d worship the devil just because you believe he exists? (And really, how the fuck is a God who goes around instructing rapists to rape people superior to the common conception of the devil in the first place?)

    In Judaism, God is the source of both good and evil. Or rather, that dichotomy does not exist, at least not the way it does in Christianity. God is just God — an all-powerful, all-knowing entity whose motivations are shrouded in mystery. But you are required to be good in any event.

    (The Coen Brothers’ “A Serious Man” is centered around that principle. The movie is brilliant.)

  21. @palmedfire if you can’t have furred babies, how about a feathered baby? If you can give them enough attention and stimulation, you can have a really great relationship with a parrot – even the small and common ones, like parakeets (budgerigar) and cockatiels, are loving, very smart, and can be hilariously entertaining. And there are plenty of them in sanctuaries and rescues, waiting to be adopted…

  22. If God is simply God, and no dichotomy exists, then why the hell are Christian scholars so intent on twisting themselves into mental preztzels to explain a non existant problem?

    We borrowed rather liberally from the Jewish peoples, couldn’t we have kept the sensible explanations too?

    Does anyone else here get the feeling that when the stain of original sin was removed from Marys’ soul, her free will was removed as well? What would be the point of removing THE sin, if she could simply choose to defy Gods wishes at any time that pleased her?

  23. Oh just fuck off you awful human being

  24. Sen. Richard Mourdock, your Ialdabaoth god-dog can shove his “gifts” up his rot-tooth lined asshole, shit them back out, & feed it to you.

    “Holy shit! Shit! Lord’s shit!”

    “Balasti! Ompheda! I spit on your crapulous creeds!”

  25. Not to go back to the OP, but I have a sort of round-up post on the subject of Republicans and Rape

  26. Pomme d’Anna…. OMG! Almost worth the money to get a Mauviel pan which is good for that (and Tarte Tatin) primarily.

    What’s a couple of hundreb bucks, weighed against baked, crispy, goodness?

  27. Because 1: Christians were not immune to the other culture in their millieu.
    2: Judaism, at the time, was having some of that problem too.
    3: Zororastrianism was a big thing.
    4: Duality based religions were a big source of the non-Jews being converted from the Roman Empire.

  28. In doing that post on the OP, I found a Catholic-based site with some stupid logic on abortion.

    “Abortion wasn’t an issue before the Greeks, because no one complained about it. It wasn’t an issue in Canaan, or among the Jews, or Moses would have talked about it.”

    It fails to consider that Moses, etc. might not have complained of it (the way Hippocrates did) because, to the Jews, it wasn’t a moral issue.

  29. … Do these people tend to support the death penalty?

    ‘Cause, y’know, killing a human entity in order to [avoid/punish] the death of another human entity?

  30. Creative Writing Student

    Yes, well, criminals are bad and evil and wrong and expensive, where as babies are pure and sweet and innocent and punishment for those vile sluts.

    Now, I’m going to have a shower using my hydroclauric acid scrub to get the ickky off me.

  31. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    @dirtyhippiefeet – love that idea of Mary being the sixth or so girl the angel asked! Because as the story stands, well, her saying “I consent with all my heart” doesn’t mean a whole lot given it’s an angel and God who’re telling her they want her to be pregnant. Free will? Yeah, right. Massive power imbalance, anyone? I mean, saying NO to a God with a track record of drowning the whole world, demanding prisoners of war be slaughtered, killing an entire country’s first-born childern, etc, isn’t something I’d expect of anyone, let alone a young teen.

    Unless of course she was a teen with ATTITUDE. Now there’s a scenario worth picturing … Mary telling God what a useless old fart he is and to piss off.

    Preferably in a Lunnon accent, innit.

  32. The Kitteh’s: But there is also Abraham bargaining with God about Sodom and Gomorrah.

  33. Diogenes The Cynic


    Abortion is specifically mentioned in the Talmud. The subject is adressed without ambiguity. As are c-sections, and other things. If G-d made a world that would advance, why wouldn’t he have given us the tools to address those issues?

  34. There are many things I love about living in Indiana. This guy sure as hell isn’t one of them.

    I feel your pain here, lauralot. That’s how I feel about Akin running for Senate in MIssouri. But in the ballot booth, we Missourians will have a way to shut that whole thing down.

    Oh, and the Lord says it’s his will for everyone in Indiana to vote for Donnelly. It’s a good thing there is an all powerful, omniscient deity that always agrees with me!

  35. By the way, I think a great way to entertain kids in public is to bring along handheld games like Leapster or Nintendo gameboy. They’re easy to carry and you can bring along extra games. However, when you do that, there will be the self righteous scolds who will gripe about “parents nowadays using electronic gadgets as babysitters”.

  36. As a parent of 2 small children, I must say I have spent a great deal of time agonizing over the amount of noise they make in public. I still do actually. I want to stab my eyeballs with a fork when my kids are screaming, tantruming, or otherwise being ridiculously loud in public. There have been many times when I know everyone in the restaurant, airplane, waiting room hated me. What I’ve gained through all this is an incredible empathy for parents with loud out of control children in public. You can generally tell the difference between the parents like me (cringing in horror from embarrassment) and the ones that are oblivious.

  37. Apropos of nothing, but this somehow makes me think of MRAs:

  38. Author Sara Douglass did a fantasy/alternate history series that does away with any notion of consent for Mary, and got rid of God, and instead just has angels running around raping women everywhere, and then forcing their illegimate children into Hell, It was an interesting(if horrifying) spin on the story, and explained the basis for the blatant woman hating in Medieval Christianity(the Angels despised women, and victim blamed them for their rapes).

    But yeah, Jesus was the result of a gang rape by angels, as per this story, specifically created to start a religion worshiping a false God that stood in place of the raping angels. Instead though, Jesus found the love of humans to be divine, and had to be crucified before he ruined everything for the raping angels.

    This guy belongs in that book.

  39. On the Mary giving consent idea, there is an example from the old testament where god controls a person’s thinking: he harden’s pharoah’s heart against letting the Israelites leave Egypt, thereby directly causing the Egyptians to have yet more plagues occur – which is psychopathic. Therefore, even if Mary “consented”, how could one tell that it was true consent and not god making her consent?

    On the children in public point, I have given up going to the movies now. It was bad enough when 8pm or 10pm sessions had people with babies, but then they started letting toddlers in too. Although, that said, adults talking loudly about the plot or not having their damn phones turned off is at least as annoying. When I was on-call, back in the day of pagers with 1-mile radii and when they only gave you the extension that the person called from, and I had a 10-minute response time back to the hospital, I pretty much stayed in the hospital for the whole on-call period. So did everyone else. Saturday night on-calls in hospitals = drink drive crashes and suicide attempts. I can’t believe that most people taking phone calls or texts in a movie are that type of on-call, particularly as I never see them damn well leave once the call comes through.🙂

  40. Kiwi girl: This comes up at Passover, and it seems to be some translational error (no… say it ain’t so), the English might better, read, “And God strengthened his convictions”. The idea is that Pharaoh wasn’t making a decision out of reasoned thinking, but abject fear, and God made it possible for Pharaoh to act on his wishes, not his fears.

  41. Diogenes: You aren’t paying attention. The Talmud isn’t Mosaic. Moreover, it postdates Hippocrates, and so isn’t relevant to the asinine “logic” in that piece I referred to.

  42. @pecunium thanks for pointing out another translational error (LOL perfect word of god). One question: from the alternative translation, it still appears that god was dicking around with the pharoah’s mind, so does my point still stand: how can one possibly tell if any decision / consent was freely given without god interference?

    This is so much more fun than incorporating peer review into a journal article…🙂

  43. There is a movie theater in the state capital here that offers Baby Day on Tuesdays. Every show before 7:00pm is A-OK for babies, and since it’s clearly stated that it’s Baby Day, people who aren’t cool with it know to stay away. It’s a great compromise. People with babies and toddlers get to have a day out with their kids, and nobody who doesn’t want to be in the theater with babies has to put up with it. Perfect.

    They also don’t put up with inconsiderate assholes in their theater. They have hilarious PSAs before the movie that say clearly “no talking, phoning, texting, etc. because it disturbs other people.”

    Here’s one of their actual PSAs:

    And here’s an actual voicemail some little [censored] left for them after being kicked out for breaking their clearly stated rules:

    It’s very much worth the drive to go there for a movie. They serve food and beer (wine too), show movies in 3D, and offer an annoyance-free movie experience. Uncool to plug them I know, but my local theater chain is overrun with those who like to talk amongst themselves and light up the theater with their cell phones. I prefer to drive for awhile and make a fun event of movie going since I have the option.

    Plus, Baby Day.

  44. @freitag235 so if you don’t arrive with a donkey, they give you one so they can take it off you? It’s arse, not ass, dammit! Admittedly, you can sit on both. And we kiwis do put the “r” sound in there like the Brits, so they’re not homonyms.

    You North Americans and your funny ways. Oh, and when you come to NZ, please refer to “fanny packs” as “bum bags” as fanny has a completely different meaning over here (similarly in Australia and the UK)….

  45. So I lost my mind and ranted about this on a social networking site on which I partake with my home town childhood friends and family. I deleted it, but it went something like, See who you’ll vote for to save a buck? Wow what you people will do to save a buck MAYBE! (and you probably won’t even get a dollar back in taxes.)

    etc. sooo. Hopefully I’m not disowned by anyone. I did delete it.

  46. kiwi girl: One can’t. It’s an imponderable. If one argues for an actively interventionist God. The argument, re Pharoah, is that God was only making it possible for Pharaoh to do what Pharaoh wanted. God didn’t want Pharaoh to be able to say, “I only did it under duress.”

  47. @pecunium re the imponderables, these only seem to occur when a situation could be interpreted as god being a psychopath. There never seems to be an imponderable where the situation is clearly interpreted as god being good. This appears to be a way of giving god a free pass on horrible outcomes.

    I was also thinking about mistranslations in the bible, based on our previous short conversation. What I was wondering was this: if god is omnipotent,then god would have foreseen the mistranslation occurring, so god must have wanted the translation to happen otherwise he would have stopped it from occurring. So why didn’t god just get the correct word transcribed in the first place? Did he want people to be wrong in their translations for only a few hundred years, but was fine with things being corrected after that? What’s the point of that?

    Back onto the original topic: pregnancy isn’t the only possible outcome from rape, so are STIs, PTSD, physical damage, etc. So that would mean that any person who was raped who got an STI (with or without pregnancy), for example, that was god’s intention. god the psychopath strikes again.

  48. I feel a Monty Python intervention is necessary at this point:

  49. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    All of which is a reminder of why Ceiling Cat is a totally superior deity to NugganYahweh.😉

  50. Cushions not crucifixions!🙂

  51. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Now there’s a slogan I could get behind!😀

  52. Freitag, are you in ATX? Every time Mr. HK and I try to go see something at Alamo it’s sold out.

  53. 🙂 The other thing with the OT is that it is a regression back to the lowest stage of moral development (see So much of fundamentalist xtianity is based on stage one, not stage four – and stage four isn’t even the highest stage – it’s still at the concrete reasoning stage of human cognitive development (if you follow Piaget).

    “How can I avoid punishment” (and therefore the converse: anyone who is punished deserved it) is hardly positive advertising for developed moral thinking.

  54. It would be an interesting legal defense. “Yes, your honor, I did rape that woman. But she got pregnant, therefore I was doing God’s work and shouldn’t be punished.” And in 34 US states he can legally sue for parental rights and that’s current fact, not some politician’s theological belief. It’s true. Thirty-Four fucking US states give parental rights to rapists, so they can continue to torture their victims some more.

    Dear Dog but I do so hate these people. I do not believe in the malevolent and vicious god they worship. I can’t do it.

  55. @hellkell, I’m not in the capital itself, but it’s a couple of hours drive and that’s not so bad. You and Mr. HK can buy tickets online and they’ll be waiting for you at the box office. I do that so I don’t make the drive for nothing. And it is so worth it not to have the yapping and texting, plus have someone bring me dinner and a drink. (Great place to take a date, too. Just sayin’.)

  56. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Dear Dog


  57. The topic has made the NZ news media:

    Completely off topic, I clearly need this otherwise my Java learning will come to nothing, because of my lady brain and lady hands:

    How can I possibly learn Java on a normal black desktop?

  58. Kiwi girl: I was unclear. If one accepts an activel interventionist God one cannot assume any act wasn’t caused by that God.

    That’s the imponderable. Blagovitch commuting all death penalties… might’ve been God. Bush laughing at a condemned woman… might’ve been God.

    My deciding to by a baguette this afternoon, might’ve been God.

    That’s the problem with an actively interventionist God, it’s completely destroys the theologic underpinnings of free-will. Which is why the meaning of that passage of Exodus is so important. If what God did was make it possible for Pharoah to exercise his free will, that’s one thing. If what he did was jerk him around like a puppet on a string, that’s another altogether.

  59. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    So, he not only likes the idea of rape victims being forced to bear the rapists’ children, he wants to make women that much more vulnerable to it happening.

    Colour me unsurprised.

  60. @pecunium ah, my background leads me to automatically presume an actively intervening god, and I thought the bible leads to that belief also, as god is written as intervening everywhere. For the other possibility, I cannot see how one tell the difference between a non-intervening god and having no god at all, because there would be no difference in outcomes, i.e. god could not be invoked as a reason for any outcome. So this latter situation doesn’t even produce the “god of gaps”.

  61. So I was reading the reaction from Republicans and basically they have no idea why people are upset but they do know people are upset and damn it, stop being so upset!

    It is almost as if they want to lose.

  62. Kiwi Nothing in the bible require an active (i.e. regular/ongoing) intervention. Part of the point of the bible is to point out the places/times/situations in which God did intervene, and by extension context to understand the otherwise inexplicable.

    God’s intervention is supposed to be shown as extraordinary… miraculous.

  63. Maybe he’s not an arsehole, maybe he’s just a Calvinist. Oh wait, that’s the same thing.

  64. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    The Bible loses me at the point … actually as a story, with God as a character, it loses me from the get-go; but if nothing else, the Flood would be the last straw. It’s not even the matter of wiping out humanity, it’s wiping out all the land animals as well. Yes, of course the story takes the moral stance and the attitude towards animals of its time, I’m well aware of that. But literalists still push the idea of it actually happening – slaughter on an unheard-of scale – and in the same breath tell us this psychopath is perfect, loving, etc etc. It sickens me.

    Cushions Not Crucifixions!

    (I am so stealing that, kiwigirl.😉 )

  65. Kitteh’s: There are two things there: one is the probably reason for the flood story: The infilling of the Black Sea, about 7,000 years ago. While it was happening the water was movig as much as three miles a day. At it’s narrowest point it’s about 148 miles across, so the rising waters would have chased refugess for about 25 days. At the wider parts it’s about twice that, so it could have been 50 days of fleeing the rising waters (a “flood from the deep”).

    So the oral history/mythology had to account for everything in the known world being wiped out.

  66. @ Kittehs

    Child me always felt like the Bible had started out with God as a terrible and frightening force and then they’d tried to sanitize it by adding the love stuff later. So basically, like what happens in families when there’s a resident abuser and everyone tiptoes around them trying not to piss them off and tries to convince themselves/outsiders that the abuser is a good person really.

  67. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Yes, I knew about the Black Sea flood, but it’s the “God is perfect but slaughters animals because he doesn’t like human behaviour” tale we’ve received through so many generations that pisses me off. If it was still at the level of “god/gods are powerful and can be complete arseholes and nobody expects anything better of them” it would make more sense. It’d be almost like Odin, who for me is less horrible than Yahweh because he wasn’t all powerful; he was trying to stave off Ragnarok however he could. Doesn’t make him good but for me it highlights what a tow-rag the fundy God is. He didn’t need to do any of this stuff. The oral traditions of ancient peoples trying to explain a calamity are one thing; taking them as literal truth, and pushing it as the actions of a wonderful, perfect, loving, moral being just don’t work.

  68. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

    Cassandra – that’s a perfect comparison! Dressing up bald power, abusive power, as some sort of love.

    I much prefer the way kitties mess with one’s mind.

  69. if anyone had said that twenty, ten, hell, five years ago, it would have been career suicide. Seriously. What the almighty flying fuck is happening here?

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