I Guess They Weren’t Kidding about Fearing God

Arthur Caplan

If there is any silver lining in the moronic, ignorant, and grossly offensive statements offered about rape by the failed candidates for Senate in the recently concluded election, Missouri’s Congressman Todd Akin and Indiana’s Richard Mourdock, it is that they may have finally shown both the folly and the moral dodginess inherent in efforts by conservative fundamentalists to posit God’s hand in every act, no matter how horrific or awful. They do this both in situations where misery besets an individual and where tragedy overwhelms a group. Both are ethically disgusting.

During a taped radio interview, Congressman Akin offered the completely cockamamie suggestion that women who are “legitimately raped” have some sort of divinely inserted body defense mechanism that prevents them from becoming pregnant. Something about female reproductive parts going into defensive spasms against unwanted sperm, a theory often repeated by former National Right to Life head and fabulist physician John C. Willke, seemed to be the source of Akin’s falsehood.

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