If we take Republican Indiana senate candidate Richard Mourdock at his word, he has a very specific concept of God, in which the almighty lord would never intend for a rape to happen, but once it was in progress, can and sometimes does will a pregnancy to result from it. Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler, has offered Mourdock $1 million to prove this claim. Flynt writes:
“Please be kind enough to verify your claim for a wondering nation. I will accept for purposes of this reward any verifiable transcript of your personal conversations with God; letters, email, text messages or videos from God, or messages addressed to you from God transmitted by any third party, including the Republican National Committee or the Romney/Ryan campaign.”
To collect, Mourdock needs to hurry. The offer expires at 8pm tonight. Yes, this is a stunt, and while we’d all love for Mourdock to actually try and collect, that’s not happening. Still, credit Flynt with the moxie to do what few journalists will: ask the man what on Earth he is talking about. Mourdock has received his share of notoriety for his words, but these sorts of comments go unquestioned all the time. We’re still quite antsy about probing someone’s ideas around God, but asking questions doesn’t have to mean being insensitive. The view that women who become pregnant from rape are not entitled to an abortion is becoming more and more mainstream in Republican politics. It is the view held by Paul Ryan, who tomorrow could be the vice president-elect, and many of the initial field of Republican presidential candidates. These people love to talk about God, so let’s let them. And because their ideas about abortion are quite specific, perhaps they could also tell us what God was up to in the half hour, ten minutes, five minutes, one minute before the woman became pregnant.