Pregnancy from rape ‘something God intended’: Candidate Mourdock stands by statement

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said Wednesday that he is standing by his statement that when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape “that’s something God intended.” He says some people have twisted the meaning of his comment.

Mourdock said in a news conference that he abhors any sexual violence and regrets it if his comment during a debate Tuesday night left another impression. He said he firmly believes all life is precious and that he abhors violence of any kind.

“I spoke from my heart. And speaking from my heart, speaking from the deepest level of my faith, I would not apologize. I would be less than faithful if I said anything other than life is precious, I believe it’s a gift from god,” Mourdock said.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and other Republicans have distanced themselves from Mourdock’s stance.

Mourdock, who has been locked in one of the country’s most expensive and closely watched Senate races, was asked during the final minutes of a debate Tuesday night 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 happen,” Mourdock said.

Mourdock maintained at the news conference that he was misunderstood.

“I think that God can see beauty in every life,” Mourdock said. “Certainly, I did not intend to suggest that God wants rape, that God pushes people to rape, that God wants to support or condone evil in any way.”

 Mourdock became the second GOP Senate candidate to find himself on the defensive over comments about rape and pregnancy. Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin said in August that women’s bodies have ways of preventing pregnancy in cases of what he called “legitimate rape.” Since his comment, Akin has repeatedly apologized but has refused to leave his race despite calls to do so by leaders of his own party, including GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

. . .
 

GOP Rape Advisory Chart

 A week or so ago, connecticutie posted her version of the GOP Rape Advisory Chart to help sort out all of the confusion about the wide variety of rape “flavors” that today’s Republican Party seems so hell-bent on bringing to light.

I thought she did a fantastic job, but, given the latest entries into the “rainbow of rape flavors” yesterday and today by Richard Mourdock and John Cornyn, I decided to create a revised version that plays it straight–I’m just including the actual quotes themselves. Feel free to repost on FB, TW or wherever you wish.

So, without further ado, I present the updated Republican Party Rape Advisory Chart:

 

 

Written By: Tom LoBianco Associated Press
continue to source article at mercurynews.com

122 COMMENTS

  1. If God gave us free will, as is understood to have done by the religious, then a forceful rape induced pregnancy was not meant to have happened to the rape victim. It equally applies that if God gave us free will then we were also given the ability to safeguard and cure ourselves from any unwarranted forceful abuse of others. If anything that we don’t agree to happens to us and we were of the belief that it was meant to happen without any choice in the matter, then democracy and the the vote would not exist

  2. I don’t think he said anything insensitive. His tone was sincere and he spoke honestly, it seemed to me. But his comments have been taken out of context (as usual with these stories about so-called gaffs). He takes a pro-life stance and states “life begins at conception” and therefore no abortion. He does concede that he would consider abortion if the life of the mother was threatened – that’s progress.

    He is being neither inconsistent nor illogical from where he stands.

    Of course, we can all debate about his religious reasons for believing as he does, but that’s another issue.

    Oh, and I do hate the way politicians are ridiculed like this all the time. How would any of us do under such a spotlight?

  3.  “Certainly, I did not intend to suggest that God wants rape, that God pushes people to rape, that God wants to support or condone evil in any way.”

    Howlin’ Mad Mourdock needs to study his Bible more:

    ‘Lot [a righteous man of God, lauded by Christians and Muslims alike] went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.” ‘

    Genesis 19:6-8

    Many more examples of God’s less than feminist attitude to incest and rape can be found here: http://www.evilbible.com/Rape….

  4. I’ll be staying up late into the early hours of Wednesday 7th November, seriously hoping that the (considerably) lesser of two evils wins the US election…

    It truly frightens me that such imbeciles are given the opportunity to run the most powerful country in the world…

    Let’s hope the multiple public gaffs of recent weeks do help prevent a catastrophe on polling day…

  5. This is why religion need to be considered when choosing a political candidate. Anyone who would think this, let alone say it, has disqualified himself for office.

    I must think, in choosing candidates, that a person like this is the product of a sick indoctrination. How can one trust government to such a person?

  6. GPWC, I think you’re wrong, it was insensitive – not inconsistent. Clearly telling someone that after a violent assault someone else’s imaginary friend is going to tell you what you can do is literally fucking insensitive. 

    That the offending person is deluded has no bearing on the degree of insensitivity. The criminal defense of ignorance does not work.

    On the mater of how those of us who have chosen a private life would “do” with a spotlight on us, surely the answer is we’ve already chosen not to put ourselves in that position? As to whether I have sympathy for a person who deliberately stands in front of a spotlight and is surprised when we can see through his thin tissue of lies – of course not.

    He chose his position, he stood up and shouted it. Ridicule away and if you don’t like the heat…

  7. I honestly do not understand how any male (and I’m male) can have any opinion whatsoever on whether a fetus or embryo is alive or human.   We contributed exactly one cell to the entire process.   The only people who can have any feeling as to the “aliveness” of the developing fetus is the woman inside of whose body the fetus is developing.  All men should just butt out of the argument.

  8. What did you guys expect——–It’s Indiana, the State where even the LICENSE PLATES say “In God We Trust”!!!!!!

    They certainly don’t learn their alphabet from Big Bird, —-they’re “hung up” on the letter “T”.—and get lots
    of needed practice every Sunday —-it seems to be on every church edifice in the State!!

  9. Calm down, people. Remember: the Lord works in Mysterious Ways. Rape, it seems, is just one of His faith-based initiatives to propagate the species. It all makes sense, if you just trust in the Lord’s Wisdom.

  10. Anyone else tempted to think that Republican politicians don’t want to abort the offspring of rape because they know themselves to be the bastard children of rapists?

    Or is it because they fear it will thin the ranks of the next generation of Republican voters?

    More seriously, IMHO the only sane policy regarding rape is to be consistent with other criminal statutes:  just as a criminal is not supposed to be permitted to profit financially from his crimes,  neither should he be permitted to profit genetically by his criminal offending, so all rape-conceived fetuses must be terminated, with the religious encouraged to interpret that as collateral damage of the rape itself.

  11. PBrain
    If god didn’t like rape ,would he have invented it???

    In the same spirit, a question I’ve always wanted to see put to the anti-gay-hardline-xtian lobby:

    If god hates gays so much, how come he made a***holes such a convenient size?

  12. “Here you go young man, it’s an artist’s impression of your rapist father… notice the cold dead eyes…  just like yours. Ah don’t worry…  this is what god would have wanted.”

  13. Within a population of 2-300 million one would expect to find a few outliers. It’s exhilarating to discover that those outliers appear to be concentrated in one location! I hope they don’t operate heavy machinery or hold positions of responsibility. One wouldn’t want them to hurt themselves. Hopefully their carers can urge them to stop being drawn to microphones or elections.

  14. I would sort of understand the American republicans if they were buddhist, cherishing all life from earthworms to enemies. But at the same time they oppose gun control, support the death penalty and extol every possible foreign war they can get their country’s armed forces into. They have no scruples about sending their youngsters to kill and be killed. They even oppose any measure that could be taken to save the future generations from possibly cataclysmic effects of the climate change.

    This is a clear indication that their hypocritical statements are not about having an ethical stance about the “sanctity of human life”. It’s all about control, power and money. As Emmanuel Todd put it, war machinery is the most important American export. And apparently some kind of hypocritical smoke cover is needed back home in the US to fool the voters to think these odious power hungry old men have respect for living things.

  15. “that’s something God intended.”
    Let me get this straight, if everything is God’s will, then we are not responsible for our actions and punishing criminals is immoral.   Congratulations Mr Mourdock you’ve just destroyed the legal code of your country, emptied all the prisons, and created total anarchy.

    Alternatively if humans have free will (apparently we do, it says so in the Bible, so it must be true), then why should a rape victim not get to choose whether to have an abortion or not.

    Mr Mourdock clearly hasn’t thought about the inconsistencies of his religious beliefs; but that’s the point isn’t it, one can only have religious beliefs of this sort if one doesn’t think about them at all.   Anyone who thinks about them quickly comes to the conclusion they are illogical, inconsistent, unsupported by any evidence, obviously untrue, and in the case of Jewish/Christian/Islamic beliefs malignant, malicious, and downright repellent.

    To conclude, I’ll give an example straight from the Bible:

    A talking snake (how did that get into the Garden of Eden except by God’s will) tempted Eve to eat fruit from the Tree of Knowledge (why didn’t God put this on a distant mountain if he didn’t want them to eat from it, or for that matter WHY DID IT EXIST AT ALL, Adam and Eve would have eaten from it eventually just by accident).   Then Eve tempted Adam to do the same, and they were both expelled from the Garden for having free will.

    Either humans have free will, or everything is God’s will and humans are merely puppets.    Both things cannot be true.

  16. Absolutely chilling.
    This is not a muppet that ‘misspoke’ or was ‘taken out of context’ or even ‘being misinterpreted’ 

    This is a firm and unshakable belief amongst the truly rabid.
    It is in line with several other pronouncements of ‘wisdom’ from the ‘tea party’.

    So one can take it as a concrete and fixed  policy that they have dreamt up.
    The thing is one can tell that they know they are being particularly obnoxious because they invariable end up spluttering and crying foul low blow by the liberal elite that have deliberately misconstrued their words, or that they chose the wrong words to promote the policy.
    But they do not really care, the core message has been delivered, the votes cast, and the cretinous droolers in the audience bath in the pompousness of righteousness that conveniently ignores reality.
    The lies and invented bunkum soothes their fears that although it is harsh it is godly.

    The fact that it is a nasty, vicious, sadistic, inhuman and misogynistic belief does not phase them one iota.
    It is a twisted interpretation of the flavour of several incoherent  and vague meandering passages in the OT which they have chopped,  butchered, cut & pasted, into a vacuous and illogical screed meant to impress the brain dead…which in the main it does.
    After-all they are forever telling each other that  it is a bona fide jeebus policy and such blatant invention has convinced them all that it is a fact.
    They have to keep giving faux apologies for their rants but they keep on doing it all the same.
    They have seemingly hypnotized themselves…that’s is what happens when the  sexually inadequate  have a fairly low IQ, no empathy, and an atrocious memory span.
     
    That anyone takes them seriously is the real cause for concern, but sheeple are not known for analytical thinking.

  17.   “I spoke from my heart. And speaking from my heart, speaking from the deepest level of my faith, I would not apologize. I would be less than faithful if I said anything other than life is precious, I believe it’s gift from god,” Mourdock said.

    So he just left his higher brain functions shut down and faithfully and mindlessly, spouted the  dogma the priests had taught him!

    joseywales
    Is this guy a new species of jackass?

    .. .. Looks like a very old species of jackass from the same stable to me! Their trainers have been breeding this type of ignorant unthinking posing-stooge stock for years.

  18. christians worship a rapist god so this is hardly surprising. maybe they’ll change the term “victim of rape” to “potential immaculate conception”?

    i guess jesus was not born of sin because mary didn’t ask for it

  19. Pcb2x,

     The definition of life is not complicated. But the property is not someting we value. Slimemold and chickens are alive. Most don’t care when using cleaning products or eating them. Human has several definitions, but the one we use here is ‘capable of relating to us in some meaningful way’. Embryos fail that test easily and obviously. Gender is irrelivent to posessing the education to understand these two extremely simple issues.

  20. Well, thanks Stafford Gordon, but I have to confess, I wasn’t really being subtlely tongue in cheek, I’m afraid.

    I was just trying to make 2 points:

    1. I would like it to be beneath us to take at face value, comments that have been taken out of context, then exagerated and put under a headline “Republican thinks rape is a gift from God”, or something. We can do better than that.
    2. I also don’t like the knee jerk reaction which stems from the first point to start calling people names. These people are not thick – far from it – and we underestimate them at our peril.

    I would also say that, whilst I don’t share it, there is a perfectly reasonable, non-religious argument to be made that life does indeed begin at conception, and if it wasn’t for the fact that a lot of religious people push it, I think many more on the liberal/left would share it too.

  21. Why stop with rape pregnancy? Surely everything is a result or Jehovah’s meddling, or at least has his stamp of approval. After all he even maintains a database of all living and dead sparrows.

    So if you get cancer, if the landlord raises the rent, if you lose you glasses, if your daughter commits suicide from years of cyberbullying… it must be Jehovah’s doing. Obviously 9/11 was Jehovah’s punishment for adopting free trade.

    This is wild speculation. There is not a scrap of evidence for any of it. There is not even any evidence for the existence of Jehovah, much less his sadistic meddling.

    This old goat, Mourdock, most likely is troubled with guilt from rape fantasies. He is trying to make himself feel better about them by covering them in a holy drapecloth.

  22. N_Ellis, spot on. Absolutely. Its the old problem of freewill and predestination. The semantic gymnastics that theists go through to try to square that circle is amazing.

    I came across an instance of this on twitter just yesterday. A helicopter came down in the North Sea and all on board survived. “Give thanks to God” said a preacher. So presumably God wanted them to live

    3 years ago, another chopper went down in very similar circumstances and 16 people were killed. Presumably God wanted them dead. Wonder if he gave thanks for that?

    Incidentally, there is another aspect to that talking snake bullshit that I have often wondered about. God apparently created a perfect universe (before A & E screwed it up) Yet that perfect universe had a malicious snake in it that he knew would bring it all down. So much for seeing that its was “very good”

    And there are people who seriously believe this shit out there……..

    SG

  23. Can’t say I respect a person who would worship, support and promote a being that they believe intentionally impregnates women against their will and uses rape as one of its tools of impregnation. He may believe that god intends his rape victims to become pregnant but I can’t imagine why he thinks such a god is worthy of anyone’s praise.

    I guess, since Jesus was the product of Merry’s rape, she was informed of her pregnancy and I don’t recall her giving consent in the storybook, it must be acceptable. Of course, this is his opinion and no proof will ever be put forward, save the bible. So, it means nothing.

  24. You put forward a cogent enough argument.  

    However, no one knows the exact moment when life begins, and opinions don’t count.

    We are only entitled to that for which we can successfully argue. If I don’t know about something I utter those three little words – I don’t know.

    Religion provides a safe haven from which individuals can express their opinions on the grounds of faith. Knowledge is surplus to reqirements for such people.

    I have faith in many things, but it’s based on experience and knowledge. I argue that blind faith has very little or no value. And as far as I can ascertain this chap is speaking from the view point of blind faith, and asking to be elected into office on that basis. Don’t you find that a tad worrying?

    How for instance does he know what God wishes? And in any case, knowing that, is predicated on the existence of God, and simply believing in God is only expressing an opinion. And, like I say…

     

  25. GPWC,
    You are wrong on both counts. People should take offence at such unproductive drivel as Mourdock proclaims, no matter the context of intent. His intent was obvious.
    Science has shown that the brain and other vital organs in the human fetus are not sufficiently developed until the second trimester of it’s gestation period. It would be difficult, to say the least, for a fetus to have sentient self awareness without a brain. Therefore, sentient life cannot exist in the early stages of fetal gestation. It is a conglomerate of reproductive human cells with potential. Mourdock’s development, as with many Republicans, may have been stymied during this stage. There may be a good argument here for the abortion of the Republican Party.

  26. Can you imagine a world in which someone in that press conference asked him the most  basic necessary question like:

    “Sir, you speak a lot about this god creature, can you tell us how do you know it exists since it is  envisioned differently across time and with each individual, exactly what would one expect as a product of imagination?”

    When will we see that happen, instead of everyone involved talking as if the baseless assertion is how reality works.

  27. Of course he standing by his position, and all faithful Christians should support him.  If one accepts that premise that all human life, particularly a fertilized egg, is a precious gift from God, then you are not in a position to criticize him.  The circumstances of the fertilization would not seem to make it any less precious.
     
    This is why Christians have no right to “distance themselves” from this politician.  He is reasoning correctly within his dogma, but from the same faulty premise (that a fertilized egg is a person) that every other Christian politican claims to believe in.  And I’m sure that these politicians also believe that God’s will and plan governs every aspect of reality, so violent rape must fall under the category of “God moves in mysterious ways”. 
     
    If these people were really true to the Christian faith, they would rally around this sincere but deluded fellow.  Those Christian politicians that don’t expose themselves as hypocrites and opportunistic exploiters of the faith of the masses. 
     
     

  28. He is no more wrong than a child who believes faithfully in Santa Clause. Most religious people contend that this childish behaviour should be encouraged; to a point. But, even the most religious fanatic must question their beliefs in Santa when the gifts no longer show up under the tree on December 25th. It is usually the females who first discover the fallacy of such stupidity. Religious people should grow up and face reality.

  29. Most religious people, especially those that use religion to leverage themselves to positions of responsibility and power, should be called to task on this issue.  They should have to explain exactly where, from a religious point of view, Mr. Mourdock’s views are incorrect.

    The only way I see is to claim that sometimes humans can openly defy and thwart God’s will and plan, leading to undesirable outcomes that God either could not forsee or was powerless to prevent, such as a young woman getting pregnant against her will.  In that case, human agency could be used to right moral and ethical wrongs and get God’s plan back on the rails so to speak.

    Of course that would lead to some very uncomfortable questions about the contradiction b/t free will and the unbending will of a perfect God.  But such questions should be played out in the public arena.  As some other commentators on this thread have noted, a lot of people believe in this stuff for no other reason than they have never actually thought about it.

    “It is usually the females who first discover the fallacy of such stupidity.”

    Yet for whatever reason women are slightly more religious than men.

  30. The question should be posed to him like this.  If he were walking down the street and saw a female stranger, much less a relative of his, being brutally beaten and raped, would he just ignore it and move on?

    Yet this is exactly what God does in 100% of all rapes.  No rapist is ever suddenly stopped by a supernatural force.  God watches…and watches some more.   Rapists, as far as we know, are only ever prevented or punished by human agency.  The same goes for any other crime or evil.  It’s almost like, I don’t know, God doesn’t exist!

  31. wolfblitz442,

    “Most religious people, especially those that use religion to leverage themselves to positions of responsibility and power, should be called to task on this issue. They should have to explain exactly where, from a religious point of view, Mr. Mourdock’s views are incorrect.”

    Your comment should have substituted the word “insane” for the word “religious” and you would now comprehend why people like you and Mourdock come across to the sane majority as highly volatile, dangerous lunatics.

  32. I don’t agree with Mourdock’s position at all.  AT ALL.  Was this not clear in my posts?

    What I object to is hypocrisy on the part of the religious, especially religious politicians -  I want to hold them to task on their beliefs.  If Christians like Mourdock, who I believe to be deluded and wrong, are to be criticized by other Christians, then I want those other Christians to explain why he is wrong from a religious point of view.

    I would like as much sunlight as possible on these religious beliefs.  If they are debated publicly, I am optimistic that many people will see the flaws in them and the harm that they cause.

  33. I’ll stick with the word God, which is what the religious use.  But I will insist that they define what they mean by God – that helps with understanding the problem too.

    I would also like an apology for your complete misunderstanding of my position in your last post.  In rereading my posts, I cannot see how you could have come to the conclusion that I agree with Mourdock. 

  34. Please keep the disagreements civil and focused on the issues rather than other users. No one should be personally attacked for the views they express here, however vehemently others may disagree with them.

    Thank you.
    The mods

  35. I find it alarming once someone resorts to saying “That is something that God intended” or “God made it happen” or “God made it that way.” The passiveness and fatalism that it takes to say such a thing is bad enough, and that willingness to go with whatever God says, implies belief in ancient (and not-so-ancient) books and con-men posing as prophets or honestly mistaken ones who are having too much of a good trip.

  36. You’re still not getting it.  It was not sarcasm.  I’ll try to explain a little better.

    First, of course I think that Mourdock’s views are deeply flawed.  Now, what happens in these situations is that many Christians realize this, and do not want to be associated anything that suggests that rape is consistent with God’s plan.  But they also want to remain Christian, so they attempt to frame people like Mourdock as extremists, as not representing “true Christian” beliefs.  Thus, Christianity itself is not implicated in these looney beliefs and is saved from public criticism.

    So my point to these people is this: where exactly is Mourdock running afoul of Christian doctrine?  If you cannot point to any theological errors, then perhaps it is time to admit that Christianity itself is deeply flawed if it leads logically to the views expressed by Mourdock.

    Otherwise, Christianity (yet again) escapes public scrutiny.

  37. Blitz442

    Again I offer my sincere apology. I did not conclude that you agreed with his position on abortion but, I did mistake your questioning on the religious points of his statements as support of his religious tenets. Again, I misconstrued your intent.

  38. Just an FYI about the ‘Easy Rape’ quote.
    Here is another part of the quote that makes the real context a bit clearer:
    “If you’re going to go down that road, you may have consensual sex that night and then the next morning it may be rape.”It seems clear to me that the senator is talking about a warning that some girls cry rape and he is not saying that some girls invite it, which is what we are being led to believe.

  39. Mourdock is only following his ridiculous beliefs to their logical conclusion. He starts with the false premise that a fetus has a soul and his idea of “Life” is ill-defined and basically useless.

    paraphrasing
    “a fetus is a person, and must be protected, even from the mother or father. Your motives for not wanting a baby might be important to you, but the baby doesn’t care and it shouldn’t suffer death for someone else’s actions.”

    Given his assumption that a fetus has a “soul” and is a “person”, how can one justify aborting a pregnancy that isn’t going to kill the mother?

    Joe Donnelly, his Democratic competitor, is barely any different. It is more palatable, but less logical.

    http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy

  40. Person:
    “A living, self-conscious being, as distinct from an animal or a thing; a moral agent; a human being; a man, woman, or child.
    Consider what person stands for; which, I think, is a thinking, intelligent being, that has reason and reflection.”
    - Locke.

    Though I agree that all life is valuable and should be protected as much as possible, I do believe that when two entities occupy the same person the entity with sentient self awareness should have the freedom of choice in carrying the pregnancy to fruition. The laws on abortion recognize this inalienable right of the mother but, also recognizes that at a critical point in the gestation period of a fetus when neurological functions commence, the rights of the fetus become as valid as the mother’s rights.

  41. As mentioned earlier, one could perhaps understand Mourdock’s viewpoint if he was expressing a consistent and general view on the sanctity of human life, and therefore opposed capital punishment, arming the world, starting wars, assassinations, air strikes….   But no, the only specially sacred lifeform in need of protection is the rape-conceived fetus.   There’s no logic here, only bullshit.

  42. You are more than welcome. I do believe that a more religious mind than mine would have grasped the irony of your reference to religious doctrine. Your point is well taken. Mom always told me I was not the brightest light on the tree. Lol

  43. Presumably if pregnancy from rape is “something God intended”,  then God also “intended” the world wars and subsequent slaughter and all the other horrors of history. Bearing in mind that most abortions happen naturally, then this God fella is the biggest abortionist of all.   Oh that doesn’t bother the numbskulls. It’s all part of his wonderful plan, just like  Belsen and Treblinka and the gulags. (Eyes roll).

  44. it’s compartmentalized. Capital punishment deals with those who have chosen to waste their chance at living in society. The world needs arms to protect from “bad guys”. Some wars are necessary, especially if they are for resources like oil. Assassinations are just more efficient ways of fighting wars, Air strikes too, but not as clean or precise. 

    I think he is deluded on many counts, but that doesn’t mean it is all bullshit.

  45. Mourdock says :
    a) It’s always God’s intention when women get pregnant.
    b) God does not approve rape.

    Hence Mourdock thinks that if rape leads to a pregnancy it can’t be rape. And this is a person who people vote for?

  46. It would be fascinating to be experience the mind of a Republican bigot for one day. Think about. In their world black is white and white is black. Left is right and right is wrong (well, that’s actually in UK, but…) and 2+2 = 5… It would surely be a fascinating although bizarre experience.

  47. True to their Christian faith??? What on earth does that even mean? There are passages in the bible about loving your neighbors and that the one who is free from sin should throw the first stone, etc etc…  The bible is so full of contradictions that your statement seem to make little (if any) sense. Yes, Christians cherry pick their bible. All of them! But, I don’t see how it’s much better for atheists to play the same game and cherry pick the verses we find appalling or crazy and demand that Christians either embrace these to the letter or abandon their faith as a whole. What exactly are you trying to achieve here?

    How is what you are doing any better from any other form of straw man argument? If we actually want to change people’s opinions then we can’t pretend they are either fundamentalists or atheists in disguise. I sometimes get the feeling that some atheists think atheism and atheism alone is the only thing that matters in this world. If people would just give up their beliefs in gods then the whole world would in an instant turn into some form of utopia. Like a law of nature.

    I for one could not give a shit if people had bad ideas if they were otherwise caring and compassionate human beings. My prime concern with religion is that it leads to suffering. What about homophobia, misogyny, racism or other serious problems in our societies? Your strategy seems to be to alienate all believers who are against all this just because they believe in God. If they don’t refute their beliefs as a whole they have no business fighting injustice and cruelty in the world.

    If believers choose to distance themselves from the cruel past of their religion and the fundamentalists who want to cling on to these barbaric beliefs we should applaud their efforts not  criticize them for being hypocrites or untrue to their faith. Don’t you think a moderate believer is better than a fundamentalist even if they might seem ambivalent to you? To me it seems like you are trying to lump together all believers in an effort to justify your deduction that since religions are bad all religious believers are bad by default. However attractive it might be to embrace such a simplistic line of reasoning it’s not a very constructive one.

  48.  I gave up trying to understand when I was informed by a Christian apologist — while  explaining how death and disease could have existed even before the corrupting  Fall — that sometimes God allows effects to *precede* causes.

  49. The funny thing is, whenever someone says, “that’s the way God intended it,” it always turns out that it’s exactly the way they would want it to work … and somehow ultimate authority is totally backing them up on this.

  50. cornbread_r2
     I gave up trying to understand when I was informed by a Christian apologist — while  explaining how death and disease could have existed even before the corrupting  Fall — that sometimes God allows effects to *precede* causes.

    That’s easy to understand! 
    Simple minded magic, requires no causes, can have ANY effect, and requires no explanations. 
    It is the perfect “fob-off” explanation for the brain-dead when stuck for a rational answer!

  51. This has given me a great idea for getting rid of god botherers the next time they come to my front door.

    Instead of keeping them there for an hour and trashing their beliefs, I’m going to say this:

    “I’m going to fill this bucket with water, if you are still on my property by the time I finish, I’m going to throw it over you BECAUSE I HAVE DETERMINED IT IS GOD’S WILL”

    They can’t run away because that would indicate they had no faith in their god, and they can’t charge me with assault because that would mean betraying their beliefs.

  52. This looks just like a mirror of the argument I was having here a week or so ago. Except the flavour of woo woo on that occasion was Islam. If the fundamentalists of any religion are so wrong, as expressed by the liberals or wishy-washy of that religion , and their apologists, I need to know the reasons why. I need it spelt out to me in layman’s terms, why the ‘truly-fecked-up-in-the-head’ have got it so wrong and why the ‘not-so fecked-up-in-the-head’ think so.

  53. Yes he did….one of the few decent things Benny-Ratzy has done. The whole limbo concept is one the stupidest fiasco’s the fuckwits have created and it would be hilarious if it wasn’t for the untold suffering it has caused millions throughout it’s history, since that dickhead Augustine (354-430) came up with the idea.

  54. … and that the one who is free from sin should throw the first stone, etc etc…  

    The  Pericope Adulterae is highly likely a later interpolation in the Gospel according to John…just saying.

  55. The bible is so full of contradictions that your statement seem to make little (if any) sense.

    It is because it is so full of contradictions that his statement makes so much sense.

    Yes, Christians cherry pick their bible. All of them!

    This is why they need called on it. They need it pointed out to them just how erroneous that approach really is, and why. They need ridiculed and mocked for it, if that is what it takes to get it through their skulls just how daft they are in their position. 

    But, I don’t see how it’s much better for atheists to play the same game and cherry pick the verses we find appalling or crazy and demand that Christians either embrace these to the letter or abandon their faith as a whole. What exactly are you trying to achieve here?

    It isn’t a black & white situation I’m afraid. If only it were. There is a sliding scale of believer…they cover a wide spectrum from the full on wide-eyed and slavering rabid fundie to he guy who ticks the Christian box on a poll because he was born into it, but doesn’t care to much for it either way. Each give succour to the next in line up the scale. If, by pointing out to the later why it is detrimental to tick the box and why, then perhaps next time the box will be left blank and so it goes…up that scale. Very few Christians know the book. If I point out that, for example, it says this…

     “You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord.” 

    …or…

    “But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you.” 

    …is found along side…

     “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them”

    …in other words, God frowns upon having a tattoo and eating prawn cocktail, just as he does upon homosexuality , just maybe they might give it some thought. 

    I for one could not give a shit if people had bad ideas if they were otherwise caring and compassionate human beings.

    And keep those bad ideas to themselves. Unfortunately, people with the bad ideas are rarely caring and compassionate to everyone….and that’s the problem.

    My prime concern with religion is that it leads to suffering. What about homophobia, misogyny, racism or other serious problems in our societies? Your strategy seems to be to alienate all believers who are against all this just because they believe in God. If they don’t refute their beliefs as a whole they have no business fighting injustice and cruelty in the world.

    Who is building strawmen now? 

    Tell me your proposals for the right way to deal with the eejits without offending the light weight Christians? The statement, for example, “Those that believe a character called Jesus was killed and resurrected after lying 3 days, is  deluded”…will upset the whole subset of Christians. The statement, “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”…will not upset too many as too many have engaged in said practice. Yet one is from the NT and the other, from me. This needs pointing out.

  56. I agree limbo is ridiculous and cruel, but it did at least serve as a logical basis underpinning the Christian condemnation of abortion. If the souls of fetuses are already saved then why subject them to this veil of tears?

  57. I wish Men would stop telling women what they can and can’t do with their bodies. When a man gets pregnant then he can have a say in the discussion. Sorry guys, but it’s too easy for a man to walk away and shirk his responsibility if he gets a woman pregnant. There are no life changing consequences for the father if he chooses to disappear.

    I see no problem with making abortions require a doctor’s approval to be done. The decision should be up to the mother and her physician. Only they know for sure what impacts the pregnancy will have on the mother, physically or mentally.

    And how can God intend it if I don’t believe in God? Keep your God away from me if that’s the way he operates.

  58. Let’s start with your incorrect characterizations of my
    position:

    We atheists…demand that Christians either embrace these to
    the letter or abandon their faith as a whole.

    I’m not trying to define Christianity for Christians or
    demand that they embrace this or that doctrine.   My statements are directed at moderate
    Christians who smugly believe that their version of Christianity is a truer
    expression of the teachings of Jesus and revelations found in the Bible than
    the version espoused by folks like Mourdock.  I would politely, but firmly, ask them to support this.  If they try to, they will find the contradictions that you mention, but also some fairly consistent and rather sinister themes lurking in in both the Old and New Testament. Richard was not exactly erecting a strawman when he described the god of the OT as one of the most loathsome figures in all of fiction.  The moderate religite has probably heard a lot about the gentle Jesus, but far less about his cruelty and descriptions of eternal hellfire for unbelievers, his world-weariness and obsession with the afterlife,
    his indifference to social affairs and day-to-day living, his apathy to the tyranny of his people under the Roman Empire, his bursts of irrational ill-temper, and his more than trivial chauvinism towards non-Israelites.  Why was Jesus so silent on things like slavery and oppression of women?  Why was he so
    narrowly focused on the sins and the salvation of a forlorn tribe?  Where is his respect for reason; he didn’t attempt to rationally persuade people so much as use a primitive system of
    reward/punishment to make people submit to the yoke of faith.  

    While it may be a little disconcerting at first to learn that this not-so-snuggly Jesus is all over the NT, the intelligent moderate will be better served in the long run to know such things.

    If people would just give up their beliefs in gods then the
    whole world would in an instant turn into some form of utopia. Like a law of
    nature.

    Oh heck no, where did you infer that from my statements?  I think that, all else equal, the world would
    be better off without religion, but certainly not a utopia!  In fact, I think that Utopian philosophies
    can be just as dangerous as religious doctrines.

    Don’t you think a moderate believer is better than a
    fundamentalist even if they might seem ambivalent to you?

    Yes, but do know what is even better?  A moderate who realizes that faith is not a
    valid way to support a worldview.  A moderate who realizes that it is an awful stretcher sometimes to merge 21st century knowledge, ethics, and values with 1st century ravings.  A moderate who thinks about it enough to stop identifying as a religious person.

    As much as I prefer moderates over fundies, moderates are
    still part of the problem.  Specifically, they give a veneer of respectability to faith and to formal religious schools and institutions.   They are probably a major reason why the US,
    my country, is on the verge of electing a man that (apparently) believes that a
    lost tribe of Israel came to North America and that he will inherit a planet
    when he dies.

    Why hasn’t Rommo been asked about his beliefs?  Oh, you must not disrespect a person’s faith!

    To me it seems like you are trying to lump together all
    believers in an effort to justify your deduction that since religions are bad
    all religious believers are bad by default.

     Well, you’re wrong about that one too.  I never wrote or
    inferred that “all believers are bad by default”.

    However attractive it might be to embrace such a simplistic
    line of reasoning it’s not a very constructive one.

    I don’t think that engaging in a simplistic line of reasoning is attractive or constructive. I do think that challenging a moderate Christian, one who believes that moderate Christianity is a better, truer representation of Xtianity than fundamentalism, can be very productive if done respectfully.  It will likely lead to an appreciation that the Bible at least is much less supportive of moderate Christianity that they had previously thought, that it is full of contradictions as you mention, and that faith cannot be a reliable way of supporting a set of assertions about what is true about the world.

    Hopefully, it will start a process that will lead to the realization they have just been carrying around their own little personal version of Xtianity and God.  Which is exactly the same realization that led someone like Paula Kirby to give up her Catholicism.  That wasn’t such a bad outcome, was it?

  59. “When a man gets pregnant then he can have
    a say in the discussion”

    Are you referring to the  public discussion about this issue?  What about women who are no longer capable,
    or never were capable, of getting pregnant – can they have a say?

    “I see no problem with making abortions
    require a doctor’s approval to be done”

    But not male doctors?  Actually I disagree that this should require a
    doctor’s approval, over and above any other normal due diligence in performing
    medical procedures.

    “There are no life changing consequences
    for the father if he chooses to disappear.”

    But there are, to the tune of 18 years’ worth of child
    support, if a woman decides to carry a baby to term against the man’s will.

    The solution?  No one
    can tell a woman what do to with her body, but the man gets an opt-out period
    from legal responsibility for the child coinciding with the same period of time
    that the woman can legally choose to destroy the fetus.

    And how can God intend it if I
    don’t believe in God? Keep your God away from me if that’s the way he operates

    Agreed!

  60. Even though I find fault in Bart Ehrman’s most recent book on the historical Jesus, nevertheless, he gives a very good description of what the Jesus of the time would’ve been, had he been a real character. What he describes is a far cry from the gentle Jesus, meek and mild, that the majority of 21st century Christians think of their saviour, the one actually described in their book and the ignorance of that said book they follow.

  61. N_Ellis,
    For four years I had those delusional bible thumpers coming in pairs, sometimes four, to spread their manure at my door. I got tired of trying to bring science to their empty souls so, last summer when they came visiting I gave them paint brushes. Being good samaritans, they took off their sports coats and spent 3 hours finishing the back wall of my house. They were covered in paint when they finished and I thanked them, shook their hands a went in the house to wash up. I haven’t seen them this year at all, not even in my neighbourhood. Try it, and let me know what happens.

  62. You think Agustine was bad. What about that genius Constantine (306-337) who invented Christianity from his belief in a sun god and his wife’s Hebrew religion. The human psyche has been emotionally or spiritually locked in that sickness ever since. That is the reason why the human psyche has not been able to evolve at the rate of human technology. Can you imagine how emotionally evolved the human psyche could have been over the past 1700 years if not for the debilitating sickness of Constantine’s Christian mythology? The Koran lunacy is even worse on the human psyche.

  63. Well that’s not completely accurate though is it? Constantine had nothing to do with “inventing” Christianity…from a Sun god, his wife’s Hebrew religion, or anything else I’m afraid.

    A big influence on Constantine’s conversion was his court advisor Lactantius…an article on the subject, “The man who saved Jesus Christ”, can be found on the old site..  http://old.richarddawkins.net/

    There was clearly a lot of Christian sects in the 3 centuries before Constantine. That said, he still has a lot to answer for as without him the religion would probably have self destructed or died away like all the other religions of the time.

  64. The repubican party is now finding the side-effect of picking right wing religious lunatics as candidates namely they take their religious belief to the logical extreme which invariably means that life triumphs everything and in these cases the woman is the man’s chattel.

  65. Agarnier

    For four years I had those delusional bible thumpers coming in pairs, sometimes four, to spread their manure at my door. I got tired of trying to bring science to their empty souls so, last summer when they came visiting I gave them paint brushes. Being good samaritans, they took off their sports coats and spent 3 hours finishing the back wall of my house. They were covered in paint when they finished and I thanked them, shook their hands a went in the house to wash up.

    They had probably had plenty of practise white-washing over the fiction, irrationalities and misinformation of their religion!

  66. Baldgit;

    I guess that the right-wing type of religious lunacy is partly a response to the burgeoning of Arab/Muslim type religious lunacy around the world, and the vast cost of trying to counter it militarily.
    How can we persuade them that a far better response to religious lunacy of any kind is secular rationalism, not more religious lunacy of a different stripe?

  67. Lactantius was a pagan who taught rhetoric in Nicomedia, under request of Diocletian. After Diocletian’s abdication Lactantius was impoverished until finding favour with Constantine who appointed him tutor of Latin to his son Crispus. This appointment elevated him to top scribe for Trier.
    Christianity was an invented religion. Unambiguous evidence of Christianity, the New Testament, Christians and Jesus, does not exist before the appearance of the Constantine Bible. Lactantius may have been rewriting history for Constantine in support of his Christian invention; meanwhile, discrediting Diocletian by inventing the Diocletianic Persecution in the annals of history. Much of previous written history was obliterated by Constantine and his scribes.

  68. Lactantius was a pagan who taught rhetoric in Nicomedia, under request of Diocletian. After Diocletian’s abdication Lactantius was impoverished until finding favour with Constantine who appointed him tutor of Latin to his son Crispus. This appointment elevated him to top scribe for Trier. 

    “Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius trained as a rhetorician under Arnobius the Elder. He was appointed by Emperor Diocletian (c.245-313) as head of rhetoric at Nicomedia in about AD 300, which he RESIGNED upon his CONVERSION to CHRISTIANITY. From 317 he served Constantine (c. 274-337) as tutor to his son, Crispus.”

    He was a Christian when he arrived at Constantines court.

    Christianity was an invented religion. Unambiguous evidence of Christianity, the New Testament, Christians and Jesus, does not exist before the appearance of the Constantine Bible.

    Surely you are not disregarding all those manuscripts dated from the the first, second and third centuries? The earliest being p52, a piece of the gospel according to John from circa 125 CE, along with some 80+ others.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L

    What was a Constantine bible when it was at home? 

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F

    Lactantius may have been rewriting history for Constantine in support of his Christian invention; meanwhile, discrediting Diocletian by inventing the Diocletianic Persecution in the annals of history.

    Some bold assertions there, perhaps you could cite some sources?

    Much of previous written history was obliterated by Constantine and his scribes.

    This also seems like a strange assertion…how do you arrive at such a weird conclusion?

    I will grant you the fact that Christianity was saved by Constantine’s patronage, but it is a bit too strong to suggest he invented the religion.

  69. Ignorant Amos,
    “Surely you are not disregarding all those manuscripts dated from the the first, second and third centuries? The earliest being p52, a piece of the gospel according to John from circa 125 CE, along with some 80+ others.”
    Please peruse the following link: http://www.mountainman.com.au/

    Christianity was fabricated in the time on Constantine. his scribes altered much of history to accommodate it’s invention.

  70. Please peruse the following link: http://www.mountainman.com.au/

    So you are suggesting that lots of manuscripts were forged, spread all over the place, in order to make them look pre-Constantine so as to give credence to the religion for an older date, a religion that Constantine invented, but wanted it to seem like it was 300 years older? Really? As far as conspiracy theories go…that is out there with the best of them.

    Why? Why would Constantine do that?

    I suppose he invented the letters of Paul of Tarsus, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, 
    Irenaeus of Lyons, Origen of Alexandria, Clement of Alexandria, Athanasius of Alexandria, Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, Cyprian of Carthage, all writing about Christianity way before Constantine? Nah, I’m not buying it…you’ll need something better that that link if you are to convince anyone of that one.

    Christianity was fabricated in the time on Constantine. his scribes altered much of history to accommodate it’s invention.

    So ya say, but you’ll excuse me if I don’t disregard all the centuries of scholarly work in the field on an unsubstantiated assertion…evidence please.

  71. “I suppose he invented the letters of Paul of Tarsus, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, Irenaeus of Lyons, Origen of Alexandria, Clement of Alexandria, Athanasius of Alexandria, Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, Cyprian of Carthage, all writing about Christianity way before Constantine? Nah, I’m not buying it…you’ll need something better that that link if you are to convince anyone of that one.”
    I certainly hope you are not suggesting that Christ actually existed as the messiah, walked on water, raised the dead and performed miracles. If not, these questions you ask of Constantine’s motives need to be examined further.

  72. Certainly not…if you knew anything of my history on this site you’d realise just how preposterous such a statement could be.

    I’m a mythicist and claims of Constantine and such a conspiracy do our argument no favours. They are plentiful mind …have you read Joseph Atwill’s , “Caesar’s Messiah”, http://caesarsmessiah.com/blog… , it has Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus and Josephus Flavius , who we all know as a turncoat Jew and historian to the Flavian dynasty, create the Jesus messiah trick out of wholecloth and describes the paralells that are striking at first glance.

    Or D. M. Murdock, better known as Acharya S, author of “The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold”, in which she proposes the concept of Jesus Christ as myth and the Christ story as a fabrication. http://truthbeknown.com/blogs….

    I’m more of a Richard Carrier man myself.

    I’m not dismissing you out of hand, I’m always interested in new ideas. I am just intrigued as to where 300 years of historical Christianity is being hid in the hypothesis you promote.

    If you read my comments on the old site thread I linked to earlier in this thread, you’ll know a bit about my take on Constantine.

  73. No the link brought no clarity at all…who is the author, where is the bibliography of their sources and that’s just for starters. 

    Is that 14 page hypothesis what you are basing your idea on?

    Surely you have more than that for me to go on, it’s hardly substantive.

    Not even mythicists are taking the stand that Constantine conspired to elaborately create and plant the evidence to support a religion started 300 years prior to his lifetime so he could adopt it in his lifetime for whatever reason.

    There are no scholars of any repute that deny p52 as early 2nd century Egyptian origin. 

    “The thesis that Constantine invented his own religion is eminently falsifiable,and can be refuted either in whole or in part with the provision of appropriate unambiguous evidence from the fields of archaeology and/or science. I have attempted to gather together and exhaustively review all this available evidence in this article,but as most researchers will acknowledge, information is still forthcoming from the field.”

    We should take this discussion onto the historical Jesus thread over here http://richarddawkins.net/disc
    … it is off topic here and we will get barged by the moderators.

  74. Agarnier
    “I’m not dismissing you out of hand, I’m always interested in new ideas.

    That’s good, because Amos is noted on this site for doing his research homework . (and for debunking mistaken ideas.)

    I am just intrigued as to where 300 years of historical Christianity is being hid in the hypothesis you promote.”

     I’m not particularly well informed on this period, but there were numerous small Xtian sects with contradictory stories and their own “gospels”. 
    A lot of theist claims are based on the collective views of later people who regarded the bible as a history book, and didn’t bother with independent evidence (or the lack of it).

  75. “I’m not dismissing you out of hand, I’m always interested in new ideas.

    …and..

    I am just intrigued as to where 300 years of historical Christianity is being hid in the hypothesis you promote.

    …are both my comments Al….it’s the quoting on Disqus, it sucks. Agarnier has proposed the hypothesis that Constantine invented Christianity to control what he already controlled even better. I’m just wondering where the concept comes from and how much scholarly support it has.

  76. Is that an invite to play with the big boys? I need to inform you that I am not a historian, theologian, mythicist or scholar. I just read all that I can and draw my own conclusions on the evidence presented. I am looking forward to an invaluable education. You have to admit that the accuracy of scripture is as open to interpretation as scripture itself. I am posting from an iphone and searched for that particular article on Constantine. I originally found the same article four years ago but it had the author’s name and I believe it was written as a thesis. This version is from a different site and does not carry the same weight as before. A lot like scripture, don’t you think! :) I submit that it holds more common sense deduction than the Bible. Here is another link I found. This one has an author: http://www.scribd.com/mobile/d

  77. Not big boys by any stretch of the imagination…but having spent about 5 years lurking and posting on RD.net…one picks a lot up and is given cause to read on lots of stuff. Unfortunately the real big boys pass by very infrequently these days, with a few exceptions. 

    I would well enjoy engaging in some discourse with you on this thesis. But as I’ve said, best we go to a thread where it is on topic. The moderators take umbrage when a thread is hijacked with off topic debate. I’ve posted the link before,

    BTW, have you read any of Bart D. Ehrman’s work…I really recommend it.

    Let me know if ya want to knuckle out this hypothesis to see if we can get to a rational conclusion based on evidence and facts.

    I’m not sure what part of the world you hail from, but it’s bedtime here. If you are up for it, I will definitely reply….just not tomorrow, it’s an early start on the beer as my team kicks-off is at 12.45 p.m. and I will be a train wreck after a day of beer and football. I should be kept well away from my laptop under such circumstances for my own safety as it impedes my ability to be compos mentis…}8O)~

  78. Thank you, and I am trying to post to your suggested thread the Historical Jesus, but, as I accessed this thread through twitter I am unable to respond to Disqus except by direct email and you would have to contact me by email through the Historical Jesus thread for me to access it. I’ll keep working on these iPhone settings. Disqus indicates I am logged in but, when I post to the thread I get a window that tells me to check and make sure I am actually logged in instead of posting my message. Is there a problem with Disqus through Twitter?
    Al Garnier

  79. It is most likely that Christianity (as a Jewish Messiah cult) did indeed exist before Constantine – but it was only when Constantine saw it as the perfect way to unite his fractured empire, that it became the Christianity we know today.

    Most of the rubbish people take for granted (such as the Trinity) are Roman inventions – as are the majority of the gospel texts (which are mixtures of Jewish prophecy and Mediterranean mystery cults).

    There is no evidence that any of the four gospels that were chosen for the New Testament were written before the 2nd century – the source material may be older, but the books as a whole were not compiled until then.

    Even ‘Paul’s’ letters are mostly forgeries, with interpolations inserted into the ‘genuine’ ones to suit the leaders of the day.

    There is no evidence of an historical Jesus at all – in fact, there is some evidence that Christianity existed (in it’s Jewish form) before this mythical character was even ‘born’.

    So, Christianity did exist (originally as a gnostic faith, with no mention of an earthly Jesus), but it took the Romans to turn it into the basis for power in their Empire, transforming it into the guilt-laden, terrifying hogwash that it is today…

  80. We should take this discussion onto the historical Jesus thread over here http://richarddawkins.net/disc

    … it is off topic here and we will get barged by the moderators.

    Excellent advice! The discussion about whether or not Jesus actually existed is indeed off topic on this thread, so we would ask users to continue it on the thread linked to above.
    Thank you!
    The mods

  81.  I agree that it wasn’t entirely insensitive, but this website was set up strictly to stop people from invoking God as a proponent of anything. In his own defense he basically said how he doesn’t want to put words in gods mouth — “that god wants rape or pushes people to rape.”– like God’s his well mannered and kind friend who would never say such things. People who study fetal development should be the specialists that are cited during debates on abortion; not God.

    As far as his statements being taken out of context, that pisses me off too. Even if I strongly disagree with the person who’s being slandered, a misquote doesn’t prove anything about the stance of the person in question.

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