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Aug 23 2012

The crazy mindset of the Christian fundamentalist

Todd Akin’s bizarre theory of rape and pregnancy has been getting brutal reviews. Perhaps the most succinct is that of Dr. Michael Greene, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School, who said, “There are no words for this — it is just nuts.”

There are a lot of crazy people saying crazy things on the internet and there is no sense in wasting time combating all of them. But Erick Erickson is employed by CNN and his defense of Todd Akin’s bizarre comments sheds light on how low the standards of the mainstream media have become when someone whose views are not only hateful but are devoid of logic is given a platform by them.

Here is what Erickson said, following some religious drivel about us coming from dust and babies being stitched up by god in their mothers’ wombs.

Congressman Akin said something dumb and inarticulate. But God bless him for trying to explain why so many Christians do not believe in an exception for rape and believe that to have one could see an increase in the number of claims of rape that are not actual rapes (“legitimate” rapes in his words), but are claims of rape used to justify an abortion when abortion is otherwise prohibited.

This typifies the mindset of those who are so crazily religious that reason fails them. False allegations of rape, like false allegations of any other crime, have been known to occur. But to take that as the norm is crazy. Never mind the reality that women who allege rape have a really tough time proving it, even if they are willing to suffer all the trauma and indignities that accompany making such a charge. To think that women will causally toss out a false allegation of rape (for which they face serious legal consequences) and put someone else, perhaps even someone they know, at risk of jail because they seek an abortion reveals a level of warped thinking that is frankly incomprehensible.

12 comments

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  1. 1
    slc1

    The big problem with Akin’s claim is that there is not a shred of scientific evidence to support it. Of course, the mind set of the Rethuglican whackjob base is that their minds are made up, the facts are irrelevant.

    I posted this comment on Ed Brayton’s blog this morning, which is an early example of the type of mentality these folks have.

    A prime example of this type of thinking was exhibited by whackjob Gary Bauer at the end of the Reagan Administration. Bauer claimed that abortion increased the chances of a woman getting breast cancer and demanded that then Surgeon General C. Everette Koop investigate the claim. Koop, who was a noted opponent of abortion, came back some months later and informed Bauer that he could find no evidence in the peer reviewed literature claiming any such thing. That, of course, influenced Bauer not in the slightest and he then attacked Koop for not being on the team, much like Ann Coulter attacked Judge Jones for not being on the team relative to his Dover decision.

  2. 2
    JustKat

    It’s hard sometimes to believe that this is the 21st century. I wonder what people will think when they read back over some of this stuff 100 years from now?

  3. 3
    Paul

    But God bless him for trying to explain why so many Christians do not believe in an exception for rape and believe that to have one could see an increase in the number of claims of rape that are not actual rapes (“legitimate” rapes in his words), but are claims of rape used to justify an abortion when abortion is otherwise prohibited.

    If you look at some of the comments in the media regarding “forcible rape” from some months back, there were trying to draw a line between “forcible rape” and “statutory rape”. For instance, here in HuffPo.

    At a hearing by the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution on Tuesday, Richard Doerflinger of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops defended the forcible-rape language. “The recent debate about forcible rape was simply an effort on the part of the sponsors to prevent the opening of a very broad loophole for federally-funded abortions for any teenager,” he said.

    Don’t for a second think this isn’t related to fights to ensure that a teenager needs parental permission to get an abortion. They think they’re preventing us from mimicking Canaanites in the Bible sacrificing their children to Baal (an acquaintance posted as much on their Facebook page a couple weeks ago…). If we allow rape exemptions, teenagers get free abortions and have no reason not to run around having sex with everyone!

  4. 4
    piegasm

    It’s pretty revolting, though unsurprising, that it’s about whose team you’re on with these people and not about what’s true or what works.

  5. 5
    dailydouq

    I saw another explanation (explaining the crazy, not supporting Akin) that the religious have a problem If you believe first that religion is everything and second that abortion is always bad (although many religious can’t actually explain the connection) then considering any exception is like any challenge to bible in the mind of a literalist. It must all be true therefore it is the challenge that is wrong.

    But despite having the religion virus infection some of the religious certainly see rape as evil. But if it is evil and thus provides an exemption for abortion this means the doctrine on abortion is wrong. The cognition dissonance is just too much and throwing out anti-abortion is unlikely so they throw out rape instead. Rape can’t possibly happen because it would violate god’s harmony. It’s easier to deny rape than god.

    I heard this from someone else but then I was thinking about the weird (and awful) behavior in some middle eastern places where the women ends up being killed. Yes, rape is bad, but admitting it happened will start some blood feud, so better to just get rid of the evidence and kill the woman.

    And one can also realize the religinuts see the slippery slope kind of thing, allow abortion for rape, then you have to allow it for incest, allow it to save the mother’s life, and so forth. And if you really care about the child why would you want to be born into an awful life, either into horrible family or with horrible birth defects. Pretty soon you’re standing very near to only banning abortion as a choice when an “accident” happened (and of course preventing “accidents” means endorsing birth control).

    So this discussion is about literal interpretation. I think the unthinking religious types like literal because they don’t have to pick and choose, just believe everything, no matter how absurd. So same with abortion, no exceptions is easier than splitting hairs about which exceptions.

    So there is no rape is the easy way out.

  6. 6
    Paul

    I heard this from someone else but then I was thinking about the weird (and awful) behavior in some middle eastern places where the women ends up being killed. Yes, rape is bad, but admitting it happened will start some blood feud, so better to just get rid of the evidence and kill the woman.

    It actually seems more fitting with the current thinking of “legitimate rape” than the idea that blood feud is to be avoided. The woman is accepted to be complicit because she didn’t yell loud enough for someone to help. If it was really rape, she would have done something to prevent it.

    I can’t speak to the Qua’ran, but did you know that in Deuteronomy, it lays out when the raped woman is to be killed and when not?

    If the rape is in a city, then the man and the woman need to die. It seems that the assumption was that that was infidelity and not rape, because if it was rape she would have yelled for help and the “infidelity” never would have happened.

    However, if it happens in the countryside, only the man is to be put to death. I suppose because there is nobody to hear the screaming.

    Hell, it’s almost more consistent than the current Republican ridiculousness (if no less riddled with poor assumptions).

  7. 7
    ellenabbott

    The real problem with Akin and those like him is their deep seated contempt for women. Everything else flows from that. And where does this contempt some men have for women come from?

  8. 8
    Thorne

    If the GOP gets its way, there won’t be too many people who CAN read 100 years from now!

  9. 9
    Doug Little

    Well when your whole house of cards is based on shit that is not true or doesn’t work you really don’t have much wiggle room.

    There’s a reason people say reality has a liberal bias.

  10. 10
    Brian M

    What I don;t understand is where the basis for their fervid, unrelenting opposition to rape is found. Certainly not in the Bible, is it? The Bible is full of abortions and seems to pretty clearly discount the value of the “fetus”. Their position is incoherent on so many grounds.

  11. 11
    csrster

    If they ever did succeed in banning abortion except in cases of rape then false accusations of rape probably would rise.

  12. 12
    Heinrich

    If all abortions are legal, then those false accusations of rape are not happening. Does Mr. Erickson agree?

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