Ken Kesey and his wife agree with Richard Mourdock on abortion in the case of rape...

The Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?" (Exodus 4:11)

Richard Mourdock is the Republican candidate for senator here in Indiana. Last night during a debate he testified to his faith and today the priests of Secularism are baying bloodhounds on his trail. His crime? Mourdock spoke of his conviction that babies conceived in rape are a gift from God and should not be murdered:

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.

Ho-hum right? Is there any Christian alive who believes a little child is not a gift from God? What wickedness consumes a man to the point that he considers a baby in the womb to be an enemy that must be killed, and that anyone who defends that baby by calling him or her a gift from God must be locked up in the stocks down on the town square and pelted with rotten tomatos, spit on, and otherwise publicly abused?

Some years ago, the counter-culture hero who wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Sometimes a Great Notion, Ken Kesey, was being interviewed by Paul Krassner, editor of The REALIST (the successor publication to Stewart Brand's Last Whole Earth Catalog). During the interview, Krassner raised the subject of abortion and got more than he was prepared for:

KRASSNER: And yet, since you're against abortion, doesn't that put you in the position of saying that a girl or a woman must hear an unwanted child as punishment for ignorance or carelessness?

KESEY: In as I feel abortions to be probably the worst worm in the revolutionary philosophy, a worm bound in time to suck the righteousness and life from the work we are engaged in, I want to take this slowly and carefully...

* * *

Punishment of unwed mothers? Bullshit! Care of neither the old nor the young can be considered to be punishment for the able, not even the care of the un-dead old or the un-born young. These beings, regardless not only of race, creed and color but as well of size, situation or ability, must be treated as equals and their rights to life not only recognized but defended! Can they defend themselves?

You are you from conception, and that never changes no matter what physical changes your body takes. And the virile sport in the Mustang driving to work with his muscular forearm tanned and ready for a day's labor has not one microgram more right to his inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness than has the three month's foetus riding in a sack of water or the vegetable rotting for twenty years in a gurney bed. Who's to know the values or extent of another's trip? How can we assume that the world through the windshield of that Mustang is any more rich or holy or even sane than the world before those pale blue eyes? How can abortion be anything but fascism again, back as a fad in a new intellectual garb with a new, and more helpless, victim?

I swear to you, Paul, that abortions are a terrible karmic bummer, and to support them—except in cases where it is a bona fide toss-up between the child and the mother’s life—is to harbor a worm of discrepancy. 

KRASSNER: Well, that’s really eloquent and mistypoo, but suppose Faye were raped and became pregnant in the process?

KESEY: Nothing is changed. You don’t plow under the corn because the seed was planted with your neighbor’s shovel.

KRASSNER: I assume that it would be her decision, though?

KESEY: Almost certainly. But I don’t really feel right about speaking for her. Why don’t you phone and ask?

[Krassner phones Faye Kesey in Oregon and reviews the dialogue. She asks: “Now what’s the question—if I were raped, would I get an abortion?”  “That about sums it up.” “No I wouldn’t.”]

KRASSNER: But would she marry the rapist to give the child a name? . . . What would you have done in my place before abortion was legalized and someone with an unwanted pregnancy came to you for help, and you knew of a safe doctor as an alternative to some back-alley butcher?

KESEY: I have been in your place and done what you did. I think now—not just because of religious stands but of what happened to the girls’ heads as a result—that I did a great disservice because I was being asked for more than money or the name of a guy in Tijuana. In the last few years, when asked the question, I've found myself able to talk the women out of it. I could have talked them out of it back then as well. There are girls with kids coming and no old man to carry his share of the load. Women sense far better than a man what the bearing and raising of a child means in terms of a lifetime commitment. It all comes down to a pact of support. And if the man pulls out his support first, how can he blame the woman for pulling out hers? Next time you're asked to choose between hygiene and a back-alley butcher, Paul, try choosing instead against both possibilities and for life instead.

- interview of Ken Kesey by Paul Krassner in The REALIST, Issue Number 90,  May-June, 1971; the interview begins on the cover and continues on pp. 46 ff.

[Emphases in the original.]

When purportedly civilized denizens of the Temple of Secularism hound the godly for speaking against their bloodlust, we ought not be silent. How dare they! What great bloodquilt must consume their souls that they attack a man for defending little defenseless babies! For shame!

To accept such attacks upon the merely civilized by being silent is to connive at the bloodshed our nation has been drowning in for decades, now.

(Incidentally, let me add that I read part of this interview first back in the seventies and have never forgotten it. At the place where the three asterisks appear above there is an extended story which is one of the most eloquent stories opposing euthanasia I've seen. So click through the link above and read the part I've left out. You'll not regret it.)

 

 

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.

Comments

I will be voting for Romney with much reluctance, but Richard Mourdock is a man that I can stand behind. Mike Pence will be, too, once he retracts his call to Mr. Mourdock to apologize.

And, Ken Kesey? Wowser.

Love,

Thanks for this, Tim. Bless you.

Leave it to Ken Kesey to shame me for my lack of zeal in protecting the unborn...

Kesey's right answers remind me of a bumper sticker I saw the other day, "Abortion: Big People Killing Little People" - It really is that simple and that horrible.

Erick Erickson is right, if folks are able a donation to the Mourdock campaign is one response to barbarism.

I have really been vexed by this since I read it, and especially since I heard that Mike Pence was distancing himself from Richard Mourdock. It's sad that Mitt Romney, who's convictions I don't believe to be as strong as Mourdock's or (I believed) Pence's to be, is taking more of a stand for Mourdock.

All of that to say, I just sent the following to Mike Pence. Pray that he will change his stance and stand up for life:

Dear Mr. Pence,

 

It saddens me to hear you call for Mr. Mourdock to apologize for his comments the other night during the debate. He showed the courage to stand by his convictions, which is more than I can say for you. From this I see that you are unwilling to stand up for those who would seek to protect the lives of the unborn, so why should I believe that you truly seek to protect those same little lives.

 

It also saddens me to see the action you have taken on your Facebook page to delete comments and questions from those who otherwise support you about your actions and words toward Mr. Mourdock. Is that the kind of transparency you are seeking? Not allowing honest, respectful public questioning of your public statements?

 

Please retract your remarks to Mr. Mourdock and stand with him rather than throwing him to the wolves and distancing yourself from him. I want to see you succeed in your leadership of this great state, but more than that, I want to see you honor God and stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves. If you won't do it, who will?

 

Respectfully,

Kevin Jackson

I've been reading CNN and other news corporations on this situation and it is sad to see how many claiming the name of Christ are trying to distance themselves from the loving truth spoken by Mourdock. Another chaplain (South) is claiming here that Jesus should never be proclaimed to the broken and needy.

South describes himself as “pro-life,” but when it comes to dealing with a girl or woman impregnated by a rapist, he keeps his personal views to himself.

If we are not going to proclaim Christ to those who are broken and helpless then what is the point of the gospel?

It is maddening to see the "news corps" (or should I spell that with an "e" at the end?) and their creating, not reporting, of news. All the headlines read something along the lines of:

"GOP candidate says God desires rape"

It makes me want to puke. Nothing could be more obvious than Mourdoch stating that even in the horrific case of pregnancy due to rape, God still loves and has a purpose, albeit unknown to us, for that child. In context, what he said was very clear.

Of course there will never be any headlines covering Barrack/Barry Obama/Soetoro and Michelle's desire to criminalize the caring for babies who have survived their murder.

I read a columnist the other day who mentioned how disgusting it was that the Democratic (sic) Party treats women as if they are only vaginas with voting rights, and can be bought and appeased if only you throw enough birth control pills at them, as if they had no brain.

Of course, this fits into Obama's latest campaign ad featuring a young actress telling young female voters that voting for Obama is like losing your virginity.

Meanwhile, Obama's complicity (or direct responsibility, with new evidence of a Libyan cargo ship carrying weapons into a Turkish post near the Syrian border 5 days before the attack with Ambassador Stevens meeting a Turkish official hours before the attack) in the death of a U.S. ambassador and 3 other Americans continues to be covered up.

God help us

It's very telling and commendable that this interview with the Keseys came five years after Mr. Kesey committed adultery, fathered a child out of wedlock, and then did not have that child aborted (that child is Sunshine Kesey). A man who "put his money where his mouth is."

As maddening as that all is, the MSM acting like the shills that they are should come as no big surprise. Far more disgusting, to me, is the lack of conviction on the part of men who supposedly share the same beliefs.

Mike Pence distancing himself from Mourdock for the sake of political expediency is nothing short of traitorous. We should expect attacks from our enemies, but our allies should be standing by our sides to defend us, not acting like there's nothing to see or, worse, joining in on the attacks.

Dear Kevin,

I'm sympathetic, but keep in mind that it's likely the vast majority of Evangelical pastors would defend abortion in the case of rape, incest, and fetal deformity. And most Evangelical physicians would offer it in these cases, fearing litigation if they failed to do so. Standard medical practice and all that. And most Evangelical fathers and mothers would hush up their daughter's pregnancy that was the result of rape or incest and get them to take ECPs or have an abortion. And most Evangelical wives and husbands would not punch their physician in his face if he explained to them their unborn child had a deformity or handicap and suggested they kill him.

You get my point? How can we expect our political leaders to rise above the men and women they pray and worship among? The real tragedy here is not that Mike Pence did obeisance to the Molech out at the three percent margin of abortions today, but that his wife and children and elders and pastors have failed him, likely for decades, now.

Like pastors, like people.

Love,

I called Mourdock's campaign headquarters Wednesday morning and left a message thanking him for standing up for the little defenseless ones who have committed no crime worthy of death. I didn't like the thought of all those people screaming at him and no one encouraging him. I also called Mike Pence's office and asked him to stand with Mourdock for the little ones.

I also asked for a Mourdock yard sign. I have mixed feelings about political yard signs, but when Mourdock got dirty for the little ones we decided it was time we got dirty for him.

Dear Tim,

My problem isn't so much his stance on supporting abortion in the case of rape. I may disagree with that, but the norm today seems to be 3 exceptions (rape, incest, life of the mother) and, if that is his conviction, then I can get behind him.

The problem is, which is his stance? In the Indiana Right-to-Life voter's guide he claims only 1 exception (life of the mother), but now he seems to have flipped on that, if his words are to be believed. I find it hard to believe that he is taking at face value what the MSM are claiming about Mr. Mourdock's remarks (that he believes rape is a gift from God), so the only thing that Mr. Pence could disagree with is that he thinks that children conceived as the result of rape should not be aborted. (Link to the voter's guide: http://issuu.com/irtl/docs/irtl-voters-guide/10).

Even if he has been failed by those around him, that doesn't mean that there isn't a personal failing on his part to listen to wise counsel, or to be held accountable for words he says in public. When he says things in public, he should answer in public, not just ignore the issue or wish it away.

Much love,

Yes, well said, Kevin.

Love,

Yesterday I got into a rather intense discussion with a friend about Mourdock and abortion. I cited what I believed to be President Obama's position on abortion: that the President would want his grandchild aborted if his daughter happened to get pregnant out of wedlock. This friend was quite shocked to hear this, so later that evening I looked up the quote in question. It turns out that I was wrong. Below is the email I wrote to him apologizing. I think it is very instructive that Mourdock's comment that "the creation of any new life is always by God's will" has been deliberately misinterpreted as "Rape is always by God's will," in the same way that the President's comment has been widely misinterpreted as "I would want my own grandchild aborted." Yes, the President's position on abortion is wicked and wrong; but we needn't lie and make him out to be any more wicked than he is. Truth and honesty can't prevail so long as we are dishonest in our pursuit of them. We are getting with Mourdock exactly the same thing that we dished out for Obama in 2008.

Dear [John Doe],

I looked up that Obama quote that I had mentioned earlier today. Having now seen and heard it in context, I think I misrepresented it and, embarrassingly enough, misrepresented it in exactly the same way Mourdock’s comment has been misrepresented.

Watch this clip first. This is what everyone cites as “Obama wants his own daughters to get abortions” (which is what I had been led to believe about his comment).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jszkPtsFH-k

Then watch this clip. It gives the surrounding context, where it is clear that Obama is talking about sex education, and educating his daughters.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNbaig-D5pk

From whatever source I originally heard this, the implication was “Obama would want his own grandchildren aborted.” But that is clearly not what he said. In context, it is clear that he meant “I want my daughters to get extensive sex education because if they don’t, I worry that they’ll get pregnant out of wedlock.”

So, I’m sorry, I was wrong. I misrepresented what he actually said.

That being said, 1) it is very unsettling to think that the President considers babies to be a punishment (children are a blessing), and 2) it seems wrong that the same media that cut some slack for Obama for context with the above quote won’t give Mourdock the same courtesy.

Sincerely,

Abram

Abram,

I've seen those clips several times and I'm sorry, but I think you are being far too generous to Mr. Obama.  There is no context that makes, "I don't want them punished with a baby" acceptable.

Absolutely no context whatsoever makes that remark OK. Ever.

Yikes - that came out all wrong.  Sorry, Abram.

While he may not directly will the murder of his grandchildren, it's clear he wants his daughters absolutely free to do so.  And I don't see a bit of difference between those two. 

The cited clip has been used by many, many pro-lifers to "prove" that the President would want his own grandchildren aborted. Maybe he actually does want his own grandchildren aborted, or at least for his daughters to have the option available; but if so, this quote is not the proof for it. In context I think it is pretty clear that, rather, he wants the <i>conception of his grandchildren prevented</i>, and he thinks that better sex ed, and better access to sex ed are the key. I think that he's wrong about the value of expanded sex ed, but I also think that there is a clear distinction between ending a life that has just been created, and preventing the creation of that life in the first place. He tried to walk that fine line, but due to the limitations and ambiguities inherent to the English language it ended up being open to misinterpretation. This is the same thing that has happened to Mr. Mourdock--but without the same generosity that was given to then-Senator Obama.

>>the President would want his own grandchildren aborted.

Dear Abram, 

Clearly yes; if they made a mistake and got pregnant, he would want them to murder their unborn children. I've put up a post about this. And keep in mind that President Obama is just like the majority of American parents in this. No father wants his unborn grandchild who is the result of a "mistake" to live. He wants that child dead and will pay for that child's murder. President Obama is as radical a proponent of abortion as has ever held public office, as has been documented an nauseum.

Love,

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