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In a recent interview on CNN, Piers Morgan asked Rick Santorum about his views on choice.

Santorum, calm, be-sweatered and comfortable with Morgan's almost fatherly manner, patiently explained life, when it begins and what must never be done about it. And then, pressed for the advice he would give his daughter if she became pregnant from a rape, Santorum said:

I believe and I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created - in the sense of rape, but nevertheless - gift, in a very broken way, but gift of human life and accept what God has given to you.

Gift? That God has given?

That clip is outrageous enough.

Morgan's interview lasts about five minutes. It is worth the time.

Piers Morgan is not known to be a gentle interviewer. (It was he who had the temerity to call the sitting Shrub an "idiot" on international television.) In fact, this former "news presenter" from Britain may turn out to be one of the more dogged interviewers in American mainstream media.

True, asking the kind of question that Bernard Shaw asked of Michael Dukakis, the hypothetical whether he would favor the death penalty for a rapist if his wife was the one raped, is not slashing journalistic insight. But Shaw hit Dukakis with it with little foreplay. Morgan lures Santorum into his full and exasperating explanation, step by simple and graceful step.

May Morgan continue to practice this style. Oh, were other interviewers on politics - and a host of other subjects, too, but let's focus on politics this year - so prepared and persistent!

Moyers, Maddow and now maybe Morgan. Anyone else come close to their league these days?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Piers should have then asked the following (12+ / 0-)

    If you believe that a baby created by rape is God's Will then how can the rape itself not be God's will?

    And, if rape is then God's will, could the rapist use that is a defense? i.e. How can you convict me for an act God has blessed?

    Finally, what legal rights as parents are you willing to give rapists?

    •  Santorum would slip, slide and slither with ... (12+ / 0-)

      ... those excellent questions. It would good to watch him grapple with the paths his answers point to.

      Morgan got Santorum to go where he did because he focused on where Santorum is so comfortable being absolutist, his theology. As you suggest, Santorum tends to equate religious belief with the constitution - his own religious belief, of course.

      Santorum's answers make rapists, at least a rapist who gets his female victim pregnant, an instrument of God's will. That tack is well worth exploring. How could a just court penalize such an instrument? (Are these really two different things? Really?) I imagine Santorum arguing that we are all God's instruments, a cop out which would also be worth chasing. And, how about rapists who don't get the woman pregnant?

      And given what the Bible says about incest (the OT can be read both ways on this), what about the case where the woman's father or brother is the rapist?

      I, personally, do not particularly enjoy such conundrums. But like Newt's blatant hypocrisy, Rick Santorum brings this on himself. It's reasonable to judge him for it.

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 08:18:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As a somewhat believing Catholic (5+ / 0-)

        I do share your lack of enjoyment of these conundrums, but they do give us an insight on where the road to extremism leads.  Whenever I hear a discussion about abortion and rape I always think about the rapist.  Forced birth aligns the government with the rapist acting against the woman.  I really cannot see how such an act can be called Christian.

        As an aside, the Catholic beliefs regarding abortion come from Jesus's comment that "what you do for the least of among you, you do for me."  The argument follows that the most fragile is worthy of the greatest support.  Yet, currently the unborn have plenty of advocates, far more than vulnerable pregnant women.  I believe that it is better for there to be fewer abortions, yet making them illegal is a cruel and ineffective way to do so.

        •  I couldn't agree more. I much hope for fewer ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... abortions. To terminate a seemingly healthy pregnancy must be a terribly difficult decision to make in most situations. But in cases of rape, incest or dangerous pregnancies (i.e. the health of the mother and the condition of the fetus), I think government and society should not be heard to take the choice away from the one who has to bear the child.

          In other cases, I firmly believe in choice, particularly under Roe v Wade's conditions which, I read, as a pragmatic decision and perhaps vulnerable with this current SCOTUS because of that.

          I write here not as a Catholic (I'm a confused Unitarian, I think), but as a father of two daughters and a grandfather of three more.

          Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

          by TRPChicago on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 10:36:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  And the next ? should be: (5+ / 0-)

      Does the rapist have visitation rights?

      •  Sadly yes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DruidQueen

        There are actual cases when a woman, pregnant from rape, decided (or was forced) to carry to term. The rapist was either acquitted (because the woman was the one on trial) or not charged (in a he said she said).

        And yes, the rapists have sued for visitation and joint custody.

        And this is Santorum's idea of gift from god. What an evil vile filthy hateful god he worships.

  •  Thanks for this post. I am assuming (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, OldDragon

    that the god santorum is referring to is satan? Words fail me.

  •  Martin Bashir (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Samer, cassandracarolina

    Should certainly be included on that list as well...

    I could watch his verbal take-down of Walsh(R-Idiotville) everyday for the next year and love it just as much as I do today...:)

  •  this kind of crap (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jesus built my hotrod

    Will only embolden the father or stepfather or uncle or brother who has been sexually assaulting young women and girls in their family.

    Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

    by cassandracarolina on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 08:53:22 AM PST

    •  I hope that you don't think I posed these question (4+ / 0-)

      to encourage rapists to actually use them.  It is just that Santorum is walking down a very ugly path.  I would like him to be questioned about the places it leads to.  I certainly don't believe that rape (or a pregnancy from a rape) has anything to do with the will of God.  It is an act of evil and if the state forces a rape victim to go through with the pregnancy they are aiding and abetting that evil.

      •  no worries... I agree with you completely (5+ / 0-)

        Santorum is indeed proposing some heartless and dangerous views that he would want everyone -not just his daughter -to accept.  He should face aggressive questioning.  Nobody should be telling a rape victim what to do unless they have been personally asked for their input.  

        Beyond the obvious pain, grief, and life disruption, what if the rape victim's pregnancy leaves them infertile? Too traumatized to earn a living? Divorced or cast out of their family? Murdered by their family if the come from a culture that views rape as dishonor to the whole family?

        This is "respect for life", Rick??

        Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

        by cassandracarolina on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 09:15:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  They already had (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cassandracarolina, DruidQueen

      the first 20 pages of the bible and Lot to draw inspiration from...now they have an official endorsement from Santorum.

      Seriously, if I am ever at an event where I can pose a question to  Rick, this is all I have to ask of him:

      I really want to be a father but have no significant other. Is it okay if I rape a woman to impregnate her to fulfill that goal?

  •  I am militantly pro-choice, and unconditionally (4+ / 0-)

    support a woman's right to abort right up to the day of birth (I include in this inducing early labor to fit one's schedule, despite potential health effects to the baby), whether I agree with it or not.

    BUT any woman who is willing to walk the 100% anti-abortion walk, and any man who materially supports such women as well as the children born to women forced to give birth against their will, have my grudging respect because they are not "life is absolutely, totally, completely sacred -- well unless of course we decide we don't like the daddy" hypocrites.

    Rick Santorum, who supported his wife's decision to abort in order to save her own life -- arguably demonstrating a complete lack of faith in God's plan for her -- does not fill that bill.

    •  This is why women, not governments should choose (4+ / 0-)

      Everyone's circumstances are different and I have some grudging respect for the 100 % anti walk as well, however, those people do need to answer questions about Rapist's/Fathers rights.  If Rick Santorum's view's become law, these are the consequences that could very well occur.  Grudging respect doesn't mean those types of questions can't be asked.  

      Finally I must confess I hold a mushy view.  There are circumstances where women feel that they must have an abortion, but there are also circumstances where a woman would not get one but she feels pressure due to the father or economic circumstances.  The Church would prevent many more abortions by supporting programs that help women in those circumstances and by changing their insane view of birth control than they would by making abortion illegal.

    •  Don't agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Barbie02360, Blue Bell Bookworm

      If a woman who is unalterably unconditionally opposed to abortion chooses to carry to term, I support her CHOICE, even if I think she's nuts to make that decision. But it is HER decision. NOT Rick Santorum's. I have ZERO respect for smug sanctimonious men misogynists who call rape a gift from god and reduce women to incubators for rapists filth.

  •  If men rape a woman (0+ / 0-)

    and the baby is a gift from God, then wouldn't Congressmen voting to increase tax rates on millionaires also be a gift from God? What's the difference?

    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

    by CFAmick on Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 11:54:29 AM PST

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