Indiana U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock caused fresh controversy today by suggesting that women should pray to avoid being raped.
In a meeting with the editorial board of a small newspaper in southern Indiana Mourdock claimed that many rape victims are "not right with the Lord" and should have "prayed a little harder" to avoid their fate.
The new comments come on the heels of his controversial statement in Wednesday's senate debate, when the conservative Tea Party Republican said pregnancy by rape is "something that God intended to happen."
Those words have attracted national condemnation from Democrats and Republicans alike, and have jeopardized Mourdock's chance at winning his close race against Democrat Joe Donnelly
Mourdock was in the editorial office of The Evansville Daily Post this afternoon in hopes of securing the influential paper's endorsement.
The wide ranging interview covered all topics, but the highlight came when a reporter asked if he believed God intended women to be raped:
"Personally I think that the closer you are to God, the less likely you are to run into something like that," Mourdock responded, "Some of these women - if they had been more faithful to the Lord, if they had just prayed a little harder - then they wouldn't have found themselves in that situation."
"I've seen marriages break up and friendships drift apart because someone wasn't right with the Lord. I think the same is true in any situation. With Jesus Christ on your side, only good things will come."
He then went on to propose a unique anti-rape measure:
"And in the case of rape Christ has a specific remedy. Studies have shown that if you pray for at least 20 minutes before any big date, your partner is 93% less likely to rape you."
"Scientists say prayer can create a 'rape halo' around a woman's body which instantly renders a potential rapist impotent. I'm not sure how it works exactly. I think its pheromones."
"So I don't think God wants a woman to get raped. He offers her a choice. The rape halo is only a prayer away. If she's too lazy to get on her knees and ask for it, that's her fault. "
Mourdock defeated Senator Dick Lugar for the Republican nomination in May. His hard-right views have turned what should have been an easy win for Republicans into a neck-and-neck contest.
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WATCH - Mourdock's comments in the debate yesterday: