A spokesperson for Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), who last week accused liberals of having a “hatred for God,” refused to apologize for those remarks, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Akin’s communications director, Steve Taylor, told the Post-Dispatch that Akin was commenting on a difference between the two ideas: while conservatives believe rights come from God, liberals think they come from the government. Taylor said Akin was not referring to any individual’s beliefs, only the “defining principles of two political ideologies.”
Multiple religious leaders have fired back at Akin’s original comments. Rabbi Jim Bennett of Congregation Shaare Emeth in St. Louis:
Representative Akin has taken a broadcasting gaff made by NBC during last week’s U.S. Open golf championship, for which the network quickly apologized, and turned it into a grotesque politicized attack upon the network and upon all those who espouse the values of “liberalism.”
With his outrageous statement, Representative Akin makes a mockery of his own understanding of these liberal values and of God.
Vicky Trippe, a voting rights activist in Missouri, responded:
“It’s because of my faith in God that I’m a Liberal Democrat. And it’s through government programs like Medicaid, Social Security and Medicare, that we can most effectively take care of those in need. It’s through God’s teachings, and our love for God, that we see these programs as a tool of God, not hatred and certainly not as a replacement.”
Rev. Krista Taves, of Emerson Unitarian Universalist Chapter in St. Louis, wrote to Akin:
For you to say that liberals hate God means you know very little about liberals, and sadly enough, you also seem to know very little about God and his son Jesus, who said that ‘as you do to the least of these, you do unto me.’