GOP Rep. Todd Akin (MO) came under fire this week after he declared, “The heart of liberalism really is a hatred of God.” Several religious leaders blasted Akin for contorting religious faith into a political attack. Rabbi Jim Bennett of Congregation Shaare Emeth in St. Louis, Missouri scolded Akin for his “grotesque” attack and for making “a mockery of his own understanding of these liberal values and of God.” Unitarian Rev. Krista Taves of St. Louis told Akin, “You know very little about liberals, and sadly enough, you also seem to know very little about God and his son Jesus.”
Despite the blowback, Akin is flatly refusing to apologize. Akin told KMOX yesterday that, “to be a little more precise,” liberals have “a hatred for public references for God.” When asked whether he’d apologize to groups insulted by his words, Akin scoffed, stating “I’m not going to apologize for what I see liberalism doing in trying take God out”:
AKIN: No, I don’t think there’s anything to apologize for. I think I can clarify that I was talking about public references, too. I think that clarifies it a little bit. But there’s just such a historic pattern there, that I think that it probably could’ve been clarified but no, I’m not going to apologize for what I see liberalism doing in trying to take God out.
Akin then pointed to Thomas Jefferson, who he interpreted as saying that “if you don’t believe your rights come from God, then anytime a king or emperor or tyrant tells you to do something else, you say ‘Oh I guess I have to do what he says.’” Incidentally, Jefferson was a staunch believer in the separation of church and state, helped enshrine that principle into Virginia law, and used it as the basis for the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. That “historical pattern,” however, seems to be irrelevant to Akin.