Letter: Clergy Ask Congressman Akin to Repent, Change His Moral Priorities


It looked sorta like this at Akin's St. Louis office yesterday.
  • It looked sorta like this at Akin's St. Louis office yesterday.
It ain't over yet, even after Tuesday's half-ass apology.

Several local religious leaders are still incensed with Congressman Todd Akin's remarks last week equating "liberalism" to "a hatred of God."

On Wednesday they stopped by the Republican lawmaker's St. Louis office to voice their dissatisfaction. Akin, however, was nowhere to be found. So the clergy left a letter to the congressman with his press secretary, Steve Taylor. 

The note -- viewable below -- pulls no punches in calling out Akin for what the local pastors see as his manipulation and misinterpretation of the Bible and the teachings of Jesus.
As Missourians of faith, we found your statement that "at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred of God and a belief that government should replace God" to be ignorant and offensive. Scripture clearly warns us to "judge not, lest ye be judged," yet you condemn in disrespectful, stereotypical terms those with whom you disagree. Such insulting pronouncements degrade our nation's political dialogue and are unworthy of a public servant who claims to represent the interests of all of his constituents.

And in light of your support for a federal budget that mainstream faith leaders have overwhelmingly condemned as punitive toward the poorest among us, we call on you to reconsider not only your words, but also your moral priorities as a political leader. Accusing others of being inspired by hatred of God while you vote to deprive the weakest and most vulnerable of medicine and basic sustenance is the antithesis of moral leadership. We call on you to apologize, and we pray that you are moved to act in a spirit of civility, compassion and justice in the future.
Signatories of the letter included the following religious leaders. Most all of whom, it should be noted, come from the rather progressive United Church of Christ, which in 2005 became one of the first denominations in the U.S. to openly support gay marriage. And that's a subject on which Akin and the UCC just won't agree. No sirree.

Rev. Krista Taves
Minister, Emerson Unitarian Universalist Chapel
Ellisville, MO

Rev. Kevin Cameron
Parkway United Church of Christ
St. Louis, MO

Rev. Jeffrey Whitman
Missouri Mid-South Conference of the United Church of Christ
St. Louis, MO

Rev. Dale Bartels
St. John's United Church of Christ
Chesterfield, MO

Rev. Kevin Gregory
St. John United Church of Christ
Manchester, MO

Rev. Frank Proctor
Charles Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
St. Charles, MO

Rev. Thomas Tupper (retired)
United Church of Christ
Wildwood, MO

Rev. Richard Simonson (retired)
United Church of Christ
Brentwood, MO

Cheryl Stolze
Eden Theological Seminary

H/T: Faith in Public Life

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