Clergy Seek Meeting With Rep. Akin Over ‘Liberalism’ Remark

Brian Kelly

BALLWIN, Mo. (KMOX)-More than a half-dozen clergy members upset with U.S. Rep. Todd Akin’s statement that “At the heat of liberalism, really, is a hatred of God” went to his Ballwin office Wednesday morning, hoping for a face-to-face meeting.

They were met by Akin aide Steve Taylor, who informed them that the office only became aware of their desire for a meeting through media reports after the close of business Tuesday, and the Congressman had previous commitments within the district.

Taylor offered to meet with the ministers, but most refused.

 Parkway United Church of Christ Senior Pastor Kevin Cameron said, “It’s not a policy decision that he made, I think if it were we could talk with someone on his staff.  But since it was something that he said that was really negative and damaging that we’d like to talk about what went into his thought process and what he thinks about people who are maybe more liberal and progressive than he is.”

The ministers did leave a written response, calling Akin’s statement “ignorant and offensive.” It reads in part, “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 his constituents.”

Akin, who made the statement on Family Research Council President Tony Perkins’ radio program, has issued an apology, saying in part ,”My statement during my radio interview was directed at the political movement, Liberalism, not at any specific individual. If my statement gave a different impression, I offer my apologies.”

Cameron says the apology is not enough, “It sounded like he was saying , ‘ if anyone misinterpreted what i said’. I would like to hear him say I own my comments and my ways in which I was really pushing people and using inflammatory comments.

Cameron says he would like to see Akin set up a clergy group that he would meet with regularly, “So that he can get a pulse on what people of faith are thinking since he seems to believe that he understands fully what we process and how we come to our conclusions.”

 Two clergy members and a private citizen did meet with Taylor for over an hour.

One of them, retired Presbyterian Minister, Rev.  Ben Martin, called the meeting, “extremely helpful.”

Martin says he and Akin share similar beliefs, but said he suggested to Taylor that Akin consider less conservative Christian viewpoints, “I would urge Congressman Akin to reach out to differing faith voices. I think his concentration has been upon very conservative faith voices whom I feel often distort the gospel and instead of proclaiming what seems to me to be the heart of the gospel, which is concern for all of humanity as the children of god and that we need to have a special concern for those who are less able to participate in the political realm and are set aside as somehow as being unworthy of our concern and care and efforts to help.”

As for a future meeting with the clergy group, Taylor says it’s possible, “I think a meeting like that would be most productive if  people would agree to do something outside of intense media scrutiny or a politicized environment.”

Copyright KMOX Radio

Comments

One Comment

  1. rayosun says:

    Thank you, local clergy, for trying to break into the “parallel universe” that these conservatives live in. They have their own “science”, there own “news”, their own “economics” and their own “religion”. I invite any conservatives who think that “Christianity” is essentially “conservative” to think again and to explore http://LiberalslikeChrist.Org/Christlike/ Rev. Ray Dubuque

  2. Jeff Barczewski says:

    Conservatives believe that we can be Christ-like without having the government control the charity (it also ceases to be charity when it is forced up everyone).
    Individuals and Churches have always been more efficient and successful about getting the help to the right people than government will ever be.

    1. rayosun says:

      Jeff,
      As a clergyman I can assure everyone that churches are good at providing a “food basket” at Thanksgiving aad/or Christmas, but thank God for Social Services for taking care of people’s needs the rest of the YEAR. BEFORE Social Security, we TRIED it YOUR WAY, and half of America’s senior lived and died fast in total poverty. See how TERRIBLE life was in America BEFORE “the NEW DEAL”, which was inspired in large part by “the New Testament” at http://LiberalslikeChrist.Org/liberalrecord.html
      Rev. Ray Dubuque

  3. Linda says:

    Congressman Todd Akin’s remarks and apology were clear enough. There is a distinct difference between liberalism in the church and a liberal philosophy in politics. Liberal clergy have only tightened their collars over this. Let’s move on the more significant topics to debate and chew on.

  4. dibert says:

    what make these people think they can judge the hearts and minds of millions of people in this country….most people i would venture to believe, hold beliefs that supercede the hatred of far-right politicians who claim to be “true” representatives of christianity…

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