ST. LOUIS, (KMOX)-Nearly two months ago, Missouri Congressman Todd Akin raised the ire of some local pastors by saying on the Tony Perkins radio program that, “At the heart of liberalism is a hatred for God.” Today those pastors are still upset with the congressman because he hasn’t agreed to meet with them to discuss the statement.
The clergy members and Akin’s spokesman blame each other for communication breakdowns and disagree on, among other things, what– if any– media coverage should accompany a meeting.
Akin’s Spokesman Steve Taylor says the congressman has apologized and it’s time to move on.
Retired Presbyterian minister Ben Martin says the apology Akin issued, in which he said his statement was directed at the political movement, not at any specific individual, is not enough, “We feel that if he is genuinely concerned about apologizing that he needs to make that statement on the same platform that he made it on, that is national radio”
Taylor says a meeting exclusively about something already addressed does not promise to be productive.
Taylor also says that because the dozen or so clergy members have enlisted the help of the Washington DC based “Faith in Public Life“, he’s concerned they are politically motivated.
Martin says it IS political, “When he makes a statement that liberalism is at heart has a hatred for God, that is an extremely political statement. We don’t feel it is a civil statement. It is not said with respect and we would like to share our feelings and concerns.
“This, we feel is politics and we want to talk with our congressional representative who is, of course, involved in politics. But we want to express our personal convictions about his statement which we feel are highly misleading and which are irresponsible.”
He says Faith in Public Life is a group that helps clergy and Christians work with the media, ”We feel like that’s certainly our privilege to consult with people who know more about media communications than I certainly do.”
Martin says the clergy group will reissue its invitation to meet with Akin.
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