Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Todd Akin's rape theology

Sarah Posner has a report on Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin's religious background, The Theological Roots of Akin’s "Legitimate Rape" 08/20/2012.

She quotes Akin from 2011, "Well, I think NBC has a long record of being very liberal and at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God. And so they’ve had a long history of not being at all favorable toward many of things that have been such a blessing to our country." (Brian Tashman, Akin: "At The Heart Of Liberalism Really Is A Hatred For God" Right Wing Watch 06/24/2011)

She describes Akin's theocratic perspective this way:

Akin is proud of how his religion, and in particular, the Presbyterian Church in America, the deeply conservative Calvinist denomination founded in 1973, influences his political views. Akin has a Masters in Divinity from the denomination's flagship Covenant Theological Seminary. His campaign website notes, "Although most of his classmates went on to become pastors or missionaries, Todd took a different path. For several years he studied the founding of America and the principles which made this country great. His love of country and conviction that leaders must stand on principle led him to run for State Representative in 1988." On abortion, the PCA is absolutist: opposing abortion in all cases, with no exceptions. ...

This is not a situation where Akin sat in the pews of the church of a controversial pastor, or once attended a conference or seminar where controversial views were discussed. Akin has a Masters in Divinity from the PCA’s seminary, and proudly claims he took a political rather than a pastoral path after seminary. His denomination has not only opposed abortion in all cases, including rape, but has suggested that the number of pregnancies by rape is overstated, and even questioned the veracity of rape claims. And Akin, who in a few months could be a United States Senator, wants his religion to dictate our laws. [my emphasis]
This why Democrats and progressives find ourselves more and more having to deal directly with the religion of candidates. Because very often their religion is directing their public policy choices. So asking a Presbyterian candidate for Senate how he stands on major public policy positions of his church is a legitimate question. And with characters like Akin, necessary to understand the nature of their politics.

Their followers take their religious claims seriously. So should everyone else.

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