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Clergy deliver letter condemning Akin comments

June 29, 2011, 8:13 pm | Posted by Casey Schoeneberger
By Associated Press
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FPL organized this letter

A group of St. Louis-area religious leaders delivered a letter to the office of U.S. Rep. Todd Akin on Wednesday, condemning the Missouri Republican’s comments that liberalism “really is a hatred for God.”

About a half-dozen Protestant clergy members from Akin’s district, the 2nd District of Missouri, delivered the statement to his office in Ballwin, but the congressman wasn’t there. Aide Steve Taylor said Akin had commitments elsewhere in the district, was never informed by the clergy of their planned visit, and was unable to change his schedule to meet with them.

Akin, who is running for U.S. Senate in 2012, apologized Tuesday for the comments made last week in a radio interview.

The congressman and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins were discussing a TV clip from NBC’s broadcast of the U.S. Open golf tournament in which the Pledge of Allegiance omitted the phrase “under God.” NBC has since apologized.

“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,” Akin said.

In his apology, Akin said his statement was directed at the political movement of liberalism, not at any specific individual. Akin said his point was to “object to the systematic assault that attempts to remove any reference to God from the public square.”

But the Rev. Jeffrey Whitman, conference minister for the Missouri Mid-South Conference of the United Church of Christ, said Akin’s statement was offensive regardless of the context.

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