KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Throughout his political career, Representative Todd Akin’s agenda has been driven by a belief that his mission came from God.

As a Republican member of Congress, he has sponsored legislation to name 2008 “The National Year of the Bible,” and to promote greater recognition of the Ten Commandments. A member of the Presbyterian Church in America, Mr. Akin has accused liberals of trying to remove God from the public sphere. And as the Republican establishment closed ranks on him Tuesday, trying to force him to withdraw from the Missouri Senate race after his controversial remarks about rape and abortion, Mr. Akin provided divine reasoning as to why he would not quit.

It was “appropriate to recognize a creator, God, whose blessings of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the very source of American freedom,” Mr. Akin, 65, said in a radio interview. “And that part of the message I feel is missing” from the campaign, he said, adding, “That’s the reason why we’re going to continue. Because I believe there is a cause here.”

Mr. Akin’s defiance and insistence that even without the establishment’s support, he can defeat the incumbent Democrat, Senator Claire McCaskill, in a race that could decide the balance of power in the Senate was indicative of his nearly quarter-century in politics in which he regularly embraced the underdog role, relying on grass-roots support and his faith to power him through.

Outspoken and blunt — too blunt, some might say — Mr. Akin, 65, is no stranger to incendiary comments. He has criticized federal spending on things like school lunches and student loans and has been quick to equate government spending to socialism.

“ ‘God called me to run’ — that’s the way he thinks,” said Jeff Smith, a former Democratic state senator in Missouri, said of Mr. Akin, a six-term congressman who represents parts of eastern Missouri. “I think he thinks it’s his destiny, and so you’re going to have to get somebody pretty high up there — or, in his mind, pretty close to God — to push him out.”

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7 Responses to A Politician Whose Faith Is Central to His Persistence

  1. Bobby Griffith says:

    It would be great if this controversy were sparked by a defining Christian issue and not politics.

  2. Tary Medberry says:

    Thank you for this article. I do think though, that we should be very clear: what Congressman Akin actually SAID is indefensible. It may be that you could defend what he MEANT, but his actual words were indisputably wrong. Are we to wonder if he truly does believe that a woman won’t become pregnant unless she consents to sex, but realizes he should have kept this to himself? Or is it that he truly believes what he said was, indeed, wrong? I don’t believe that Congressman Akin has made this clear enough. A simple apology or “whoops” isn’t sufficient–he needs to explain himself more.

  3. Mary Moser says:

    I agree with Tary Medberry I hope Akin will seek the thinking of his brothers and sisters in Christ if he hasn’t already. Or could not those of the faith who are in biological sciences seek to advise him?

  4. anonymous for my daughter's sake says:

    Thank you Tary. Whatever else the congressman has said or done, the comments raising the current uproar are indefensible and just plain wrong.

    My devoutly Christian daughter was brutally attacked several years ago, so the all too common blaming of rape victims is very familiar to me. While Mr. Akin may well be a respected politician in many other areas, his comments on the topic seem to go far beyond just being “outspoken and blunt” and I fear will reflect very negatively on other evangelical Christian politicians–and to Christians in general. At this point, I am saddened to hear that he is part of our denomination and hope to hear some real repentance from him for the remarks.

  5. Harold Kelley says:

    In response to Tary Medberry’s comment that Akin’s “simple apology or “whoops” isn’t sufficient. ” I ask why not, that’s all we ever get from anyone in the Obama administration when they say something stupid, and that includes Obama himself. And I say that as a life-long Democrat.

  6. Juan Domingo says:

    This article doesn’t include Akin’s apology. It should.

    “I don’t know that I’m the only person in public office who suffered from foot in mouth disease here,” Akin said. “This was a very, very serious error.”

    Akin apologized for his comments in Monday’s Akin apologized for his comments in Monday’s interview with Huckabee and acknowledged that what he said was “ill-conceived” and “wrong.” He said he knows women who have been raped, and although none of them became pregnant as a result, he recognizes that it’s possible.

    “People do get pregnant. It does happen,” he said. “I just want to apologize to those I have hurt. I’ve spoken in error.”

  7. Tom Troxell says:

    Akin’s comments, however well meaning, have brought the church in general and the PCA in particular into the limelight and held up for ridicule. He has become the issue and all other things have moved to edge of the public square. His continued presence in the race for a key Senate seat in MO threatens a change in the US Senate. If I were his pastor, I would have counseled him to withdraw for the testimony of Christ. It seems that pride, not common sense, has kept him in the race. He is not ‘suffering’ for being a Christian, but for ‘meddling,’ ( i.e. being stupid) James 5:15