Rep. Todd Akin Refuses to Apologize for Saying Liberals Hate God

Last week, Brian first reported that in an interview on the made-up controversy surrounding NBC omitting “under God” from a broadcast of the Pledge of Allegiance, Missouri Rep. Todd Akin declared to the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins that “at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God.”

Akin’s remark, unsurprisingly, has not gone over very well with religious leaders in Missouri, with one group passing around an online petition demanding that he apologize.

But Akin is not backing down. First, a spokesman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tried to “clarify” his boss’s comments, saying that Akin was just talking about general philosophical differences between liberals and conservatives about the role of God in government:

Akin Communications Director Steve Taylor said the point Akin was trying to make was that there is a basic difference between the tenets of liberalism and conservatism. Conservatives believe rights are granted by God and it is the responsibility of government to aid in protecting them, Taylor said.

“Liberals believe rights are granted by government,” he said. “Congressman Akin believes those two concepts define the basic debate between the two ideologies.”

Akin’s comments were off the cuff, Taylor said, and with more time to articulate his point he could have “provided a more artful answer.” But he wasn’t talking about anyone’s individual relationship with God, Taylor said, only the “defining principles of two political ideologies.”

Then, in an interview yesterday with a Missouri radio station, recorded by Think Progress, Akin refused to apologize, saying he just meant that liberals have “a hatred for public references for God.”

Listen to Akin’s original remarks here:

Akin: This was something that was done systematically, it was done intentionally, and is tremendously corrosive in terms of all of the values and everything that’s made America unique and such a special nation.

Perkins: Why would NBC do this?

Akin: 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.

Akin: This is a systematic effort to try to separate our faith and God, which is a source in our belief in individual liberties, from our country. And when you do that you tear the heart out of our country.