Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thank you, Todd Akin!

On my birthday, August 19, all I did was go to church and climb up the slopes of one of my favorite Colorado fourteeners, Mt. Sneffels. 

But in St. Louis, Congressman Todd Akin was being interviewed by a Fox affiliate and handing me a memorable birthday present: anti-abortion remarks so offensive that he is no longer a serious challenge to the Democratic Senator from Missouri, Claire McCaskill.

Woo-hoo!  Thank you, Todd. You may have tipped the balance to keep the Senate's Democratic majority in the elections this fall.  You may even have affected the presidential race.

You also gave me the opportunity to tout my evangelical Christian pro-choice book:  Abortion--My Choice, God's Grace: Christian Women Tell Their Stories (Pasadena, CA: New Paradigm, 1994).  It's available on Amazon, everybody.

I take the Bible seriously as the Word of God and point out in the book that nothing in the Bible opposes abortion.  Fifteen Christian women who have chosen abortion in difficult circumstances share their prayerful decision-making process in the face of rape, incest, health issues, and other crises.

I want to shout another thank-you to reporter John Eligon of the New York Times who researched Akin's religious connections and quotes a friend of Akin's as saying they both are "'far to the right' of people like Rush Limbaugh."

The phrase "Christian conservatives" has become so widely used in the last twenty years that the public now thinks that all Christians are conservative--or that all evangelicals are politically conservative as well as conservative in their approach to the Bible.

Not so.  There are Christian liberals and evangelical progressives, both of whom support legal access to abortion for women who feel they cannot continue an unexpected, unplanned pregnancy. 

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice is the most prominent organization trying to counter the myth that all Christians are anti-abortion.

In addition, check out my book, the website of Sojourners Magazine, and the pages of The Other Side, a distinguished evangelical publication that ceased publication about ten years ago. 

Visit the website of Evangelical & Ecumenical Women's Caucus--Christian Feminism Today,, and its quarterly publication.  These media are all produced by evangelical Christians whose politics are progressive to left.  EEWC-CFT is an inclusive organization (i.e. gay friendly).  There are many churches that advertize themselves as "inclusive" or "welcoming." 

Eligon points out that Todd Akin holds an M.Div. from Covenant Theological Seminary in Missouri, affiliated with the Presbyterian Church of America, a group that split off from the southern Presbyterians in 1973 when they merged with the northern Presbyterians.  The PCA has about 350,000 members, compared to 1,952,000 in the PCUSA. 

Christians make up about 77% of the population in the US, and evangelicals are estimated at 30-35%.  But Todd Aiken's variety of "Christian conservatives" is a minority among the evangelicals--those who do home-schooling only, who oppose contraception and abortion, who think wives should be "in submission" to their husbands, and who oppose the increasing acceptance of gays and lesbians, claiming that all this is biblical.  

Do we want someone from this very small sub-group to be one of two senators representing Missouri?  Do we want his vote among the 100 senators making decisions for the 314 million citizens of the USA?

Thank you, Todd Akin, for exposing yourself and your views in time for the people of Missouri to make an informed choice.  You're also giving all Americans a chance to know what they're voting for this coming November 6.

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