6/29/2011—Isn’t GOP Rep Todd Akin (MO) correct in asserting that liberals, religious or not, have a hatred for public references to God? If “hatred” is too strong a word, how about opposition? I just wrote a blog reference on Sunday about Douglas Laycock’s view that “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional. Isn’t that Akin’s point?
Laycock was sanguine about an ongoing political fight concerning God in the public square. I think such a fight will be a political disaster on many levels. Well, Akin’s comment is what that fight will look like. How do you like it?
And you can expect the same demagoguery that Akin exhibited in conflating hatred for public references to God for hatred of God. Akin coyly called that important distinction “a little more precise” when he had been intentionally calling all liberals atheists. No, plenty of liberals are theists, but most believe that God, like all religion, is something private and should not be expressed in public.
This is poor political theory. References to God have something to do with justice and social morality, as Martin Luther King knew. His references to God on public occasions were political. The reference to Creator in the Declaration of Independence was political. Lincoln’s references to divine will were political.
Liberals should rethink reflexive opposition to God language in the public square. Otherwise they/we will be practicing an impoverished politics subject to divisive attacks like that of an Akin