Political Animal


August 20, 2012 3:58 PM Abortion Exceptions “A Sin”

By Ed Kilgore

As we wait to see if MO Senate nominee Todd Akin brazens it out and defies the growing cry of Republicans for him to get off the general election ballot before COB tomorrow (making it easy for the state GOP to replace him), I’d remind readers of the powerful views of the powerful constituencies that think it important to hold the GOP to the most extreme position available on abortion. You may recall that I attended an important Christian Right event in Iowa last weekend, and observed after listening to a so-so speech by Rick Perry:

[T]he most interesting speaker I heard today was another Texan, Laurence White, pastor of the Lutheran (Missouri Synod) Church of Our Savior in Houston, who lashed not only the evil liberal secularists but faithless Republican pols and at audience itself for tolerating “the perverted standards of the ungodly who live around us.”
Best known for his relentless comparisons of conservative evangelical culture warriors with the Confessing Church under Nazi Germany, White came to demand that his listeners make the immediate and total revocation of legalized abortion, same-sex marriage and other forms of “indecency” an unconditional demand.
“On abortion, there is just one Christian position. For a Christian not to vote is a sin. For a Christian voting in any election for any candidate who is not absolutely, unequivocally and authentically opposed to abortion is a sin.”

White got thunderous applause for his remarks, and this was at an event where he shared the podium not only with his governor, Rick Perry, but with the last two winners of the Iowa Caucuses, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. If anyone had issues with White’s absolutist litmus test on abortion, they kept it very quiet. Huckabee, it should be noted, was Todd Akin’s most important backer during the recent Senate primary in MO, and today offered his buddy airtime to apologize for talking about “legitimate rapes” instead of “forcible rapes” (a distinction without a difference from a policy point of view) and fight to stay in the race.

Akin’s got plenty of powerful allies for his “worldview.” The question is whether they will have the integrity to defend him against the electoral interests of those “inauthentic” abortion opponents in the GOP that White talked about, who bend to the perceptions of the “ungodly” citizens of this wicked, Nazi-like land.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • ComradeAnon on August 20, 2012 4:13 PM:

    I'm confused. Akin says he misspoke. Which one can the women cut off pregnancey from-forced or legitimate rape?

  • c u n d gulag on August 20, 2012 4:33 PM:

    It’s not just R&R who have supported this misogynistic lunacy, it’s R&R&R&R:
    Romney & Ryan & Republican Politicians & Rest Of ‘Em!

    And almost funny that they’re disowning a guy who said what almost all of them think, but only say in public – and the ones who DON’T think the same way, have been remarkably quiet the last few decades.

    I was watching Cup O’ Schmoe this morning, and between “Legitimate Rape” Akins, and the GOP Congressmen doing ‘”The Gaza Strip” & Skinny-dip’ on an Israeli fact-finding mission (one hesitates to ask what “facts” they found out about one another, any, ‘short’comings, say…), Schmoe was in high, HIGH dudgeon about his party.

    “What kind of Republicans ARE these people?” he harumphed.

    Uhm, can it be… YOUR KIND?

    This is YOUR party, Schmoe!

    The one you helped make, the one you’ve been a part of, the one you support, and the one you continue to support, and will continue to do so in the future, as long as it profits you to do so.
    The party of religious grifters.
    The party of science deniers.
    The party of low taxes for the rich.
    The party of corporations over people.
    The party of racists.
    The party of misogynists.
    The party of xenophobes.
    The party of homophobes.
    The party that’s not just lacking in empathy, but is the party of abject cruelty.

    Were these kind of Republicans hatched overnight, you think?
    They sprang from the head of Zeus fully formed (ok, the head of Nixon or McCarthy, I’ll buy) in the last, as you said Schmoe, 5-6 years?

    They’ve been nurtured by the likes of you.
    They’ve been financed by the likes of you.
    Their extremism has been given cover by the likes of you.
    They were already there when YOU, Schmoe, joined the House – or, did you forget your pal, Newt? He was there before you.

    This is the party that sold the nation a moron with an oxymoron:
    George W. Bush – The Compassionate Conservative.”

    And now, NOW, your dudgeon has finally reached a cruising altitude?

    Schmoe – This IS your party!
    And it’s been your party for quite awhile A party of cruel morons and amoroal morality grifters.

    And YOUR party is just months away from the prize it’s had it’s eye on for decades: the complete remake of the USA from a Representative Democracy, to a Theocratic Fascist Plutocracy.

    This is YOUR party, Schmoe.

    Don’t run away from it. Cherish it, hug it, love it, kiss it, embrace it!
    You are, after all, one of its fathers, Schmoe.

    Shall I get a stepladder to help you get off your high horse, you horses ass?
    Is your dudgeon so high, you need a parachute?

    What you’re looking at, is the reality of a party, YOUR PARTY, Schmoe, that cares about nothing except victory, and what power and profits it can extort from that victory.

    Power and profits before people, Schmoe!

    That’s the party you’re looking at – YOUR PARTY!!!
    The party where any means are justifiable, if they end in victory.

    Revel in it, Schmoe.
    Enjoy it.
    “Dive in,” today’s GOP Congressmen will tell you, “the water’s fine!”

    I hope you evil f*ckers all drown!

  • gelfling545 on August 20, 2012 4:38 PM:

    So many things are "sins" in Christian doctrine. Mr. White is apparently convinced that other people's sins are greater than his. Also Mr. White, that "not voting is a sin business" strikes me to be an awful lot like a "work" rather than "faith".

  • citizen_pain on August 20, 2012 5:02 PM:

    Aside for rule by big money mob, the theocratization of a large segment of American society is perhaps the 2nd most grave threat to our existence.

    Our founders were for the most part secular, most were deists, and a few even doubted the existence of Christ himself (Paine).

    Having lived in a time not so far removed from the dark ages, they knew full well the harm intense religious zealotry and dogma can impose on a society. They created a government specifically to guard against this happening, thus the separation of church and state.

    So essentially, the religious right is what the founders tried so hard, and hopefully not in vain, to avoid. Power to a group that knows no reason, that doubts science, and has little or know intellectual curiosity. Such a people are easily duped and led astray.

    Who will step up to the plate to combat this devolution to pre age of reason thinking? Where are the secularists? The moderate Christians (you know, the ones who actually pay attention to the gospels of Jesus)? Who else?? I know they're out there.

  • TCinLA on August 20, 2012 5:11 PM:

    Oh, I really do hope Akin stays in and gets his ass kicked so hard it comes out his mouth, that the christo-fascists get their candidates whipped everywhere outside of the idiot Confederacy (11 states we could well expel and then nuke for world improvement), whipped so bad it drives them insane and all their little militias try to rise up and fight the "oppressors" and then we can Finish Them Off permanently.

  • SadOldVet on August 20, 2012 5:14 PM:

    re c u n d galag...

    No sympathy from me! Watching the Morning Joke is a self inflicted wound with the level of pain on par with reading Krauthammer or Will opinion pieces.

  • Barbara on August 20, 2012 5:26 PM:

    I can only make sense of the ferocity of the Republican reaction (what is it about what he said that they actually disagree with?) by the fact that Akin co-sponsored his "forcible rape" legislation with none other than Paul Ryan. If he stays in the race, it will be very easy to keep the issue alive not only as to Akin, but probably Ryan as well (much as the president made the link today).

    But what if he leaves under pressure from his party? What happens to the people who supported Akin, who probably make up a significant part of the army that gets out the conservative vote?

  • Mad_nVt on August 20, 2012 5:50 PM:

    Ryan's deepest truest belief until two days ago: Constitutional life begins at orgasmic conception. Zygotes rules. Women: you go back to second class citizenship, with no control over your bodies. Zygotes rules. Zygotes rules.

    Ryan today: transmogrified to Romney flip-floppery.

  • Bo on August 20, 2012 7:09 PM:

    The GOP has its proverbial dick in a wringer over Akin. Immediately before Akin's "inadvertant exposure of his true beliefs", the GOPers were having an adolescent fit over Biden's "put y'all in chains" comment.
    Now they have got egg on their face and can only attempt to force Akin to withdraw from the race. Think about it. It's the only way they can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
    (1) it will stifle further comparisons between Akin and Ryan who after all co-sponsored the "Sanctity of Life" bill that -- among other things -- would have limited abortions to only cases of "forcible" (read: "illegitimate") rape and
    (2) it will give the GOPers standing to say that they forced a gaffer out of the race but Biden suffered no similar consequence for his supposedly equivalent gaffe.
    These morons are so hopelessly transparent that it's pathetic. They are trotting everyone out to tamp down this Missouri wild-fire right now.

  • schtick on August 20, 2012 7:28 PM:

    Silly Akin. He's not supposed to open his mouth and tell what they really think until AFTER Willard is elected. Just like we won't get to know any truth about what Willard is going to do as policy for this country until AFTER he's elected. The people of this country cannot be told the truth until AFTER the election. Get it, Akin?

  • JoanneinDenver on August 21, 2012 8:37 AM:

    The official doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church is that abortion is prohibited in any and all circumstances. If the event, more common before the advent of modern medical technologies, that there had to be a choice made between the life of the mother and the life of the child, Catholic women were taught that they must choose the life of the child.

    Artificial birth control is also prohibited under all other circumstances.

    Catholic women who were told that another pregnancy could be fatal were prohibited from using artificial birth control or refusing to have relations with their husbands. They were routinely told, by priests, that if they were to die as a consequence of another pregnancy, they would go straight to heaven and the Blessed Mother would take care of the children they left behind.

    I cite this doctrine because I believe it is still taught. This is why the Roman Catholic bishops have launched a legal and political war against the Obama administration. There is a conflict, of course.

    The Eighth Commandment, as counted by the Roman Catholic Church, forbids Catholics to swear a false oath. When Catholic elected officials are sworn into office, they all swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States. That Constitution makes access to all forms of contraception and abortion (in the first trimester w/o restriction) an absolute civil right. Catholic officials who want the
    approval of the Church and who do not want to be publicly shamed in Church,
    dance around the issue in a variety of ways that meets with the approval of the Church. They proclaim themselves "pro-life," they vote to restrict access to abortion and the "sponsor" anti-abortion legislation. In the Congress, the latter legislation is always referred to committees where it dies. The last Congress to vote on a Constitutional amendment was in 1982.

    I am not sure of the legal position, now, but I do know that at one time the Roman Catholic Church opposed martial rape laws on the grounds that a wife was not allowed to refuse to have relations with her husband and so there could be not "martial rape."

    Practicing Roman CAtholics pay only lip service to most of the doctrine. However, it is important to note that none of what Akins says is foreign to the 60 million Catholics in this country.

  • Barbara on August 21, 2012 11:19 AM:

    Joanne, yes, of course what you say is true:


    Nonetheless, many Catholics do not seem to understand that the Church considers abortion the worst kind of sin EVEN IF a woman's life is at stake. Many believe that it makes an exception abortion if the woman's life is at stake. I am not sure what that belief is based on.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on August 21, 2012 11:37 AM:

    Speaking of the Church dogma against perceived sinners and letting them die... I saw that stop-motion movie "ParaNorman" this weekend. While I won't spoil the plot for anybody who has to take the tots to see it, I was actually mildly repulsed by who the towns people killed as a wicked "witch". I was pretty damned disturbed by that little plot twist--and I didn't like how it was glossed over in the end either.

    Anywho, I only mention the movie because hopefully we'll evolve (rather than devolve) out this sorry state of affairs where we (or they) stand around and let women die (or suffer) at some misguided sense of religious piety. And perhaps we can be just as repulsed at this "abortion-is-sin" meme just like the witchcraft-is-sin meme from 300 years ago. And it would be fitting that women who seek abortions are rather like accused witches, no?