Abortion Exceptions “A Sin”

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

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.