Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012
Akin wants forgiveness
By John Beaudoin
I’m not a Bible-thumper, whatever that is. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen anyone thumping a Bible.
Growing up in the Catholic Church, there’s not much pomp and circumstance to our Mass routine. We do the Catholic calisthenics – sit, stand, kneel – get our communion and get out by kickoff (this only applies in the autumn of course).
But I did learn a thing or two along the way. I know most of the Ten Commandants, I used to be able to recite the Beatitudes and I always enjoyed hearing the lengthy list of Saints we were honoring at Mass. Rarely did my namesake, St. John Francis Regis, get a shout out, though.
Still, the underlying theme of my spiritual upbringing was forgiveness. I am sure the Bible is pretty clear about it, too.
The problem is, when you spout pure and unadulterated ignorance as Todd Akin did recently, forgiveness is really the last thing on people’s minds.
It doesn’t mean they will not get there eventually. It means you need to take some time to reflect on what you did or said before you are ready to ask for and receive it.
Akin jumps into the realm of forgiveness almost as haphazardly as he discusses “legitimate rape” and pregnancy.
Akin’s comments were so treacherous to women, his immediate call to forgive rings incredibly shallow. There is no way he’s taken the time to think about the damage he did or how incredibly dense he sounded.
Unfortunately, some people saw this coming. Akin is extreme and is as inflexible as any politician I have ever seen.
Maybe that’s why the Democrats wanted to see him come out the victor in the primary.
Wisely, Claire McCaskill has avoided much of the spotlight during this fiasco.
But Akin’s handlers don’t seem to be nearly as wise.
If true forgiveness comes after some self-evaluation, then Akin clearly didn’t bother to take the time to accomplish that.
Therefore, his rushed initial words are only dwarfed by his inability to slow down and assess the situation.
Not only should he step aside from the party nomination to represent Missouri in the U.S. Senate, Akin should go volunteer at a rape crisis center for a few days.
Because the national audience shouldn’t be his goal right now; he needs to ask forgiveness away from a camera and to people he doesn’t even know.