Todd Akin: 'At The Heart Of Liberalism Is Really A Hatred Of God'

06/27/2011 01:30 pm ET | Updated Aug 08, 2012

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) is drawing fire for claiming a "hatred of God" informs liberal beliefs.

The comments, first reported by liberal website Right Wing Watch, came during a radio interview with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins last week, as Akin and Perkins discussed NBC's decision to remove the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance aired during its coverage of the U.S. Open Championship.

From their conversation:

Akin: This was something that was done systematically, it was done intentionally, and is tremendously corrosive in terms of all of the values and everything that’s made America unique and such a special nation.

Perkins: Why would NBC do this?

Akin: Well, I think NBC has a long record of being very liberal and at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God. And so they’ve had a long history of not being at all favorable toward many of things that have been such a blessing to our country.

Steve Taylor, communications director for Akin, contextualized the comments, which have roiled commentators on left-leaning websites.

"He was characterizing what he believes is a difference between two schools of thought: liberalism and conservative ideology," Taylor told HuffPost. "He believes that conservative ideology holds that our rights come from God and that it is the responsibility of governments to help secure and protect those rights, and alternatively, liberalism holds that our rights come from government or governments."

Akin believes, Taylor stressed, that "our rights come from God and not from governments," and that such a view is inimical to liberal ideology.

Think Progress' Travis Waldron has a roundup of responses from religious leaders.

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