Todd Akin Sought to Narrow the Definition of Child Abuse

Many seem to think that Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” remarks placed him on the fringe of the Republican Party. In reality, he’s spent most of his career there.

It’s now widely known that Akin teamed up with Paul Ryan in 2011 to try to narrow the definition of rape – i.e. “forcible rape.” This is no anomaly. Early in his career as a state legislator, Akin even tried to narrow the definition of child abuse.

Back in May of 1991, the Missouri House debated a bill to “outlaw rape and sexual abuse in marriage.” “Rape is rape,” said Rep. Jo Ann Karll shortly before the bill was overwhelmingly passed. “Missouri is finally moving into the 20th century,” said Colleen Coble, executive director of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

But not everyone was celebrating. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on 5/1/91 that Akin voted for the bill but “questioned whether a marital rape law might be misused ‘in a real messy divorce as a tool and a legal weapon to beat up on the husband.’”

Just about any law can be abused, and lawmakers must always be cognizant of this. But Akin seems to be preoccupied with the potential for abuse of the law whenever it relates to the government preventing abuse in the household.

Akin and his supporters believe that the husband is head of the household, and they’re loathe to regulate what he can and cannot do to his wife and children. In fact, prominent Akin supporter Phyllis Schlafly denies the very possibility of marital rape: “By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don't think you can call it rape.”

And so in March of 1992, Akin fought for a narrower definition of child abuse. The Missouri House was considering a bill to create a “statewide child abuse review board” and tighten the standard for proving child abuse from “reason to suspect” to “credible evidence.”

The bill’s sponsor said the definition change was necessary to ensure that “all cases of child abuse can be covered.” Akin, however, was suspicious. He argued that the bill “needed a more restrictive definition of abuse” because of the potential for abuse of the child abuse law. The Post-Dispatch reported on 3/5/92:

Akin said he was concerned that ‘the department could come into your home and if your kid had just fallen off his bike and skinned his knee…take your kid away.’ Akin also said that with a loose definition of abuse, neighbors might use child-abuse reports ‘as a tool to harass, a way to get even with’ someone they dislike.

This is how Akin’s mind works. You need to worry about vengeful soon-to-be ex-wives claiming rape to get back at their husbands. You need to make sure that non-forcibly raped women aren’t getting government-funded medical care. And you can’t let neighbors harass one another by falsely claiming child abuse to the overbearing nanny state enforcers who will take kids away for having a scraped knee.

Akin’s efforts earned him a rebuke from the Post-Dispatch editorial board, which singled him as an alarmist who supports an “excessively restrictive child-mistreatment law” and resorts to “extreme and unlikely examples to bolster his case.” It seems like they had him pegged way back then.

Here is the full 3/10/92 editorial, entitled “Abuse Law Fair to the Accused, Children”:

The Missouri House is moving ahead in setting up a state board that would arbitrate disputes between people accused of child abuse and the Division of Family Services. The House gave initial approval to this proposal on Wednesday. It shouldn't allow critics to prevent it from passing the bill, sponsored by Rep. Kaye Steinmetz of Florissant.
 
Missouri's child-abuse law is basically a good one, but it needed to be revised. The bill would restrict the standard the state would use in proving child abuse. The old standard called for ‘reason to suspect.’ The new standard would require ‘credible evidence.’
 
Clearly, the change is aimed at protecting people from being recklessly and falsely accused of abusing children. Some critics say the definition should be even more restrictive, but they should give this proposal the benefit of the doubt. Nevertheless, more restrictions will be added to the law if critics, like Republican Rep. Todd Akin of St. Charles, get their way. Mr. Akin resorts to extreme and unlikely examples to bolster his case.
 
The bill, he argues, would permit child-abuse investigators to ‘come into your home and if your kid had just fallen off his bike and skinned his knee…take your kid away.’ In fact, the more restrictive the law, the more it ties the hands of child-abuse investigators and the more likely serious cases of child mistreatment might go undetected.
 
Mr. Akin does raise a real concern, however, when he says a disgruntled person might try to use the child-abuse law to harass a neighbor. But the way to address that issue is through better trained child-abuse investigators. The bill would mandate improved training, which should make the workers more proficient in investigating cases while protecting people from being falsely accused.
 
The statewide child abuse review board would be appointed by the governor and would require Senate confirmation. The Legislature should see the benefits in passing the bill in its existing form rather than weakening it to appease alarmists who favor an excessively restrictive child-mistreatment law.

 

 

Religious Right Rabbi Blames Hurricane Sandy on Gays, Marriage Equality

This post has been updated, 11/5/2012

Rabbi Noson Leiter of Torah Jews for Decency is blaming Hurricane Sandy on gays and lesbians, calling it “divine justice” for New York’s new marriage equality law. Torah Jews for Decency campaigned against marriage equality in New York and New Jerseyworked with Liberty Counsel and New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms in an unsuccessful lawsuit to overturn New York’s marriage law, and has joined with various other Religious Right groups on anti-gay campaigns.

Yesterday, Leiter appeared on Crosstalk, the flagship program of Vic Eliason’s Voice of Christian Youth America, alongside Neil DiCarlo, a candidate for New York State Senate, to discuss New York’s legalization of same-sex marriage.

Leiter asserted that the “the Great Flood in the time of Noah was triggered by the recognition of same-gender marriages,” adding that there are similar “messages in this particular storm for us.” “The Lord will not bring another flood to destroy the entire world but He could punish particular areas with a flood, and if we look at the same-gender marriage recognition movement that’s occurring, that certainly is a message for us to learn,” he said. “We have to learn that the Lord does watch what we do and if we don’t shape up He will deliver divine justice.” Leiter also suggested that God flooded Lower Manhattan because it is “one of the national centers of homosexuality.”

Listen:

Later in the program, Leiter argued that the “LGBT radical homosexualist movement” threatens the survival of society and religious freedom and will even increase child abuse by giving molesters a “license to victimize” children and even “a certain degree of diplomatic immunity.”

Eliason: Rabbi Leiter, you have been passionately involved in the fight for biblical, moral values, why?

Leiter: I think that’s what the Lord wants us to do and if we do not we face an existential threat. There is an issue of the survival of morality being necessary for the survival of society, and that’s not just an issue that’s specific to marriage. In addition there’s an issue of religious liberty. The LGBT radical homosexualist movement is really the Avant-guard of Bible-haters of all different types, not just limited to the left. The advance towards homosexual rights and so-called marriage is not predicated on getting rights, and just thereby stepping on the rights of Bible believers. The purpose is to bash Bible-believers using their so-called rights as a pretext do so and that’s why it is so critical to oppose them because they’re not after something that they think is theirs, they’re after us.



Leiter: There are so many things that people could point out about the negatives aspects of the homosexual lifestyle that is being touted as being this wonderful idea that the media doesn’t talk about. We’re talking about victimization that goes on under the rubric of protecting people’s rights; they’re not interested in protecting people’s rights, they’re interested in giving people a license to victimize, particularly to victimize children, and we pick up the pieces on some of that. We know how hard this is hitting society. The crisis of child molestation is not independent of the intentional proliferation of unfettered homosexuality, they are definitely connected, it doesn’t meant that every molester is homosexual but many of them are, there is a disproportionate number that are homosexual males. They are in some cases being given a certain degree of diplomatic immunity because of their favored status centered around a common vice. That’s something that no state has a right to do.

UPDATE: Gov. Andrew Cuomo condemned the remarks in a statement today:

The comments made by Rabbi Noson Leiter that sought to link the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy to our state's embrace of marriage equality are as offensive as they are ignorant. This catastrophic storm claimed the lives of more than forty New Yorkers. This kind of hateful rhetoric has no place in our public discourse, and is particularly distasteful in times of tragedy. Our state is proud to offer equal rights to all our citizens, and we will never tolerate the use of a tragedy like Hurricane Sandy to promote a divisive and bigoted agenda. I call on Rabbi Leiter to apologize immediately for his hurtful comments.

Former Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, also took Leiter to task for his comments, while DiCarlo stood by the Rabbi:

Pataki called on fellow Republican Neil DiCarlo — who is running on the Conservative Party line for a state Senate seat from the Hudson Valley — to denounce the remarks of Rabbi Noson Leiter. DiCarlo opposes gay marriage, and the orthodox rabbi made the statements in support of his third-party candidacy.

“It’s simply incomprehensible that anyone could attribute the devastation and loss of life caused by Hurricane Sandy to divine retribution against the New York State legislature,” Pataki railed.

“It’s like blaming America’s belief in freedom for the attacks of Sept. 11,” Pataki added.

...

Pataki argued that because Leiter’s remarks were made in support of DiCarlo, the candidate “has a responsibility to repudiate them.”

Reached by phone, DiCarlo refused to take that step when asked repeatedly. He instead questioned Pataki’s motives.

“Ask Mr. Pataki why he endorsed my opponent, and why he is bringing this up two days before the election — and then I’ll answer your question,” DiCarlo said before hanging up.

Joyner: Obama Helping to Merge Christianity and Islam

Rick Joyner has been pushing fears that Christianity and Islam may merge into a religion known as “Chrislam,” and is now trying to make it an election issue. According to Joyner, Obama is a leader of Liberation Theology; an “anti-America” movement that he believes promotes “racism” and acts as “a bridge between Christianity and Islam, which would lead Christians to Islam.” The pastor also warned that the political left is under the control of a “deep darkness” promoting “anti-God and anti-biblical positions,” and said evangelicals must prevent the “country’s slide into the abyss of moral and financial destruction.”

He also pushed the myth that Obama gave “Muslims an exemption from the healthcare law.” As FactCheck.org notes: “we can say with certainty that no Muslim group, and indeed no non-Christian group, has ever qualified for an exemption under the statute used to define exempt religious groups in the health care law.” He even claimed that Obama refused to wear an American flag lapel pin because “he said he didn’t want to appear to take sides,” actually Obama had said that the pin became “a substitute” for patriotism and will instead “tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testament to my patriotism."

If this kind of deception was greater on the right, but then shifted to the left and got even stronger, let us not think that it cannot swing back to the right if we become arrogant. Even so, I am increasingly concerned by the deep deception, or deep darkness, which is now growing on the left. It does seem to be proportionate to the degree of those who have embraced anti-God and anti-biblical positions. This does not mean that there cannot be those on the left who are not subject to this kind of deep deception, but they are getting harder to find in America. In other countries, it could be the opposite.



I have also studied the Liberation Theology of the church where President Obama came out of, which he embraces and is considered a leader. There are aspects of it that are far more alarming, and its fruit is feeding what I believe is one of the greatest human evils, racism—not just un-American, but anti-American.

Some believe that the purpose of the Liberation Theology movement was to be a bridge between Christianity and Islam, which would lead Christians to Islam. I could not personally confirm that, but our President claims to be a Christian, yet the fruit of his practice and his policy has done more to hurt Christianity than any previous administration, and he’s done more to help Islam. Any thinking person should ask why would the Obama Administration give Muslims an exemption from the healthcare law, but use it to fundamentally attack the religious liberty of the Catholic Church, as well as other Christians who object to some of its basic tenets? These actions reveal core values, and they are deeply alarming.

As an American, I was also very troubled when our President once responded to the question of why he did not wear an American pin on his lapel—he said he didn’t want to appear to take sides. If our President is not solidly resolved to be on our side, then we are in deep trouble. I am thankful to see the President now wearing an American flag lapel pin, but it does not mean as much when he wears it after such controversy. When I look at the actions and policies of the Obama Administration, it does seem to be a systematic weakening of American strength and the unraveling of our core values. It does seem that the Obama Administration is much more concerned about international interests than our American interests. We do need to be concerned about the interests of others, and we should want to be a blessing to all nations as much as we can, but we expect our President to keep American interests first.



I was a registered Democrat until the Carter Administration. I voted for Carter mostly because he claimed to be an evangelical Christian. I was naïve at best. However, I could not help but see that all of the anti-God and anti-biblical morality forces were finding their home and were increasingly influential in the Democratic Party. It was also apparent that as this happened Christians were increasingly marginalized in the Democratic Party. The God-fearing and those committed to biblical morality were increasingly welcomed into the Republican Party. This divide has become greater now, as we watched the grievous vote at the Democratic Convention in my hometown of Charlotte this past June.



It has been estimated that over fifteen million evangelicals refused to vote in the last election. Our country’s slide into the abyss of moral and financial destruction has accelerated since that election, and we may not think our vote could make a difference, but you can be sure that our vote, or failure to do so, is recorded in heaven.

Akin: 'People Understand the Threat that Claire McCaskill and Barack Obama Pose to our Country'

Todd Akin’s campaign continues to sponsor The Janet Mefferd Show, as Mefferd has hosted Akin surrogates like Janet Huckabee and Linda Becker of “Women Standing with Todd Akin.” Finally, the embattled Senate candidate himself appeared on the far-right talk show, where he said that Missourians know that people who “believe in traditional marriage” and “believe in freedom” are able to “understand the threat that Claire McCaskill and Barack Obama pose to our country,” which is why he believes he will in in November.

One of the things that a lot of the establishment people have not understood about this race is there are polls that just talk about ‘how would you vote’ but there’s also another factor in there and that’s the enthusiasm, the fire and the drive and the energy that’s in a campaign. Our campaign has a tremendous energy behind it. The people that are involved in this race know what they believed. They believe that our Creator gave us life, liberty the pursuit of happiness; they believe in traditional marriage, they believe in freedom. These people understand the threat that Claire McCaskill and Barack Obama pose to our country.

“I believe in my heart of hearts that this is one we’re going to put in the Republican column by God’s grace,” Akin added, urging donations to his campaign since he trails McCaskill in fundraising.

Akin went on to suggest that Obama is raising taxes on people who simply turn on their lights or purchase a wheelchair.

You remember how Barack Obama specifically promised nobody making less than $250,000 is going to be taxed, well that’s absolutely ridiculous, he’s taxed them with dozens of taxes on people that make less than $250,000. His energy policy, anybody who flips a light switch is going to get taxed. He’s got taxes—these people tax some of the weirdest things. Would you ever even in a wild moment would you ever consider taxing a wheelchair? I mean these people are bizarre.

Of course, there is no wheelchair tax or a “light switch tax,” but as we already know Akin has never had a problem with making stuff up.

Staver: Planned Parenthood's 'Death Agenda' is Destroying America

On today's edition of Liberty Counsel's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Mat Staver took issue with the idea that Planned Parenthood is a women's health organization, asserting that it is nothing of the sort. In fact, said Staver, Planned Parenthood "is not interested in the health and well-being of women" but is really only interested in "their death agenda" and in "damaging the very core and foundation of who we are as Americans and a people of faith and values."  Staver said that this nation needs to "erase this chapter of blood that has soaked America since 1973" and that begins by defunding Planned Parenthood while praying "that God will forgive this land": 

Right Wing Round-Up - 10/30/12

Right Wing Leftovers - 10/30/12

  • James Dobson has endorsed Roy Moore with "enthusiasm and confidence."
  • Mat Staver vows to continue to fight for the Oklahoma personhood amendment.
  • Anti-Mormon activist Tricia Erickson refused to vote for Mitt Romney by "writing in the name of God, because I cannot be right with Him and support either candidate."
  • Gary Bauer has the vapors again.
  • Pat Mahoney and Troy Newman are heading to Ohio to make a "last-minute push for God to remove the most pro-abortion President in America's history."
  • Finally, Bryan Fischer says "you can read the Constitution from front to back, back to front, upside down, from right to left and hanging from a chandelier and you will find no mention whatsoever of any right to engage in sodomy."

Perkins: Lena Dunham's 'Disgusting' Obama Ad 'Takes Politics to a New Low'

Today, Tony Perkins and Tim Wildmon welcomed Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn onto their "AFA Today" radio program to discuss the open letter she recently wrote to President Obama expressing her outrage over the "offensive [and] repulsive" campaign ad featuring HBO's Lena Dunham.

Like Blackburn, both Wildmon and Perkins were deeply offended and disappointed by the ad, but were not shocked by it because what can you really expect from a party that "booed God." Perkins said the ad was just the latest example of the Democratic Party treating women as "sex objects," calling it "disgusting" and "demeaning to women" and saying that this ad featuring a woman from such a "sleazy show" just "takes politics to a new low":  

Boykin: Christians Must Vote So Our Soldiers Will Have "A Commander in Chief That Cares About Them"

Recently Jerry Boykin, the Family Research Council's Executive Vice President, appeared on "The John Ankerberg Show" where the two spent most of the interview discussing Iran and Israel, but eventually turning to the upcoming election with Ankerberg asking Boykin why it was important for Christians to vote, which prompted Boykin to reply that he gets "angry and frustrated with Christians who don't vote" because it shows that they don't care about giving members of our military a "Commander in Chief that cares about them:"

Engle: 'Prophetic Experiences Seemed to Indicate that Romney was a Sort of Window of Mercy to America '

In a new opinion piece, Lou Engle explains that that he has always had a strict principle that he will not vote "for anyone who by legal decree supports the shedding of innocent blood, believing such a vote would make me an accomplice to the act" and always "to reject the compromise of simply voting for the lesser of two evils, believing that my allegiance is given to a higher King and a higher kingdom, therefore my no-vote actually becomes a prophetic act, a vote of conscience, not abdication."

Engle's position also included "no exceptions for rape and incest, understanding that life begins at conception" ... but like so many other Religious Right activists, Engle too has found a way to justify voting for Mitt Romney; in his case because a close friend had a dream that showed "Romney was clearly favorable from a divine perspective" and other "prophetic experiences [that] seemed to indicate that Romney was a sort of window of mercy to America":

At about this time of crisis in my own thought processes, my closest friend (and a true prophet in my life) had a compelling dream concerning Romney's viability as a candidate. In the dream, Romney was clearly favorable from a divine perspective. After this, the substance of my friend's dream was immediately confirmed by another prophetic encounter from another well known prophetic voice.

Now hear me, this election is not about Romney being the great answer to America's problems. Rather, these prophetic experiences seemed to indicate that Romney was a sort of window of mercy to America on several fronts, but chiefly the dividing of Jerusalem. The thought of protecting that ancient covenantal bond of God shifted my paradigm dramatically. I found myself having to peer into another biblical principle that I heretofore had not pondered with the same intensity as I had the life issue.

As I sought the Lord concerning these various biblical truths and prophetic words, it was as if a light began to shine into my heart. I sensed the Lord saying, Will you stand with Me in my covenantal faithfulness? Will you stand for my ancient covenant with My people? A deep abiding "yes" began to conquer my arguments.

...

With that said, I am declaring my best, personal understanding of the Lord 's heart in this hour: that in this election, America 's future is on dangerous ground, facing judgment not only over abortion and other key issues, but most definitely over the high possibility of breaking faith with God's covenant with Jerusalem, the land of Israel, and His covenant people. President Obama has publicly called for the return of the land of Jerusalem and Israel to the pre-1967 boundaries. I can't go there. I won't. My heart had been opened to another great theme: The Life of the unborn has called me and God 's covenant to the Jewish people restrains me.

I am voting for Romney.

In clean conscience,

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