BALLWIN • Several St. Louis area religious leaders came to U.S. Rep. Todd Akin's office this morning to deliver a statement condemning the Republican for his comment that liberalism involves "hatred for God."
Akin has since apologized for the remark made last week in a radio interview sponsored by the conservative Family Research Council.
However, Akin was unavailable to meet with the clergy members personally. The congressman was in the district, but his office said they didn't have advanced notice of their visit.
The clergy members accused Akin of condemning "in disrespectful, stereotypical terms those with whom you disagree."
"As a representative he should represent all of us," said the Rev. Jeffrey Whitman, a conference minister with the United Church of Christ.
"And he should represent all of us fairly and equally."
Akin has insisted his comments were meant for liberalism as a political philosophy, not for individuals or a particular faith.
The remark came amid discussion of NBC's decision to edit a broadcast version of the Pledge of Allegiance to omit the words "under God, indivisible."
On Capitol Hill, Akin — who is now running for the U.S. Senate — has pushed legislation to preserve those words in the Pledge.