Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Call for Integrity

Yesterday, our good friend Rev. Krista Taves headed out to a town hall meeting to talk to Representative Todd Akin about his recent votes to cut funding for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Rep. Akin has been incredibly elusive as of late, refusing on numerous occasions to speak with his constituents about his recent voting record. Rev. Taves was looking forward to finally get the opportunity to meet with the representative in person to voice some of her concerns about the effect of Akin's voting on the community at large.

Upon arrival, however, Krista and the other 100 concerned citizens with her were appalled to be greeted, not by Akin or his staff, but by the police.

Akin claims his reason for calling the cops was that he saw the town hall meeting as a "protest." However, there is a clear difference between a protest and a meeting. The constituents delivered him a peaceful invitation in person, giving him full details about the purpose of the meeting; they simply had concerns they wanted to formally present to their representative.

But since his polarizing statement, "behind liberalism is the hatred of God" back in June, Todd Akin continues to needlessly turn politics into a battleground that seeks to divide people rather than to unite them for the common good. "Rather than respond with dignity and respect to those he represents," says Taves," he chose to treat us as an enemy and to turn us away... This is not the kind of person we should entrust with the privilege and responsibility of serving us."

Simply put, Todd Akin is not doing his job. By refusing to speak with his constituents, he is not fulfilling his duty to represent his district with integrity. The beauty of democracy is that it is meant to give all citizens the opportunity to participate in government through fair representation-- and he is blatantly denying this right. We would like to remind Akin that it is a representative's duty to serve and respect all of his (or her) constituents, even if they hold different values. We certainly don't all have to agree, but like it or not, we do have to work together.