Excellent short essay.
A lot of people have either forgotten the Stone-Campbell movement (and its place in the American Restoration movement) or swept it under the rug. The Campbellites are actually still a strong influence in many of the non denominational churches, although many of them don’t know it.
There are certain benefits to being the son of a politician, getting theological training at the college and graduate level, and then going into the world of media. My background has one similarity to Rep. Akin, namely, that I have formal theological training at the seminary level which I use in the secular world rather than the church world. Occasionally that means I understand aspects of news that my colleagues have no idea about how to cover. I was a finalist for a national religion writing award last year along with reporters for the New York Times, Washington Post, and a nummber of other major media for my coverage of the religious aspects of a different political campaign.
To connect that side point from re-nortex’s question back to the main subject of this thread —
To avoid any misunderstandings, I do not know Rep. Akin at any sort of personal level, or even professionally. He did not represent a congressional district anywhere close to where I live and other than his work on the House Armed Services Committee, I had no reason to pay attention to him until he ran for the U.S. Senate. He's offered several times to do interviews with me, not because he knows anything about me, but just because I have showed up at basically all his campaign events in the Fort Leonard Wood area. Until now I've regarded this as a statewide race that needs to be covered by the major statewide media, not people like me.
Now that the campaign's focus has moved into attacks on his church's doctrinal position (go read the people on the web digging into people like Francis Schaeffer and D. James Kennedy and their influence on Akin) I may actually have something I can bring to the table that most other media do not have. I've put together a quick essay this afternoon for Christian Observer magazine on the situation with Rep. Akin and will probably follow up with his campaign when the current controversy dies down to see if we can schedule an interview when he's in this area again.
However, I expect a “no thanks” and I have no problem with that. If I were Rep. Akin’s campaign manager, I would tell him to stay far away from any reporter who wants to ask him anything about religious matters for the next three months. That is the smart thing to do after something like what just happened.