Mike Huckabee, America’s Christian Candidate?
posted at 7:16 pm on June 21, 2010 by Laura Curtis
I was going to post about this discouraging turn of events when I saw it at Ace’s but I just didn’t have the heart for it. I’m picturing the 2012 campaign where the candidate who complains the most about Shiites is not referring to Iran, but to conservative Republicans. Doubtless practicing self-control not to vandalize cars with Huckabee stickers in the church parking lot will do me good – it will build character, or something.
What has always repelled me most about Mike Huckabee is his dishonesty, especially given how the man who made Judicial Watch’s 2007 “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” list puts himself forward as the Christian candidate.
He was deeply dishonest in his treatment of Mitch Romney’s faith. It’s certainly fair to disagree with Romney’s Mormonism, and if you think some Mormon beliefs are a bit nutty, well, so do a lot of people. (And in all fairness, others consider my Christian hedonism equally odd.) But that sneaky way he wondered whether Mormons believe Jesus and Satan are brothers – when it beggars belief that Huckabee was unfamiliar with the basics of the Mormon faith, having spoken at the 1998 Southern Baptist Convention in Salt Lake City – was disgraceful.
He did manage to muster a weak disavowal for his supporters who dishonestly push-polled on his behalf – again, way to be moral and upright! A Christian leader who fails to stop his supporters from being dishonest on his behalf is either not a Christian or not a leader.
In the New Yorker’s article about him – which reminds me of nothing so much as the hagiographic coverage Obama enjoyed during the election – Mike Huckabee, America’s Christian Candidate, defended the faith thusly:
Other members of the group politely admitted that they had no doubt that most Israelis, and anyone else who had not accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour, would be spending eternity in Hell. (“That is an issue,” a man named Randy Rebold told me apologetically.) Huckabee’s formulation is considerably more politic. “If somebody asked me, How do I get to Heaven, I would tell them that the only way I personally am aware of is faith in Christ, because I believe the New Testament,” he said. “That’s the only map I got. Somebody says, Well, I got a different map. O.K.! You know what? If it works, I’m not going to argue with you.”
If it works. I’m not going to argue. Is Huckabee in some doubt about whether Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life – the only mediator between God and man? Because that’s kind of a deal-breaker where biblical Christianity is concerned. If he doesn’t believe that, he’s not really a Christian. And if he’s embarrassed to say that Christianity is exclusive in this regard – just as every other faith is exclusive in its claim to truth – then perhaps a reassessment is in order.
As if that weren’t enough, Huckabee promoted the classic “poor, uneducated and easy to command” smear with this lovely anecdote about a 1979 rally he helped coordinate –
More than ten thousand Christians came to a “Freedom Rally” at the Reunion Arena, in Dallas, to protest Robison’s expulsion. “There was this amazing energy coming up from these evangelical Christians,” Huckabee said. “I remember almost being frightened by it. If someone had gotten to the microphone and said, ‘Let’s go four blocks from here and take Channel 8 apart,’ that audience would’ve taken the last brick off the building.”
That’s all it takes to drive us to violence, evidently – we’re simply awaiting orders. No biblical mandate nor earthly law could have protected that building from the howling, frenzied mob had someone just gotten to the microphone to give the command.
The icing on the New Yorker cake was this straw man worthy of the Democratic Party –
In defiance of libertarian laissez-faire, Huckabee has extended his Christian vision to include the poor. “If there are a certain number of kids from single-parent homes who aren’t going to school and don’t have health care, you can say that’s not government’s job,” Huckabee told me. “Well, sweet and fine! But you know what? If the kid’s sitting outside the door of the hospital choking with asthma, do I sit there and say, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t think, philosophically, government should get involved’? I’d much rather the kid get help than I sit around and say I’m so pure in my ideology.”
Because people who oppose Huckabee’s big government programs – like his mandated public school weigh-ins – want to kill children. No child sits outside an emergency room suffocating due to lack of health insurance, and nobody of import has ever argued that she should. She absolutely will get treated, and for Huckabee to pretend that is not the case is dishonest. If challenged that he’s arguing that point against essentially nobody, because no mainstream politician or pundit espouses denying emergency treatment to dying children, the Huckster would probably clarify, “I’m only arguing against laissez-faire libertarians.” The truth is he’s pulling an Obama, dishonestly framing an opposing argument as a ridiculously extreme position. That’s a typical political trick, and I’d let it pass without comment if he didn’t keep reminding us all what a good, moral Christian candidate he is.
It’s the same argument he’s used time and again – if you don’t agree with him on the proper care and treatment for illegal aliens, clemency, or support his tax increases, then you must drink a different kind of Jesus juice than he does.