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December 16, 2007


Mitt Romney makes a better Christian than Mike Huckabee
Rev. Mike Huckabee is supposed to be the most adamant, pure Christian candidate in the race for president. But to me, Huckabee seems to be the least truly Christian of the Republican field. I might cite several grounds for that, but mostly I'm saying this because of the sleazy and underhanded way he's demagogically using his religion specifically against Mitt Romney.

For starters though, it's absolutely asinine the way that Huckabee goes putting God on his side in the Republican primary election. He's repeatedly compared himself and his campaign to that guy that fed multitudes with just a couple of loaves and fishes. That shows a real lack of Christian humility, to put it mildly. Indeed, that he's so willing to vainly invoke his Lord and Savior in his own crass little political campaign is grounds for me to begin doubting the sincerity of his beliefs right there.

Many people have likened Huckabee to the other guy from Hope, describing Huckabee as being like Clinton - but without the wandering eye. Well, Bill Clinton getting laid was not mostly what I would object to about President Clinton. It's that demagogue Elmer Gantry or perhaps Lonesome Rhodes populist manipulation and lack of character or principles that characterize both Clinton and Huckabee. Add in his infamous lack of belief in evolution, and Huckabee looks about as self-serving as that textbook religious populist American demagogue William Jennings Bryan.

But most of all, I positively dislike Huckabee for his absolutely knowing and purposeful manipulation of his Christian faith into use as a weapon against even a fellow Christian, purely for his own political gain. In short, Mike Huckabee has repeatedly and carefully, with unmistakably malice aforethought borne false witness against Mormons and purposefully stoked anti-Mormon bigotry in order to convince the knuckle-dragging type of Christians to support him over Mitt Romney.

Slick Huck is a nasty kind of clever in a distinctly Bill Clinton shade of underhanded politics of personal destruction. He bills himself in early tv ads as a "Christian leader," in implicit contrast to the front runner who is not. Oh no, I didn't mean it THAT way, responds the clever cleric. It's just a reference to his own background as a minister.

Nor will he directly deny that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are Christians, as it's just not his proper role as a candidate to take a position on such an issue. In other words, the PC folk won't let me say it, but you know - wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more True Brother Christians.

But Huckabee really proved himself exponentially too clever and sleazy with the instantly infamous New York Times comment about Mormons. "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?" This guy is one of the slickest tongued people in politics. Then he just accidentally and innocently drops this bit of poisonous speculation casually into a conversation with a reporter from the New York Times.

Running a presidential slate for Ball State student government a quarter century ago, our campaign had our manager stand up in debate to ask a question based on a forgotten little scandal from the year before. "Do you promise not to steal any more campaign buttons?" This of course necessitated the paper explaining the story, and it made us the goats. The bad manager wrote the most self-consciously righteous statement for our candidate to make in denouncing him that he could conjure - and of course had to churn the story one more time through his own theatrical and profusely humiliated apology at the next candidate forum.

Likewise of course for Mike Huckabee with the Jesus and Satan are Mormon brothers - and also of course for Hillary with Shaheen and the Obama drugs nonsense. Huckabee apologized. "It was never my intention to denigrate his faith. I raised it not to create a story. I thought we were having a simple, casual conversation." Yeah, he was just having a casual conversation with a reporter from the New York Times. Never crossed his mind that he might be planting a little anti-Mormon bomb. Really? Invoking my own preferred prophet, I'd suggest that if you're testing God, and lying to his face, you're going to catch hell.

Unmistakably, Mike Huckabee has consciously and with malice aforethought said things to appeal to the most base angels of his constituents nature to turn them in hatred even against a brother who also proclaims Jesus Christ as his savior - all in pursuit of votes for himself. Reckon what do you think Jesus might think of that? Not to put too fine a point on it, but Rev Huckabee's actions strongly suggests that he values his own self interest even at the direct expense of abandoning the most basic core Christian teaching of loving thy neighbor.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney seems exceptionally clean for a major presidential candidate. Some might accuse him of flip-flopping on some issues - though seemingly really far less so than Gov Huckabee, particularly on taxes and immigration. But beyond that, you'd be hard pressed to find the least hint of impropriety in anything Mitt Romney has ever done in life. He might fail some people's anti-religious litmus tests, but he surely looks like he's tried very hard to stick to the straight and narrow at all times.

Most particularly, I've never seen him being hateful or malicious or discriminatory. I would find it highly unlikely that he would foment hatred against another man for personal gain, much less fomenting hatred against whole groups as Huckabee does.

You could argue over which candidate's theological views are closest to your own. As a non-believer, I don't particularly have a dog in that fight. Hopefully that might make me something of an honest broker here. In any case, looking past theology, Mitt Romney sure looks like he's doing a lot better job in life of following the example of Jesus Christ of Nazareth than what I'm seeing from Rev. Huckabee.

If I were picking a candidate based on which one was the better Christian, it'd definitely be Mitt Romney hands down over that malicious and underhanded Mike Huckabee.

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posted by Al at 12/16/2007 06:43:00 PM

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