"Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"
This was uttered recently by Mike Huckabee during an interview with a New York magazine. To be fair, Huckabee's campaign claims that his comment was taken out of context, and Huckabee himself has already apologized to Romney. Later, he told reporters "After the debate today I went to Mitt Romney and apologized to him. I would never pick out some part of your faith and make it an issue." But isn't that exactly what he did?
Before I get to Huckabee's comment, I want to say a few things about his campaign. Let me preface this by saying that I am a devout Christian. My faith is very important to me and I stand beside my Christian brothers and sisters in the causes we support. With that being said, I think Christians have a bad habit of voting dumb. I don't mean that as an insult. Christians often tend to be suckers. If a candidate happens to be a Baptist minister or is very open about his faith, then many Christians will vote for that person simply for that reason, without knowing much about his platform and positions. That's what I mean when I say "voting dumb". Voting for a candidate just because he is a Baptist minister is just as mindless as voting against him for the same reason. The same can be said about voting for a woman, or a Latino, or an African-American, etc. For me, it's all about the issues. And when it comes to the issues, Huckabee is lacking.
Personally, I think the guy is a phony and I simply don't like him. He is surging in the polls because the Christian block is flocking from Thompson, and because he has performed well in the debate. He has the gift of charm, which is the same gift Clinton rode to the White House. That is reason enough for me not to like him, never mind the fact that his position on the issues is virtually unknown. This guy dodges questions much like a Clinton, but his "aw shucks, Jesus-never-would-have-entered-politics" wit goes only so far. His cutesy responses don't impress me, and they shouldn't impress any responsible voter. I would like to hear from Huckabee's supporters. What would Mike Huckabee do about the chaos on the southern border? What would Mike Huckabee do to salvage the glorious disaster that is Social Security? What would Mike Huckabee do about our foreign energy dependence? What would Mike Huckabee do about terrorist regimes in Iran and Syria? The growing socialist threat in South America? Russia's gradual move back to totalitarianism? What would Mike Huckabee do about our bloated federal government? Tax rates? Out of control spending? Does anyone know? And you're not allowed to look on his website. I've watched the debates, and I have no idea where this guy stands. All I know is that he is quick with a joke, and even quicker with a dodge.
Now, about the Mormon comment. There are few things that get my blood boiling as much as one person attacking the religious belief of another. That ire is amplified when the parties involved are both Christians. For one, Christ taught tolerance and respect. He taught sympathy for those who don't share your beliefs. Second, Christians in this secular day and age face enough resistance from the mainstream without senseless infighting and bickering. Whether it's Catholics and Protestants, Baptists and Methodists, Protestants and Mormons, or whatever, this never ending debate about who is more right is getting quite tiring. We basically believe the same thing, but have some subtle differences in interpreting those beliefs and in how we worship. SO WHAT! I don't think Jesus cares. Enough already. When you take a phony "superior" position and look down your nose on other religions, you give Christianity a bad name, and I won't allow that without a response. My criticism of people like this has ALWAYS been quick and harsh, and it will continue to do so. Radical ideas will not hijack my faith without a fight. In Huckabee's case, it just confirms my suspicion of the man as a hack. This behavior is cheap and petty, and amounts to nothing more than pandering to his building Protestant base. The fact that that base doesn't rapidly reject such behavior is quite concerning.
I'm glad Hackabee apologized, but I don't buy it for a second. In the first debate, he took a cheap (although subtle) shot at Romney's faith and I called him on it. This isn't the first time. And when it happens again, yours truly will be here hammering away. If Hackabee wants my respect, he needs make this issue a non-issue, and not allow any of the pundits to make it an issue. We are all aware of Mitt Romney's faith. We are all aware of Hackabee's faith. Leave it at that. If you want to get into the mud and drag your opponent's religious belief through the mud with you, then I think there will be a backlash. At least I hope so.
And finally, a tip of the hat to Fred Thompson for standing his ground against a blatantly liberal debate moderator today. She tried to get the candidates to take a position on global warming by a "show of hands" without a chance to explain their position, and Thompson refused. His action was applauded and rated very high with focus groups. Perhaps this will light a fire in his campaign. The "most Reagan-like" of all the candidates is still alive, although barely, and if he is going to make a move he needs to do so quickly, or it will be over.