“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” ― C.S. Lewis link
I am back in town and my mother in law began her chemotherapy yesterday. I am hopelessly behind on my emails, etc. If you need to contact me, please write *urgent* in the subject line and I will try to get to you ASAP. In the meantime, some of my posts are being written during my mother in law's (Polly) chemotherapy. I shall call these posts …Dispatches from Duke.
Mike Huckabee accuses evangelicals of being afraid of him becoming the President. This is not going to be a treatise on Huckabee's political life. I would ask that we stick away from politics and look at the issue before us. It is not that I mind politics. I find it fascinating and sometimes participate in the fray myself. However, this blog is targeted towards the evangelical world and how we present ourselves to the world.
In an article in the National Review, by Jim Geraghty, The Sad End to Mike Huckabee’s Campaign, Huckabee appears to lash out at his supposed base, evangelicals. He was asked the following question by Todd Starnes in an interview.
In an interview with Fox News pundit Todd Starnes on his podcast, the former governor of Arkansas was asked if he felt betrayed by evangelical leaders and organizations that have gravitated towards Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio.
He makes a most unusual claim. he is not being supported by evangelicals because evangelical organizations will not be able to fund raise if he is elected President because he would put Christian policies into place and thereby abolish the need for those organizations.
Mike Huckabee said in an interview on Wednesday that evangelical groups won’t support his presidential campaign out of fear they would no longer be able to fundraise if Christian policies were to actually be put in place.
Dee is confused. What, exactly, are Christian policies? Huckabee then elaborates. (I added spaces to make reading the quote easier.)
“Well, certainly a sense of disappointment, and yet I do understand because, as I’ve often said, ‘I don’t go to them, I come from them,’ but because of that I do understand them,” Huckabee said. “A lot of them, quite frankly, I think they’re scared to death that if a guy like me got elected, I would actually do what I said I would do, and that is, I would focus on the personhood of every individual.
We would abolish abortion based on the Fifth and 14th Amendment. We would ignore the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision.” Huckabee said that, as a result of his presidency, evangelical organizations would no longer be able to galvanize their supporters and fundraise. “A lot of these organizations wouldn’t have the ability to do urgent fundraising because if we slay the dragon, what dragon do they continue to fight?
And so, for many of them, it could be a real detriment to their organization’s abilities to gin up their supporters and raise the contributions, and I know that sounds cynical but, Todd, it’s just, it is what it is,” Huckabee said.
Geraghty sums this response up nicely.
This is like watching that team that’s been eliminated in the playoffs get into fights with the other team in the last game of the season.
I have several problems with Huckabee's response in regards to the evangelical vote.
- What constitute Christian politics? Is it only about abortion and same sex marriage? What about poverty, human trafficking, child sex abuse, domestic violence, or inequality in education?
- Is it our goal to make this a Christian nation? What does that actually mean?
- Huckabee says that the majority of evangelicals wouldn't support him because he would abolish abortion and that would hurt antiabortion lobbies? Does he really believe that this truly constitute the actions of the majority of evangelicals who, in his world, would probably only support another evangelical?
- Why does he think that evangelicals would unilaterally vote on anything?
For years, Mike Huckabee misrepresented that he was in possession of a theology degree.
There is no question that Huckabee presents himself to the world as a good representative of Christians. In my book this means living out, in our own lives, the fact that we follow Jesus who says He is the Truth.
I am increasingly concerned about a number of pastors and Christian leaders who claim degrees that they do not have. In other words, they lie about it. Some appropriate the title of "Doctor" for unearned degrees, some from second rate colleges.
In 2007, WND posted Huckabee's Theology Degree? Now Says Ain't Necessarily So (subtitled) Campaign admits candidate doesn't have claimed religious credential. The article reports that Huckabee had told a number of media sources as well as voters that he had a theological degree. However, after Huckabee exhibited confusion regarding the beliefs of Mormons, his degree status came into question.
Reporter Zev Chafets wrote: “I asked Huckabee, who describes himself as the only Republican candidate with a degree in theology, if he considered Mormonism a cult or a religion. ‘I think it’s a religion,’ he said. ‘I really don’t know much about it.’
… ‘Don’t Mormons,’ he asked in an innocent voice, ‘believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?
One reporter confirmed that Huckabee earned a BA degree in 2 years at an small Baptist college and dropped out of seminary after one year.
He preached his first sermon as a teenager, married his high-school sweetheart and went off to Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia. There he majored in speech and communications, worked at a radio station and earned his B.A. in a little more than two years. He spent a year at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Tex., before dropping out to work for the televangelist James Robison,
Here are two comments he reportedly made in 2007 when he ran for President.
Speaking in Iowa in October, Huckabee told a sympathetic crowd, “Anytime you have been a person who was identified as a pastor and you’ve got a seminary education and theology degree, people tend to worry about you.”
…Last month, during the CNN YouTube debate, Huckabee responded to a question to the candidates about their belief in the Bible: “Sure. I believe the Bible is exactly what it is. It’s the word of revelation to us from God himself. … And as the only person here on the stage with a theology degree, there are parts of it I don’t fully comprehend and understand, because the Bible is a revelation of an infinite god, and no finite person is ever going to fully understand it.
Apparently, he continued to claim a seminary degree after the original story broke.
Update II: The Christian Science Monitor (a great newspaper whatever one’s view of the Church of Christ, Scientist!) has been doing a series on presidential candidates’ faith and values. In their Nov. 7th article on Huckabee, they quoted him at the October Values Voters’ Summit. There Huckabee said concerning the tensions between being an ordained minister and a presidential candidate (James Garfield was our only minister president), “Anytime you have been a person who was identified as a pastor and you’ve got a seminary education and a theology degree, people tend to worry about you.”
Now that phrasing, while perhaps not technically lying, is certainly misleading–maybe even bearing false witness. Anyone at that meeting or who heard that statement would assume (a) that Huckabee had finished his seminary education rather than dropping out after a year, and (b) that the “theology degree” was a degree earned at an accredited seminary or divinity school–not an undergraduate B.A., whether in religion or “pastoral ministries” as the spokesperson from Ouachita Baptist University described Huckabee’s degree.
Mike Huckabee supported Kim Davis but claims he doesn't want to push religious doctrine in politics.
In May, 2015, Religion New Network published 5 faith facts about Mike Huckabee: Southern Baptist pastor-turned-politician. Huckabee was a pastor for 12 years before going into politics and was the youngest president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. He was also a staunch defender of Kim Davis and said he was willing to go to jail for her.
Huckabee was at the side of Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis when she was released from jail in September after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. And he told the crowd waiting for her that he was willing to take her place.
“Let Kim go but if you have to put someone in jail I volunteer to go,” he said. “Let me go. Lock me up if you think that’s how freedom is best served. Because, folks, I am willing to spend the next eight years in the White House leading this country. But I want you to know I’m willing to spend the next eight years in jail. But I’m not willing to spend one day under the tyranny of people who believe they can take our freedom and conscience away.”
However, this comment jumped out at me. He claims he has never wanted to push a particular religious doctrine as a politician.
“It was never my desire to use my position to push a particular religious doctrine through the official channels of government. Spiritual convictions should certainly be reflected in one’s worldview, approaches to problems, and perspective,” he wrote in his 2008 book, “Do the Right Thing.” “An atheist who believes that we are on our own and that our only true God is the natural world might be more protective of bugs, plants, and animals than one who believes that God created all these things for us to manage, care for, and even use in a responsible manner.”
This comment makes little sense to me because, at the beginning of this post, I quoted him as saying that he wanted to put Christian policies into place. So which is it?
Mike Huckabee is a great supporter of the Duggars, saying Josh Duggar's activities were a *mistake.*
The Republic of Gilead reported on Huckabee's statements which might appear to minimize the problem of sexual abuse.
In a March 22nd Facebook post, Huckabee voiced his support for the Duggars in a manner that minimize the situation. I'd like to parse Huckabee's Facebook post, in which he insisted that the abuse was in the past and blasted the "blood-thirsty" media for its attention to the scandal.
First, Huckabee described Josh Duggar's abusive behavior as "inexcusable" but not "unforgivable".
"Janet and I want to affirm our support for the Duggar family. Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn’t mean 'unforgivable.' He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities."
Next, Huckabee chided the "blood-thirsty media" for "sensationalizing" the scandal, insisting that "Good people make mistakes".
(Quoting Huckabee) "No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story. Good people make mistakes and do regrettable and even disgusting things. The reason that the law protects disclosure of many actions on the part of a minor is that the society has traditionally understood something that today’s blood-thirsty media does not understand—that being a minor means that one's judgment is not mature. No one needs to defend Josh’s actions as a teenager, but the fact that he confessed his sins to those he harmed, sought help, and has gone forward to live a responsible and circumspect life as an adult is testament to his family’s authenticity and humility."
Mike Huckabee is a long time supporter of Bill Gothard,
Did you know that Mike Huckabee attended Bill Gothard's Basic Life Seminar? He was been so supportive of Gothard's methods that he decided to implement some of these teachings in government programs but in a stealth sort of way while he was governor. These teachings would be stripped of overt religious references.
The Cincinnati Beacon described Huckabee as a "long-time admirer" of Gothard. The former Arkansas governor wrote a letter used by Gothard to promote a program aimed at infiltrating city governments with core principles of the ministry stripped of overt religious references.
"As a person who has actually been through the Basic Seminar, I am confident that these are some of the best programs available for instilling character into the lives of people," Huckabee wrote in a letter promoting Gothard's prison ministry. Arkansas prisons had been using Gothard seminars and materials since 1996.
Huckabee also endorsed Gothard's "Character Cities" program. Gothard described a meeting in Little Rock as laying groundwork for "the most exciting opportunity I can imagine" to merge his institute's teachings with government programs.
Gothard was reportedly excited about this opportunity since it also afforded him the opportunity to expand his juvenile programs in Arkansas.
Just this year, Gothard’s advocacy for teaching public school children character qualities such as obedience, gratefulness and attentiveness brought him to a southern state capitol. But Little Rock, Ark., had already been established as friendly terrain for Gothard. Two of his long-time admirers—Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee and Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey, a Democrat—are loyal advocates of Gothard’s agenda and have encouraged him to expand juvenile rehabilitation programs there.
Gothard has described his meeting in Little Rock as the start of something big. He said it laid the groundwork for "the most exciting opportunity I can imagine" to merge the institute’s teachings with government programs. In a letter published on the institute’s Internet site, Gothard said his organization has been asked to "present a plan and contract to restructure ( Arkansas’ ) welfare program, their educational system and their juvenile justice methods." He also claims that Gov. Huckabee’s aides "have already begun taking steps" to put the proposal into action.
Gothard announced his program's endorsement by Governor Mike Huckabee on his IBLP website.
Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas stated, “As a person who has actually been through the Basic Seminar, I am confident that these are some of the best programs available for instilling character into the lives of people.” A warden testified, “I would certainly recommend these seminars to any correctional or jail facility.”
The Arkansas Times ties Bill Gothard to Mike Huckabee and to the Duggar family.
Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles was once a popular gathering spot for thousands of Christian families, including the Duggar family from TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting.” Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute conferences were also popular among devotees of the Quiverfull movement, who promote large families and eschew birth control.
He’s also rubbed shoulders with Republican luminaries. He and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee were photographed at a campaign lunch together;
In the interest of full disclosure, I once had a chance to meet Mike Huckabee and speak with him. He is an engaging man who makes you think that you are the only person in the room with whom he wishes to converse. He seems like a nice guy.
On the other hand, Mike Huckabee, just like a number of his BFFs, is a flawed individual who believes he understands his fellow evangelicals and their theology because he studied for 2 years at a small Baptist university and 1 year at a seminary.
1. Why did he feel the need to lie about his degree?
He became a governor after being a pastor. Did he really think a theology degree mattered in his attempt to become President? Does he think that a theology degree makes him a more attractive candidate? It doesn't for me.
2. Does Huckabee like and/or support the Christian celebrity culture?
Mike Huckabee is into the celebrity Christian culture just like any other person who believes that their celebrity pastor must be incredible if he has a big church. It is deeply concerning to me that he wanted to bring Bill Gothard and his programs into the government and into prisons. This would have exposed many people to the flawed theology of Bill Gothard. It could also have brought innocent people into contact with molesters. Oh yeah, that's what our prison culture needs-one more predator…
3. Huckabee, along with the people he admires, appears clueless about the dangers of child sex abuse
Mike Huckabee has a lot to learn about child sex abuse, molestation, etc. It is not a mistake. It is a crime-a horrible crime that will affect the victims for the rest of their lives. I believe that it would be in Huckabee's best interests to apologize for his comments on the Josh Duggar matter.
4. Mike Huckabee doesn't understand that evangelicals are not monolithic in their political persuasion.
He seems to think evangelicals should vote for him because he is an evangelical. Why?
5. Would Huckabee say that he was guided by God in his support of Bill Gothard and the Duggars?
6. Do we really want a Christian country?
Have we ever really had a Christian country? Would it even make any difference? Take a look at the theocracy of the Old Testament. The people of God were just as messed up under God's rule as they were under any other rule. Even Adam and Eve rebelled and that was in spite of having a one on one, close daily walk with the God of the Universe.
Think about the leaders we cover here. Here are some discussion questions o get you all starter (as if we need to!!)
- Would you really want culture ruled by men who believe that women should not open their mouths in a church service?
- Would you want the country to be led by men who believe women should not be police officers or should not work outside the home?
- Could there be attempts at laws to make women stay married their abusive husbands(or vice versa)?
- Do you think women would be allowed to serve in significant ways in the government or would they be relegated to monitoring preschools?
- What about those who believe they hold all sorts of keys to authority and then abuse people with their leadership? Would they take advantage of their position?
- Would the leaders remain pals with ministry leaders who have been accused of covering up child sex abuse? Would they pass laws to give such ministries protection from being prosecuted?
- Can you imagine the gag orders on gossip or speaking ill of the country's leaders?
- Are Christians any better equipped than________ (fill in the blank) to handle the day to day governance of our society? If so, why and give examples.