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Tuesday, December 4, 2007
posted by Mike | 7:29 PM | permalink
NewsMax just carried a piece entitled "Huckabee Won't Give Views on Mormonism" containing this paragraph:
Huckabee has consolidated the support of influential religious conservatives, primarily by reaching out to a network of pastors across the state. He spoke privately Monday night to several hundred gathered in Des Moines for a conference, the only presidential candidate to do so.
Does anyone else find this as upsetting as I do? Can anyone imagine what would be said if Mitt Romney met with a group of any size of LDS bishops and stake presidents from around Iowa to discuss his campaign and his qualifications to be president? Official LDS Church policy is of course that this will not happen in any way, shape, or form. If it happened in public, folks would be upset. If such a thing happened in private (just as it did for Huckabee and his group), then they would be insensed. Rightfully so on both counts.

What will they say about Huckabee's cozying up?

Then again, perhaps the same group invited Mitt to speak, so they could get to know him better, but he refused?

Yeah, right! For anyone who believes that, I have a bridge in New York City for sale...

Update: Various reports like this one on the Time Web site have added that Huckabee, "appeared with more than 60 Iowa pastors endorsing him at a news conference Tuesday..." While it is true that most pastors might not speak about candidates from behind the pulpit, is this not a very fine line that is being drawn? Consider this report from Iowa:

Every Sunday, Pastor Darran Whiting talks to his small yet devout flock in Coggon, Iowa, about faith and family values. He’s careful not to talk politics in his sermons, but as soon as he steps off the pulpit, Whiting is eager talk about the presidential candidate he thinks is practicing what he’s preaching: Mike Huckabee. “Gov. Huckabee stands on the issues I stand for. Socially conservative as far as being pro-life, as far as being pro-family,” said Whiting. It is support from evangelicals like Whiting that is driving Huckabee’s surge in Iowa, where Christian conservatives make up an estimated 40 percent of the GOP vote. Matt Reisetter, a young evangelical leader who signed onto the Huckabee campaign this month, said the former Arkansas governor is gaining momentum among pastors across Iowa with his anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage record and because Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher, speaks their language. “We don’t question where he’s at, we don’t question what he believes. He’s one of us,” said Reisetter.

Will the attention given this by the press compare with their focus earlier this year on the number of LDS people who were campaigning for Mitt?

Sure there are LDS people who are campaigning for Mitt, but I also know from well-placed sources that there are quite a few LDS folks in at least one key state who would otherwise be overtly supporting Mitt, but they do not want to appear to violate what they feel is a principle of not mixing church and politics. They will vote for him, but no more than that.

A recent visitor to Utah with whom I spoke a few days ago commented that there are LOTS of Ron Paul signs there and virtually no Romney signs! One of those Ron Paul signs is in the front yard of our former neighbors.

Interesting times these are...

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8 Comments:


I hate to rain on your parade, but Romney did meet with a group of religious leaders meeting in Salt Lake City. They were not Mormon, but I believe he was the only Presidential Candidate to adress them at the time, although John McCain may have as well. Just addressing a group in and of itself is no crime. Having those religious people use their pulpits and/or religious leadership to move votes a certain way would violate IRS rules and could render any contributions made to such organizations non-deductible for tax purposes.



Peter-

I agree w/you. Meeting with religious people isn't a problem. But like Mike I'm extra sensitive to Huck's religious actions. He's run such a secular campaign it's hard to believe this meeting was done with clean hands.



Excuse me while I steam a bit! According to the Trail blog from Washington Post on 12/4:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2007/12/04/huckabees_religious_support_in.html#more

In an event earlier in the day Huckabee had declined to answer when asked by reporters if Mormonism is a "cult," saying he preferred to speak about his own faith.

Well Mr. Up-Chuck-abee,

You are a pathetic excuse for a human being. You are the worst kind of politician imaginable. You are the kind of person who over the years has given the South a bad name for its history of slavery, segregation, racism, and bigotry. I'm sure that if somebody called your faith a "cult" you would hope that any decent politician would defend you and your beliefs. But you are not man enough to do something like that.

Further, maybe the real reason why you refused to defend Mormons or share your true feelings about them is because you know that the only cult here is the cult-of-personality that has begun to grow around you with the help of other religious bigots. It's a strange title to me, calling yourself "CHRISTIAN LEADER." Since I was a small child, I had always learned that the "CHRISTIAN LEADER" was a man by the name of "Jesus of Nazareth." But maybe in your Self-Righteousness, and the "Church of the Great Up-Chuck-abee-ians" that you are forming, you don't have any room left for Jesus.



One other point for Mike Up-Chuck-abee. How about we change the question:

"Mike Up-Chuck-abee, do you believe that Judaism is a cult? Or Hinduism? Or Buddhism? Or Islam?" And let's just see if he can get away with not answering. If he answers that he does not believe that Judaism is a cult, then we know that he truly believes Mormonism is a cult. If he refuses to answer, then let's let the whole world of Mormons, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims unite in being repulsed by such a candidate. It would cause a feeding frenzy either way. I demand that this question be asked of Mike Up-Chuck-abee by someone in the MSM, preferably by a Jew. I cannot wait to hear the answer or the lack thereof.



I think the phrase is 'sectarian' campaign. It mattered back in the day that Brownback was Catholic for example.

I've said for months that Huckabee would probably be a good VP pick for someone (I like Romney best but would actively support Rudy, even though I think Romney is better) but why Huckabee is getting all sorts of first tier attention now really confuses me.

Fellow Romney supporters: Don't freak out. With scrutiny Huckabee's luster will fade. Take a look over at Redstate. They're eating him alive.



I agree with you both that meetings are not per se a problem and that the use or non-use of the pulpit is a differentiating factor. Mitt has met with many folks, including leading evangelicals, going back at least a year or so. Is it possible that there is something that seems more wholesome about a politician meeting with groups who might not agree with him or her than meeting privately with folks who are likely to be your supporters, especially when no other politicians are invited to give their pitch? Just a thought...



Mike-

Yes, it is different. It's unfortunate. When you add to the equation the many evangelical churches known for spouting politics from the pulpit, it gets worse. It shouldn't be surprising. Mike never was much for ethics rules. I'm not sure if it's because of his previous experience as a preacher, but something seems to make him think he's above such scrutiny.



Ummm, stepping down from the pulpit and then talking about Mike is a blurring of the lines distinction that should draw some heavy IRS scrutiny. If you, as a pastor, want to support a candidate, you may do so by voting. Does this have the effect of muzzling church leaders? It certainly does.

Why we have the laws we have is something I can't explain; however, the laws are what they are. In my opinion, though, charitable contributions should not support political activities.




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