Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Add This to Your List...

...Of Reasons To Give Mike Huckabee a Pass

Mike Huckabee is enjoying something of a boomlet these days. He's smart, humorous and likeable enough. And admittedly--with his emphasis on poverty and conservation--he is giving a new twist to current Republican talking points.

In today's Times I read that he has received the endorsement of Tim LaHaye, co-author of the wildly popular and truly awful apocalyptic Left Behind novels. In a letter mailed to his supporters, LaHaye stated that "America and our Judeo-Christian heritage are under attack by a force that is more destructive than any America has faced since Adolf Hitler" and "Defeating the radical jihadists will require renewed resolve and spiritual rearmament by the evangelical pastors of America." In the letter, LaHaye and his wife encourage pastors to attend 2-day conferences to be held across the nation, in which, by teleconference, Mr. Huckabee will be the only speaker.

Giuliani has Pat Robertson, McCain has John Hagee, Romney has Paul Weyrich and Bob Jones III, so it is no surprise that Huckabee would garner this endorsement. Nor is it unusual that Huckabee would buy into LaHaye's Flash Gordon eschatology. After all, Huckabee is a Southern Baptist preacher. What bothers me are the words of a campaign spokesman, who stated that Mr. Huckabee had read some of the Left Behind novels and enjoyed them. What this tells me about Mr. Huckabee is that he is not a reader.

11 comments:

Kirk said...

Flash! A-AH! He'll save everyone of us!

Death Bredon said...

It could be worse, Huckabee could be an Orthodox Christian of the variety that thinks Constantinople really exists; that there truly are Christian Patriarchates in Antioch and Alexandria; and that the solar system is heretical because the spring equinox refuses to obey the ecumenically established Julian Calendar!

Jared Cramer said...

"Flash Gordon eschatology"

That must work it's way into a seminary paper of mine at some point this year.

John said...

d.b.,

but, but, but...I've been to Constantinople! It takes up the better part of 1/2 a city block.

And thanks for the warning--if someone of the variety you describe ever runs for President, you can bet I will be on his case!

Seriously though, I don't mean to pick on Huckabee. He is not really that objectionable, and this endorsement is far less alarming than say, Hagee's embrace of McCain. He is correct to say that true conservatives, almost by definition, should be about conservation. And his position on poverty needs to be heard within GOP ranks.

But above all else, Huckabee is, I suspect, more preacher than politician. And I come from a region that knows a thing or two about Baptist preachers. There is no way his theology--particularly his eschatology--would not affect his foreign policy. For those of us who believe that we have been seriously off course in this area for at least 2 generations, a Huckabee presidency would be another disaster.

And again, what alarmed me most was the statement that he had read several of the Left Behind books and "enjoyed them," rather than discarding them as the delusional, superficial fluff that they are. Our recent experience with Presidents who are non-readers has not been a good one.

This is all an academic exercise, anyway. For the ultimate GOP nominee will be a sacrificial victim in partial expiation of the sins of G.W.B. Huckabee can only hope that his exposure this time around might give him a leg up in 2012, when perhaps there would be a chance of a more competitive race.

And speaking of Baptist preachers--we have good friends who are devout Baptists. They once had a toy poodle they had trained to roll over and play dead. The cue line was: "Ruffles, would you rather be dead, or be a Baptist peacher?"

John said...

Jared,

You mean you've never noticed the parallels between Nicolae Carpathia and Ming the Merciless?
(snick)

John said...

From what I understand, Huckabee was a Baptist preacher of the moderate stripe. Coming from the background usually means one is of an amillenialist stripe, if not outright hostile to premillenialism.

I think Governor Huckabee is engaging in politics.

John said...

John,
You are probably correct in his being a moderate Baptist, but at least here in Texas, even moderate Baptists are premil. Or if not, they keep it a secret. And you are also correct that he is engaging in politics with all this.

The Scylding said...

Interesting - here in Canada, our PM belongs to the Alliance Church (Christian & Missionary Alliance..), the leader of the opposition is Catholic, and the leader of the third party belongs to the United Church. I guess that makes Harper an evangelical of sorts?

s-p said...

We don't need a president who sees the office as an opportunity to usher in the end times with Middle East policy.

Death Bredon said...

Yes, The pickin's are slim folks.

Billary is plainly a amoral secularist. Guliani a very fallen Catholic; Romney a nominal Mormon; and Thompson and Hucks appear willing to replace Bush as the puppet-leader of the Cheney/Rumsfeld/APAK Evangelical Christian-Zionist Oil Party (formerly known as the GOP).

For my money, Dr. Ron Paul, a low-key Methodist, doesn't seem to have an kooky religio-political ideas nor does he seem amenable to allowing our foreign or domestic policy to be guided the vested insterests of any particular religious group.

P.S.,

John, why don't you rub in your recent foreign travel itinerary. (wink.) Still, I won't concede the point. Despite flying the Byzantine flag, the Phanar and the Holy Mountain do not respectfully count as Constantinople and the remnant Empire anymore than my bedroom is the Old Confederacy just by virtue of the First National that hangs on the wall!

Steve Hayes said...

Death Bredon,

Then this huckasbee fellow is not quite as out of touch with reality as he seems at first sight, since the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria is meeting right now -- or are you saying that we in Africa just aren't Christian?