Thursday, March 08, 2007

Pastor Mike Huckabee... Just Huh?!!

Maybe Frank can explain his neighbor Mike Huckabee.

Man's running for President, as the conviction-since-teenager conservative. He's going to fix his anonymity problem by oureaches and activites that will convince conservatives —like doing an interview with Newsweek.

Now, I read this with interest. Many years ago I heard good things about Huckabee. I am someone he could certainly win over, because I am not happy with any of the GOP front-runners. I'm the sort of person he wants to reach.

But look at some of the questions and answers, and tell me (A) whether you're convinced, and more fundamentally (B) what is he even thinking? The interviewer's questions are bolded.

The Rev. Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, once told me about how when she preached at a major Baptist event, the audience turned its back on her. You used to be head of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Do you agree that women shouldn’t be allowed to be preachers?
It would seem so rude, no matter what a person thought about the structure of a church, to do that. That’s not Christian behavior. One of the unique things about Baptists—every church is its own autonomous unit. My attitude is, let each church make that decision. I go to a church in Little Rock. A lot of people think we’re strange. We don’t fit the mold of a traditional sit-there-stiffly-in-the-pews-church. We don’t even have pews. We focus on ministering to people who are poor. We feed hundreds of kids every week. Our church has offered line-dancing lessons to get people to come. You can be a person off the street with more metal in your mouth than a GM car has on its exterior.

Are you personally against women being preachers?
I’d rather speak up for the Lord than not. I let each person in each church deal with their own conscience. I have enough of a challenge being obedient to God in my own life than to try to dictate to someone else. It’s not an issue for me.

Do you believe that gays are going to hell?
No. I don’t know that Baptists would make a statement that anyone goes to hell based on sexual orientation. Heaven is about one’s personal faith and therefore it has to do with one’s relationship to Jesus, not someone’s relationship to someone else.

I ask because you’ve made a comment about the openly gay congressman, Barney Frank, that sounded pejorative. [Addressing Iowa's Christian Alliance, Huckabee said: "In our lifetimes, we've seen our country go from 'Leave It to Beaver' to 'Beavis and Butt-head,' from Barney Fife to Barney Frank, from 'Father Knows Best' to television shows where father knows nothing."]
It wasn’t intended about same-sex lifestyle. He epitomizes as far left as you can get, far away from the Main Street American way of life.

And then this. The interviewer tosses Pastor Huckabee a wide-open softball of a question:

Is there anything else you’d like to talk about?
Wow. We conservatives often complain, and rightly, about softball interviews with the likes of Hillary! and Kerry and the rest. This is a softball.

So what would you say? You choose to be identified as a conservative Christian candidate for President. With the country and culture in the shape it's in, you have a chance to hit one out of the park, to pick any issue you want, and say anything you want. This is your big chance to convince everyone that you're the man, you have The Vision Thing. You can identify the big issues, and you have answers, you have solutions. You will show leadership.

So what will it be? The War on Terror? The corrupt culture? Broken marriages? Skyrocketing out-of-wedlock birth-rates? Taxes? Morale? Morals? What?

What does Huckabee choose? I will indulge in adding emphasis, but otherwise I'll let his words close this. That, and the title I chose, above.

There’s one issue I want to touch on. A key element of education is music and art education. It’s not expendable, extracurricular or extraneous. The future economy of America is going to be a creative economy. I am very passionate about it. Math, science and language scores improve dramatically when the student has music skills. Spatial reasoning is enhanced by music instructions. It is who we are. It defines us as a culture and a civilization. Very few people my age are still playing tackle football, but I’m still playing bass guitar in a rock-and-roll band.


LeeC said...

"It defines us as a culture and a civilization."

One of the biggest wake up calls I ever had was when I asked a guy who I had been wittnessing to for 2 years what did he think of when he thought of me. He said "I think of you as the guy who has a really cool suit of armour and sword collection and uses them!"

My desire is that I am defined by Who I know (The Lord) than anything else in my life. He died for me.

It seems Mr. Huckabee seems willing enough to identify as a part of the Christian community, but is almost embarrased to be defined as one.

I'm rooting for Duncan Hunter.

Al said...

He is the product of a compartmentalized Christian culture. Jesus is Christ is NOT Lord over the United States in this compartmentalized view of the world. Shoot, He is not even Lord over the church, the individual maybe, but not the church gathered.
If you ask most Christians if we should openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord over all that we see, including the presidency, they will balk.

Of course, when it comes down to voting we will be left one of three options.

1. Vote for the socialist lady.
2. Vote for the mere professor of religiosity.
3. Vote for the guy who wont win; yet, submits himself to Christ in matters small and great.

al sends

Anonymous said...

Wow! Seems to me that Bible is pretty clear about women preachers. I wouldn't call that a judgment call, I'd simply call that being obedient to the scriptures. Seems you can't pin this guys down any anything.

He comes across as a guy who thinks Christianity is for one's own personal interpretation. If that is so, why even get up to preach at all? Why not just say to your audience, "Open your Bibles to wherever you please. Read what it says. And interpret it however you want. Live by it if you'd like, or live like you like. Either way, it's up to you."

Guys like this drive me crazy!!!

Kaffinator said...

I ask all of you one question. Upon which issue from the list below do you think it is most important that a politician have well-developed ideas and the ability to express them?

1) Whether gays are headed for Hell

2) Whether women should be permitted to preach in an American church

3) Whether we should attempt to increase educational funding for the arts

donsands said...

"Is there anything else you'd like to talk about?"

How about, "If I am elected president, I will try to honor my Lord and my Savior in all i do. I will continue to try and make government small, and yet keep our military strong, so that the people of this country will be safe.
I will never raise taxes, in fact I'd like to simplify the process, and make it a straight 10% across the board, that should be plenty of money for the goverment.
I would make sure the chaplain in the Congress is preachin' the Word in the power of the Holy Spirit, and I would eliminate abortion as a legal way to kill babies.

DJP said...

Kaffinator, you first, please.

NOTE TO ALL OTHERS: please withhold comments until Kaffinator answers his own question.


Kaffinator said...

Certainly. 3.

DJP said...


OK, anyone who wants to bite, bite.

ricki said...

"bass guitar in a rock-and-roll band"??? What's up with that?

Al said...

"...well-developed ideas and the ability to express them?"

I do not think that a politician should be required to have well developed ideas of a theological nature in order to be elected president. I do not know of one president who ever offered commentary on the necessity of faith alone for salvation for example. Even if one could articulate his faith that way, it is not the purpose of the state to set down dogma for the church. They are to be a mother to the Church, in the words of Calvin, and support her but not dictate to her. So, the State does not come up with position papers on whether or not homosexuals go to Hell. So, with that in mind… I think I would rather have a candidate for president who could talk about funding for the arts over whether the church should have women preachers.

The problem with Governor Huckabee… He is a pastor and preacher of the gospel and he should at least be able to articulate the gospel and provide some biblical context for discussion on homosexuality or women in ministry. He wimped out for political reasons it seems.

al sends

Kaffinator said...

Al, thank you for picking up on the nature of my question and responding in kind.

> He is a pastor and preacher of the gospel and he should at least be able to articulate the gospel and provide some biblical context for discussion on homosexuality or women in ministry. He wimped out for political reasons it seems.

I don’t think he was really asked to articulate the gospel so I can’t judge him there. But on the question of women preachers and homosexuality: maybe he did “wimp out for political reasons”. Or maybe he just never had a Biblical understanding of homosexuality. But I think everyone here would agree that in in either case it’s probably a good thing he’s in politics rather than a pastoral ministry! Can I get an Amen?

Personally I think it would be hard to answer a question about women preachers while speaking as a political candidate. If he said anything even remotely prohibitive, no matter how Biblically sound, you know what would happen. The media would trash his campaign by painting him as a wacko misogynist. Why give them fodder for that kind of smear when it’s not even a campaign issue? He’s gotta pick his battles.

DJP said...

I thought someone would go down that path, and Al and K oblige.


If Huckabee didn't think he'd be asked theological, Biblical, controversial questions, he's an idiot.

If this is as good a job as he did preparing to handle them, he's an idiot.

If he thinks that art funding is the most pressing issue in our nation, and that this is what will make him stand out ahead of the others, he's an idiot.

It really wasn't that complex of an article.

Al said...

The question was not "did he do a good job in the interview." It was, "On which of the below..."

Exactly which path are you refering to?

Should the president establish policy for the US on the eternal destiny of homosexuals? Or the place of women in ministry?

Oh, and calling the man an idiot? Nice.

al sends

al sends

Kaffinator said...

Ten points to anyone who can see a difference between:

“Is there anything else you’d like to talk about?”


“What in your view is the most pressing issue facing our nation?”

FX Turk said...

To paraphrase the Bible, Can anything good ever come out of Little Rock?

Don't ask me to stick up for the Guy. I voted for Asa, who doesn't try to leverage the SBC to get on the ballot.

And you have no idea how hard it is for a NY kid like me to vote for a guy named "Asa".. But his signs said "Asa!" I have this thing about people who will print their own names with a "!".


Ahasueras Kaltenberger!

Trinian said...

the audience turned its back on her

That is pretty rude. Surely there's a better way to handle that sort of situation - though why it would have happened in the first place given the obvious disposition of the assembly is a bit of a mystery.

Other than that he sounds like the slippery sort of person who wants to be president. Even his top issue is vague and something relatively few people would contend with (except as regards the relative importance that he places on it). He must have been great at dodgeball.

Anonymous said...

Did the guy give a response like Paul before the courts? No.
But was he really that bad? I got the impression that Newsweek was out to ask potentially embarassing questions (for whatever reason--sell news, I guess).
But I do remember no less than R.C. Sproll taking on the woman preaching issue and basically saying there is no problem with the act, it is taking on the role of pastor (institutional leadership) which is the problem.
And I regularly difuse the "gays are going to hell" problem thrown in my face when I do open-air here in Philly by saying simply sinners go to hell and asking how the individual stacks up with the 10 Commandments (ala Ray Comfort). They admit sin long before sexual orientation comes up. It is a reasonable (and prudent) response to keep unnecessary problems off the table.
Now if Newsweek had asked "do you support the gay lifestyle," or "does God like the gay lifestyle" and this guy dodged that, it would be different. My take is that he is showing a little wisdom in his replies to these issues. This did not strike me as an indepth interview, and he treated it accordingly.

DJP said...

Al—That looks like fun. I want to try it.

Which path does it seem?

So, you think the President should set policy on homosexuals' eternal destiny and women in ministry?

You think Huckabee did that badly, eh?




Kaffinator—ooh! ooh! I can!

One is the question they asked.

The other is the opportunity it presented.

What do I win?


E. Stevenson—You're clearly better-prepared that he. You should run for President.

However, you did apparently miss the start of both the Newsweek article, and mine. This is his big plan to catch fire with conservatives. This. This interview. Interviews like this.

Kaffinator said...

Well, Dan, you win the 10 points of course!

But I'm still doing the calculations on how many points you lose for calling Huckabee an "idiot" because he didn't answer the question you think he should have answered instead of the one he was actually asked.

And Al - it's Dan's blog. That means he's not required to play my game (i.e. answer my direct question with, you know, a direct answer). In fact it would be rather un-Judo of him to do so. And that would not be the Dan we know and love!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I will. I promise, though, that if I do, I will announce here on your blog.
I did read the first part of your blog (and the news report). But I think you are setting unrealistically high expectations for his interviews. Given the length of this one, I would assume he knew from the start that it would not be a long one. And if it is introductory for us conservatives, then he apparently decided to go soft rather than hard. And given that not all conservatives are conservative in the same place, this seems reasonable.
As a school teacher (public high school) teaching Latin, it is nice to see someone stick up for the electives (after all, I make my living teaching a dead language). Maybe it is not high on everyone's list. I did not figure that this was his most pressing issue to deal with. But it is one by which he can make a connection with people and differentiate himself from the other candidates. He obviously did not score points with you, but he didn't lose points with me. I'll wait to see other substantive policy issues to make those decisions.
Every interview does not have to be a conservative Christian manifesto. If he never sides up with our understanding of Christ and the Bible, then hey! Let's call him out on it. But give him some time!
I think we Christians eat our own too quickly.
One curiosity, though. If you were out doing open-air with me and someone asked you, "Do gays go to hell", what would you say? How would you handle it? Not trying to trick you here. A genuine question.

DJP said...

Perhaps I will. I promise, though, that if I do, I will announce here on your blog.

I have your word, then! (c:

Latin, a "dead language"? You clearly don't watch Buffy and the Harry Potter movies. (c;

I honestly don't understand the slack you're cutting him. Maybe I'm not writing clearly. If Huckabee doesn't know what interviews for Christian candidates are going to be like, he's been living under a rock somewhere, and is unfit to lead. If he does know it and was that ill-prepared to say something arresting, specific, impressive and convincing—when that is his stated purpose in doing interviews like this—he's not ready to run, let alone lead.

This isn't a grammar-school talent show.

Now, to your question. There are so many good, Gospelward ways of answering it. For instance:

"Homosexuality is a sin, and sin is what sends people to Hell. Have you ever sinned?"

"Everyone who hasn't believed in Jesus Christ will go to Hell. Any sinner who has believed in Jesus Christ will be saved, declared righteous, and washed clean."

"Homosexuality is a sin, and anyone who dies wed to his sin goes to Hell. But there is one way of escape for sinners like them, like me, and like you. Do you know what it is?"

Those pop to mind. And they don't even touch answers Huckabee could have given.

Anonymous said...

I don't consider myself "cutting him [slack]", but instead, I am choosing not to come down hard at the first opportunity. There is a lot of time between now and the primaries. He doesn't have to hit a homerun at the first pitch. If he never stands for the faith, or if he continually evades the difficult questions, then I will reconsider, or at the very least not vote for him based on his Christianity. But for me, it is too early for such harsh rhetoric. He has time.
I like your answers to the homosexual issue. But I notice that the second one does not reference homosexuality specificially. And that is my point--we don't have to take the issue head-on every single time. We can come at it from the side. Show discernement. And I am willing to at least say he may have shown discernment in the interview.
As to the death of Latin, many don't know that the books (some of them) are available in Latin and Classical Greek. Maybe you can post quotes on your site.
Or maybe not.

Al said...

Good try Dan,
Did you ever answer Kaf's question? Perhaps I am just not reading clearly enough. :-)

The opportunity for Gov. H. to present the Gospel was wide open. It is a shame that a Pastor did not take it. But as I said at the beginning of this covo, I am sure he as a split personality when it comes to Spiritual/earthly things. He should read a little Schaefer...

I would suggest he answer those type questions much the way you said. One change though… "Do gays go to Hell?" Answer: "Of course gays go to hell. So do Baptists. The only ones who don't are those who confess Jesus Christ and believe in their heart God has raised Him from the dead. The church must do better at proclaiming the Gospel to homosexuals and disciplining church members who fall into such serious sin. The presidency is not the church and I will not use the office to practice church discipline."

al sends (only once)

Anonymous said...

The Harry Potter books, that is. I should have been more clear in that.

donsands said...

Politics and politicians are what we have to choose from today. I'd love to see a genuine Statesman and Patriot lead our nation.

I don't see any Patrick Henry's in the future, just politics.

I hope I'm wrong.

Trinian said...

As to the death of Latin, many don't know that the books (some of them) are available in Latin and Classical Greek.

... you must be joking... you're not joking!
Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis

striving... said...

donsands said: Is there anything else you'd like to talk about?"

How about, "If I am elected president, I will try to honor my Lord and my Savior in all i do. I will continue to try and make government small, and yet keep our military strong, so that the people of this country will be safe.
I will never raise taxes, in fact I'd like to simplify the process, and make it a straight 10% across the board, that should be plenty of money for the goverment.
I would make sure the chaplain in the Congress is preachin' the Word in the power of the Holy Spirit, and I would eliminate abortion as a legal way to kill babies.
I say: I am voting for You :)

Robert said...


Part of its a southern thang. Everyone thinks they're a Christian if they attend church more than twice a year and don't cheat on their spouse (at least in public, anyway - I recall a certain former Arkansas governor!). The saying goes "If you're not a Baptist or a Methodist, somebody'e been messin' with your religion." Since there is NO church discipline to speak of anyone can call themselves a Christian and most sheeple accept it without question. And as for being a Baptist, I remember one pastor saying that about SBC "We're a mile wide and an inch deep".
And - don't get me started about political conservatives not knowing the principles they're supposed to believe on - it's ALL about pragmatics and staying in power - in fact, a lot like American evengelicals.

LeeC said...


He a general and not a politician, but I thought you might like to see General Paces recent stance:

Bob Hayton said...

I recently posted in support of Huckabee. You can find several 1-2 minute clips of where he stands on the issues on this YouTube page, and you can find clips to many interviews at

Anyways, someone dropped me this link to see what I thought about it. I think you are right to post about the interview, but I wouldn't draw hasty conclusions from this.

First off, he is not running for church office. You can see he avoided giving his personal opinion on women preachers. Whether or not he is for that doesn't really affect his leadership in the civil sphere. He didn't want to provide fodder for people to trash him or ridicule him over a position that seculars wouldn't even understand.

Secondly, remember the context. Is any candidate going to come out and say "Yes I believe (all) gays are going to hell!!" Not likely. Not without huge qualifications. Being a Baptist, I would think Huckabee would agree that practicing adulterers, and crooked businessmen, have an equal stake in the real estate down under with sodomites. The question was loaded. He sort of dodged it, but I think he was clear. Sinners go to hell, and gays aren't the only ones who sin. Plus there are some gays who are saved and fighting the sin (like saved ex-porn addicts, or ex-adulterers). If people can committ adultery and not lose their salvation (as evidenced by their eventual repentance of that), the same goes for sodomy. So it is actually a false answer to say "yes".

Thirdly, I think you read too much into the floating softball question. He is trying to differentiate himself from the field. He is trying to say what he is about. What he chose to say does that. Reaffirming that he is pro life or something, wouldn't have added something else the interview hadn't already explained.

Don't judge a book by his cover. By all means research the candidates. Explore Huckabee. But don't go by a question or two in a Newsweek article. Dig deeper than that please. I think Huckabee is good for America, and that he would do right in office. He would apply his faith, but not necessarily spiritualize everything into having America usurp the church's role as "city on a hill".

There, I said it. Thanks for the article, though, as it causes us to think. May God bless our nation with a wise and Godly leader. And if He doesn't may we continue to live out our faith in sincere ways, and realize heaven is our home. The Gospel is the ultimate good news, not any politician or president.

Blessings in Christ,

Bob Hayton

PS One last thing (on reading thru some of the comments). Newsweek said this article was his attempt to win conservatives to his side. Maybe that isn't what he inteded for it. He is showing he can reach across the aisle and stay true to his ideology. That alone differentiates himself. Rather than being quasi-prolife and reaching across the aisle. He is prolife and reaches across. Anyway, that's my take.

Bob Hayton said...

Forgot the link to the YouTube page:

DJP said...

I appreciate your input, and perspective. I read you, then I went back and read Huckabee's statements -- and I still hate them! I just can't put a positive spin on them. The very best I can say is that they're inept and, hopefully, misleading.

Not much of a slogan.

I'll try to keep an open mind. But whereas before it was wide-open, now I'll have to work to keep it open but suspicious.

Bob Hayton said...

Thanks for the response.

Truth be told, we should be "suspicious" about any politician. I hope I'm right and you're wrong about Huckabee. (Hey I like being right, and I hope I'm not just sucked into his whole image thing.)

Oh well, here's hoping.

Glad my faith doesn't stand in politicians, and that my promised land isn't America.

Bob Hayton

steveprost said...

So he places his belief in congregationalism above his belief in the principle that women should not be ordained preachers. He's wrong, but you're nuts if you think thats a disqualifier for the Presidency. As one who believes women do not belong in the pulpit and that we need to take a stand against it, I agree that standing up and turning your back on the women is a bit rude and crass a way to deal with the issue, I would just leave and fight within the church structure.

He's a politician and running for President, not church head, so the answers he gave to "anything else you'd like to talk about?" are given in the context of what he'd do as President... ridiculous to tie him down to this as his stated priority (he has said recently that his priority as Prez would be life AND closing the border first) and then fault him IN COMPARISON TO THE OTHER AVAILABLE CHOICES!! Under your reasoning, Reagan would have been ten times more awful.

DJP said...

I appreciate that you responded at all, but you're not responding to my main point, which is that his answer was lame and unprepared. Not that I agreed nor disagreed with it.

And your explanation of his choice of anything he wanted to talk about is... well, "unconvincing" is the nicest word I've got at the moment.

steveprost said...

I just don't see where in the context of a Newsweek article questioner, these answers are bad answers so that you characterize them at Justin's BTW article as "completely unprepared"! Even his harshest critics agree he always has detailed great sounding smooth answers, and I see nothing here in contradiction of that...can you be more specific?

DJP said...

I completely disagree with your first sentence, and still feel you've hastily read me, rather than thinking it through.

Your second sentence finally approaches the main question I posed at JT's place: has he stopped being lame and unprepared?

If your answer is, "He never was," then you won't help me.

Because he really, really was. He'd be a juicy steak for the Clinton/MSM machine.