December 12, 2007

Yeah, I think Huck Crossed Way Over the Line

Hatched by Dafydd

Michael Medved is frantically trying to spin another stupid thing that Gov. Mike Huckabee said. Again.

Medved seems to spend a lot of time on this; if I believed in campaign-finance reform, I'd suggest he be investigated for giving corporate in-kind contributions...

He's currently screaming about the AP article; yes, you know which one I mean:

Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, asks in an upcoming article, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

The article, to be published in Sunday's New York Times Magazine, says Huckabee asked the question after saying he believes Mormonism is a religion but doesn't know much about it. His rival Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, is a member of the Mormon church, which is known officially as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The authoritative Encyclopedia of Mormonism, published in 1992, does not refer to Jesus and Satan as brothers. It speaks of Jesus as the son of God and of Satan as a fallen angel, which is a Biblical account.

Assuming this isn't just a flat lie -- and I would be pretty shocked if it were, given how easy it would be to debunk -- this is akin to asking, "Don't Christians believe you can commit any sin you like, and as long as you believe in Jesus, you're forgiven?" (Actually, that last is fairer, as -- unlike the LDS smear -- it has at least a few ordained adherents.)

The AP article claims that Huckabee asked the question out of the blue, after first saying that he thought Mormonism was a religion, not a cult. Medved, however, furiously pointed out that in reality, Huckabee asked the question out of the blue, after first saying that he thought Mormonism was a religion, not a cult. Ergo, per Medved, the AP article is a dirty lie.

I confess I didn't quite follow the point.

Medved also believes that the phrase "asks in an upcoming article" would make anyone believe that Huckabee wrote the article. Maybe it's just me, but that doesn't jump out at me either.

Honestly, it really sounds to me as if the Huckster simply decided to toss a vicious smear of Mormonism into his magazine interview (by which I don't mean to say Huckabee interviewed himself; pace, Michael Medved). As even Medved admits, the governor was not responding to any question about Mormon theology; he just eructated his rhetorical question as a complete non-sequitur, then turned to another topic.

Frankly, I think this is... well, not quite despicable, I suppose, but certainly very disturbing. Such an attack furthers Huckabee's campaign theme, that voters should elect him because he's "the Christian" in the race. Well, you know, Romney is a Mormon, Giuliani is a Catholic, and McCain is a warmonger; no Christians in that lot!

I'm more and more fascinated to learn how much of this alleged Huckasurge will actually translate into caucus-goers on January 3rd. If Huckabee sails into the caucuses with a 15-point lead over Romney, but then Romney wins because his incredible organization gets more people to the actual precincts... then wouldn't that be a huge boost to Mitt "the Comeback Kid" Romney?

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 12, 2007, at the time of 1:30 PM

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I have suddenly realized something sad about Michael Medved: He never was pro-Huckabee, as he appeared; I doubt he is now really pro-John McCain. What he has always been in reality... is an "Anybody But Romney" fanatic. I now think... [Read More]

Tracked on January 7, 2008 5:09 PM


The following hissed in response by: LarryD

I'm afraid that Huckabee is bringing to mind Jimmy Carter.

And his pardons while Gov. of Arkansas, and his defense of same, bother me too.

No thanks, not again.

The above hissed in response by: LarryD [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2007 1:59 PM

The following hissed in response by: Imagodei

You're right, Dafydd -- it isn't a flat lie. In LDS metaphysics, Jesus and Satan are in the same class of being: both literal offspring of God and so "brothers". But it's still a cheap shot, because it presents a single LDS doctrine outside of its governing context, leading listeners to an impression that isn't entirely accurate.

The defining factor in LDS theology is not metaphysics, but choice: Jesus' choice makes him the Savior, while Satan's choice makes him the Devil. To simply say "Jesus and Satan are brothers" is to leave out what, for Mormons, is the most important information: their choices and the events that occurred as a result.

So, I'd say your analogy with the doctrine of God's forgiveness (presented apart from justice, moral duty to one's fellow man, and so forth) is apt. Telling part of the truth to create a false impression is still a kind of lying... especially after Huckabee had avowed ignorance of Mormonism.

The above hissed in response by: Imagodei [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2007 2:38 PM

The following hissed in response by: On Lawn

Hmm, until you mentioned this I was wondering what this press release was about...

Like other Christians, we believe Jesus is the divine Son of God. Satan is a fallen angel. As the Apostle Paul wrote, God is the Father of all. That means that all beings were created by God and are His spirit children. Christ, however, was the only begotten in the flesh, and we worship Him as the Son of God and the Savior of mankind.

The above hissed in response by: On Lawn [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2007 3:19 PM

The following hissed in response by: mike volpe

It is both peculiar and amusing to watch the right blogosphere go into full overdrive trying to destroy its own now that Huckabee is for real. This is yet another trumped up controversy out of so many that I can't tell which ones are legitimate anymore.

First, I support Rudy. Second, I stopped paying attention to the Huckabee controversy of the day sometime last week. I suspect that most of the voting public is like me. You all can drum up all the controversy that you want, but it isn't flying with much of the public.

Huckabee is likeable, he is charming and he is charismatic and that is what most people see and hear. They don't much care what he told some reporter about Romney. He already apologized to Romney. The matter is over.

I don't know why the right blogosphere suddenly has such animous toward him, however it is bordering on obscene. Save the venom for the other side. I know there are plenty of folks I would much less like to see be President over Huckabee. Frankly, the more I witness the attacks the more I personally like him.

Susan Estrich wrote a column last week in which I believe she inaccurately analyzed his campaign. She is a Democrat. You all have no excuse. Here is how I disected her piece...

The above hissed in response by: mike volpe [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2007 3:29 PM

The following hissed in response by: Seaberry

I agree, Huckabee crossed the line...probably hurt himself more than Romney.

I've been back and forth on most of them, but am back to Romney again now.

National Review Online just backed Romney, and they make some good points.

The above hissed in response by: Seaberry [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2007 6:25 PM

The following hissed in response by: wtanksleyjr

I'm probably voting for Romney (and I truly mean that -- Huckabee is WAY down the list for me), but I agree with Mike above... This is a manufactured crisis, nothing real. Romney handled it in a dignified manner; most of his supporters, on the other hand, are blowing it WAY out of proportion.

Huckabee was being interviewed -- a multiple-hour-long interview by a person who'd studied comparative religion. Huckabee was asked a question; he responded (with the right answer, by the way), and asked a question that he hoped the interviewer knew the answer to (I've not seen recorded whether any response was given). I think he can and should be criticized, and we might as well prepare for what the Democrats will do to him; but we can't overblow it and ignore the REAL problems. Most people don't care too much about abstruse theological discussions.

I'm proud of Romney for his response to this -- direct, honest, uncomplicated, and _correct_. Too many of his defenders lied in their responses (apparently NBC claimed that some Mormon bishops answered Huckabee's question 'no' -- hard to believe, since it's clearly documented otherwise). I'm less proud of him for his carefully tuned religion speech earlier, in which he used all the cliches Christians and Mormons share without ever once making it clear that the meanings assigned to the cliches are entirely different between the two religions. That reflects ill on his honesty -- I would rather he mentioned briefly that we ALL believe different things in the details, and then speak in depth on the _common_ things. I suppose that would have gotten no press coverage, though.

No matter; thanks in a remote way to Huckabee and his interviewer, Romney's convinced me he can be honest.


The above hissed in response by: wtanksleyjr [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 14, 2007 8:00 AM

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