Mike Huckabee and that Anti-Mormon Cross in the Window

It's hard to imagine that the cross in the window of Mike Huckabee's Christmas commercial was just a coincidence. It's just the latest of his stunts to try and convince the voting populace that Mitt Romney is a member of a cult. Huckabee is a great presidential candidate, but this sidetrack has him well on the way to embarrassing himself.

You might think the following diatribe strange coming from me, considering that Mike Huckabee is my second choice for president of the United States--behind Ron Paul and ahead of Mitt Romney. But read on to find out why it's important.

I have a great deal of respect for Mike Huckabee. Not as much as I once had, but I still respect him--and his religion. I just wish he would respect my--and Mitt Romney's--religion, rather than making it the brunt of a derisive political ploy.

It started sometime around the point when Governor Huckabee, feigning ignorance, asked "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers?" That's a snide question, particularly coming in the midst of a political campaign.

But it didn't stop there.

He's doing everything he can in Iowa and elsewhere to paint himself as the Christian candidate. I thought political campaigns were about what a person's qualifications are for public office. That he or she is a religious and moral person is certainly a qualification that I value, but we don't need to get into any more detail than that. Okay, can we move on to the next question?

Mike Huckabee says no. Somehow he feels he must remind us like a broken 78-RPM record that he is a Christian and that his closest competitor is a doofus. He said it emphatically with the following commercial:



You may not know it, but, while for Baptists the cross of Jesus Christ is a very important symbol, for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, it is not. Rather, Mormons tend to focus on the risen Lord and the greatest event to occur in history, the resurrection of Christ. I respect the fact that Baptists are Christian, but why can't Mike Huckabee and other Baptists give us the same obviously-deserved courtesty? Because of course we're Christians.

Now...how did we get sidetracked on religion in the middle of this political discussion? Oh, that's right...

On that day that Huckabee made the wisecrack about Jesus and Satan, he claimed not to know much about the Mormons. And now, from a Newsmax.com e-mail letter I received today, the rest of the story:
What Newsmax does know is that in June 1998, the Southern Baptist Convention held its annual meeting in Salt Lake City, the backyard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — the Mormons. The annual meeting created a stir between the Baptists and the Mormons.

The keynote speaker at the gathering was then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

At the annual meeting, the SBC distributed copies of a book entitled “Confronting the Contradictions Between Mormon Beliefs and True Christianity,” ...

The book maintains that while Mormons claim to be Christians, they propagate a non-Christian view of God, a non-Christian view of Jesus, and a non-Christian view of the gospel.
Mitt Romney's father, who ran for high political office over 40 years ago, was never once asked about his religion. As it should be. Huckabee is brazenly fomenting and capitalizing on the skittishness of the American public when it comes to religions other than his own.

It's as though Huckabee thinks we are members of The Church of Adolf Hitler of Latter-Day Nazis. It's tripe unworthy of any political campaign--and especially a campaign for the highest office in the land. And to me it's getting sickening.

It needs to stop. Or Mitt Romney will replace Mike Huckabee as my second favorite presidential candidate.



Comments

  1. Who cares? It's Christmas Frank!

    Merry Christmas Fank!

    ReplyDelete
  2. When I first heard about the Huckabee Christmas ad, I thought to myself, "So what?" But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that Huckabee is playing a clever game of identity politics.

    Peggy Noonan has a rather interesting take on Huckabee's ad and campaign in this WSJ article. Noonan writes:

    "Is there a word for "This is nice" and "This is creepy"? For that is what I felt. This is so sweet-appalling."

    Noonan goes on to say how important the cross is to her in her life. But then writes about Huckabee's use of it in his ad:

    "I wound up thinking this: That guy is using the cross so I'll like him. That doesn't tell me what he thinks of Jesus, but it does tell me what he thinks of me. He thinks I'm dim. He thinks I will associate my savior with his candidacy. Bleh."

    We live in a pluralistic society. Our form of government was designed to address the desires of the majority while protecting the minority. For this reason, we work to keep the avenues of discussion and debate open. It runs counter to our nation's high goals when an article of faith of any group stifles disucssion. Noonan writes:

    "Mr. Huckabee reminds me of two governors who became president, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Like Mr. Clinton, he is a natural, charming, bright and friendly. Yet one senses something unsavory there, something not so nice. Like Mr. Bush, his approach to politics seems, at bottom, highly emotional, marked by great spurts of feeling and mighty declarations as to what the Lord wants. The problem with this, and with Bushian compassionate conservatism, which seems to have an echo in Mr. Huckabee's Christianism, is that to the extent it is a philosophy, it is not a philosophy that allows debate. Because it comes down to "This is what God wants." This is not an opener of discussion but a squelcher of it. It doesn't expand the process, it frustrates it."

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  3. The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) is often accused by Evangelical pastors of not believing in Christ and, therefore, not being a Christian religion This article helps to clarify such misconceptions by examining early Christianity's theology relating to baptism, the Godhead, the deity of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

    • Baptism: .

    Early Christian churches, practiced baptism of youth (not infants) by immersion by the father of the family. The local congregation had a lay ministry. An early Christian Church has been re-constructed at the Israel Museum, and the above can be verified. http://www.imj.org.il/eng/exhibitions/2000/christianity/ancientchurch/structure/index.html
    The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) continues baptism and a lay ministry as taught by Jesus’ Apostles. Early Christians were persecuted for keeping their practices sacred, and prohibiting non-Christians from witnessing them.

    • The Trinity: .

    A literal reading of the New Testament points to God and Jesus Christ , His Son , being separate , divine beings , united in purpose. . To whom was Jesus praying in Gethsemane, and Who was speaking to Him and his apostles on the Mount of Transfiguration?

    The Nicene Creed”s definition of the Trinity was influenced by scribes translating the Greek manuscripts into Latin. The scribes embellished on a passage explaining the Trinity , which is the Catholic and Protestant belief that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The oldest versions of the epistle of 1 John, read: "There are three that bear witness: the Spirit, the water and the blood and these three are one."

    Scribes later added "the Father, the Word and the Spirit," and it remained in the epistle when it was translated into English for the King James Version, according to Dr. Bart Ehrman, Chairman of the Religion Department at UNC- Chapel Hill. He no longer believes in the Nicene Trinity. .

    Scholars agree that Early Christians believed in an embodied God; it was neo-Platonist influences that later turned Him into a disembodied Spirit. Harper’s Bible Dictionary entry on the Trinity says “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the New Testament.”

    Divinization, narrowing the space between God and humans, was also part of Early Christian belief. St. Athanasius of Alexandria (Eastern Orthodox) wrote, regarding theosis, "The Son of God became man, that we might become God." . The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) views the Trinity as three separate divine beings , in accord with the earliest Greek New Testament manuscripts.

    • The Deity of Jesus Christ

    Mormons hold firmly to the deity of Christ. For members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS), Jesus is not only the Son of God but also God the Son. Evangelical pollster George Barna found in 2001 that while only 33 percent of American Catholics, Lutherans, and Methodists (28 percent of Episcopalians) agreed that Jesus was “without sin”, 70 percent of Mormons believe Jesus was sinless. http://www.adherents.com/misc/BarnaPoll.html

    • The Cross and Christ’s Atonement: .

    The Cross became popular as a Christian symbol in the Fifth Century A.D. . Members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) believe the proper Christian symbol is Christ’s resurrection , not his crucifixion on the Cross. Many Mormon chapels feature paintings of the resurrected Christ or His Second Coming. Furthermore, members of the church believe the major part of Christ’s atonement occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane as Christ took upon him the sins of all mankind.

    • Definition of “Christian”: .

    But Mormons don’t term Catholics and Protestants “non-Christian”. They believe Christ’s atonement applies to all mankind. The dictionary definition of a Christian is “of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to a religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ”: All of the above denominations are followers of Christ, and consider him divine, and the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament. They all worship the one and only true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and address Him in prayer as prescribed in The Lord’s Prayer.

    It’s important to understand the difference between Reformation and Restoration when we consider who might be authentic Christians. . Early Christians had certain rituals which defined a Christian http://sacred-texts.com/chr/ecf/207/2070037.htm , which members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) continue today. . If members of the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) embrace early Christian theology, they are likely more “Christian” than their detractors.

    • The Need for a Restoration of the Christian Church:

    The founder of the Baptist Church in America, Roger Williams, just prior to leaving the church he established, said this:

    "There is no regularly constituted church of Christ on earth, nor any person qualified to administer any church ordinances; nor can there be until new apostles are sent by the Great Head of the Church for whose coming I am seeking.” (Picturesque America, p. 502.)

    Martin Luther had similar thoughts: "Nor can a Christian believer be forced beyond sacred Scriptures,...unless some new and proved revelation should be added; for we are forbidden by divine law to believe except what is proved either through the divine Scriptures or through Manifest revelation."

    He also wrote: "I have sought nothing beyond reforming the Church in conformity with the Holy Scriptures. The spiritual powers have been not only corrupted by sin, but absolutely destroyed; so that there is now nothing in them but a depraved reason and a will that is the enemy and opponent of God. I simply say that Christianity has ceased to exist among
    those who should have preserved it."

    The Lutheran, Baptist and Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) churches recognize an apostasy from early Christianity. The Lutheran and Baptist churches have attempted reform, but Mormonism (and Roger Williams, and perhaps Martin Luther) require inspired restoration, so as to re-establish an unbroken line of authority and apostolic succession.

    * * *
    • Christ-Like Lives:

    The 2005 National Study of Youth and Religion published by UNC-Chapel Hill found that Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) youth (ages 13 to 17) were more likely to exhibit these Christian characteristics than Evangelicals (the next most observant group):


    1. Attend Religious Services weekly
    2. Importance of Religious Faith in shaping daily life – extremely important
    3. Believes in life after death
    4. Does NOT believe in psychics or fortune-tellers
    5. Has taught religious education classes
    6. Has fasted or denied something as spiritual discipline
    7. Sabbath Observance
    8. Shared religious faith with someone not of their faith
    9. Family talks about God, scriptures, prayer daily
    10. Supportiveness of church for parent in trying to raise teen (very supportive)
    11. Church congregation has done an excellent job in helping teens better understand their own sexuality and sexual morality

    LDS Evangelical
    1. 71% 55%
    2. 52 28
    3. 76 62
    4. 100 95
    5. 42 28
    6. 68 22
    7. 67 40
    8. 72 56
    9. 50 19
    10. 65 26
    11. 84 35



    So what do you think the motivation is for the Evangelical preachers to denigrate the Mormon Church? It seems obvious they shouldn't be denigrating a church based on First Century Christianity. The only plausible reason is to protect their flock (and their livelihood).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looking back I think Mitt kind of started this... Pity he had to drag the rest of us Mormons in with him, but he's sowing what he reaped.

    I would be interesting to know if Mike would have played this card anyway, but I guess we'll never know...

    ReplyDelete
  5. UK,

    I guess part of why I'm so perturbed is that I think he would have anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I just got this comment on another thread, and thought it germane to this post.

    You bet your bottom dollar that Glenn Beck supports Mitt Romney. Both are Mormons ... what else? No, I will not vote for a Mormon. No Christian Orthodoxy in Mormonism. Sorry!!!

    Well, like yah! But there's Christianity in Mormonism.

    I'm not voting for Mitt Romney either, but it has nothing to do with religion. When I get comments like the one linked to in this comment, I begin to think that Sam Harris, who wrote "The End of Faith" is on to something. Religious dogmatism has a certain putrescence about it that makes me want to vomit.

    ReplyDelete
  7. No way Frank! You are not really serious are you? There is nothing anti Mormon in this or any other cross that appears on any church or in any cemetery anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  8. WP,

    You missed my point. I'm not saying crosses in general are anti-Mormon--not in the least. I'm just saying that the one in the commercial (a) could not possibly have lit up like that on its own, and (b) is perfectly in line with Huckabee's recent denigrations of Romney and Mormonism.

    ReplyDelete

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