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Say What You Want About Mike Huckabee,
but the man seems to know how to play to his base.

  UPDATE: It's interesting to compare Huckabee's Christmas message with Ron Paul's. I'm not sure if other candidates have released such videos; I don't remember seeing them before so I thought Huckabee's was unusual. Perhaps I'm wrong about that.
Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka (www):
Yuck.
12.17.2007 6:34pm
MDJD2B (mail):
He is who he is. I can't fault him for saying he is Christian and wishing a Merry Christmas.
12.17.2007 6:40pm
Hoosier:
So?
12.17.2007 6:52pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
Screw the birth of Christ, and happy shopping. May you find a Nintendo Wii at retail price.
12.17.2007 6:56pm
GV:
I find it a bit tacky to see him reminding people that what really matters is the birth of Christ while simultaneously displaying his campaign website url. That being said, I'm a liberal heathen who doesn't believe in God, so I'm hardly his target audience.
12.17.2007 7:04pm
Kieran Jadiker-Smith (mail):
Utterly revolting. I'm prepared to vote for damn near anyone to keep him out of the White House. Even John Edwards. If I'm going to have a president who fails to grasp economics, I'd rather have the one who isn't trying to take America back for Christ.
12.17.2007 7:12pm
mobathome:
Wait wait. I'm reading a coded message hidden in his blinking eyes. It says ``I'm using my Christianity to sell myself.'' I counted thirty-six eye blinks in thirty seconds.
12.17.2007 7:15pm
Milhouse (www):
I'm with Hoosier. So? I don't get why this sort of thing turns some people off. From my non-Xian POV, I don't why he shouldn't say that what really matters is celebrating his god's birth, or why he should keep that separate from his campaign. I don't intend voting for him because I disagree with his policies, but neither his religion nor how he expresses it bother me in the least.

And the same goes for Romney, except that I think it would be kind of cool to have a religion represented in the White House that hasn't been there before, so if all else were completely equal (as it never is) I would vote for him just on that basis. As it is he's not my favourite candidate, but if he gets the nomination I could vote for him over any Democrat.
12.17.2007 7:18pm
byomtov (mail):
why he shouldn't say that what really matters is celebrating his god's birth,

I think he might have said, "What really matters to me, etc.

Instead, he is making a broader statement about "what matters" in general. Well, he can say what he wants, but that certainly makes me think less of him, not that I was ever going to be a Huckabee voter anyway.
12.17.2007 7:35pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
I think that's about the most immaterial nitpick I've ever seen.
12.17.2007 7:40pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
I don't understand how someone who finds the Birth of Christ to be the most important thing, and the Bible the ultimate rule of law, can take the oath of office to be president and swear to uphold the constitution. Certainly there will be many times when upholding the Constitution conflicts with the Bible. So, either they burn in hell forever or commit perjury by taking the oath.

It seems Huckabee is one of these people. Their religious beliefs prevent them from protecting and enforcing the constitution and treating it as the supreme law of the land. That's great, may they be happy and prosperous. But they cannot hold public office in America, particularly president. It's not a forbidden "religious test" it's a practical truism. I suppose if they swear they are willing to violate the Word of God and suffer in hell for all eternity to be president, then they may be eligible, but I would not believe anyone who said such a thing (and I'd still consider it perjury).
12.17.2007 7:41pm
stunned:
@ people asking "so?"

So it shows that Huck knows how to play to his base. Why does that have to imply something more?

The so-called "floating cross" is pretty clever. In general his people obviously spend more time on production values than ol' Ron Paul.
12.17.2007 7:48pm
srf (mail):
Yet more evidence that Ron Paul is the only decent human being on the Republican Ballot.
12.17.2007 7:50pm
wooga:
For me, as a Christian, I am repulsed by Huckabee because of the rules set forth in Matthew, Chapter 6. Basically, faith is not about showing off to others saying "look at me, I'm a Christian, that makes me so great!".

Huckabee's professions of faith appear to be done to draw praise upon himself, rather than upon God.
12.17.2007 7:50pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
Wooga: there is that great line in the Bible about praying in a closet where you won't be seen, and not in front of people to show off your faith/religiosity. I forget the passage (maybe it's the one to which you refer) but Huckabee clearly violates it, and is a jackass for doing so.

srf: indeed, Ron Paul is the only decent human on the Republican Ballot, and possibly the Democratic Ballot as well. He's certainly the only candidate who gets nauseated reading Wickard v. Filburn, which is a good thing in my book.
12.17.2007 7:58pm
A.:

I think it would be kind of cool to have a religion represented in the White House that hasn't been there before


Milhouse, can we look forward to your vote supporting a Scientologist, too? Indeed, how evil must a cult become, and how obedient must its adherents be to the orders of the cult's leaders before you are unwilling to vote for them?

Are you really willing to vote for a man who believes that a man sitting in Utah converses with God, and that this man's orders are thus to be taken without questioning? Mormons believe in the infallibility of their Prophet even far more than the Catholics believe in their Pope. See, for example, how radically the religion's approach to blacks changed some thirty years ago.

Then again, I suppose it's no worse than voting for anyone who believes that when he talks to God, God answers.
12.17.2007 8:01pm
Thoughtful (mail):
Forthcoming Huckabee news conference:

Reporter: Governor, could you please state for the record your position on forced religious conversion?

Huckabee: Well, I'm for it...[smiling], assuming it's in the right direction, of course. [Admiring chuckles from crowd]. But, seriously, I believe this is an issue that should be handled at the state level.

Following day's front page newspaper coverage: CANDIDATE HUCKABEE COMES OUT IN SUPPORT OF FEDERALISM
12.17.2007 8:16pm
Thoughtful (mail):
A:I suppose it's no worse than voting for anyone who believes that when he talks to God, God answers.
---
Long ago Tom Szasz wryly noted that if you talk to God, you are religious; if God talks to you, you are schizophrenic...
12.17.2007 8:18pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
BruceM: I think you have it backwards... From the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:14-17

"14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. "
12.17.2007 8:24pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
Daniel:

No, it is Matthew 6:6 which I was thinking of.

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (KJV)

In other words, prayer is like pubic hair. Keep it to yourself and don't flaunt it in front of people.
12.17.2007 8:31pm
ifoughtthelaw (mail) (www):
Good God! Two seemingly inconsistent Bible verses! The very fabric of Christianity is unraveling right before our eyes!

In defense of the "don't wear your religion on your sleeve" idea, that verse says to give light to your "good works," and glorify God that way, not glorify God by going around saying "LOOK AT ME! I'M A CHRISTIAN AND I'M AWESOME!!!"
12.17.2007 8:32pm
Some 3L:
GV says:

I find it a bit tacky to see him reminding people that what really matters is the birth of Christ while simultaneously displaying his campaign website url. That being said, I'm a liberal heathen who doesn't believe in God, so I'm hardly his target audience.


Heathen or not, you have it right on. I'm supposed to be in his target base (evangelical, conservative, etc.) and I agree with you. But I wouldn't just call him tacky. I think he's bordering on taking the Lord's name in vain.

I hope the mormon wins.
12.17.2007 8:35pm
A Christian:
I am a Christian. I have no problem with Mike Huckabee saying what he believes...the Constitution gives him that right.

But, if I'm the supposed "base" people think he's playing to, there are serious sterotype problems happening here at VC because I'm soooo NOT voting for Huckabee. Even if he does share my faith.

I think he'd make a fine pastor somewhere.
I don't want him for President.

Please don't sterotype all Christians as voting for Huckabee just because of our faith.
12.17.2007 8:37pm
Toby:
It is his Christian acts that should be public, and his payer and faith private. While there are man conflicting passages in the Bible, these are not among them.

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.' But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
12.17.2007 8:42pm
Duffy Pratt (mail):
If he believes that that is what "really matters," then let him go back to preaching the gospel, and get his dumbass out of politics. Actually, what really matters is delivering an aw shucks, non-political political message.

Question: if this were truly a religious message, could he have aired it without the McCain-Feingold rigmarole, under the free exercise clause?
12.17.2007 8:43pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
I think people who put Jesus Fish on their cars are not only in violation of the aforementioned Bible quotes, but have the true intention of assuming most cops are christians and will not give them speeding tickets because of the jesus fish. Double sin.

Duffy Pratt: any message by a presidential candidate is a political message.
12.17.2007 8:52pm
Thoughtful (mail):
As a tactical point, isn't it stupid for candidates doing commercials in their own voice, after speaking directly into the camera for 30 seconds, to have to conclude, "I'm X, and I approve this message". Why not force them to say, "I'm X, and all that stuff I just said to you a moment ago, I wasn't lying."?

Obviously, it's a regulation, but is it like the regulation on airplane take-off warnings, where occasionally someone with a sense of humor makes a joke about showing you how to wear a seat-belt? If so, given the Republican bases' presumed distaste for unnecessary government regulation, I'm surprised no one has said something like "I'm X, and of course I approve this message; (the government makes us say that...)".
12.17.2007 8:55pm
Christian conspirator:
It's amazing how antagonistic self-appointed intellectuals are to Christians. Every post about Huckabee is followed by comments from the usual suspects, i.e., Thoughtful, BruceM, et al., repeating the usual bigotry.

Thoughtful: You are the eponym of thoughtfulness only in your own mind.
12.17.2007 8:55pm
Dave N (mail):
I think people who put Jesus Fish on their cars are not only in violation of the aforementioned Bible quotes, but have the true intention of assuming most cops are christians and will not give them speeding tickets because of the jesus fish.
Or maybe they have them there the same reason some morons have "Kucinich for President" or "Give Peace a Chance" or "Go Raiders"--unless people put those things on their cars to avoid traffic tickets as well.
12.17.2007 9:00pm
Dave N (mail):
I am no Huckabee supporter but the sneers from some of the commentators on this thread do tend to make me think MORE of him.
12.17.2007 9:04pm
SenatorX (mail):
Yes Huck, it's so nice to pull aside from all those political commercials....

Anywho, Jesus's birthday? And here I thought it was coopted pagan holiday of yore. I do love my christmas tree though and the kid is pretty excited about Santa.
12.17.2007 9:27pm
Hoosier:
"So, either they burn in hell forever or commit perjury by taking the oath. "

He's an Anabaptist. He doesn't go to Hell according to his theology. And I'm not sure that I'd want to be the one who had to prosecute the perjury-through-oath-of-office charge.

But I'm rather surprised that some on the left would worry about a conflict between the Bible and the Constitution. I mean, the Constitution is so goll-darned flexible, it can stretch infinitely to fit anyone's eminating penumbras. No?
12.17.2007 9:47pm
Tek Jansen:
Add Ron Paul to the heathens fighting a war on Christmas. A white fake tree?
12.17.2007 9:58pm
stunned:
@Christian conspirator

How would you like the intellectuals to be appointed?
12.17.2007 9:59pm
Hoosier:
Dave N: " I am no Huckabee supporter but the sneers from some of the commentators on this thread do tend to make me think MORE of him."

My predicament exactly. Every time I think I've HAD IT with the Fundies, I seem to come across something that snobbish secularists have said about them. And then I return to dead-center between the two. The propensity for such folks to try to cherry-pick Bible quotes to use against Fundies is the most offensive aspect of this, because it so intellectually dishonest.

The Bible is *always* interpreted from a cultural and theological context by believers. Just because a non-believer thinks he sees a contradition does not mean that the passages in question are being read in the same way at all by members of various denominations. Including the victims of the attack du jour. Lack of understanding is, of course, often at the root of biggotry.

For instance, when secularists say, 'Aha!, you people believe that the Bible is infallible, but you don't obey Mosaic Law,' they had better be certain that they are not speaking to Calvinists. I don't by the "dispensationalism" approach to the Bible. But the point is that THEY do, and so this sort of accusation of hypocrisy is pointless whn directed against them. Their intepretive framework for scripture is at least internally consistent.

Of course acknowledging that the Bible MUST be read *within a context* raises the issue that I know ALL VCers wonder, namely: What the heck is the point of Protestantism in the first place?

Beats me.
12.17.2007 9:59pm
wm13:
I'm with Dave N. I have my doubts about Huckabee, both some of his policies and whether he may be inappropriately draping himself in the mantle of the Lord. But the ignorant anti-Christian bigotry spewed by some people makes me like him a lot better.
12.17.2007 10:07pm
wooga:
The whole pharisees thing is not "taken out of context." What "context" could there be that makes it okay to flaunt your faith for your own glory rather than the glory of God?

I get sick of people accusing me of taking quotes (be they the Bible, Koran, Rg Veda, etc) out of context. I, like Huckabee, got my degree in religion and actually had to read all that stuff. Unlike the typical Huckabee supporter, who goes to church twice a year and doesn't even bother to read along during the sermon. If they want to elect Huckabee governor and subject themselves to his nanny rule, fine. Just don't make him my president.

And yes, I am a firmly believing Christian ('personal savior' and all that). I dislike Huckabee like I dislike televangelists, Bill O'Reilly, Rosie O'Donnell, and all the other smug self righteous arbiters of "what's best for the commoners."
12.17.2007 10:11pm
Randy R. (mail):
Hoosier: "Lack of understanding is, of course, often at the root of biggotry."

Agreed. And so is understanding. Plenty of fundies say they have a complete understanding, and they have their share of bigotry as well, whether the subject is gays, or muslims, or liberals.
12.17.2007 10:20pm
Christian_conspirator (mail):
The propensity for such folks to try to cherry-pick Bible quotes to use against Fundies is the most offensive aspect of this, because it so intellectually dishonest.

Furthermore, these folks would never deign to dialogue with an actual practicing Christian about whatever scriptural inconsistency they think they've stumbled upon. Instead, they state rhetorically their inconsistency-de-jour among like-minded and equally haughty persons then leave convinced they have disproved Christianity and indicted all Christians as hypocrites in fewer than 50 words.

It's a shame that these types are attracted to this site like moths to a flame. And I'm not sure why Orin keeps throwing them red meat with two-line anti-Huckabee posts.
12.17.2007 10:33pm
Hoosier:
"Agreed. And so is understanding. Plenty of fundies say they have a complete understanding, and they have their share of bigotry as well, whether the subject is gays, or muslims, or liberals."

You don't mean to suggest that the Chrisitans who display bigotry actually *understand* you . . . ?
12.17.2007 10:36pm
Eli Rabett (www):
What's with the micro comment periods?
12.17.2007 10:39pm
OrinKerr:
Eli,
What micro comment periods?

A Christian,
You have a lot of "ifs" that you are assuming; fortunately, none of them are correct.
12.17.2007 10:44pm
Hoosier:
"Then again, I suppose it's no worse than voting for anyone who believes that when he talks to God, God answers."

Yeah. They think God responds to prayer! Heh-heh. Silly retards.
12.17.2007 10:53pm
Christian_conspirator (mail):
Orin: Although I stand by my saying that this post was red meat for puerile anti-Christian bigotry, I was mistaken when I said that you have made similar posts before. The three other anti-Huckabee posts in the past 4 days were posted by Jonathan (2) and Ilya.

Sadly the comments in those threads mirrored this thread, from which I learned that Christians are "despicable," "schizophrenic," and "indecent human beings." The other threads were much worse.
12.17.2007 11:01pm
wooga:
Christian_conspirator:
I actually think Huckabee is a "hypocrite" - in the Sermon on the Mount sense. He's like a lot of silver tongued Southern preachers I know, who went into the ministry because in their small town, that's the position of power. Everything about Huckabee oozes a lust for power and personal glory. Even his pronouncements of faith are not used to evangelize or inspire people to turn to the Lord, but rather are coldly calculated political ploys intended to drum up financial support and further Huckabee's quest for power. It's a perversion of Christianity, and it sickens me. Just because he happens to be a minister does not make him anymore Christian than someone like Fred Thompson (who I support).
12.17.2007 11:04pm
OrinKerr:
Folks,

The direction of the comments makes me think this post was a mistake; as a result, I'm closing up the comment thread.
12.17.2007 11:11pm