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Saturday, December 8, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the AP: Huckabee declines theology discussion

Republican presidential candidate and Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee says he won’t discuss “intricate, nit-picky things of church doctrine,” such as the role of women in the ministry, because the issues aren’t relevant to the presidency.

The former Arkansas governor said that while he’s open to discussing the basic pillars of his faith — and praised rival Mitt Romney for opening up in a speech Thursday about his — he won’t voice his views on the oft-discussed controversies in Southern Baptist denominations.

It seems to me that if one is going to make one’s faith a central part of one’s identity, then one is going to have to take the good with the bad (i.e., that which garners support along with that which might turn some voters off). In many ways this is more true about Huckabee than Romney, as his resume includes being a Southern Baptist minister, not to mention that much of his current success is based on his ability to appeal to social conservatives, because of his religious pedigree.

It is more than fair that candidates should have to deal with the controversial aspects of their faith, especially given that they clearly seek to use their faith as a means of promoting their candidacies.

As such, this is a cop-out:

“I think (discussing faith) is an important part of helping people get to know the candidates,” Huckabee said Friday morning after a breakfast fundraiser in Charlotte. “(But) sometimes the questions get a little laborious when they start asking you about intricate, nit-picky things of church doctrine that’s probably not all that relevant to being president.”

This might be fair if one was simply a Southern Baptist, but is a dodge for a minister-especially one who wrote in his book,

Politics are totally directed by worldview. That’s why when people say, We ought to separate politics from religion,’ I say to separate the two is absolutely impossible (98).

A position that is wholly fair. However, it also means that one has to deal with, and explain, one’s worldview if one wants to be President.

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Filed under: US Politics, 2008 Campaign, Religion | |


  1. […] harm the country to get into areas that might tend to piss you off at us. Posted by Jim Henley @ 12:48 pm, Filed under: Main « « Maxwell Smart Acted Alone! | Main| […]

    Pingback by Shorter Republican Primary Candidates § Unqualified Offerings — Saturday, December 8, 2007 @ 12:48 pm

  2. I agree that faith should not be part of the nomination process for any candidate. However it’s interesting Huckabee has made it part of the process by declaring he is the Christian Leader.

    It’s interesting mail boxes are being filled with anti-mormon brochures in Iowa and SC. Shame on Huckabee, shame on any group that is sending out this hate mail. The only difference between them and radical jihadists is they haven’t killed any one…yet.

    “Never will (I), by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.
    It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.” -Thomas Jefferson

    Comment by tk — Saturday, December 8, 2007 @ 1:57 pm

  3. Actually, Romney is a Mormon bishop. Admittedly, they have a lay ministry below their 12 apostles. Then again, Southern Baptist ministers are congregational, too.

    Comment by James Joyner — Sunday, December 9, 2007 @ 8:53 am

  4. Quite right-and I noted that in a post earlier in the week. However, since it was actually Huckabee’s vocation, I think that kicks up the heat a few notches.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Sunday, December 9, 2007 @ 10:45 am

  5. […] In short, I think that Bush has made it far more problematic for a candidate with an overtly Evangelical message. There are reasons that Huckabee doesn’t want top dwell over-much on religious doctrine. […]

    Pingback by PoliBlog ™: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Huckabee and the Electability Question — Tuesday, December 11, 2007 @ 1:37 pm

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