Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Huckabee Tapes

What is it with Republicans and tapes? What ever it is, Mike Huckbee seems to have mastered the art of losing or erasing what he doesn't want the public to see.

Huckabee, who is now ahead in Iowa, is an ordained Southern Baptist minister who pastored churches in Arkansas for twelve years. In 1989, at age 34, he became the youngest person to ever serve as President of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention-despite having dropped out of Southwestern Seminary after just one year. It seems that this seminary-the same one that wanted my husband to sign in order for me to enter the M.Div. program in 1985-was becoming a bastion of liberalism. Right.

Yet, despite his fame and success as a minister, according to Mother Jones, neither the churches where he served nor his campaign can manage to provide tapes of his sermons. Imagine that.

From what we do know of Huckabee's public statements during this period, it is clear that the content of his sermons might prove tough for a presidential candidate to defend-especially when it comes to the role of religion in government and rights of women.

You see, the twelve years period when Huckabee pastored coincided with the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention, and beginning in 1984, the Convention passed a series of resolutions designed to exclude women from ordained ministry. Ultimately, in 1998, the SBC passed the "Family Amendment" advising women to "graciously submit" to their husbands. Personally, I'd like to know whether Huckabee was a messenger to any of the conventions where these resolutions were presented, and, if so, how did he vote? Did any of the churches he served ordain women to the ministry or as deacons? I think it's a fair question.

A 1998 article in Arkansas Online describes then Gov. Huckabee's startling statements to fellow Baptist ministers who were gathered for a meeting in, where else, Salt Lake City. I find this article compelling because it was written ten years ago before Huckabee planned a run for President. Here are a couple of truly scary quotes:

Huckabee also explained why he left pastoring for politics."I didn't get into politics because I thought government had a better answer. I got into politics because I knew government didn't have the real answers, that the real answers lie in accepting Jesus Christ into our lives."He compared his entry into politics to "getting inside the dragon's belly," adding,"There's not one thing we can do in those marbled halls and domed capitols that can equal what's done when Jesus touches the lives of a sinner."

The nation has descended gradually into crisis, Huckabee said, and repairing the damage needs to be gradual, too. He said the solution is simple: faith in Christ.

Strangly foreshadowing Huckabee's race with Romney, those who attended this 1998 meeting left with copies of Mormonism Unmasked by R. Philip Roberts. Let's just say it's not a flattering portrayal of Mormonism.

No wonder self-described Jesus-first conservatives are supporting Mike Huckabee. I'm with Elizabeth Edwards. This guy scares me.


Tina said...

Scratch Huckabee's well-defended surface and I'm not sure what you will find, but it won't be a lotto prize.

DFV said...

Thanks for the "heads up" on this character. As a gay man I worry what his plans are for us - maybe something worse than being quarantined. I hope Ryan White's mother really gives it to him if she's not convinced of any change of heart.

One other thing about Huckabee: the word is that he's a "young earth" creationist.I dissected the opening of the Creation Museum more than anyone. Can we actually vote anyone into office who believes that dinosaurs cavorted with Adam and Eve? (BTW, this is now called "Yabba Dabba" science!) This man would give scientific research of any kind a very, very hard time.

Tina said...