Mike Huckabee, Radical Islam & Slippery Slopes

“But, add feelings to the list of those things that are now subject to scrutiny by the Islamist lobby in this country.  First actions (South Park).  Then words (Franklin Graham).  Now feelings (Juan Williams).  But, where will it end, especially in regards to Islam?  Your guess is as good as mine.  If CAIR and NPR keep getting their way, most Americans — both conservatives and even a few liberals — may no longer be able to recognize the First Amendment.  Remember, the slippery slope always starts somewhere!”  (From “Slippery Slopes:  Speech, Islam & NPR“)

We can now add common-sense, reasonable opinion to that which is no longer worthy of First Amendment protection, at least if CAIR (Council for American Islamic Relations), the Daily Kos, and other left-wing, anti-Christian groups get their way.  The latest example of the slippery slope and the frontal assault on Free Speech and American values involves the host of Fox News’ “Huckabee.”

Mike Huckabee, a former (and perhaps future) Presidential candidate, is an ordained Southern Baptist pastor from Arkansas who has pastored churches in that state and was even elected President of the Arkansas Baptist Convention (SBCVoices readers get brownie points if they can name the candidate Huckabee defeated in that 1989 contest — answers based on internet searches do not count).  Huckabee, a conservative both theologically and politically (despite what the aforementioned defeated candidate’s Wikipedia page states — you can click on this link if you’re just dying to know), dared to offer an opinion regarding two Protestant churches who have opened up their facilities for local Muslim groups to use.

The two churches, Heartsong Church in Cordova, Tennessee and Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, have both received criticism for their decision to allow Muslim groups to meet in the churches’ facilities.  Last week, in an interview on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” Gov. Huckabee was asked his opinion:

“As much as I respect the autonomy of each local church, you just wonder, what are they thinking?  If the purpose of a church is to push forward the gospel of Jesus Christ, and then you have a Muslim group that says that Jesus Christ and all the people who follow him are a bunch of infidels who should be essentially obliterated, I have a hard time understanding that.  I mean if a church is nothing more than a facility and a meeting place free for any and all viewpoints, without regard to what it is, then should the church be rented out to show adult movies on the weekend?  I mean where does this end? How far does it go? I think the church facility, dedicated and paid for by people for the purpose of the gospel and the mission of the gospel ought to somehow be given at least a semblance of consistency with its intention.” (as quoted in Associated Baptist Press, see here)

As a fellow Southern Baptist, I would likewise affirm with Gov. Huckabee that the autonomy of the local church is a vital principle that should be respected.  But, respect (and tolerance for that matter) does not equal acceptance or silence, no matter how much the intolerant left keep trying to make it so.   I’m quite sure that leftists have a different definition of respect and tolerance when it comes to those who dare to disagree with their politically correct way of thinking.  And, don’t look for the lunatic left in this country to stand up for Westboro “Baptist Church” or other fringe groups anytime soon.

What Mike Huckabee said, particularly regarding the purpose and mission of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is not only Biblical, but entirely reasonable — that is, unless you are so intolerant and radicalized in your thinking that you cannot see plain truth if it was standing right in front of you.  Oh, that’s right — Truth is standing right in front of them, but many still reject Him!   While I am always concerned about the witness of any church that holds itself out as a “Christian” church, my main concern is not necessarily with the two churches in Tennessee or Virginia that allowed non-Biblical religions to worship non-Biblical gods in their facilities.  Quite frankly, they have every right to use their property as they see fit, even if those rights are completely and utterly foolish.  Sadly in our nation today, what is legal ain’t always right.

However, supposedly Christian churches, in defending such foolishness, cannot escape scrutiny by twisting Scripture.  Arguing that allowing Muslims to use church facilities is nothing more than a straightforward application of the Biblical principle, “love your enemies,” shows not only a simple misapplication of Scripture, but a gross distortion of God’s Word (Joel Osteen would be proud).  I don’t think God was so tolerant as to like Baal worship in the Temple.  Gov. Huckabee, in calling these churches to task, should be applauded, not condemned.

But, condemned is just about what has happened since Gov. Huckabee spoke truth to the powers-that-be in our politically correct culture.  From the usual suspects at CAIR to the unhinged left at the Daily Kos, the drumbeat continues to grow louder for Mike Huckabee to not only retract his statements but to grovel and apologize to the Islamist lobby in the United States of America.

I, for one, hope that Gov. Huckabee does issue an apology.  In fact, I have one that he could use.  It is fresh in my mind because I just used it this past Sunday during the messages that I preached at my church.  Using Psalm 2 as the text, I shared about the One, True God — God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit — eternally co-existing, three persons of the Trinitarian Godhead (no modalism here).  I talked about this One, True God — Yahweh, the God of Israel — and His Anointed One, Jesus Christ.  I shared with the congregation how all other gods are false gods and how all other so-called prophets of these false gods are themselves false prophets.  I named names (just for Dave, a sly Seinfeld reference)!

I knew what I was saying could be offensive, so I offered a simple apology that went something like this:

“I am sorry if the truth offends you, but the truth is sometimes offensive and the Gospel is always offensive to those who set themselves against the One, True God and His Anointed One, Jesus Christ.  However, I will continue to preach the truth in the United States as long as I am able.”

I would fully support Gov. Huckabee if he made such an apology.  However, I would strongly encourage him to stand firm against the attacks being waged against him by CAIR and others on the intolerant left.  When it comes to the Gospel and Person of Jesus Christ — who is fully God and fully man — the Second Person of the Trinity, the One who was crucified, buried, and Resurrected, ascended into heaven, and who is returning one day, as the conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah — there can be no apologies or compromise.

Even as the slope gets more slippery, I would encourage Gov. Huckabee and others to stand firm and not cede one inch of ground when it comes to the truth of the Gospel and Person of Jesus Christ, regardless of what CAIR thinks!

Comments

  1. Dave Miller says

    How the world has changed. It has now become shameful to be a convictional Christian.

    Someone who says that Jesus is the only way to heaven.
    Someone who holds to biblical standards of morality and sexuality.
    Someone who believes the Bible to be true and authoritative.

    I agree and hope that Mike Huckabee will stand strong and stand firm here.

    I was bothered a couple of weeks ago by the governor of Alabama apologizing for declaring Biblical truth. He may have spoken unwisely, but he spoke truth. Then, he apologized.

    Please, Gov. Huckabee. Stand firm!

    (And I LOVE the apology!)

  2. says

    Let me say that I appreciate the post and I appreciate Huckabee drawing a distinction between the true God and the true gospel as opposed to the false god (Allah) and the false gospel (islam).

    Howell, I have a question for you. I had read from a very outspoken moderate on this board that Huckabee was more of a moderate and that he embraced inclusivism (the moronic assertion that God saves people of other faiths without them having placed their faith in Christ without them even having heard of Christ–not that you needed that explanation but someone might). Do you have any information that would demonstrate that this person was wrong in what they claimed?

    • Dave Miller says

      Edit? What edit? Like Sergeant Shultz, “I know NOTHINK. Nothink.”

      On the other hand, what a wonderful comment this is now!!!

      • says

        Just like a Yankee fan….LOL

        Although you know what I predicted is coming. Don’t front like you don’t know. And when it does, just know I’ll be saying “I told you so.” :-)

  3. says

    I talked about this One, True God — Yahweh, the God of Israel — and His Anointed One, Jesus Christ. I shared with the congregation how all other gods are false gods and how all other so-called prophets of these false gods are themselves false prophets.

    That was too good of a statement to be on this webpage only once.
    I also like it in boldface type. :-)

    • says

      Joe,

      Thanks for repost of that statement. As to your other question about Gov. (then Pastor) Huckabee and his view of the exclusivity of the Gospel, the short answer is I don’t know. I would find it hard to believe, that as a Southern Baptist pastor in Arkansas, who has spoken at SBC events, would hold to an inclusivist view of salvation. I could be wrong, but me thinks that Huckabee is not “moderate” in his view of the Gospel and salvation. Thanks and God bless,

      Howell

      • Dave Miller says

        Those were pretty politically charged days. As I recall, Huckabee was not a card-carrying member of the CR. He was somewhat sympathetic, but not a warrior in that battle.

        In that environment, accusations sometimes abounded. I know someone who knew him fairly well and I do not think that this would be a fair accusation.

  4. Dave Miller says

    I did a little research on this “Heartsong Church” and its pastor Steve Stone. They are everything that is wrong in modern Christianity as far as I can tell.

    They are the kind of “contemporary church” that Jared wrote about.

    Doctrinal compromise.
    Denial of the gospel for cultural relevance and acceptance.

    Please, God, spare us from ever walking that path!

    He abuses the message of love by turning it into a gospel without conviction.

    • Dave Miller says

      I just listened to one of his sermons. NO scripture. He told people – don’t worry about whether you are going to heaven or not. Just worry about how much you do for God here on earth.

      Don’t worry about heaven?

      • bill says

        Could this be a response to whole “Get Saved” movement where people were just concerned about getting everyone “saved” with little regard to relationships, personal growth, or discipleship?

        I agree that we should be concerned about heaven, but to the detriment of everything else?

  5. cb scott says

    I have been pondering who would make a good “ticket” for the 2012 presidential election.

    I now have it:

    Mike Huckabee-Candidate for President of the United States
    Howell Scott- Vice President of the United States.

    Howell, Mike defeated Ronnie. It caused quite a stir among some of the brothers.

    BTW, if you and Mike need a good Secretary of Defense you will be able to contact me here in Birmingham.

    • says

      CB,

      I should have known that my “cousin” would know the answer to my trivia question. As to the Vice Presidency, were Mike to ask, how could I refuse? :-) I have no doubt that you would be an excellent Sec. of Defense candidate. I shall surely keep that in mind. Have a great weekend!

    • says

      You know, I gotta wonder. If Dr. Floyd is such a well-connected political guy like I always hear said about him, how come he loses these elections for offices?

      • says

        I think there is one reason he lost the 2006 election. Bloggers. He would most likely have defeated the lesser known Frank Page, but the blogging community started trumpeting the CP record of his church, which is not exactly sterling.

        Frank Page’s church gave much better. I honestly believe that the blogging world played a big role in that election.

          • Rick Patrick says

            The late Forrest Pollock, who was serving as Pastor of Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, Florida. He and his son died in a plane crash in 2008. In that speech, he was eloquent, concise, informative and persuasive.

          • Dave Miller says

            I went there planning to vote for Frank anyway, but I remember thinking when the speeches were given that his was REALLY good.

      • Doug Hibbard says

        As to internal to the state, a lot more small church-type folks show up at the ABSC.

        And we’ve got some crazy ideas, like that a church that went from percentage-based CP to a flat-amount because, as the pastor told the state exec (at the time, he’s retired since) “Our church is making too much money to keep this as a percentage” should not provide leadership to the entire state.

        (Quote given by the retired state exec, it may not be exact, but it’s in my notes from when that individual taught a class regarding the CP)

        Small state like this one, word gets around, bad and good, about nearly everything. And the other thing about that church, even then, was they were….”contemporary.” Which was not highly regarded in 80% of ABSC churches then. Now, that’s down to about 40%. I still don’t think he could win if renominated now. Unless he was nominated against me.

  6. says

    “And, don’t look for the lunatic left in this country to stand up for Westboro “Baptist Church” or other fringe groups anytime soon.”

    What does this even mean? Groups like the ACLU and virtually every other major civil liberties and secular free press organizations have signed amicus briefs in support of Westboro’s right to free speech. Those libertarian and liberal groups have joined their voices alongside conservative groups like Rutherford and the Liberty Counsel. I think the only major liberal/libertarian groups sitting this one out are the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee.

    The First Amendment isn’t in jeopardy. Huckabee exercised his first freedom to express his views. And now other groups are exercising their first freedom and calling on him to apologize. Great.

    How many times in the past year has Richard Land apologized to Abe Foxman for exercising his first freedom to make comments that some Jews found particularly offensive? Those situations (and there were at least two, maybe three!) are quite similar to what’s happening with Huckabee.

    Personally, I’d have more respect for Dr. Land and Gov. Huckabee if they’d stand by their words. If a person really and truly means what they say, that person should stand by his/her words.

    • says

      Just to add about the whole Huckabee-is-a-moderate thing.

      It was Paul Pressler who told Bob Novak during the 08 Republican Primary that Huckabee refused to join the conservative resurgence.

      This depiction of Huckabee as a sort of “soft” conservative fits well with the political depiction of Huckabee by Phyllis Schlafly who claimed in ’08 that Huckabee was pro-life and pro-gun but otherwise a liberal.

      • Doug Hibbard says

        The political right needed an excuse not to support Huckabee in 2008. Here’s a likable, photogenic (especially after all that weight loss) guy, but he’s not from within the real power elite of the right. You had “Christian” political action groups backing a Mormon over a Baptist and they needed an excuse why they decided the theology wasn’t important.

        So, paint him as a “liberal” even if it’s only in the Baptist sense and you’ve got your excuse.

        • says

          Actually, I don’t think Rush was completely off-base when he insisted that Huckabee was a populist rather than a conservative during the 08 campaign. Huckabee’s policies speak for themselves and as governor he didn’t show the level of commitment to small government that the Tea Party crowd and desires. And as a presidential candidate, Huckabee was a little too friendly with big government solutions for many in the “conservative movement.”

          • Doug Hibbard says

            Populist is probably a good label. I think he’s the type that would not go too far away from a Biblical basis, but would certainly not fit with a low-budget small-government mentality.

            Unless he saw that as most popular.

            Again, I think he’d stand for Christian truth, but there’s several ways that could flesh out politically. He wouldn’t fit with the left-party because of abortion and homosexuality, but he doesn’t quite fit with the right on the spending.

            Much like many Arkansans. He just chose the “R” label while others take the “D.” Both sides state lots of exceptions to those letters.

          • says

            He isn’t all wishy-washy. I still remember his “tax me more” fund that was started to shame the state Dems from being able to raise taxes. Rush even touted that thing at the time as a brilliant move. But Doug is right about AR, sometimes D and R don’t mean a whole bunch.

      • Louis says

        BDW:

        What do you think of Huckabee? His positions, whether he holds them firmly or waffles, his chances of being elected? I would be interested in your opinion.

    • says

      From what I’ve seen, the threat to freedom of speech right now comes from two leftist trends. First, political correctness is denying college students – often those with Christian/conservative views to express their opinions. Second, the “hate speech” thing is twisting the expression of certain convictions into hate speech. When I say, “I believe homosexuality is a sin” the left hears, “I hate gays and am a homophobe.”

      So, I’m not sure that free speech is quite as secure as you want to present it.

      By the way, BDW, don’t you think “lunatic left” is redundant?

      Sorry, I’m sure you might have an equally stinging zinger in response.

        • Doug Hibbard says

          SCOTUS has made bad decisions in the past (Plessy v. Ferguson, Dred Scott, Roe v. Wade, Kelo v. New London) so they could make a bad one in the future. Plus, you’ve got to get the case there, which takes a while, and in the meantime you’re dealing with the consequences.

          However, the direction is towards a “Free speech except for speech that (fill in the blank)” mentality of government. What goes in that blank is often the debate, but that “except” is really what’s troubling.

        • says

          Aaron.

          We will not get to the bottom of the slippery slope overnight. Again, this is one more example where free speech is encroached on. As to the issue that Dave brought up regarding political correctness and so-called “hate speech,” we are moving in that direction in this country at a rather rapid pace. I fully expect, particularly with the current administration, that we will continue to take steps which will limit what I am able to say from the pulpit. It is already happening in Europe and to a lesser extent in Canada.

          The First Amendment nothwithstanding, it only takes 5 Justices to make bad law (as Doug pointed out). I hope that the broad protection for Free Speech continues, but I am not hopefull given the political and religious climate (radical Islam). I’m sure we will agree to disagree on this, but I think Huckabee needs to stand firm and tell CAIR and other radical Islamists to take a hike. Thanks and God bless,

          Howell

          • Dave Miller says

            At the risk of oversimplfying – Europe is moving rapidly to restrict the free speech rights of convictional Christians. The American left idolizes Europe!

          • says

            We can agree to disagree on many things. But the Canada and Europe comparisons are no good. That’s completely Apples and Oranges – very different forms of government.

            As to 5 men or women in Black robes making bad decisions, I agree that has happened. With the cases cited, I’m sure a number of folks here would accuse the Justices in Kelo and Roe of engaging in judicial activism. We should also keep in mind that many constitutional lawyers and legal historians believe Brown v. BOE to be a fine example of judicial activism. The Court definitely engineered social change with that decision. So the “activism” can cut both ways – decisions that the majority of folks now support and decisions that are still widely opposed.

            I think if you look at the recent trajectory of Free Speech jurisprudence, you will see that Free Speech still receives broad protection. The Westboro decision will soon be handed down. I fully expect the Court to side with Westboro (as backed by groups from ACLU to Liberty Counsel). It seems very hard to envision a Supreme Court that offers protection to the God Hates message of Westboro Baptist Church to strip away protection from some pastor somewhere who preaches against homosexuality from the pulpit. It’s just not happening. Now, I know that well-funded groups have scared folks with that message. They’ve been effective getting that talking point out. But that’s politics.

          • Doug Hibbard says

            I expect them to side with Westboro, but the cynic in me thinks part of that is because Westboro makes “Baptists” look bad. They provide an awful caricature of those of us that oppose normalization of homosexual behavior.

            So, the more Westboro does now, the greater the overall tide of public opinion turns against Christian. Therefore, even the left has reason to empower Westboro now for more power in 5 years.

            I’m not the only one stockpiling ammo and canned goods, am I?

          • says

            Doug,

            You heard it here first. I think that it is entirely reasonable for you to be cynical of Supreme Court decisions, given the politics involved even with that branch of government. It will depend on who sides with Westboro whether your cynicism is warranted or not. If the convervative wing of the Court — Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito — sides with Westboro, then I think you are wrong. If the liberal wing — Bryer, Ginsberg, Sotomayor, and Kagan — side with Westboro, I’ll be very interested to see their reasoning. Of course, Kennedy is always the wild card.

            I’ve not read the facts of the case in detail, but I would not be surprised to see some time, place, and manner restrictions upheld as to protests at funerals. Beyond that, I’m not sure. Have a great Lord’s Day,

            Howell

  7. says

    I would like to know this though:

    What is a radical Islamist in the United States?

    Are we talking about all Muslims? Muslims that engage in the political process?

    • says

      Aaron,

      As to the Supreme Court decision re: Westboro “Baptist Church,” I simply would not venture a guess as to how the court will come down. If it is a 5-4 split, then we will have to read the opinion very carefully and look who is in the majority/minority to determine if this will be overturned in just a few years.

      I am not (can’t speak for others) taking about all Muslims in this country. Obviously, anyone can engage in the political process, including groups like CAIR, who have ties to radical elements in the Middle East. The radical Islamists in this country would be the folks who carried out the 9/11 attacks, Richard Reid, Major Nidal Hassan, the Christmas Day Bomber, the group in Buffalo, the group at Ft. Dix, the Times Square Bomber, et. al. Those who are foreign born and American born who do not believe in a Constitutional Democratic Republic, who identify with Islam, and who would use any means to impose their version of Islam on this country. It is those, and those who sympathize with the radical strain of Islam that I am speaking of. Hope that helps.

      As to the apples and oranges comparison, look at France and Great Britain and what has happened in those countries with the radical Islamist element. I could go on, but I don’t think we would agree on this aspect either. God bless

      Howell

    • Lydia says

      Could they practice Sharia law in their families and community without going against the Constitution?

      • Doug Hibbard says

        Parts of it.

        Not the parts that allow/command the execution of those who leave Islam.

        Not the parts that allow husbands to ‘discipline’ their wives by using physical force.

        Not the parts that require any non-Muslims that are ‘allowed’ to worship in their communities to have to pay an extra fee for the privilege.

        Yet typically the expectation is to take it all or leave it all.

      • says

        Lydia,

        I think Doug has state some good examples of the limits of Sharia law, both within a family context and in the community. Although, I’m not sure what you mean by “community.” If you mean within their local mosque, then they can have rules and regulations that could govern conduct, as long as those rules and regulations were not illegal or otherwise unlawful. The problem comes when certain groups want to impose Sharia law in place of constitutional/common law.

        There continues to be a huge disconnect in this country between those who see a growing threat from radical Islam and those that see little to no threat. While I would not categorize all Muslims as radicals anymore than I would categorize all Baptists as “Westboro” types, the threat from this radicalized strain of Islam will continue to strenthen, not weaken. Thanks and God bless,

        Howell

        • Doug Hibbard says

          For the record—those issues with imposing Sharia law were suggest by my wife who grew up in a Muslim country where the Muslims did not want pure Sharia law in place of their Constitution.

          So one can see that not all Muslims want to be ruled by their clergy anymore than all Baptists would want it.

          • Lydia says

            The question becomes can Radical Islam coexist with cultural Islam? Their religion is also their government in many ways. I also have family living in Muslim country’s and they tell me this is a constant strain. It becomes more pronounced when they are living in the West since it is a religion of works and therefore the focus is on outward appearances and works.

            I knew many “moderate” Muslims who both lived with us and others who visited on Holidays who became Radical almost overnight when I was a pre teen due to the revolution in Iran. These were university students whose moms were doctors and dressed in Western style who overnight…. donned a burqa and stopped practicing medicine.

            You do not live through something like that without questioning how moderate or better termed “cultural” Muslims can coexist with radical Islam over time. We are also seeing these problems in Europe.

            personally, I think Radical Islam is the ‘real’ Koranic Islam. I have read the Koran. That is the problem. bin Laden, himself, said that if more Muslims knew the Koran, they would do their duty. Let us hope they do not study it.

            Mohammad starts out peaceful but becomes more and more violent as he was trying to make converts. We tend to want to focus on the peaceful part as Islam.

            I recommend everyone check out Fitna by Geert Wilders. Also google him and watch some of his speeches about the Islamafication of the Netherlands.

            And I am very concerned about the growth of Islam as it affects women. Working with Muslim refugees over the last few years has heightened my concern for these women….even in the US.

  8. says

    “The American left idolizes Europe!”

    Civil Liberties groups like the ACLU don’t idolize Europe. They spy their citizens, regularly invade their privacy.

    Church-state separationists don’t idolize Europe. They use state monies to fund religion. They continue to have soft established churches.

    There are some aspects of certain nations in Europe that I’m sure some liberals appreciate. But the “left” doesn’t idolize Europe if by left you mean the Democratic Party. I’m also sure some on the conservative aisle appreciate how certain European nations treat their immigrant and minority communities…

    I study church-state relations. There are more than a few conservatives who truly idolize the relationship between church and state in European nations such as the Netherlands. In fact, some church-state scholars have attempted to model America’s church-state relations with regard to Charitable Choice/Faith-Based Initative after a European model (sphere sovereignty and Netherlands)

  9. Louis says

    BDW:

    See my question about your thoughts on Huckabee above.

    I don’t know enough about the Westboro case to give an opinion. The Court has backed reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on speech, including protest zones or areas. Those can be applied to Westboro.

    Also, there probably is some type of “fire in a crowded theatre” type of analysis to personal insults. But I really don’t Westboro crosses that. I think that their big point is the U.S. domestic policies relating to homosexuality and their belief that God punishes the U.S. in various ways (e.g. dead soldiers) for that.

    Again, without knowing the facts really well, I am hesitant to give an opinion about what the Court ought to do. I am a free speech advocate, and believe that the Court should allow Westboro to have its opinion, to state that publicly, even in public places. Reasonable time, place and manner restrictions are fine, and I am not sure that a private funeral is a public place.

    But I am not anxious to see the Court strike down certain types of offensive speech. Once you go down that road, it’s hard to apply fairly. Christians will ultimately be on the receiving end of that type of restriction if a restriction like that is created by the Court.

    I think that the best thing that can be done to Westboro is for the media just not to cover them. If they were kept a sufficient distance from the funeral, and there was no media story about their presence, it would all be irrelevant. They would probably go away.

    • says

      There are a number of astute observers who have suggested in recent weeks that Mike Huckabee is not going to run for President based on his comments and actions. Who knows.

      I of course would never vote for Huckabee. I don’t think he has enough big money (corporate) and Establishment backing to win the nomination. Although, he could make things interesting, I think.

      But, I don’t dislike Huckabee. He seems to be a man of integrity – a real compassionate conservative. If a Republican had to win, I’d definitely prefer Huckabee over the likes of Barbour, Romney, Daniels, Pence, Palin, Pawlenty, etc.

      He’s a nice guy that will never garner the type of passionate opposition that Newt and Palin stir up. And while I disagree with Huckabee on a host of issues, I believe he’s a sincere guy who just wants to help people. It’s difficult to say the same about many elected officials – Left and Right.

      I’m intrigued by Scott Brown and Chris Christie – but I don’t think they are running. It’s too bad that the Establishment GOP won’t get behind Huckabee. He’s got the same kind of appeal that Clinton had – a smart, likable guy with a background that most people can relate to (unlike Romney).

      Romney will be about as lousy a candidate as John Kerry. A BORING guy who will try too hard to be funny and fail miserably at trying to be a normal guy.

      I’d love to see Donald Trump make a serious run. He would undoubtedly make those dozen primary debates quite interesting.

      • says

        Barbour should have sense enough not to run–of course his thick-skulled approach to the Nathan Bedford Forrest license tags in Mississippi shows why he shouldn’t. And why he’s possibly not going to have sense enough not to run.

        I agree about Huckabee—I really think, based on knowing him and his family (went to college with a couple of his kids, he was there a good bit) that he really wants to help folks. He typically did not fail to see that there were people at the end of any policy, so he was always flexible. It’s what makes him a decent human being and would make for a not-so-good President.

  10. Louis says

    BDW:

    I agree with much of what you say about Huckabee.

    I do believe he wants to help people. But people like that should go into the ministry and the non-profit world because they are often naive and not cut out for the tough decisions of political leadership. They can be rolled. And others know they can be rolled.

    All of our presidents in my lifetime have had the desire to help people to some extent. But there are some who let that impulse guide them beyond good judgment. Huckabee’s pardon practices in Arkansas are a good example of that.

    Clinton, for all of his compassion, could throw someone under the bus quickly if he had to. He mostly did that to save his own skin, but he had that ability.

    Reagan faced down lots of tough opposition in his lifteime – communists in the SAG, rioting students at Berkley, the Russians. A guy like Huckabee would never have done any of those things.

    I can’t imagine Huckabee deploying Pershing missiles in Western Europe to oppose the Soviets. I can actually see Huckabee thinking “Jesus would never deploy missiles” or some sort of rubbish like that.

    I don’t know who will run on the Republican side, but Huckabee is one of my least favorite candidates, even though I like him personally.

    He is GREAT on TV, and should stay there. I think he is having a great influence there. He can say what he thinks without having to make tough decisions.

  11. Lydia says

    Louis, I agree with you completely about Huckabee. And I agree with Aaron about Romney for different reasons. We must never forget Romney’s support of MA Gov Health Care. For some reason I keep wanting to call him Ken. (wink)

    Quite frankly, at this point, the line up looks bleak. But it always does when we are surviving an incompetent leader. This one takes the cake. Makes me long for Clinton. :o)

    Would be interesting if Christie enters the line up. But from what I can tell, he is not socially conservative and many will not stand for that.

  12. RA says

    There is a great deal of whining which goes along with the idea of free speech. At no point does free speech mean that your audience must agree with you nor does it mean that they cannot tell you to sit down and shut up. It simply keeps you from being imprisoned for your speech.

    • Christiane says

      Did we see ‘free speech’ at town meetings when speakers were ‘drowned out’ by those brought in to do it?
      Free speech is our heritage as Americans. But there are times when we wonder how it can be celebrated without being abused.

      As abhorrent to many, as it is, Westboro MUST be allowed to speak. But when our soldiers are brought home one final time from their last battle, their grieving families MUST ALSO be allowed to bury their dead sons in dignity, and with all the honors due to a fallen soldier, who has died also for Westboro’s freedom to speak.

      Will our Supreme Court be gifted with wisdom when they decide the case of Westboro Baptist Church ? They are going to need it.

      • says

        Did we see ‘free speech’ at town meetings when speakers were ‘drowned out’ by those brought in to do it?

        You’re exactly right. It was pretty annoying when those left-wing nut jobs were blathering with their drivel in support of the Obamassiah and his attempt to trash the greatest health care system on the planet. :-)

  13. says

    I’ve found that many people aren’t familiar with the facts surrounding the Snyder v. Phelps case. The fact is that Westboro complied with all local laws and police instructions. Their demonstration was 1,000 feet from the Church – a distance from which their signs and demonstration could not be seen nor heard.

    Mr. Snyder only became aware of the demonstration later that day, after the funeral, when he saw the local news.

    • says

      Aaron,

      You are partially correct about the facts of the case. As you stated, Westboro complied with the 1000 foot barrier. Time, place, and manner restrictions have been upheld concerning pro-life protestors at abortion clinics, although the barrier has not been as high as this case.

      The other part of the case is that there was a cause of action based on intentional infliction of emotional distress. As you state, Mr. Snyder, the father of the slain soldier, did not find out about the protest until after fact, yet he is still bringing this cause of action. From reading the oral arguments a few months ago when this was argued before the Court, there was much more exchanges with the lawyers regarding this particular cause of action.

      While the “free speech” rights of Westboro may be upheld regarding their right to protest, the Court could come at this another way by finding them liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress. That would be one way to curtail free speech. If someone intentionally says something about a person (or a group of people) that could be construed as the intentional infliction of emotional distress, then we have a backdoor curtailment of free speech in this country. It would not suprise me in the least if the Justices agreed on the time, place, and manner restictions while splitting on the emotional distress issue.

    • Louis says

      BDW:

      That’s interesting. Those type of facts, I think, would make it impossible for the trial court to have affirmed a judgment for damages due to emotional suffering. Isn’t that what the lawsuit is about? The families of a dead soldier suing Westboro for intentional infliction of emotional distress?

      If the families never saw or heard the protestors because they were 1000 feet away, how could the protestors have inflicted emotional distress? I don’t see how an appeals court could affirm a large verdict against them.

      Again, I could be totally wrong about this because I have read any official version of the facts. But I thought the family brought a civil case for damages and were awarded a large verdict against Westboro. Damages could not be based on hearing about a protest a day later that one never saw.

      If that were the case, the aggrieved family could have seen the Westboro folks on TV the next day and filed a lawsuit.

      What am I missing here?

      • says

        Louis,

        The original suit was brought by the Snyder family alleging invasion of privacy, IIED, and oonspriracy, to name three. Several counts were thrown out, but the trial resulted in an award of $10.8 million which was later remitted to $5 million. On appeal, the Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed and ruled in favor of Westboro. The Supreme Court granted certiorari. For those so inclined, the lower court opinion, briefs, and oral argument can be read at http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/snyder-v-phelps/.

        Even though the facts are that Westboro complied with all laws regarding protesting (i.e., distance), the Snyder family sued based on the above causes. It would not surprise me if the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Snyder. To me, this would be a backdoor assault on the First Amendment, even though I sympathize with the family and think that Westboro’s actions are repugnant and unChristian.

        If the Snyders win, I believe this will open the door for more lawsuits directed at legitimate churches and pastors regarding some of the hot-button topics of the day, including criticism of Islam or homosexuality. I will be curious to see how the Justices vote. That could tell us alot. Thanks,

        Howell

        • says

          I agree that if Snyder wins, the win will open the door for more lawsuits. But wouldn’t it simply open the door for more free speech lawsuits concerning Privacy vs. Protest?

          How can the Court get from that debate to restricting criticism of Islam or homosexuality? How can the Court get from Point A to Point B?

          • Doug Hibbard says

            1. Privacy: all speech is free, but if your speech causes emotional distress it must not be done in a manner that reaches the ears of the distressed party. Including second-hand: unbiased reporting of your speech can inflict that distress. (If Snyder wins)

            2. Incitement: if someone hears “Homosexuality is a sin” and then goes and beats up a homosexual, there are efforts to criminalize the inciting speech. A few conservatives are actually ok with the concept: they’d like to see the Imam that tells a terrorist to “strike the infidel” prosecuted. That’s not relevant to the current case, but it is part of a few nation’s “hate crimes/speech” laws and is getting suggested by a few in America.

            I think the current Fed. Hate Crimes Act actually does criminalize ‘inciting to violence’ but exempts ‘religious speech’ from that. So, in a sermon I could incite you, but not at the barber shop. In theory, at least.

  14. Lydia says

    Aaron, you are correct. They are careful not to break the law. Thing is, they are not effective except as pawns for liberals to try and link all republicans to Westboro. I have come to the conclusion they are an inbred group of narcissists who crave the spotlight. Any attention will do for them.

    Poor Mike Gallagher had him on his show in order to try to take them on and as they quoted tons of scritpure to him, he was so biblically ignorant he could not point out their faulty interpretations in context.

  15. Louis says

    You know the Phelps guy is a Democrat? Ran for Governor of Indiana (or is it Kansas?).

    He also supported Al Gore for Pres in 1988.

    He also has received awards for Civil Rights work from the NAACP or such.

    He went to Bob Jones, I think.

    He’s either a complete nut (that gets my vote) or just loves making people angry and living a life that is a basket of contradictions.

    I think that the solution would be for the media to see the story for what it is – one of no significance, and simply stop covering them. Their protests would be meaningless if the media did not cover them.

  16. Louis says

    Howell:

    Thanks. That’s a great cite.

    My question has been answered.

    The Defendants (Phelps et al.) did not challenge the verdict on the basis of the sufficiency of the evidence to support a verdict for damages.

    A Fourth Circuit Judge, Judge Shedd, who wrote a concurring opinion, reversed the judgment on the basis that there was no competent evidence to support a verdict for intentional infliction of emotional distress etc.

    That is true because the protest was kept so far from the funeral that the plaintiffs did not even know about it until it was over, later that day on TV. Then the plaintiffs saw the information reprinted on the church blog.

    So, the actual protest was not in the plaintiffs’ faces. The funeral was not disrupted. There is not sufficient proof to support the causes of action alleged. No one was damaged as a result of the funeral protest. People claim damages for what they saw and heard later.

    The case should be dismissed on that basis.

    Phelps and Westboro did not contest the lack of sufficiency of evidence because they wanted the free speech claim to get lots of attention.

    We let these Westboro folks tie up the courts, tie up the public airwaves etc. and give them the megaphone they want.

    The court should not have taken this case. It is a waste of taxpayer money. If decided correctly, it will only affirm the importance of free speech. Anything short of that under the facts that I read runs the risk of creating some new wrinkle in the law that does not seem necessary under the facts.

    I say all this with a big qualification because I have not studied this at length or lived with this case. But those are my initial reactions.

  17. Robert I Masters says

    Louis,
    Wow …that was was a large hit piece on Huckabee! What factual things can you say about Mike that would make him a bad president.
    I think most political observers thought his response to the pardons was thoughtful and sincere and credible. I recently saw a poll that showed that even though the post prison events where tragic; most did not blame Mike.
    It seemed that at the Convention that he was welcomed by all.
    I believe he will be the next President of the United States.
    I do not understand why men like Richard Land and other Southern Baptist leaders do not heartily endorse him.
    I find it incomprehensible that you would support a a Mormon over
    any evangelical Christian.
    What about John Thune …..would you have supported him if he ran?
    Herman Cain if he runs would make a race against Obama fierce!!!
    Do you dislike him?
    Ultimately it seems like you are practicing FUD……http://tinyurl.com/2478pa

    • Dave Miller says

      Maybe I’m just missing it, but I don’t see anything Louis wrote that would justify this kind of attack/response.

      Louis is about as reasonable a commenter as we have.

    • David T says

      Hit piece? Louis basically characterized him as too nice, too principled to be effective in the Beltway political environment. Wow! What an … insult?

  18. Louis says

    Robert:

    My short thoughts about Mike Huckabee above are hardly a “large hit piece.”

    Huckabee’s record on pardons/clemency was a problem in the 2008 campaign. And then it became a problem after the campaign in 2009 when a man Huckabee had granted clemency to killed 4 police officers in Washington State.

    Here are a couple of articles from CBS about the pardon/clemency issues.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/12/10/politics/main3598831.shtml

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-5835831-503544.html

    There is a lot more out there on the internet that you can peruse. I tried to stick with mainstream articles.

    I tried to find a Wall Street Journal Article about Huckabee from October 2007, but could not find it. I did find this article from Bob Novak at the Washington Post. This article explains, briefly, why some high profile Southern Baptists (e.g. Judge Paul Pressler, Richard Land) did not prefer a Huckabee candidacy. Remember, these people have known Huckabee since his seminary and pastor days. Ask yourself why would men like this not be supportive of a fellow SBC member unless they really thought that his positions were off or he did not have the makings of a good president.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/19/AR2007121901856_pf.html

    A kind of bottom line on Huckabee for many cultural conservatives is that while he remained “pro-life” and “pro-gun”, he was wrong on all the other issues.

    The Wall Stree Journal, the Cato Institute, the Club for Growth and others have really been critical of Huckabee for his economic policies – high taxes, high spending etc.

    Others have criticized him for marching in lock step with the teachers unions in Arkansas. Huckabee, it seems, is not anything like the Wisconsin governor.

    Phyillis Schafley, a historically leading conservative, believes that Huckabee’s tenure in Arkansas destroyed the politically conservative movement there.

    I am sure if you will spend some time perusing these and other articles, you will see that there are many people (especially conservatives) who do not think that Huckabee would make a good leader.

    I would encourage you to spend some good time looking through Wall Street Journal articles and other things on the internet. That will tell you a lot more than you may know about Huckabee’s tenure as governor.

    I would have no problem voting for a Mormon whom I believed to be a good leader over a Baptist whom I believed to be a poor leader.

    I voted for Reagan in 1980 and not for fellow Southern Baptist Jimmy Carter for that reason.

    Martin Luther once famously said that he would vote for a competent Turk (i.e. Muslim) over an incompetent Christian.

    So, there are lots of things to consider when looking at a candidate, not just their religious affiliation.

    And to set the record straight. I do not dislike Mike Huckabee. I think he is great on T.V. He is a positive presence in our culture. I just don’t think that his record and what he has demonstrated in office causes me to have a lot of confidence in his leadership abilities.

    Hopefully, these articles and that other analysis that you can easily find on the web will help you to understand why many conservative leaders don’t support Huckabee for President.

  19. Louis says

    Robert:

    Also, please don’t think that you have to come around to my position on this.

    I just wanted to answer the questions you posed – were there any facts to support a conservative Christian not supporting Huckabee?

  20. Louis says

    Also, John Thune would have been my candidate.

    He is not running.

    Don’t know the other guy you mentioned.

  21. Robert I Masters says

    Dave,
    Louis is a reasonable person. But in comment number 48 he bases his reasoning on something other then facts or at least facts that he has made known us.

    Three things he implied

    Mike Huckabee is naive and could be easily rolled

    “I do believe he wants to help people. But people like that should go into the ministry and the non-profit world because they are often naive and not cut out for the tough decisions of political leadership. They can be rolled. And others know they can be rolled.”

    2.Huckabee has bad judgement

    All of our presidents in my lifetime have had the desire to help people to some extent. But there are some who let that impulse guide them beyond good judgment. Huckabee’s pardon practices in Arkansas are a good example of that.

    Huckabee is not a hawk

    Reagan faced down lots of tough opposition in his lifteime – communists in the SAG, rioting students at Berkley, the Russians. A guy like Huckabee would never have done any of those things.

    I can’t imagine Huckabee deploying Pershing missiles in Western Europe to oppose the Soviets. I can actually see Huckabee thinking “Jesus would never deploy missiles” or some sort of rubbish like that.

    Finally he concludes that Mike Huckabee is the least likely of republican candidates but he doesnt even know Hermain Cain! Time to eat some Godfathers pizza.

    btw I know John Thune is not going to run and that is one of the reasons I believe Mike Huckabee will run.

  22. Dave Miller says

    Folks, for some reason, comments are getting caught in moderation today. This is usual if:

    1) You are a first time commenter.
    2) You put links in your comment. Two or more links automatically puts it in moderation.

    But today some long time regular commenters got moderated for reasons I don’t understand. Anyway, please be patient.

    • says

      Dave,
      I noticed that this has happened a couple of times lately. Could you use a little help with comment moderation from time to time? I would be willing to help if you need it.

  23. Louis says

    Robert:

    Did the articles I cited help answer the questions you had? Could not tell if you had read them when you wrote the last comment.

  24. says

    The problem with the Moslems is that they do not allow criticism of their faith and/or its principles and/or its adherents. In many Moslem countries, if one converts from Islam to the Christian Faith, the results can be death. In fact there are problems with this issue in Pakistan and other nations where Islam is the established religion. The adoption of Sharia Law in any area of the United States bodes ill for our freedom loving citizens, and it is contrary to the U.S. Constitution, the guarantee of our freedoms, based on the covenant teachings of the Old and New Testament.

    We also have a problem with people with hidden agendas who want to end our constitutional republic (they hate the constitution). And there is a conspiracy which even preens itself in public every so often and then denies it is any such thing,. You all need to read Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope. NY: Macmillan Pubs., 1964/5. 1400 pages of the dullest reading until you happen on those parts where he admits there is a conspiracy and it is hope to go with it and tragedy to go against it. What you folks will find most interesting is the fact that the view he opposes is determinism (read calvinism or sovereign grace). O yes, he also published around 1980 a work on The Anglo American Establishment in which he publishes Cecil Rhodes last Will and Testament for the Rhodes scholarships (they are to train officials for a world government).

    That this thing is of long standing, I should add in 83 that our son, then age 11, attending school of Math and cience for bright kids, on a two week scholarship. He had as a mentor a Black college student tohelp him with the computer. One day we picked him up, and he said, “Dad, Mom, there was a strange question on that computer today. The question was : If you had an over population problem with a country in African, how would you handle it? a. Have a war and kill them off. b. Use an infectious agent, germ, or disease and kill them off. c. Let them starve.” He never wanted to go back, and we did not want to go back. Later a friend told me he ran into the same question on an exam for the State Deptartment. He said he became so disgusted, he just got up and walked out without finishing the exam. Was that shcool being used as a recruiting ground for that conspiracy?

    There was one fellow in Arkansas who had contact with Clinton and Huckabee who it would seem might have represented the conspiracy. I think his bulldozers pushed a graveyard off Petit (sp?) Jean Mountain.

    My grandfather’s brother knew about this conspiracy more than 70 years ago.

    A lot of our theological issues and problems with our leadership (which will still exist though we now have conservatives) has more to do with the folks involved in the conspiracy than anything else. The question is, “Who can you trust?” They have their minions in virtually every area.

    What is the answer? A Great Awakening. They almost lost control of the western world due to the First and Second Great Awakenings and the launching of the Great Century of Missions. Of course, that is just my opinion, but it is based on years of astute research and study. Just to whet interest a little. Antichrist is not against; he (a movement, really) is a substitute Christ, a delicate ape (in a play on words based on a title of a mystery written by a noted mystery wrier of the 40s.) as I identified the problem in a message many years ago.

  25. says

    The Supreme Court just issued its ruling in favor of Westboro in an 8-1 decision. Samuel Alito was the lone dissenter. I’m waiting to read the decision but news reports indicate that Chief Justice Roberts crafted an opinion narrow in scope.

  26. says

    Aaron,

    I am pleasantly surprised that the Justices ruled so strongly in favor of free speech. I do hate that Westboro was the “winner” in this case because of their truly reprehensible actions and words. However, I think the Court made the right decision. I will have a post up at Voices in the next day or two discussing the outcome of this case. Thanks and God bless,

    Howell

  27. Robert I Masters says

    Louis,
    I had not read your article the first time because it was stuck in moderation.

    Several points.
    Do you really believe the WAPO is going to build up an evangelical Christian? They were going to make make hay anyway they could and why not do by dividing the evangelical vote.

    Although the Wall Street Journal is financially conservative they are also establishment elites. Too many Lattes and BMW’s.

    concerning the other articles I think Doug Hibbard said it well.

    “The political right needed an excuse not to support Huckabee in 2008. Here’s a likable, photogenic (especially after all that weight loss) guy, but he’s not from within the real power elite of the right. You had “Christian” political action groups backing a Mormon over a Baptist and they needed an excuse why they decided the theology wasn’t important.

    So, paint him as a “liberal” even if it’s only in the Baptist sense and you’ve got your excuse.”

    I think that I could sum up your objections with three names. Richard Land, Paul Pressler, and Phyllis Schafley.
    But you should ask yourself this question why did these SBC leaders support him.
    http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=26809

    I still disagree with your statement regarding supporting Christian leaders. I believe that Scripture commands us to first vote for those authentic Christians in government. Your Martin Luther comment was out of context because I dont believe that you can fairly argue that Mike Huckabee was incompetent as a governer. Apples and Oranges. I think the phrase the Bible uses “prefer those of the Household of Faith.

    Do you not find it a bit ironic that Richard Land and Matt Staver of Liberty Counsel crafted an immigration position that very similar to what Mike Huckabee first did in Arkansas!

    Regarding religious affiliation I was not meaning to communicate that as an important factor. Instead the fact that someone is a true, authentic Christian. I do not believe that any one other then Gov Huckabee existed in 2008.

    Mike Huckabee will surround himself with great leaders and solid theology so I see no reason why every confessing Christian should not vote for him.

  28. Louis says

    Robert:

    Thanks for your response.

    The Luther quote merely demonstrates the wisdom, I believe, in considering things other than the religion of the person running. I did not say that Huckabee was incompetent, but Luther’s statement just shows that Christians, for centuries, have considered things other than whether their leaders were Christian.

    I do not feel compelled to vote for any person just because they are true, authentic Christians. That is a plus, for sure. But I would want to know other things, and I might vote against the Christian, depending on what I find out.

    I would not hold someone’s religion against them in my selection of a candidate either, unless I believed that person was somehow going to use his religious views in an inappropriate way while in office.

    I am not surprised that SBC leaders supported Huckabee. I knew that already.

    But you did not understand why Dr. Land and other religious people would not vote for Huckabee.

    I hope that those articles showed you why they were not enthusiastic about supporting Huckabee. The fact that the articles came from the Washington Post and the WSJ is not relevant to the point I was making. Those articles explained why not all Christian people were enthusiastic about Huckabee’s campaign. I agree that the Washington Post and WSJ are not Christian press organs. But I believe that those stories accurately reflected the opinions of those Christian leaders.

    So, the basic point was that support for Huckabee was not monolithic in the Baptist community, let alone the Christian community. And there are reasons for that.

    I know that you are enthusiastic for Huckabee. I did not think that my comments would change your mind, but perhaps you can now understand why not all Christians were happy with Huckabee.

    Take care.

  29. Louis says

    Howell and BDW:

    The Supreme Court decision is really not a shocker. I don’t think it should really garner that much attention. There is nothing new in that decision. I am not surprised Justice Roberts’ decision is narrow.

    What needs to happen to these Westboro folks is that communities need to continue to enact reasonable time, place and manner restrictions (e.g. keeping them 1000 feet away from funerals), and that we simply need to ignore them.

    We have allowed unstable people to take up our time and attention.

    They do not deserve any attention.