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Wehner on Huckabee

My sentiments exactly. If the title of the op-ed mystifies you, read this.

Update: Ramesh Ponnuru offers a criticism of the politics of Huckabee’s campaign. I’d add: it’s probably not possibly for any Republican to do better than GWB among evangelicals, but it’s easily possible for someone to do worse with other parts of the coalition, not to mention the general electorate.

Discussions - 9 Comments

Yes . . . I was watching something on Fox News yesterday and Huck was speaking to a crowd about the whole "Merry Christmas" debate. But anyone paying attention this year has noticed that it has simmered down quite a bit. Still Huck was happy to play it up to his cheering and adoring crowd. I'll defend "Merry Christmas" for sure . . . but when no one is attacking it (or hardly anyone who matters) the defense looks contrived and cynical. It made me queasy too.

I've expressed this sentiment in other threads -- Christianity worn on one's sleeve and pointed to with pride is not a compelling picture. Nor is it Biblical.

I believe it was Dwight Moody who said something along the lines of "A candle does not need to call out, 'Look! I am a candle and I'm shining!' Rather, it just shines."

Huckabee does not need to jettison his faith. But the fruits of that faith should be what speaks to the faith. Not overt references. That, as I've said elsewhere, smacks of opportunism. Huckabee is using Christ and his Kingdom for personal and political gain. It is unseemly. It makes non-Christians angry and, worse, it makes sincere seekers confused.

Julie, Joe: Agreed.


There is a sense in your account that Evangelicals think they are the under-dog, and they see secularism in much. In a sense, then, Huck may be contriving all this, but it is possible he actually believes what he is doing because he believes Christianity is under attack. This is what I take from the Wehner piece partly. Either way, I am queasy as well.

I agree that Huck is demagoguing a bit here; Christmas isn't under attack this year, especially by the other Republican presidential candidatez! Still, I blame Iowa for inserting its stupid caucus into the Christmas season.

Yes, that's it. Christian flavored demagoguery makes me choke, too. It is funny, though uncomfortable, to be called anti-Christian or accused of an ad hominem attack if you say that about Huckabee. And to call Huckabee's political record as governor into question becomes an attack on Christianity and I don't see how it can be.


There really has to be a better way for a Christian to be a candidate than to be the *CHRISTIAN!* candidate. Like Don says, our Christianity has to be about what we do or are just because - I like the Moody quote.

We used to know a guy who wore a big wooden cross on a leather thong around his neck. It hung down on his chest and he called it his breastplate. It looked like the most uncomfortable, albatrossy sort of thing. When he gave you his enthusiastic and very warm, almost heated, Christian embrace, it hurt and I thought it had to hurt him, too, because he seemed to hug until it DID hurt. You did not dare say anything about it, but we all wondered what the point of it all was for this guy. It was a relief when he moved south. Ostentatious Christianity is just uncomfortable.

On Christmas Eve someone should say something good about Governor Huckabee's tacky Christmas card that reminded us, nonetheless, of Christian gratitude in an increasingly Lockean world (as Ivan the K said below in the Wonderful Life thread). Because I don't think Huck has a chance in hell (or heaven) of being nominated (as Rich Lowry, for example, has explained), I remain puzzled by the frequency and intensity of the attacks on him, without any consideration of anything redeeming about his campaign.

Do you really not understand the reaction, Peter? I think the Romney and the Giuliani people are upset with him for stirring the pot at the last minute and seeming to spoil the soup. Everyone in between and clinging to hope for clarity in this soup is disappointed to see that it is a cloudy mess once again. It will still probably come down to a race between G. and R. But the Huck surge did little to help anyone--least of all Huck.

I thought only liberal anti-Christian bigots like the ACLU and the ADL were offended by the public discussion of Christianity. Is'nt this site supposed to be conservative? Whose side are you on?



There is a war against traditional Christianity, as the attacks on Huckabee prove. As if more proof was needed. If you conservatives don't see that, you are blind or not paying attention.



And the problem is equally anti-Christian liberals and conservatives committed to "neutrality." There really is no such thing. Someone once said something about either being "for Me or against Me." So are you for Him or for neutrality, not giving offense, and silence? What is more important, the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of liberal neutrality?



Billy Bob

Is Mike Huckabee, a man of extremely impressive political gifts and shrewdness, playing the Jesus card in a way that is unlike anything we have quite seen before?

Were these words written by the same Wehner who spent several years working for George W. Bush, who famously (and ludicrously) said that his "favorite philosopher" was "Jesus Christ"?

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