Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Anointed One

After the voting Tuesday, I heard Huckabee on the radio. He opened his remarks by referring to two biblical passages, one of which implicitly compared him to David. He has since been talking about miracles, apparently including one that allowed a Huckabee for president campaign sign to survive a tornado. So, God has chosen him and is supporting him. The problem with this kind of talk is that it injects into our politics principles and justifications that are not open to every citizen as a citizen. Huckabee is the beneficiary of a special revelation. How does one argue or discuss this? How would one argue or discuss with President Huckabee some decision he made based on what God whispered in his ear? This kind of talk alone should disqualify Huckabee from holding any public office.

Discussions - 69 Comments

If I didn't know what you had written before the Iraq War started about the Iraq War, I'd swear that you were writing on the wrong blog.

Anyway, that was very well put. A very reasonable, well-stated point.

David, I saw the same speech you saw and had exactly the same reaction--but I'd add this: this kind of talk is exactly why we'll never have a President Huckabee.

Huck is a waste of political talent.
Too bad.

President Bush has said similar things about being called to the Presidency. He claims that he decided to run for President after listening to a sermon, and he has said that he felt at peace with invading Iraq because he prayed. The fact is that if you believe in a God that interacts with his creation these things should not be disqualify someone for office. Didn't Washington claim that the hand of providence guided him during the revelution. True Huck might sound corny, but he is not that fair out of the mainstream.

The problem with this kind of talk is that it injects into our politics principles and justifications that are not open to every citizen as a citizen.

That is baloney. First, like it or not, this country held a Christian (if decidedly Protestant) consensus till WWII, and it is still deeply ingrained in our culture. You might not like the fact of Christianities influence on western culture, but get used to it - or perhaps educate yourself. I would suggest you start at the beginning, freshman, western civ 101 level. Second, you completely misread his comments. Christians have been using biblical references in their personal and corporate lives for, oh, about 2000 years now. Your not the type of bigot who gets upset when Obama talks about MLK are you. What if a Jewish politician mentioned Moses, would you say that "excludes" you?

How would one argue or discuss with President Huckabee some decision he made based on what God whispered in his ear?

Give me a break. Have you EVER been to a traditional Church? Do you have any idea at all how traditional Christians think and relate their personal lives and endeavors to the God given guidance that is Holy Scripture. Your ignorant underbelly is REALLY exposed here.

This kind of talk alone should disqualify Huckabee from holding any public office.

Having read "No Left Turns" for over a year now, I can say I have never read anything quite so ignorant and offensive to Christians, or for that matter anyone else. Perhaps the blog moderator would ask Mr. Tucker to get an education and some perspective...

Huck's comments sound as bizarre as those of the former quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings, Randall Cunningham, who said that God "destined" him to win a Super Bowl.

Randall never got to an NFC Championship game, let alone a Super Bowl.

And JAMIE, there's not a problem with claiming divine assistance and support. The problem is the guy who is claiming it. Huck isn't Washington. He's not MacArthur, he's not Nelson, he's not Reagan.

He's just ordinary Huck, whose quick with a comment or a story. But on the large issues of our time, is somewhat out to lunch. Instincts are usually right however, but it requires more than instincts, it requires knowing what is right, knowing WHY it's right, and being able to speak coherently and persuasively on the same.

I think this post misunderstands Huck completely. He is not talking about getting any direct revelation. He is talking about not giving up even though the odds look like it will take a miracle for him to still be elected. He is in a David and Goliath situation. Is allegory not allowed in politics anymore? Why should telling a story to illustrate the situation he find himself in (a nearly hopeless battle but one he is willing to continue) make him ineligible for office? If you dispute the allegorical situation, I'm sure you could "argue or discuss this" to your hearts content!


Is allegory not allowed in politics anymore?

Perhaps Mr. Tucker would tell us just exactly what IS acceptable allegory in his mean little book of what is, and what is not, "open to every citizen"...;)

Wow. Christopher -


Chill out, man. Your poor grammar is making my eyes bleed, especially while you hound Mr. Tucker for his lack of "education." I think Tucker's point is that when special revelation is revealed to someone, it's not something that can be discussed in the political sense. Revelation is oftentimes deeply personal and subjective, which seems to be the case with Huckabee. I have no idea what he experienced, and he's telling me that God has chosen him. I can't really . . . talk with him about it. It's not something tangible or empirical or even rational (and maybe that's necessarily so) in the sense that we, as a political community can discuss it. I think Tucker would agree that we need to be able to talk about the experiences of our would-be President and the justifications for his decisions. We cannot just take him at his word. Justification, in a political community, must be communicable so that rational discourse can take place.



And quit it with this Jesus crap. Protestantism did more to kill innocent people in Salem than it ever did in regards to founding our culture. Certainly, western civilization was, and still is, deeply influenced by Christianity (pre- and post- the "great" protest). But the justification for our founding political principles are pretty far-removed from your Jesus (maybe you should pick up a good book or two . . . like The Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, Madison's Notes on the Convention . . .). The justification was approachable by any man with a rational mind, not just anyone willing to buy into some maybe-true story about divine revelation.



Erg. I could go on all day. It's refreshing to see this kind of post on NLT, though.

Christopher, I do think that Mr. Tucker is uneducated! I have great respect for those who post here. However, I do think he is mistaken in his interpretation of Huck in this case.

Matt, you also need to calm down. Not only did protestants bring the first constitution to America (the Mayflower compact) but they also basically invented the idea of representative government. It was the Protestant Whigs, not the Catholics in France or Italy who really formed the theories that made America. If you don't believe me, you should read de Toquville.

One other note (although it was ignorant enough to deserve to be ignored) the Salem Witch Trials represented an example of when the Christians lost control of the government in early New England. Anyone who has read the history knows that as soon as Christians (like the Mathers) came in, they put a stop to the trials.

Sorry about the slip in my above post, I think Tucker IS educated! I glanced back after typing and didn't catch that I failed to put a NOT in my first sentence. Sorry again!

This kind of talk alone should disqualify Huckabee from holding any public office.

David Tucker and Julie Ponzi, two NLT bloggers, both have adhered to this ridiculous statement. Do you mean a government disqualification? It should be illegal for anyone who runs for public office to speak of any revelation from God. All references to God must be "natural" and "reasonable." David Tucker misunderstands the founding as a secular event. The founders of America were overwhelmingly Christian-revealed Christianity. This is the source for much (not all) of their understanding of equality--read the sermons of the founding!

Julie, you did a thesis on Lincoln, and yet you think that this is a disqualification.

"The Almighty has His own purposes...If we shall suppose that American Slavery is one of those offences which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove...Yet if God wills that it continue...With firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right..."

Whether or not Huck's statement was politically savvy may be debated, but it is completely against American principle and history to disavow the tremendous influence of religion in politics and the necessity of it. All of our great leaders from Washington, to Lincoln, to Roosevelt have spoken openly about a divine and revealed Lord. They have drawn comparisons between Biblical events and modern problems.

I know Tucker is a secularist who hates revelation and is very out of touch. But Julie, you don't have to love Huck to take back your over eager agreement with Tucker's far too extreme statement. You know that Jamie's points are all dead on. Bush was 'called' like after a sermon about Moses...hmmm would Tucker like to impeach him. David Tucker voted for Bush, I'd give you amazing odds on that bet.

Protestantism did more to kill innocent people in Salem than it ever did in regards to founding our culture.

Matt: Maybe you should read a little Luther and not be so insulting to Christopher. "Because we are all priests of equal standing, no one must push himself forward and take it upon himself without our consent and election, to do that for which we all have equal authority." To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation. When Luther broke from the Church, people took this spiritual equality to heart and in a couple generations they were applying it to politics in Locke, and soon America. Protestants believe that all have equal access to God's revelation, while most other religions limit those who have revelation to a special class of priests, prophets, and other leaders. This mindset made protestants particularly successful at creating and maintaining a nation based on equality. Look at the political sermons from the founding, read a few, and then tell me Protestants did more harm in Salem than good in America.

Chill out, man. Your poor grammar is making my eyes bleed, especially while you hound Mr. Tucker for his lack of "education."

This kind of stuff frustrates me. This is a blog, not a dissertation. People are typing quickly then moving on. I add that two of the finest men I know, well-educated both, are not great spellers and could use a grammar lesson now and again.

Stick to the point, and don't be a snob.

I think Tucker's point is that when special revelation is revealed to someone, it's not something that can be discussed in the political sense.

This is a point that misses the point entirely. It is a false accusation, and misunderstands how many millions of Christians (Evangelical and otherwise - I am not an Evangelical) both think about and talk about Holy Scripture in all aspects of their lives, political included.

And quit it with this Jesus crap. Protestantism did more to kill innocent people in Salem than it ever did in regards to founding our culture.

Ah, so plain religious bigotry is OK here at "No Left Turns"?? Maybe a blog moderator can step in here and tell us whether "Jesus crap" and the like is the acceptable around here.

No wonder the conservative "coalition" has failed this year. With neo-con's, and libertarians and ignorant a-religious Republicans telling Christians they have no place in the public square, why no wonder it's Obama in 08. Really, with "conservatives" like these, who needs liberals? It's not a "Naked" public square, it's an militant secular public square…

Christopher, I do think that Mr. Tucker is uneducated!

I am trying to give him the benefit of the doubt here. Does one really need to go into the whole secular vs. pluristic "public square" bit? As we all know, there is many an educated buffoon, who is without wisdom. I really hope this "disqualified from public office" nonsense is the result of simple ignorance. If not, then it's the sort of militant secular bigotry that you would expect from other places on the political spectrum.

I do think he is mistaken in his interpretation of Huck in this case.

Like any other sort of low prejudice, simply calling it "mistaken" is just a bit of an understatement...

And another thing, I really think such statements as "some decision he made based on what God whispered in his ear" so show a very real and profound ignorance of the very ground you stand on. Modern man, modern secular a-religious man, stands on the ground of a whole civilization built with a very profound Christian influence. Really, what does such misunderstandings reveal about the man who makes them? What is it with the American academy that you can get a PhD and know so little about the Christianity? Did we not already go through the "crazy man of God" arguments with Reagan and Bush? Do a-religious Republicans really equate Christianity with Islam/Jews/etc.? So many questions from the "God whispering in your ear", such fear and trembling. Let's all be honest, it's simple fear born out of ignorance...

Do a-religious Republicans really equate Christianity with Islam/Jews/etc.?

What the hell is that implication?

My dear Dr. Tucker,

As a former defense official and senior professor at the Naval Postgraduate School your experience in defense analysis is unparalleled.
However, your statements regarding Gov. Huckabee’s religion and his faith in God are disappointing. At the least your comments show a progressively anti-religion sentiment that is pervading our society.


Clearly you must be versed on the constitution?


The constitution clearly states in Article VI, Section III that there shall be, “no religious test” for public office.


Yet you claim that Gov. Huckabee should be disqualified because he believes God is on his side and that God will work miracles on his behalf? What a terrible thing to think that God could possibly be alive and active in our lives, right?


My dear sir, hopefully you know that as an official it is okay to invoke the name of God on your behalf in public, well maybe not in California. Though it has become taboo in the defense department to be openly Christian, public officials and even U.S. Presidents have in fact taken great libery in regards to announcing their faith in God.


For example Abraham Lincoln made the comments below:


Here Pres. Lincoln explains that he could never support a person for public office who has scoffed at religion.


"That I am not a member of any Christian church is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular... I do not think I could myself be brought to support a man for office whom I knew to be an open enemy of, or scoffer at, religion." Abraham Lincoln Online


Here Pres. Lincoln explains that it would wrong to judge someone for invoking the name of God on their behalf. Certainly God is the judge not we.


"Both [North and South] read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes." Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1939), Vol. 1, 630.


As Lincoln grew older his faith became deeper.


"In regard to this great book(The 1611 King James Bible), I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it." Abraham Lincoln, quoted in The Washington Daily Morning Chronicle, September 8, 1864; The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (Rutgers University Press, 1953), Roy P. Basler, editor. Volume, VII, page 542.


Here he talks about how he “Loves Jesus”, oh my goodness if a President said this today he would be massacred for the crime of being an “evangelical Christian”:

"When I left Springfield I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ. Yes, I do love Jesus." Osborn H. Oldroyd, Editor, 1882, New York: G.W. Carleton & Co.The Lincoln Memorial: Album Immortelles, p. 508; From the copy in the U.S. Archivesl online at http://ia331331.us.archive.org/0/items/lincolnmemoriala00oldriala/lincolnmemoriala00oldriala_djvu.txt


Here Pres. Lincoln talks about an active God, one that is working in our lives. As a result we have our Thanksgiving Holiday:


"No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/source/sb2/sb2w.htm


My dear sir, I hope you can see that a candidate for public office has every right in the world to say what Gov. Huckabee said and still be President. He has the right to invoke and talk about his God.


However, his speeches are not sermons. They only occasionally include references to his faith. Furthermore, it’s a very sad day in America when a candidate for public office is disqualified for having faith that God could possibly work miracles.


President Harding also a Baptist had this to say,


"It is my conviction that the fundamental trouble with the people of the United States is that they have gotten too far away from Almighty God." -- 1920


"Standing in this presence, mindful of the solemnity of this occasion, feeling the emotions which no one may know until he senses the great weight of responsibility for himself, I must utter my belief in the divine inspiration of the founding fathers. Surely there must have been God's intent in the making of this new-world Republic. Ours is an organic law which had but one ambiguity, and we saw that effaced in a baptism of sacrifice and blood, with union maintained, the Nation supreme, and its concord inspiring. We have seen the world rivet its hopeful gaze on the great truths on which the founders wrought. We have seen civil, human, and religious liberty verified and glorified. In the beginning the Old World scoffed at our experiment; today our foundations of political and social belief stand unshaken, a precious inheritance to ourselves, an inspiring example of freedom and civilization to all mankind. Let us express renewed and strengthened devotion, in grateful reverence for the immortal beginning, and utter our confidence in the supreme fulfillment." -- Inaugural Address, 4 March 1921


"In the experiences of a year of the Presidency, there has come to me no other such unwelcome impression as the manifest religious intolerance which exists among many of our citizens. I hold it to be a menace to the very liberties we boast and cherish." -- address, 24 March 1922 http://www.adherents.com/people/ph/Warren_Harding.html


Ronald Reagan goes even farther than Harding by saying:


"Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged."


Reagan continues:


"[Americans] must seek Divine guidance in the policies of their government and the promulgation of their laws."


"Tocqueville said it in 1835, and it's as true today as it was then: 'Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot. Religion is more needed in democratic societies than in any other.'"' With a sly nod to his academic audience, he warned, Learning is a good thing, but unless it's tempered by faith and a love of freedom, it can be very dangerous indeed. The names of many intellectuals are recorded on the rolls of infamy, from Robespierre to Lenin to Ho Chi Minh to Pol Pot."
http://www.beliefnet.com/story/140/story_14026_1.html


So dear sir and associated intellectuals, don’t be so foolish as to write off the importance faith and religion in our society. Sadly, the academic community seems to only be sinking farther into religious intolerance.


Despite Reagan's assertion that faith and freedom are essential to learning our cynical society has all but written off the importance of freedom faith.


Finally, is it possible that Claremont and Marlboro no longer educate their graduates on the all important role that religion has played in our founding? Or is this simply a self-generated religious prejudice?


Sadly, I suspect the first is more correct as I have now heard more than one Claremont graduate bespeak religion as being ill-fitted to politics.

What the hell is that implication?

Do they make distinctions? Or is the depth of their understanding at the crude "God whispered in his ear", there is something called 'theism' and it is all fundamentally the same level?

It's an important point. There are real differences theologically, anthropologically, etc. between differing theisms. To use one obvious example, Christianity has "...render unto Caesar that which is Caesars" which leads to a whole basket full of implications as to man relations to man via government. Islam has no such belief - quite the opposite.

On the political left, one often runs into folks who crudely equate theisms. It's the sort of thinking that leads to "God whispering in ear" fears. The unknown is a scary thing sometimes I suppose...

Here is a link to a Huckabee appearance in Virginia at TRB Church.
http://trbc.org/new/christianresources/media_player.php?id=246&speed=hi


Yes, Huckabee went to a church to speak. I guess this is yet another reason for Dr. Tucker to disqualify him?


Gov. Huckabee appears about 27 minutes through.

I think David is reacting with suspicion to a politician who is using for his own personal political ends a rhetoric normally used to motivate our deepest and most urgent human needs in a spiritual direction. Huckabee isn't using Biblical allusions in the meditative way Lincoln did; there's no suggestion of "not our will but thine be done"; not much spiritual humility.It would be interesting to investigate whether Huckabee uses Biblical allusions and religious terms (such as "miracle")so easily simply because of his years in the pastorate, so that this language is the most natural to him, or in a more calculated way, intentionally to capture the attention of the devout. Has anyone studied Huckabee's speeches during his days as Governor? Has this always been part of his rhetoric?

I guess I'd like to know more about why Huckabee left the ministry to enter politics. To put it bluntly and a little crassly, Why did he decide winning votes was more important that winning souls?

This is ridiculous . . .



First, let me say (just so I'm not misrepresenting anyone) that I am by no means a conservative. I'd hate for you to believe some coalition was falling apart because (*gasp*) a die-hard liberal secularist reads NLT.



Secondly, while political equality is (somewhat) a staple of Protestantism (although I bet the pillars of each colonial community got the best pews), economic inequality is just as evident (and not just in America, but everywhere - read Max Weber's "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism"), if not more. Now we can argue about that all day, but I hope you realize that Protestantism (let alone Christianity), to some, is not exactly the most desirable religion upon which to found a nation. So, yeah Clint - I'm still convinced Protestantism has hurt, more than helped, the United States. Sorry - I really don't care how many Christians invoked God during the founding.



Kate - if someone's going to come on here and complain about someone else's lack of education, the least they can do is check their grammar.



Christopher - Tucker's worried that Huckabee is willing to justify his decisions because of his relationship to God - a relationship which no one but Huckabee can experience. At least, that's what I'm getting from this post. Why is it so hard to see that as a problem for future policy decisions? I think it's funny you mention "Fear and Trembling" . . . heh. You should check that book out. Huck might be an awesome Christian and absolutely right about everything in life, but he'd be a terrible leader of a political community, in which rational justification for decisions seems necessary.

I think David is reacting with suspicion to a politician who is using for his own personal political ends a rhetoric normally used to motivate our deepest and most urgent human needs in a spiritual direction.

While I am sympathetic to the importance of a proper relationship to sacred language, your charge of crass personal gain falls flat. It is to say that Huck does not believe in what he is doing. Fact is, Christians have always related Scripture to what they believe is important, and as a way to describe and make sense of it. Your "most urgent human needs in a spiritual direction", as you are using it, strikes me as the modern tendency to compartmentalize religion (and it's associated language) into a "private" space.

To put it bluntly and a little crassly, Why did he decide winning votes was more important that winning souls?

Yep, that's crass. Why is an ignoble fall to leave the ministry? I have a good friend who was a priest (EO, not Catholic) who was probably not the best, and is now a doctor. Would you say to him "why is prescribing over priced pills more important than winning souls"?

I have a strong feeling you would not be saying any of this if instead of a "politician", by which you really mean "ego maniac ", Huck was someone you could vote for...

This kind of talk alone should disqualify Huckabee from holding any public office.


While I agree with most of what you say, this should be changed to "This kind of talk alone should convince people not to vote Huckabee into holding any public office." Let him run all he wants, but just let people know that he might blame irrationality on "God whispering into his ear."


PS: And the day Mingus represents some part of the "conservative coalition" is probably the same day that John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, and Dennis Kucinich come give a talk to the Ashbrook Center....

Matt said "Your poor grammar is making my eyes bleed, especially while you hound Mr. Tucker for his lack of 'education.'"

While it pains me as well to see the possessive form of Christianity become, very oddly, the plural (how many are there?), I think Christopher was hinting at something far removed from grammar lessons when he suggested that the blog moderator "ask Mr. Tucker to get an education and some perspective." If Mr. Tucker was properly educated like most of the other NLT bloggers, and had the acceptable perspective, Mr. Tucker would have opted either not to draw attention to Huckabee's speech, to applaud it as bold and manly, or to translate it in such a way that it would appear entirely appropriate and reasonable within a speech given to win the leadership of a democracy, but preferably the first option. Christopher was asking Mr. Tucker to be politically correct.

Tucker: "I heard Huckabee on the radio. He opened his remarks by referring to two biblical passages, one of which implicitly compared him to David. He has since been talking about miracles, apparently including one that allowed a Huckabee for president campaign sign to survive a tornado. So, God has chosen him and is supporting him."

I wish I knew which passages made the implicit comparison to David. Two points on that:


  1. David is not presented in the Bible as a universally heroic figure. Many passages could be used to make the comparison to David as a fallen and broken man.
  2. If the comparison was to the David versus Goliath contest ... well, using that is as old as politics itself. There's nothing particularly striking about making that comparison.

Finally, as to the "miracle" of the Huckabee sign preserved in the midst of a tornado -- that would only be noteworthy if Huckabee was serious about it being a "miracle," and he was serious about it being of great import. I doubt he was. It sounds more like Huckabee humor.

Christopher was asking Mr. Tucker to be politically correct.

Interesting, PC is now defined to include someone who disagrees with a religious test to hold public office. Looks like the term is well past any substantial meaning. Perhaps "education" does not mean what it used to once either...:)

Matt, I'm glad you agree that Protestantism had something to add to political inequality. As for your claims about economic inequality, that goes to the root of our political differences. Conservatives preserve natural equality and freedom, which is the very freedom to be unequal. Those who work harder, smarter, better, and yes even get luckier, will have more. That is true equality. Liberals think that equality is about the end, and want everyone to have the same coin in the pocket. So mere economic inequality does not undermine political equality.

One other note (although it was ignorant enough to deserve to be ignored) the Salem Witch Trials represented an example of when the Christians lost control of the government in early New England. Anyone who has read the history knows that as soon as Christians (like the Mathers) came in, they put a stop to the trials.

Brutus, can you provide a source for this claim? I find it a bit hard to swallow, given that Cotton Mather's Memorable Providences (which may be found online here) was one of the chief sources used against the alleged witches. And while Mather later downplayed his own role in the proceedings, three of the five judges who presided over the trials were friends of his, and members of his church. Also, I'm no expert on Puritan New England, but if Christians were not in charge there in 1692, who were? Jews? Muslims? Atheists? Scientologists?

if someone's going to come on here and complain about someone else's lack of education, the least they can do is check their grammar.


That "someone" becomes plural in "their" is very common, but grammatically incorrect. The error is rampant and will probably not be an error in time as we do not like to cope with the "his or her" formulation, which is so awkward. The other Kate in Comment 12 has a good point. Grammar is necessary to convey meaning, but if the point is clear, who really cares?

if someone's going to come on here and complain about someone else's lack of education, the least he or she can do is check his or her grammar. That would be the correct way to put the sentence. Isn't that clumsy? Honestly, who needs it.

As to the point of the original post, whatever the nature of his relationship to God, for Huckabee, for any such Christian, is clearly politically unwise to be open about that. The amount of abuse GWB has taken about such revelation ought to be an object lesson.

Clint, you know very well that by "disqualify" we (or at least, I) mean it in the sense of eliminating him from further consideration in the mind of thoughtful voters. I would not support legislation to enforce the voters good judgment any more than I would support a ban on allowing politicians to say things that make them look so supremely full of themselves and, I'd add, impious.

(or at least, I) mean it in the sense of eliminating him from further consideration in the mind of thoughtful voters. I

So what language is acceptable to you? It seems like your suspiciously close to the sanitized language of the left, where ones faith has become subjectivized and not something one talks about in polite (or is that "thoughtful") company.

make them look so supremely full of themselves and, I'd add, impious.

He only "looks" this way to militant secularists and the religious left who are in fact ashamed of any robust expression of Christianity. Only those who do not understand traditional Christianity, would mistake Huck's use of biblical references as indicating someone who is "full of themselves" & "impious". I would suggest it is your simple ignorance of your evangelical neighbor that leads you to this erroneous conclusion…

Again, do we really need to ask why religious and social conservatives are questioning their relationship with the neo-con’s and GOP? With such gross misunderstandings, who would want to maintain a “coalition” with folks who think there is some validity to what Mr. Tucker says??

One can believe in miracles without suggesting, at every turn, that a favorable turn of events in his direction is the result of God's special favor for him. By equating his good fortune with a miracle, Huckabee equates his will with God's. If Huckabee wins it is a miracle showing God's will and if McCain wins, what is it then? Man's evil machinations to thwart God's will? This is unworthy rhetoric in men equal in their imperfection compared to God. We can only hope to approximate God's will given our limited and imperfect understanding. We may have opinions about which candidate best approximates God's will, but they are only opinions. As Ellen said above, Lincoln's invocation of God's will was one that called us to accept it as it was--even when it ran counter to his own hopes or wishes. Lincoln was nothing if not humble in the presence of God. Perhaps God used Lincoln as some kind of political savior for a nation He held in special favor--but it was not for him to suggest it and he did not. In any case, we could not know something so spectacular without some direct revelation from God. Further, Lincoln was at pains to suggest that God looked upon the sins of the nation and would visit His displeasure with equal force upon all of it. His special favor was not with any political figure or movement. It was with His own will which is beyond our poor power fully to understand. Talk of miracles is not out of place in American politics. Neither is talk of God or God's will. But talk that suggests one's own special and privileged access to the will of God and one's own perfect understanding of it is not in keeping with Lincoln's example.

Julie, "disqualify" was a very poor choice of words on Tucker's part. They way he phrases it, "disqualify Huckabee from holding any public office" sounds like a test. I agree with you that voters should consider such things. Still, I think that you must acknowledge that all of our great Presidents have made these appeals, some perhaps more effectively than Huck. Voters consider and like this when well done. Lincoln and Roosevelt spoke in this manner. "We stand at Armagedden" -TR.

Julie, if you honestly applied the Huck standard to Lincoln you wouldn't have voted for him either would you?

Perhaps what is offensive in Huckabee's God-talk is the "me-ism" of it. Huckabee is the beneficiary of a special revelation. Instead of thinking about this as David and Julie perverting Romans 3:16 into Unless thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. we could consider it in terms of the problem most Christians have with the Church of Latter Day Saints - the Joseph Smith problem. Most Christians would have a problem with that kind of claim of direct revelation; but when a Baptist preacher claims that God told him to do something, build a college or claims something beneficial to himself as evidence of special grace, we have no problem accepting that as fact. It is a questionable distinction.

Anyway, at this point, I would suggest that if Huckabee won the presidency, you all might consider taking him more seriously in this matter.

Kate, the reason that singular subjects often transform to plural pronouns is because of the PC demand for gender neutrality. I see this all the time and even unconsciously do it myself sometimes. Someone should become he or she depending on what is appropropriate, and if not known should default to the masculine sinular pronoun. There is no need for the awkward (as you point out), silly and unnecessary "he or she" except grammer PC. This is how it was done before the Feminists went amoke. (I have even seen it where he and she is used in a 50/50 ratio for the same subject in consecutive sentences. Are we really that sensitive?)



Julie, Rudy's baby killing shouldn't have disqualified him in the minds of thoughtful voters, but Huckabee's musings should? Hmm... Says a lot about the mindset of the pluralism fetishists. Baby killing is negotiable, but less than abject reverence to pluralism disqualifies.



As for Huckabee, sorry but I haven't read all the posts. Sorry if this is a repeat. The problem I have with what Huckabee said is not that he invoked God which seems to cause great consternation amoung the faithful attendees of the Church of Tolerance and Pluralism, but that I don't really think God is all that happy with Huckabee's support of a preemptive war of agression. So I don't think God is supporting the Huckster. The problem then is not invoking God, but conflating Christianity with beliefs that are arguably not Christian.



So I actually do think what Huckabee said is problematic, but for more nuanced reasons than knee-jerk pluralism.

at every turn, that a favorable turn of events in his direction is the result of God's special favor for him.

Every turn?!?! Is THAT what you think Huck thinks or says. Who is the one exaggerating here?


By equating his good fortune with a miracle, Huckabee equates his will with God's.

Wrong and wrong. The fortune is not "his" (i.e. Huck's), and traditional Christianity does not confuse ones own will with God's. In fact, it's all about NOT confusing one's own will with God's. Your projecting your own confused little caricature (no doubt you label it "fundamentalism" or some other word) onto your evangelical neighbor.

If Huckabee wins it is a miracle showing God's will and if McCain wins, what is it then?

When you compare the size of McCain's $fundraising$, his staff, the presumption of him being the candidate by MSM and establishment Republicans such as yourself, a miracle it would not be - it would be the nature course of things, the expected. If Huck pulled out even a close second, it would indeed be something closer to a miracle, or a David vs. Goliath, etc. Such understandings have been part of Christianity for 2000 years. Don't presume you know better.

talk that suggests one's own special and privileged access to the will of God

That "suggestion" is something born in your mind, not something Huck said or something that is understood as such by "thoughtful" voters...

I project nothing onto my evangelical neighbors (most of mine, as a matter of fact, do not support Huckabee and do not for exactly the reasons I articulated above). But when I read Huck's words and see his speeches, this is what I see in him. More important, it represents what the vast majority of voters see and will see well into the future unless Huckabee says something to dispel this impression. If Huckabee's surge in support is a miracle and McCain's (when he was presumed dead two months ago) is just a matter of course, then what is Obama's surprise surge of support? What will it be if Obama actually wins? Just because something is unlikely to happen, it does not--if it happens to materialize--thereby become a "miracle." If my reading of Huck's words does not convey the actual sentiments of his heart (i.e., that his desire to win this thing is equal to God's will), it must--at least--suggest that he is poor (or sloppy) communicator of his meaning.

(most of mine, as a matter of fact, do not support Huckabee and do not for exactly the reasons I articulated above).

You mean the Sojourners reading religious left "evangelicals"? Them theres strain da meaning, if ya get ma drift.

I project nothing onto my evangelical neighbors...this is what I see in him.

Ah, so you reserve your erroneous understanding of biblical allegory for Huck, or is that all politicians?

What will it be if Obama actually wins?

I was thinking perhaps a little bit of justice for all you establishment Republicans who are so disdainful of the traditional Christian voter :)

it must--at least--suggest that he is poor (or sloppy) communicator of his meaning.

Here we get to the crux of the matter. A-religious, progressive Christians, militant secularists, just can't stand it when a Christian is authentic and speaks his mind - which includes a bit of Biblical allegory. Huck is not supposed to do this, he is supposed to sanitize it for you - because robust Christianity is offensive to your progressive ears. What is poor and sloppy is your reasoning that leads to this conclusion, not Huck's communication...Ah, that sound you here is the "coalition" breaking up on the hard rocks of reality...

Christopher said "PC is now defined to include someone who disagrees with a religious test to hold public office. Looks like the term is well past any substantial meaning."

Christopher, I disagree that I had defined PC (as in "politically correct") as you say. No, I had used the phrase to indicate that you felt Mr. Tucker's viewpoint was outside of a narrow Ashbrook orthodoxy regarding unproveable statements regarding religion (implying one is God's chosen candidate, there are miraculous signs that God would prefer Huckabee, etc.). You felt Mr. Tucker's viewpoint was not appropriately deferential to certain Christian beliefs and suggested that the blog moderator (of all people - is there one?) should direct Mr. Tucker, a listed NLT blogger, to "get an education and some perspective." What was that supposed to mean, exactly? It nearly sounds like a call for a threat. And what sort of conservative bona fides do you expect from the bloggers here? Mr. Tucker has a PhD from Claremont Grad. School - a favorite among conservatives. He teaches about combating terrorism at Naval Postgraduate School. Do you feel that he's missing a degree from a particular Christian college or something?

In any case, though, I agree that the phrase "politically correct" is "well past any substantial meaning." That is quite true, and I would credit/blame the right's rampant and reckless use of the term to describe virtually any view with which they disagree as the reason for its current meaninglessness. I retract my use of the phrase. Instead, let me simply say that you found Mr. Tucker's opinion offensive and unacceptable, and you were asking him to reconsider that opinion until he agree with you.

The exclusivity of his sentiment is the only thing I find offensive in Huckabee's talk of God. I am not offended by religious talk in the sense that you impute to me. Indeed, I am known to engage in it myself on occasion. But you seem not to be open to information or arguments that contradict your narrative for attacking a cartoon straw-man opposition to which--unfortunately for you--I do not belong. I know no one well who is an avid supporter of the "evangelical left" view of the world. I am neither a progressive Christian nor a militant secularist--or even, for that matter, a not-so-militant secularist. So my lack of enthusiasm for Mike Huckabee confounds you. Sorry for that. But, if you like this guy as much as you claim to do perhaps you ought to be studying my distaste for his rhetoric instead of trying to beat it out of me. For many reasons, I ought to be an enthusiastic supporter of Mike Huckabee and yet, he has managed to turned me off. It takes some studied talent to do that. Your assumptions about why he turns me off are wrong. So now what?

On the other hand, if the "miracle" happens and Mike Huckabee becomes our nominee, you can count on waving at me in line at the polling place and watching me pull the lever for him. I may be deeply irritated by him, but I'm not crazy in my irritation.

Red Phillips, yes, feminism might be said to have the tendency to turn even language into a thing of illogic and perversion. I teach my students what WAS correct as well as what is now considered correct. Given that we know, or can imply from the name, the gender of the person who Matt Mingus was correcting, we could say if someone's going to come on here and complain about someone else's lack of education, the least she can do is check her grammar. I can say that those of my students coming out of high school with any awareness of language are driven to the contortions of the gender-neutral extreme by their teachers. Most write as Matt did, above.

I don't know who God is supporting in this election. I would like to be able to support Huck, and don't for reasons that have little to do with his religion. His religion makes me like him. I am quite used to people who invoke God as he does and think Don, in #26 has it just about right.

the problem most Christians have with the Church of Latter Day Saints - the Joseph Smith problem. Most Christians would have a problem with that kind of claim of direct revelation

Kate, this is wrong. The problem with LDS and Smith is that they bottle up Revelation. He was the chief revelator, and the church then considers it's President to be the only one with a direct line to God. Christians (evangelical) believe that everyone can receive revelation.

Julie, your comment in 39 is something that I've been wanting to bring up about Huck for a while. You live in a blactopped suburb or exburb right? Huck is not only, or perhaps mainly, an evangelical candidate as a rural candidate. He wins the small rural counties nicely, and gets thumped in urban and suburban areas. His rhetoric, ideas, and nature is most appealing to those voters. That's why I was suprised that he won Georgia, but really the rest makes sense. The other states he won were very rural conservative bastions.

As a rural evangelical, I love the Huckster!

Clint, now I do. But I grew up next to a corn field. I taught at a Christian university full of evangelicals and my kids go to a Christian school with the same make-up. There isn't wide support for your man there or in my old hometown, I'm sorry.

Reading Kate's latest above made me notice that I had previously missed Don's post that posits a more generous interpretation of Huckabee's real sentiments. I have to concede that Don's interpretation is at least possible. But the ambiguity here is the problem. Huckabee is folksy and I do like folksy. But he is also unclear. Unclear is a problem. It's a big problem in politics.

"Mr. Tucker has a PhD from Claremont Grad. School"



Craig, that says all we need to know.



"- a favorite among conservatives."



Neoconservatives that is.

Don in #26 might be right. His is a reasonable view. But when I consider all that Huckabee says I think there is more going on than generic references to David and Goliath, the kind that a sportscaster might make about an underdog. As for Kate's comment, I happen to like Huckabee and find him funny often. I am also quite used to and don’t mind people who talk as he does about his experience of God and God’s work in the world. I also happen to believe in miracles. Indeed, I think I can make an irrefutable argument that they are possible and that the world as we know it is impossible without them. The issue is the proper relationship of all that to politics.

You know whut? I done heeared that at that there Claremont school they teach that man come from MONKEYS! Don't that beat all? It don't say that in my Bible, I'll tell you whut. Anyone who says differnt should git run outta this country!

So my lack of enthusiasm for Mike Huckabee confounds you.

Not at all. What I find troublesome is your simple ignorance of the very basics of traditional Christianity, and evangelical Christians in particular. You attribute actions and beliefs they do not hold. What is offensive about this is when you pronounce them unworthy of public office, or more broadly that they should can their beliefs, thoughts, ways of communicating, and align them with yours. In other words, you lie about them.

studying my distaste for his rhetoric

The reasons you have given so far, over and above your ignorant and false attribution of ill will on his part, seem to come from the secular left. If you care to expand, that's fine. To be honest, I don't think it will amount to much, since you display so much unwillingness to allow Huck (and millions of evangelicals) to be themselves. But really, what are they?

By the way, I speak as a non-Evangelical. I think their way of evangelizing and theologizing is just plain wrong, but I do recognize that they are traditional Christians, unlike the modern/progressive sort who are in reality more Unitarian than Christian. Still, I don't suffer the obvious bigotry of Mr. Tucker...

I taught at a Christian university full of evangelicals and my kids go to a Christian school with the same make-up.

I just read this. Amazing! Is this true, or were these Christians the sanitized "evangelicals" of say the Episcopalians? If they were traditional Christians, how did you get to the point where you attribute such foul and low brow things such as: "Huckabee equates his will with God's" & " at every turn, that a favorable turn of events in his direction is the result of God's special favor for him." This displays a very simplistic understanding of what Evangelicals believe, and certainly what Huck believes and understands when he speaks of miracles. Are you a mainline protestant?

What was that supposed to mean, exactly?

It means exactly what I said it means. He is ignorant of Huck's use of biblical allegory, and of Christianity more broadly. Thus, he is ignorant of the ground he stands on (i.e. his culture). Thus he (and Julie and you) can completely misinterpret him, and attribute an ill will that he does not have (at least not in the way you say he does).

you were asking him to reconsider that opinion until he agree with you.

Ridiculous. I was asserting that his opinion is ill informed, and worse is simple religious bigotry. I did not suggest that he is unqualified for public office, as he does to those who he misunderstands...;)

Christopher, Julie is not coming from the secular left although there are obvious similarities. She is not really a secularist. She is coming from the pluralism/tolerance/diversity worshiping Straussian neocon "right." Because America is all about the pluralism, don't you know? Pluralism as an unequivocal good unto itself is of course much more important than the merely incidental fact that the underlying society that allows that pluralism happens to be Christian.

"Genuine Conservative," I'm not exactly sure where that comment came from. I was referring to the well known fact that Claremont is a Straussian hothouse.

There isn't wide support for your man there or in my old hometown, I'm sorry.

Then why has he been winning so many states? I'm not saying he's a perfect candidate, although he has merely allowed himself to be painted in to the corner that the establishment tried to pin him. However, you can't deny that he has serious rural and evangelical support, given several impressive wins.

Clint, #44, Christians (evangelical) believe that everyone can receive revelation. Yes, that is quite true. Yet in practical terms, what happens when one person claims to know the mind of God on a matter within your church? If you disagree and the matter is not absolutely clear in scripture, what happens, where does the argument go? I have seen too many church splits in such situations not to understand the worry about such a thing in the nation.

Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other.

Once you claim divine revelation you tend to shut down the argument or shut yourself or your side (if you have persuaded others) to hearing argument. That becomes a dangerous thing in politics.

Also, for anyone who takes God and revelation seriously, throwing something like that open to an unbelieving populace invites scorn, not just of the prophetic voice, but of that very Christian openness to revelation. Wouldn't personal conviction of inspiration be enough? Wouldn't the simple and profound conviction that God had chosen you and was supporting you be enough to sustain without telling the world? To say so, publicly and repeatedly, smacks of a self-righteousness. I know; it is just how some (many) Christians speak these days. Again, the me-ism of such talk is offensive and not just to unbelievers. As in so much of modern society, this is a place where an old-fashioned self-restraint would be appreciated.

Another aspect of this: it is one thing to hear God for yourself and walk out your inspiration. It is another thing to demand that everyone else live out your revelation. It is wrong to demand that people crucify themselves on the cross of your conviction.

I tend to think that even a president of the US can't do that, with all of his power. That is why I, too, would vote for Huck if he won the nomination. There are checks and balances and I thank God for them.

In the end, I don't think Huck's evident pride in his relationship with God is all that different than McCain's evident pride in himself. Nor is Huck's self-righteousness all that different from that of the Democratic candidates. God save us from politicians.

She is coming from the pluralism/tolerance/diversity worshiping Straussian neocon "right."

This may be part of the explanation, even an important part. But what explains the ignorance of how traditional Christians speak about and think about Holy Scripture? What explains the attribution of thoughts and motives, a me first "theology" that would have Huck (and other evangelicals) confusing their will with God's will. They teach the exact opposite, as do all traditional Christians. Only if you approach Huck's words with total ignorance, AND a predisposition to read the worst in it, can you possibly come to a "God whispering in his ear" conclusion. Now unless they have some actual evidence that Huck really is an ego-maniac and really does believe and think this way, but appears they only have the above speech(s). To come to such a conclusion from these, they have to either ignorantly misinterpret his words, or intentionally twist them into a false meaning.

So perhaps the question is, how is it that Julie and Mr. Tucker and others are so ignorant of Evangelical and traditional Biblical allegory? It's either that, or they are lying through their teeth for their own purposes. I suspected that Mr. Tucker has been around the block enough that he should know better. In other words, he is intentionally lying. I am not so sure about Julie, but what little she has revealed here would indicate that she should know better, and is perhaps lying for her own reasons also...

If you disagree and the matter is not absolutely clear in scripture, what happens, where does the argument go?

In these cases, RC and EO have a leg up on the protestants, as we have the "Mind of the Church", the Tradition, the Fathers, etc. I think it is important however to make the distinction between Dogma and the Spirit leading individuals and even whole churches in basically prudential matters. These disagreements are completely expected and "explained" in traditional Christian theology - they are part of the fallen world.

I have seen too many church splits in such situations not to understand the worry about such a thing in the nation....That becomes a dangerous thing in politics.

True, but what does this have to do with Huck? I fully support a secular government, and nothing, absolutely nothing Huck has said leads me to believe he does not either. In other words, Constitutional government is one thing, a "Naked Public Square" is another thing entirely because that is simply enforcing one religion (in this case a materialistic/secular one) over others. This is what is so insidious about Mr. Tuckers and Julie attributing something to Huck he does not mean. It's an outright lie.

Wouldn't the simple and profound conviction that God had chosen you and was supporting you be enough to sustain without telling the world? To say so, publicly and repeatedly, smacks of a self-righteousness.

Not to millions of evangelical and other traditional Christians. We don't suffer from the shame of modern "Christians" who for various reasons need to closet their Christian understanding. If others don't like this or think it inappropriate, that’s one thing. To simply lie about it (whether out of ignorance or intentional) is something else.

It is wrong to demand that people crucify themselves on the cross of your conviction.

And where does Huck do this, exactly?

Huck's evident pride in his relationship with God is all that different than McCain's evident pride in himself.

Could you not be misinterpreting this "evidence", out of ignorance or a predisposition against Evangelical ways of speaking about Holy Scripture?

God save us from politicians.

Amen!

Christopher, what is funny about you (and, also, one might add a little less than Christian) is how much you purport to know about the intentions of my and David Tucker's hearts while you condemn us for noting and not liking appearance of sanctimoniousness in Mike Huckabee. I do not claim to know the machinations of Mike Huckabee's heart. I conceded that there may be a more generous interpretation of his remarks. The problem is that it is unclear. He may be an inspiring speaker to those already inclined to agree with him, but he will never be a persuasive speaker if he does not become mindful of the perceptions of others.

I know and I understand how he appears to people other than evangelicals of his own stripe. Instead of condemning them for what you consider their false perceptions, why don't you try to understand them? I offer this observation by way of a caution to him and, more importantly, to other good people like him who wish to make a difference in politics. I offer it not because I want them to go away, but because I want to see them achieve more of their good ends and with greater, more general success.

Your accusations of "lying" and your questioning of our motives even as you lambaste Tucker and myself for--as you see it--questioning Huck's motives, tell me more about yourself than they should tell anyone about any serious critique you have of us. We (or at least I) do not claim to know Mike Huckabee's heart. But you seem to be very confident that you know all about mine. I think it is far beyond question that the picture Huckabee paints in the popular imaginations of folks who differ with him in background is not a very favorable one. He appears to be self-absorbed. If he is widely liked (and he is) you must also face the fact that he is widely disliked. If he isn't self-absorbed he should correct this perception. And Kate's right, so should McCain.

Christopher, what is funny about you (and, also, one might add a little less than Christian) is how much you purport to know about the intentions of my and David Tucker's hearts

I only know what you say. You have said some erroneous things. Why?

I conceded that there may be a more generous interpretation of his remarks. The problem is that it is unclear.

He is very clear - he is who he is, as are millions of other traditional Christians. Your "interpretation" rests on blind, and I believe willful, ignorance and misinterpretation. Why is it that what is crystal clear to us is so confusing for you? I have corrected you, explained to you the way Huck intended for his comments to be "interpreted", and I am not alone. Is it that you are bringing you own baggage? Why do you insist on the worse "interpretation" if we can stretch the meaning of the term a bit?

he will never be a persuasive speaker if he does not become mindful of the perceptions of others.

I agree, but in this case - concerning his use of Biblical allegory and understanding in his own situation - your "perception" is clearly wrong and insidious. Why do you continue to assert it? Your simply being stubborn out of unstated reasons. What are we to make of this?

Instead of condemning them for what you consider their false perceptions, why don't you try to understand them?

I think I understand them well enough. As I have already stated, they are (usually) based on ignorance and a sort of isolation from those who are different from you. Further, this isolation is strange because so much of what the underlying morality of the "Naked Public Square" comes from Christian presuppositions.

Not that you have given a systematic and reasoned defense of the "God whispering in your ear" assertion. I say again, it is a misunderstanding, or a lie.

your questioning of our motives even as you lambaste Tucker and myself for--as you see it--questioning Huck's motives, tell me more about yourself than they should tell anyone about any serious critique you have of us.

You can save the pop psychology and high school debate tactics for another time. Unless you present some real evidence that Huck meant what you said he meant, then you are insisting on your own twisted "interpretation", that dispassionate/knowledgeable observers know is wrong. They know it because instead of caricatures, they have actually met an Evangelical or two, or perhaps have an idea of their theology and teaching that does not come from Soujourners or some other partisan source.

popular imaginations of folks who differ with him in background

Only those of a secular/left bent who follow the progressive line on history, particularly Christian history. That, and simple ignorance. Funny how most folks are able to correct their prejudices when presented with evidence that it is false however. As far as the majority of those folks, who cares? They were not going to vote for a conservative anyways. Your rhetorical/political prescription (if that what it is you are arguing) is a solution to a non-problem.

He appears to be self-absorbed.

Now that appears to be a charge separate from "God whispering in his ear" and the like. If you want to argue that line, I would be more than happy to entertain and contribute. If you keep insisting with Mr. Tucker however what you have been, you are only continuing a lie...

Again, I do not claim to know Mike Huckabee's heart (as you still claim to know mine). And I do not here--or anywhere else--equate the things that Mike Huckabee says with the hearts and minds of the millions of evangelical Christians that make up the country. What I offer is an undeniable accounting of how his heart (and his alone) might widely be perceived if he does not learn how to choose his language more carefully to convey principles that really should not require so much familiarity with the habits and modes of his (or any) particular sect of Christianity. When he is speaking to the nation--as a president MUST do--he is not going to be speaking only to conservatives and certainly not only to evangelicals. Besides, even if he is only speaking to conservatives, it seems he's got to widen his appeal there too. If you really think it is proper for a president to have a "Who cares?" attitude about whether or not he is well understood or persuasive--even by elements that tend to disagree with him, what can I say? We differ and we differ big on that.

Finally, no. I am not a "mainline Protestant" because I am not a Protestant of any kind. I've never made any secret of the fact that I'm a Roman Catholic. But why does this matter, exactly? I hesitate even to offer this information because I am suspicious, now, of your purposes in wanting to know it. Do you mean to posit that there is some kind of insurmountable wall of ignorance that makes political difference inevitable between us because of sectarian difference? This is exactly the kind of thing forces otherwise good and sensible people to look hard at the secular position and tempts them to see it as preferable to these kinds of discussions.

Hey, I found a quarter on the road today. It must be a miracle! God wants me to be president, obviously.

Give me a break. Anyone dumb enough to believe that horseshit shouldn't be allowed to vote.

Things WE can all agree on (or at least should)

1. Tucker's original post is overstated (he basically admits that in 47). "deny from any public office"...what about House/Senate Chaplain? That's a public office for which Pastor Huck would be well suited. Also he effectively and secularly held the office of Arkansas governor for 10 years. Some may not think he is the best choice because of what he says, but his comments do not make him less qualified, particularly when balanced with some of Huck's very fine natural rights rhetoric (which unfortunately some have ignored in order to paint Huck as merely a pastor).

2. Presidents often invoke the Divine-even the revealed and "unnatural" Divine. This is not bad in and of itself. It is a question of whether one can do it convincingly, effectively, humbly, wisely...whether Huck himself invokes God in that manner is a choice we can all make, but the invocation of God is American.

3. Evangelical, or even just general Christian, rhetoric is politically effective. Paul did an excellent job of laying out many examples in 18. It can obviously fail if done poorly, but our culture, childhoods, and other subconscious signals all contain Christian images that politicians are prudent to play to when running. W. believed in the "wonder working" power of the American people, TR said we stand at Armageddon and profusely used religious analogy. Many people of multiple factions of Christianity know the Bible and think they understand its truths. Any words that plug into that understanding can speak very clearly to people...heck even Tom Sawyer knew about David and Goliath.

Lastly, John McCain has a fairly convincing belief in a reasonable and revealed God--the two need not be exclusive. He is a far superior man to either Obama or Hillary, and should garner our support as soon as Huck drops out and the field is officially set. Until then minor comments and "message" votes for Huck are to be suggested.

Again, I do not claim to know Mike Huckabee's heart (as you still claim to know mine).

Think of this way. What did Huck say? What did you say in response? Everything I have said is based on that. I don't know what is in your heart anymore than I know what's in Huck's, but I do know what he said and what you said in response. Your response was (is?) one bonehead ignorant thing to say. Attributing to Huck (based on what he said, not what you know is in his heart) a personal God complex.

Then you change gears and say "perceived", as you perceive it this way or know others do. Again, that's based on a predisposition on yours (or these others) part, not on what we know Huck said. Charitably, with some cursory knowledge of traditional Christians and the way they speak and allegorize, you and Mr. Tucker can not in any genuineness say what you did. Again, you seem to want to justify all this by saying some (but not you or Mr. Tucker, your too "thoughtful" for that) others perceive this insidious "God whispered in his ear". Fine, but admit where you went wrong. Admit that you do indeed find sympathy with this "interpretation" because you yourself find it highly plausible. This of course, is where I, Huck, and millions of other traditional Christian would disagree.

he does not learn how to choose his language more carefully to convey principles that really should not require so much familiarity with the habits and modes of his (or any) particular sect of Christianity.

This I can agree on in part, but in a sense I am a "pluralist" also. I would grant politicians the space to speak in authentically. Fact is, Huck comes from a certain background that makes this way of speaking and thinking very natural for him. I don't agree that there can ever be a "neutral" public square in the abstract, let alone in reality.

But why does this matter, exactly?

I was looking for a rational reason, something in your background, that would lead you to really believe the things you were attributing to Huck. Since you so obviously confuse his perfectly acceptable traditional Christian allegorizing with something insidious like "God whispering in his ear", it would make some sense that you could believe such baloney if you were coming from a progressive, religious left background. That fact that you are RC just means it's possible, due to the fact of a sizeable progressive, religious left RC contingent in this country.

Do you mean to posit that there is some kind of insurmountable wall of ignorance that makes political difference inevitable between us because of sectarian difference?

No. If I did, I would have written you and Mr. Tucker off and not even bothered to correct you ;)

This is exactly the kind of thing forces otherwise good and sensible people to look hard at the secular position and tempts them to see it as preferable to these kinds of discussions.

If I am understanding you, I would say rather it is simple fallen human laziness. While I do think there are real dogmatic differences that 'go all the way down' to borrow from C.S. Lewis, I think in governance there is much traditional Christian can agree on - the secular, constitutional government we have being one of them. However, there are differences between traditional Christians and "progressive" ones (who in fact are theologically and morally unitarian) that can not be reconciled in any meaningful way. Thus, the accusation of "God whispering in his ear" based on the evidence we have, is an indication of either a simple misunderstanding or a partisan swipe at someone who you have fundamental differences with...

I like your three points Clint. I don't think however Mr. Tucker merely overstated his case. It's worse than that, and his attempt at recovery on post 47 would simply get him 3 days more detention if he were a child.

Where I would disagree with you is when you say McCain is a better choice over Obama. I think the coming Obama presidency will be better for the country, as conservative forces within the GOP will have the freedom to oppose. With McCain, they would be held to the party line. Who knows, maybe this is the beginning of a historic realignment, when conservatives finally unhitch their wagon from a failing GOP. Of course this is a distant hope, but it's possible. I won't invoke any Christian imagery for fear of burning the eyes and ears of or progressive friends...;)

My last word on this subject is this: I agree whole-heartedly with Clint when he says, Presidents often invoke the Divine-even the revealed and "unnatural" Divine. This is not bad in and of itself. It is a question of whether one can do it convincingly, effectively, humbly, wisely...whether Huck himself invokes God in that manner is a choice we can all make, but the invocation of God is American. My difference with Christopher and Clint on this point (there many others, but sticking to the main issue at hand) is that I do not think Huck invokes God convincingly, effectively, humbly or wisely. It is unfortunate that some people take so much personal offense because of a disagreement over that simple point. It speaks poorly of people when they chose to accuse others of impure motives, lying and dissembling when really, they're just disagreeing. I have accused them of nothing but holding a different view of the matter than I hold. And the worst thing I've said about Huck (must I say, yet again, that I do not know his heart, I only heard his words) is that he is a very sloppy speaker.

Over the course of this conversation, I think you have changed your tune just a bit, and that's good. You seem to recognize that Huck (or other Evangelicals who speak this way) does not believe the things you said he did. What is personal and offensive about this is that it is not a "simple point", as in insignificant. It is a moral accusation of a very deep kind, it is in fact the exact opposite of what traditional Christians believe. If you are going to allege something that goes to the core of some groups deep beliefs, what did you thing was going to happen? It's not like you were lying about what color of shirt he had on.

Make no mistake, it is a lie. You may "perceive" it all day long, and justify based on that seemingly innocent intermediary of "perception", but that does not make it insignificant or correct. It is still a lie. You may want to somehow take the edge off by calling this lie a "disagreement", but that is just trying to weasel out of the original lie. You of course are free to lie all day long, but don't be surprised when folks correct said lie in a frank and blunt manner. Your a Catholic, what does the 8th (9th in traditional RC numbering) commandant say? Still, I recognize that this lie may be a political reality. Like I said, I think that those who are not too attached to their prejudices would come around, given enough exposure to Huck. Others, who would not vote for a conservative in the first place would have very little motivation to see past their prejudice, and it does not make political/practical sense to spend any effort to appease them. Here where you and I disagree is on the place and power of "persuasion", the message, etc. There are structural, organic, cultural, religious - deep deep facts - that are immune to "persuasion". What you are really talking about here is a paradigm shift, a semi-religious conversion, etc. That's not really something politicians in a campaign can accomplish (not in the numbers anyways that would change an electoral outcome).

I agree with Clint, I think Huck is smother and a better speaker than the others, particularly when he was speaking of natural rights...

Again:

Comment 31 by Kate

As to the point of the original post, whatever the nature of his relationship to God, for Huckabee, for any such Christian, is clearly politically unwise to be open about that. The amount of abuse GWB has taken about such revelation ought to be an object lesson.

Huck has pigeon-holed himself with this. He has made himself the "religious" candidate. He has every right to speak as he does and may have historic precedent behind him, but it narrows his receptive audience today.

I hope Clint is right about McCain, in this:

Lastly, John McCain has a fairly convincing belief in a reasonable and revealed God-

If he is our nominee and will be our president, I hope that is true.

Don't have a lot of money to buy a house? You should not worry, just because that's possible to get the home loans to work out all the problems. Therefore get a short term loan to buy everything you require.

Isaiah 41 bring forth your Idols did they PREACH to you see they can’t speak they can’t DO ANYTHING all they do is cause confusion. Spalms 115 and Spalms 135 their Idols are FALSE they can't speak, hear, nor smell and those that make them shall become like them. Jeremiah 10 they nail their Idol down like a scarecrow it can’t move, speak they must be carried these are nothing but the WORK of CON men.
John 10 Jesus Christ says his sheep HEAR HIS VOICE and if another person TRIES TO PREACH to them they WILL FLEE from him. Jeremiah 5 the priests bear rule on their OWN AUTHORITY what will you do when your judged my word is not INSIDE them. Now here is the kicker john 5 son of man voice goes BACK in TIME.
Mathew 16 Jesus Christ claims to be the son of man. 1 cor 2 mind of CHRIST preached internally and john 14 says the spirit of truth comes in the future. Ezekiel 13 states lying prophets of ISRAEL say GOD says GOD says but my word is not inside them. They wrote hoping mankind would CONFIRM their WORDS. All of this is EASILY verifiable.
Mathew 10 says you should hear an internal voice that defends you and tells you what to say when taken to court preached to by the holy ghost. Mathew 12 Jesus states he is preaching by the holy ghost. John 14 states holy ghost comes in future and is from someone else. Now refer back to John 10 about hearing from someone else and fleeing. John 5 states son of mans voice goes back in time. Mathew 16 Jesus claims to be the son of man.
1 cor 2 holy ghost is familiar with the story about a man on cross from READING about it. Isaiah 65 written in front of me is listed here and also what is not written is hidden from my eyes therefore not familiar with it found in the same chapter. john 7 Jesus says if you knew scripture you'd know if its his word or GODS words. john 12 Jesus admits the voice heard is NOT his. John 10 people point out that Jesus tries to make himself appear to be GOD.

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