Tuesday, December 04, 2007

God (hearts) Huckabee, and the media follows

This post is temporarily embargoed—please check back this afternoon. Thanks.

Poor, poor Huck.

Republican Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is finally getting to talk about his fundamentalist Christian beliefs with the establishment media, and, apparently, it’s hell.

Appearing Monday on ABC’s Nightline, the former Arkansas governor told John Donvan that his recent “surge” in popularity (as I’m afraid everyone is calling it) could only be attributed to “divine providence,” comparing his increased poll numbers to one of Christ’s favorite parlor tricks miracles:

[Huckabee] believe[s] that faith has had a lot to do with his recent success. In a speech at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, Huckabee said his recent surge in the polls was partly attributed to "divine providence."

Elaborating, he said, "I felt like that because of these prayers, our little had become much. It was like the two fish and the five loaves. And I don't have an explanation for that, other than what we have had people have prayed for it to be effective, and it has been."

However, like Jesus, Huckabee, to hear him tell it, must suffer for his faith. Though one of Huck’s opponents, Mitt Romney, has been dogged by questions about his Mormonism (so much so that he will give a speech later in the week to “explain” his religion), Huckabee thinks his own road is harder:

“I don't think Mitt's been called upon to talk about his faith nearly as much as I have about mine," the former minister said. "I keep hearing about you know, 'Mitt's faith, Mitt's faith.' I'm the one that they always ask the religious questions to on the debates. I'm the one that in every interview someone says, 'OK let's talk about your belief.' My faith has been put through a great deal more scrutiny than anybody else, including Mitt Romney's.”

It seems that Huckabee, who is running as a Christian conservative, who makes constant references to his beliefs and his background as Baptist minister, and who once interrupted a speech to take a phone call from God, is upset that reporters ask him about his religion.

And with that, Huckabee went on to speak more about his religion. . . .

Strangely (or, perhaps, not the least bit strangely, given his current status as media darling) Huckabee is then given an opportunity to issue a qualifier.

Despite his strong religious views, he doesn't believe the government should force them on citizens.

"It's so very important that we never would use the forces of government to impose anybody's faith on another person. That really would be a most inappropriate use of government and the greatest way in which we water down or completely adulterize true faith," he said.

Nice words, but when it comes to deeds, the Arkansas Governor proved the opposite to be true:

This God stuff isn't just talk with Huck. One of his first acts as governor was to block Medicaid from funding an abortion for a mentally retarded teen-ager who had been raped by her stepfather — an act in direct violation of federal law, which requires states to pay for abortions in cases of rape. "The state didn't fund a single such abortion while Huckabee was governor," says Dr. William Harrison of the Fayetteville Women's Clinic. "Zero."

As president, Huck would support a constitutional amendment banning abortion and would give science a back seat to religion. "Science changes with every generation and with new discoveries, and God doesn't," he says. "So I'll stick with God if the two are in conflict." Huckabee's well-documented disdain for science was reflected in the performance of the Arkansas school system when he was governor; one independent survey gave the state an F for its science standards in schools, a grade that among other things reflected Huckabee's hostility toward the teaching of evolution.

Donvan and Nightline, however, apparently didn’t find that information had a place in the current narrative. For now, it is enough to know that Mike Huckabee, the bored campaign reporters’ new savior, has suffered the tortures of the damned. . . .

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