Friday, February 29, 2008

Why I Won't Vote For Huckabee

I don't think that people understand the antipathy that most Mormons feel toward a man like Huckabee. Too many of us, he represents all the persecution that we have suffered at the hands of fellow Christians since the founding of our church. That's not entirely fair, since he's only been around for 50 some-odd years and as far as I know he hasn't published anything condemning Mormons. But he's set himself up to be the face of anti-Mormon Christians. It didn't bother me that he was a former Southern Baptist preacher until his interview in the New York Times magazine where he said regarding Mormonism, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the Devil are brothers?" He later apologized for the comments and claimed that he asked the question out of ignorance. But that only proved that he is a liar because he knew exactly what he was doing and he revealed exactly what kind of Christian he is. A follow-up article in the New York Times addressed this issue:

The question posed by Mr. Huckabee in an article to be published Sunday in The New York Times Magazine and available at is one of the standard sensationalistic A-bombs often hurled at Mormons by their detractors, said Scott A. Gordon, president of the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research, a group based in Redding, Calif., that defends Mormon theology.
“It’s an attack question,” Mr. Gordon said, “because it starts with a kernel of truth and shapes it into something that most Mormons wouldn’t recognize about their faith.”

"Mormons believe that the Devil and Jesus are brothers" is the classic attack used by preachers and publishers of anti-Mormon literature to incite shock and disgust in their readers. It's designed to prove that anyone that believes something so outlandish and blasphemous cannot possibly be a fellow Christian. But it is a distortion of actual LDS doctrine, which is summed up well in the same follow-up NY Times article:

In Mormon theology, God is literally the father of all beings, and all beings once existed in a “premortal” state as “spirit beings,” said Robert L. Millet a professor of religion at Brigham Young University, a Mormon institution in Provo, Utah. Jesus was God’s first-born son, and everyone who came after that, including Satan could be considered the siblings of Jesus, he said. “Latter-day Saints believe that all of us, Christ included, existed in a premortal existence, as spirits,” Mr. Millet said. “Yes, Jesus and Lucifer were in that premortal existence, together. But what we need to make very clear is that Jesus was God and there was never a time when Jesus and Lucifer were on the same plane.”To say Jesus and Satan were brothers, Mr. Gordon said, is like saying, “Do you know you’re related to Adolf Hitler because we’re all part of the same family of man?”

But whatever the truth is, there will still be some evangelicals that will still call us non-Christians according to their exclusive definition of a Christian. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ after the manner found in the Lord's Prayer, we partake of the sacrament every Sunday as outlined in the New Testament, our church's official name is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Yet all of that is not sufficient for many evangelicals because we have committed the ultimate heresy in not accepting the doctrine of the Trinity and we have another book of scripture, the Book of Mormon. So they deny us the title of Christian and slander us with the title of "cult."

Mike Huckabee has become the face of this anti-Mormon movement because he has assumed the mantle of Christian Leader and has not denounced the anti-Mormon bigotry that infuses his campaign and his followers. Plus,he has refused to release any recording of his sermons. Whether these recording would reveal any anti-Mormon rhetoric or just the usual pro-marriage, pro-family, anti-gay stuff, I don't know. I guess we'll never know. But I've heard plenty from his followers every day on talk radio and read their blog comments. Even after Mitt Romney had dropped out, Huck and his followers continued to attack him and attack Mormonism. Huck was a little more cautious about making anti-Mormon remarks, but his supports made no such distinction.

Over the years, I've heard many of these individuals claim that they are doing this out of love, out of concern for out souls, and that may be true for a few people. But I've heard the venom dripping in their voices, seen the hate in their faces as they picketed Temple Square, and read the titles of their anti-Mormons screeds that they sell for a profit, and I don't believe it. I have always believed that all people should be allowed to worship God according to their conscience (as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others) and it bothers me that some people would not vote for someone based purely on their religiously beliefs. I believe that was one of the difficulties Mitt Romney had in his campaign. He did much better than I expected, which shows that the majority of Americans are fair-minded people. But in places like California, where the races were close, was the anti-Mormon feeling enough to tilt the outcome? I don't know.

I just know that unless Mike Huckabee comes out and openly condemns this kind of bigotry and apologizes on behalf of himself and his campaign, I could never vote for him. So, you go McCain! Whatever he may feel personally about Mormons, at least he knows better than to run on anti-Mormon bigotry since a large percentage of his constituents in AZ are LDS.

1 comment:

Randy said...

I've really come to strongly dislike Huckabigots.