Thursday, January 03, 2008

Is Huckabee Holy? Romney Relevant?—The difference between Mike and Mitt

While he was talking, the Philistine champion Goliath of Gath (six-and-a-half feet tall) came up from the ranks and spoke (boastfully) as before, and David listened. When the Israelites saw him, they were very much afraid ... but David said to Saul 'Let your majesty not lose courage. I am at your service to go fight the Philistine.' But Saul answered, 'YOU cannot go up against the Philistine ... for you are only a youth.' But David answered, 'This Philistine has insulted the armies of the living God ... and the Lord will deliver me from his clutches.' When Goliath had sized David up and had seen that he was youthful and ruddy ... he held him in contempt. He cursed David by his gods and said 'Come here ... and I will leave your flesh for the birds of the air and the beasts of the fields.' But David answered, 'You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you not with sword or spear but in the name of the Lord of Hosts.' Then David took out a stone, hurled it with the sling
and struck the
Philistine (mortally)
in the forehead.

(1 Sam. 17:23, 24, 32, 33, 36, 37, 42-45, 49)

It was Chuck Norris who first made the comparison between Mike Huckabee and King David, using the story of David's unexpected election to prove a point. But now, with the Iowa Caucus upon us, the David and Goliath story could not be more appropriate. Mitt Romney and his legions of advisors have outspent Huckabee 20-1 in the state, and are poised to conquer, and yet there stands Mike, fearless and confident, with nothing to counter the sword of attack ads, the spear of religious insult, and the sci-"Mitt"-ar of big-time media buddies but a Bible and a guitar.

While I have done much already to demonstrate the difference of their faiths, perhaps their responses to the question of prejudice best demonstrates this point. Mormonism was against allowing African Americans as full members of their church until the late 70s, and Mitt went along with the Latter Day Saints' party line (although he claims to have wept with joy when the Mormons changed its position) without a peep. Meanwhile, back in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Huckabee found himself pastor of the then all-white Immanuel Baptist Church. When a young black man (who heard a Huckabee homily on the radio) came to join Mike's congregation one Sunday, Huck welcomed him with open arms. Furious, several of the older church elders refused to let the man sit down, so Huckabee said he would quit on the spot unless the new member was given a Christian welcome. A few old-timers did leave the church, but thanks to Pastor Huck's intervention, the church became fully integrated.

So one candidate sat and the other stood up. Perhaps the icing on this cake came when Mitt, to prove he too was on the integration bandwagon, said his father, George, marched with Martin Luther King. But Romney's revelation proved as false as a Mormon prophet's, for although his dad did support civil rights legislation (even before his church did), George never marched with Rev. King after all.

Still, in the past, such moral deficiencies rarely mattered, for politics was a game in which you bought your way to the top, a war waged with influence not integrity. The image of the great giant Goliath laughing at the little shepherd boy, David, was replayed in my mind when I saw the picture of Romney's team laughing at the TV screen when Michael Huckabee was earnestly explaining to an amazed group of friends and foes that he would no longer use attack ads as weapons. Indeed, it is still repeated again when many of my own friends, most of them pro-life and a good deal of them practicing Catholics or Evangelicals, laugh at me for supporting a "soft-hearted" small-town preacher with no big-time political experience and little chance to win. Many of these Christians, comfortable in their present circumstances, claim to admire the saints and prophets, but one now wonders if they would have, back in the day, accepted the shabby-looking Louis de Montfort, the penniless pre-Nobel prize winner Mother Teresa—or the not-always-conservative Jesus Christ—given the chance. As for myself, I am proud to follow a candidate that not only can explain his faith, but live it.

Romney, with little to inform him from his out-of-whack religion, puts his hope in the unholy trinity of politics, power and appearance. The media pundits, who deep down have always hated Truth, continue to predict doom for the recent "Huckaboom." But although they may be correct in commenting that, even if he wins in Iowa, Mike doesn't stand a chance, they are wrong in saying he doesn't have a prayer.


JimAroo said...

Be careful of a theological correctness test for candidates or the following could take place.

Bless me Father for I have sinned.... it has been 2 weeks since my last confession. I realize now that I committed a serious sin in 2000 and 2004 when I voted for a heretic who denies the reality of Christ's true presence in the Eucharist, denies the authority of the magisterium, abhors acknowledging Mary's role in salvation, and isnt real clear on Christ's divine personhood. For these sins and all the sins of my past life I am sorry and promise to make every effort to reform my life and sin no more. To demonstrate my firm purpose of amendment, this time I will vote for Rudy.... you did want me to vote Catholic didn't you?

Oh but wait a second.... Baptist ministers are heretics too! You got me in a pickle here - maybe I can get Lieberman to run - at least he never claimed to be a Christian.

Tom O'Toole said...

The Pope has called the schismatics our brothers and sisters in Christ. He has never held them to the same sacramental standards as Catholics so the confession thing is just silly. Still without being Catholic, Huckabee believes and lives closest to the teachings of the Church of all the candidates.