Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Catholic Facts on Huckabee: My response to Matt and Tito's challenge

The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying, 'Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?' Jesus said to them in reply, 'Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance
but sinners.'

–Luke 5:30-32

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in me to sin, it is better for him to have a great millstone around his neck and be drowned in the depths of
the sea.

–Matt. 18:6

Dear Matt (and Tito too!) -- You asked me to clarify my condemnatory e-mail response to your disturbingly slanderous "Mike Huckabee's Bigots" post on your allegedly "Defending the Faith" Catholic blog. First, as far as "identifying which of the governor's statements was taken out of context," certainly anyone who has passed a high school persuasive writing class can tell you that taking nine words, "one of the greatest Christian leaders of our nation," out of someone's speech or written statement is considered taking something out of context. Furthermore, juxtaposing those words with another's words including, "Adolph Hitler," and "Nazism," is done to achieve a decidedly negative effect. Ironically, your piece then actually quotes Huckabee as saying he never characterized the Catholic Church as being pro-Nazi ... but THAT isn't good enough. It does not take a genius to understand that by splicing together these cheap shots, you are trying to get the reader to think that Huckabee agrees with everything Hagee has said (or at very least, is a hypocrite for preaching at his church and accepting his endorsement) when any on-record Huckabee statement disputes this.

So why does Huckabee accept their invitations to preach at their anti-Catholic churches—especially when he doesn't in many ways agree with them? First of all, it's important to remember that ALL conservative/fundamentalist Christian churches are anti-Catholic in some respect, or they wouldn't have split off from the Church to begin with. Indeed they still all HAVE to rely somewhat on the power of anti-Catholic propaganda or their members would simply become Catholic. As a non-Catholic, Huckabee can't be expected to understand this tragedy of history totally, but the fact that he went outside his own denomination to work with the Catholic Church on the pro-life movement (and in turn adopted the Church's abortion/euthanasia pro-life philosophy as his own), speaks volumes of his commitment. While there is certainly some Catholic doctrine/dogma Huckabee still disagrees with, his having adopted the Catholic pro-life world view proves how much more strongly he disagrees with outright Catholic or racial prejudice. Instead, he goes to these churches precisely for the same reason Jesus accepted invitations to sinners' houses—he went there with a hope to heal them. Also, Huckabee can't preach at Catholic churches because canon law won't allow it, so whereas these churches provide a ready opportunity for a Christian candidate (especially one with little funding) to get his message across, speaking in front of Catholic audiences is much more difficult to arrange.

But are these statements (of which Tito says he agrees with it all) lies? Again, one usually learns the difference between "fact" and "opinion" around the third or fourth grade, and I can't think of any of my teachers (or very few kids) who would identify the statement ("Instead of supporting a healthy expression of religion in the public square, Mike Huckabee has used his evangelical protestant faith as a wedge to divide the Republican Party and gain support from fellow evangelicals,") as "fact." True, you might hear this statement echoed by the talking heads on FOX News, but unless you believe Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh (
whose stations, of course, are owned by a Romney conglomerate) are divinely inspired, you cannot honestly call a political opinion factual. Interestingly enough, the last book to use this "FACT" tactic successfully was none other than the DaVinci Code. Note that before the book started, it stated two "FACTS;" the first some drivel about the Priory of Zion, the second an attack on Opus Dei calling them "a deeply devout Catholic sect" involved in a "recent controversy" involving "brainwashing, coercion" and "mortification." Of course, besides a typically sensational article in the anti-Catholic newspaper the Catholic Reporter (of which you would probably agree is the Church's equivalent of the National Enquirer), most of the controversy was DaVinci author Brown's own creation, and in reality, Opus Dei is a "healthy expression" of the Catholic faith. Likewise, those who know Huckabee see him supporting, not condemning, religion in the public square.

And so, by promoting dubious characters who take speech out of context to dissuade by inference, and egomaniacs who call their opinions facts, you are guilty of exactly what you accuse Huckabee with—with a twist.

Mike, in my opinion, associates with sinners to win them to a more catholic point of view, while you are trying to take would-be good Catholic voters away from the candidate who most closely models the Church's "life" teachings. Say what you will, but this post can only serve to lead the not-yet-intellectually equipped away from Huck's pro-life hope to Romney's Mormonist money or McCain's vague Episcopalianism (or something democratically and decidedly worse), just as Brown's mix of anti-Catholic fiction and bigotry pried the naive away from the one true Church. So you not only led the intellectually children-like away, but in doing so, doomed many more of the unborn to future death by abortion as well. And the real irony in all of this is that the attack on Huck and his Catholic supporters is done by two (or at least one) who say they are Huckabee supporters!

So now, having identified both context and falsehoods, I urge you to use your blog to publically endorse Huckabee, before the Super Tuesday primaries, for although I don't know if it will be enough to turn this Huckabee hatred around, God will certainly use it for the good, just as He uses everything for the good for those who believe—and love.


Matt said...

I see Thomas is a traffic whore, trying to draw the discussion to his own blog. Thomas, see the response to your response here where the discussion is.

God Bless,


Tito said...

Matthew 18:6

You need to reread that before you make slanderous statements in your response.

After reading your Noam Chomskey diatribe, my only response is why are you cowardly responding here and not at my blog?

Secondly, after you're done rereading Matthew 18:6, reread my post. Anyone can see that I am denouncing Huckabee for not distancing himself from Hagee's anti-Catholic rhetoric.


Delana Newton said...

Thank You Thomas.
You know a tree by the fruit it bears.
I have family that are Catholic, and some friends. I am not Baptist. God has given us a freedom to worship him as we choose, as long as it is in Spirit and in Truth. And although I may disagree with some issues with fellow believers, I try not to disagree with the Word of God = Truth.
We have a lot in common!
The "enemy of Truth", is trying to divide us, (those that Love God and try to walk accordingly) by getting us to "chase rabbits" that lead us no where.
None of the candidates are Catholic, and none of them is 100% Pro-Life and Pro-Family and Pro-Fair Tax except Mike Huckabee.
I believe "we" have this LAST chance to have the reproach of Roe vs Wade - off our nation. There have been 50+ Million babies aborted since 1973. Not counting the sorrow and pain/ suffering & sometimes death, of the parents, The home is under attack, and the children that should have been, that were to be vital citizens working and giving into our tax system - thereby the Social Security backbone - would have been able to support this older generation.
Please reconsider our fight and join us in stopping this madness.
Check Huckabee out: Check out a voter's guide: Faith 2 Action or Values and integrity matters. One last chance or we could see these causes fade to a distant past.
D K Newton

Tom O'Toole said...

Delana Newton -- Thank God, a reader who knows the Way to the Truth and the Light. Which means you also know "the Truth shall set you free"—to vote for Huckabee!

God's grace,

Tito said...


I was harsh in my previous post and would like to withdraw the 'cowardly' comment.

I hope you have a successful Lent.

Though you seem confused by my posting on my blog I doubt you are cowardly nor mean-spirited.

You have a nice blog. Keep up the great blogging.

In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

Tito of Custos Fidei

Tom O'Toole said...

Dear Tito -- Apology accepted. As a Catholic, you see something Huckabee doesn't; it's just in your attempt to get him to see this anti-Catholic sentiment, you instead turn other Catholics away from a great candidate. Huck will discover how to handle the anti-Catholic question in time ... perhaps when he (a la Tony Blair) also converts.

God's grace & Mary's prayers,