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
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
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.