Sorry, Michael, but you’re telling porkies

If this report is correct, Mike Huckabee “believes Mormonism is a religion but doesn’t know much about it.” First off, kudos, sir, for believing that Mormonism is a religion. All this time I thought it was a bridge club.

More ridiculous is his claim that he doesn’t know much about it. For a man who attended the SBC Mormon proselytizing-fest in Salt Lake City in 1998, this ignorance is puzzling. Or better put, completely disingenuous.

I am not suggesting that Huck is an activist anti-Mormon, but questions like this one suggest he’s been raised on a diet of the Godmakers and believes Mormonism to be a cult. If he wants to smear Mormonism, he should drop the innocent charm and find the guts to say what he thinks (or what Ed Decker told him to think). Show America the only thing you have to offer, Mike: you love Jesus, Mitt loves the devil.

If Huck wins the nomination, I’m moving to Europe.


  1. Ha! Empty threat Ronan.

    I can ever figure out the reason why that “You believe Christ is Lucifer’s brother!” thing is constantly being thrown in the teeth of Mormons like it’s the most shocking thing they can come up with. I think it’s weak. Everyone hs a relative they don’t get along with, why would Jesus be any different?

    The only thing cool about Mike Huckleberry is that he plays bass in a band that can credibly cover Skynnard. Other than that, he’s a yawner. I predict his 15 minutes are about up.

  2. MCQ,
    Not only will I move to Europe, I may even swear allegiance to the Queen.

    I agree that Mitt needs to play an instrument. Preferably not the recorder.

  3. Usually the comments following the Salt Lake Tribune’s online articles are pretty lame flamewars, and this one is no different, but the most recent comment at the moment I happened to follow Ronan’s link was pretty funny:

    Yes, Romney and Huckabee are brothers.

    Ronan, you shouldn’t forget that Evangelical creedalists are not high church Anglicans or even East Coast Protestants. From my understanding, they ridicule such Protestants’ rhetoric about the brotherhood of man and God’s love for all his children. But their objection to the idea that Jesus is our brother because he, like us, is one of God’s children (he is, after all, the Son of God — Mormons believe there is a reason he is called that, i.e. he is the Son of God) runs deeper; it offends their philosophical construct of the Trinity (as required by the requirement they have imposed on the Godhead that it must be one substance rather than three substances, or in LDS-speak, personages, functioning as one).

    I agree that Huckabee’s statement here has to be disingenuous. When he says he does not know much about Mormonism, that might well be true since not very many of the Baptist preachers who rail against Mormonism really actually know much about it; but Huckabee was actually communicating with this sentence was that he doesn’t really have an opinion about it. He is likely trying to say this to salvage possible support among Mormons and others who view his Evangelical creedalist dismissal of Mormons out of hand as unfair or ignorant. But as you note, his presence in SLC in 1998 and his statement there that he wanted to take back the country for Jesus (said in a place that already believes in Jesus very actively) reveals that he has a concrete opinion about Mormonism.

  4. Ronan,

    He’s a Baptist minister. You don’t think that he has his hands dirty in funding anti-Mormon literature? you bet he does.

  5. Ronan,

    What’s this about moving to Europe? Didn’t my real estate agent just find you a great duplex overlooking BYU campus?

  6. Don’t forget that our own Rev. Dr. Stapley also rejects elder brotherism. Kim Farah should cite him — it would appear that the church is none-too-keen to accept the doctrine.

    Dan, I wonder what Utah will do if Huck wins the nomination. Vote the anti-Mormon, or vote the fetus-killing, homophilic (relax) Dems? I suspect they’ll still go red, but I hope Mormons will one day wake up and smell the evangelical coffee: they hate you! O’Donnell’s rant also suggests some liberals feel the same too. Is it time to secede…?

  7. Antonio Parr says:

    Two thoughts:

    1. Why would Mormons remain in a Republican Party whose majority tells them that they are a cult whose members should never assume a leadership role in this country? Why not take a chance with the Dems?

    2. Appropriate follow-up question for Huckabee when asked about “cults” is whether the Catholic Church is one. See how he dances around that one.

  8. Is it fair to reject a politician solely due to his anti-Mormon religious beliefs? Is it credible to think that, should Huckabee become president, he would run the country according to how Jack Chick tells him to?

  9. has anyone looked into registering “” or something similar in case huckabee happens to get the nomination?

  10. Ronan,

    My feeling is that Utah conservatives will stick with their anti-Mormon Baptist pastor than give votes to commie libruls.

  11. I would hope that no self-respecting Mormon would vote for Huck after this one.

    And give him hell if he ever shows up in the neighborhood. Maybe the whittling and whistling brigade could be brought out of mothballs.

    But, I suspect that, as MCQ predicts, this lamebrain’s 15 minutes will end soon.

  12. I agree with Mark B. and MCQ. Huck is peaking too soon and will burn out before the Iowa caucus.

  13. Nick Literski says:

    Even if Huckabee manages to win the nomination, Utah will vote majority republican in the presidential election. Look at the past two elections. Each time, the state has gone solidly for a loudly-religious member of the United Methodist Church. Not long before George W. Bush was appointed by the Supreme Court, the United Methodist Church officially declared that “the LDS Church is not a part of the historic, apostolic tradition of the Christian faith.” Furthermore, Bush proudly spoke at Bob Jones University (yes, the same university who’s president recently endorsed Romney, while still slamming the LDS church), at a time when the intro page of the university’s website declared Catholicism and Mormonism “non-Christian cults.”

    When I brought these facts up to fellow members of the LDS church at the time, many either blithely ignored them, or worse, acted as if I was a traitor to the LDS church for criticizing a republican candidate. I’ve no doubt that if Huckabee gets the nomination, LDS republicans (i.e., the majority of LDS in the US) will be among the loudest of his supporters, completely disregarding his anti-LDS statements.

  14. Mark B.,

    I doubt his 15 minutes will end soon. He is surging at the right time in Iowa and he is playing on Iowan evangelical’s fears of Mormonism’s supposed cultishness.

    I honestly hope he becomes the Republican nominee.

    1. He will lose badly to Hillary, Barack, and/or Edwards.
    2. Maybe it will finally push Mormons away from their strange desire to bed with these evangelicals that stab us in the back all the time.

  15. The Huckabee campaign put out a statement.

    December 12, 2007, 9:59 am
    Huckabee on Mormonism
    By The New York Times

    After Mike Huckabee was quoted by The New York Times Magazine as asking whether Mormons “believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?’’ his campaign released the following statement:
    “A report released tonight cites an upcoming article in the Sunday edition of The New York Times Magazine which quotes former Arkansas Governor and Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee asking a question about the content of the Mormon faith. In fact, the full context of the exchange makes it clear that Governor Huckabee was illustrating his unwillingness to answer questions about Mormonism and to avoid addressing theological questions during this campaign.’
    ‘Governor Huckabee has said consistently that he believes this campaign should center on a discussion of the important issues confronting our nation,’ said Senior Advisor, Dr. Charmaine Yoest, ‘and not focus on questions of religious belief. He wants to assure persons of all faith traditions of his firm commitment to religious tolerance and freedom of worship. Governor Huckabee believes that one of the great strengths of our nation lies in its diversity of thought, opinion and faith.’ ”

    The full Huckabee profile, from which the devil/Jesus quote comes, has been posted online on the NY Times website. It is generally negative, portraying Huckabee as a bit of a uninformed hick.

  16. Nick, I would hate to say it, but you are ignorant. For a former Mormon who considers himself fair and informed, you sure don’t know how Mormons think. You just know the soundbytes. There is a difference between Bush who at least showed respect for Mormons and Huck who I can’t imagine any reason he would say or do any nice things for them.

    Despite what many of his opponents insist, Bush was religiously inclusive. His speech at that Bob Jones University was not about Mormons or Catholics, but about President of the United States. There was some grumbling when Romney got the endorsement because it took on more than a little religious overtone. Bush’s church’s declaration is not as bothersome to Mormons as you might think. It is actually a duh! Most Mormons agree with that statement (where they don’t about the “cult” label). Mormons just think of themselves as “A” Christianity.

    Now, I agree that Mormons will not vote Democrat even if Huck is nominated. The reasons are two fold. First, the majority of Mormons still believe that the moral and political beliefs of Republicans are more in-line with the LDS Church. Just look at the only times the LDS Church has spoken out on political issues; what Party held the same positions? Second is the Democrats themselves. Regardless of the majority of evangelical viewpoints, Democrats still have too many O’Donnels who spout ramblings against Mormons that sound an awful lot like the evangelicals.

    My prediction if Huck gets the nomination? Half the Mormons who vote simply will not and the Democrats win by default. Even if Huck does get the Mormon vote, there are more than Mormons who are offended by Huck’s Baptist Preacher schtick. Even more, if Huck wins I believe the Republican party is dead.

  17. Jettboy,

    Half the Mormons who vote simply will not and the Democrats win by default. Even if Huck does get the Mormon vote, there are more than Mormons who are offended by Huck’s Baptist Preacher schtick. Even more, if Huck wins I believe the Republican party is dead.

    Either way, I’m happy with those results.

  18. I’m voting for Stephen Colbert.

  19. Nick Literski says:

    Jettboy, I would hate to say it, but I’ve read your blog, and you pretty much think anyone who sees things differently than you is “ignorant,” including many other LDS members.

    I am fully aware that LDS members recognize the distinctions between their understanding of christianity and that of some other churches. I am more than aware that the majority of LDS republicans took no issue with Bush’s choice to speak at a university which promoted religious bigotry—something that even nonbelievers found troubling. I am also aware that Bush did not speak on Catholicism or Mormonism, and find it almost amusing that you assume I thought otherwise.

    Were you even old enough to vote when Bush rose to power?

    Despite the fact that you seem to think only active members of the LDS church know anything at all about LDS members (let alone Mormonism), your prediction is short-sighted. Will some LDS members choose not to vote at all if Huckabee is nominated. Certainly. Half? Certainly not. History has shown (and Romney has recently proven) that LDS leaders and members are quite ready to climb into bed with those who hate their religion, if they feel it advances their interests otherwise. Romney has even touted backroom political deals between Gordon Hinckley and Jerry Falwell–a man who certainly is no friend to Mormonism.

  20. I just sent in my voter registration form to the Davis County commissioner changing my party affiliation from Republican (a party to which I have donated thousands of dollars in the past) to Libertarian. I did this because it has become painfully obvious that about 40% of my former party hates, or at least disrespects my faith. I was starting to feel like a Log Cabin Republican. Until I hear Hillary Clinton denounce Lawrence O-Donnell’s recent misinformed tirade (he’s not a Mormon, but he plays one on television), I’ll assume Democrats are no better. It feels great to be a Libertarian again. I’ll never win an election, but at least I’m not affiliated with these hate mongers anymore.

  21. You can’t blame Huckabee for being coy about his knowledge of LDS doctrine. He starts quipping about it, it isn’t just Mormons he’ll alienate. If he’s tolerant, he’s biting the hand that feeds him. So, he plays his little game of “Huh? What?”

    Meanwhile, REAL Republicans like Lucifer.

  22. Nick Literski says:

    NICE link, David!

  23. Huckabee is either a liar or an ignoramus. And his campaign spokeswoman is probably trying to do the best she can with his statement–keeping the red-meat evangelicals in line (by not disavowing Huck’s “question”) and putting out platitudes about trying to keep the campaign on issues that matter.


    If Huck were to be the Republican nominee, I would hope that he got Utah’s vote only if he crawled up I-15 on hands and knees from St. George to Brigham City, allowing everyone to have one whack at him with a hairbrush (I was thinking 2×4 but that would likely put an end to him), begging forgiveness all the way.

    But he won’t be. Jackie Mason will singlehandedly rout the Huckabites and he’ll be slinking back to Arkansas with his tail between his legs by the first of March.

  24. I haven’t ever liked George W. Bush much (he only looked good in comparison to the two clowns that ran against him–of course, Homer Simpson would have looked good in the same light), but he has never to my knowledge made an overtly anti-Mormon statement. That’s one thing that separates him from the Huckster.

    And making friends with the odious is not the same as being odious oneself.

  25. Steve Evans says:

    Mark B., why does Huckabee have to be either a liar or an ignoramus? I’d like to think he could be both, if only he applied himself.

  26. This conversation will be moot in a month. There is no way Huckabee can win a national election because he moves only one group in America–Evangelicals. This is an important group, but it is not a group that can carry an election on its own.

    The primaries are about electability, and I think Republicans will vote for a candidate they believe can win. That candidate is not Huckabee. His recent surge in Iowa is cute; nothing more.

  27. The context:

    Huckabee is, indeed, a discreet fellow, but he has no trouble making his feelings known. He mentioned how much he respected his fellow candidates John McCain and Rudolph W. Giuliani. The name of his principal rival in Iowa, Mitt Romney, went unmentioned. Romney, a Mormon, had promised that he would be addressing the subject of his religion a few days later. I asked Huckabee, who describes himself as the only Republican candidate with a degree in theology, if he considered Mormonism a cult or a religion. ‘‘I think it’s a religion,’’ he said. ‘‘I really don’t know much about it.’’

    I was about to jot down this piece of boilerplate when Huckabee surprised me with a question of his own: ‘‘Don’t Mormons,’’ he asked in an innocent voice, ‘‘believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?’’

    Aw, shucks, them Mormons.

  28. Until I hear Hillary Clinton denounce Lawrence O-Donnell’s recent misinformed tirade (he’s not a Mormon, but he plays one on television), I’ll assume Democrats are no better. It feels great to be a Libertarian again. I’ll never win an election, but at least I’m not affiliated with these hate mongers anymore.

    You’re joking, right? You can’t expect a candidate on wither side to denounce some random guy that 99% of the population (including the Democratic candidates) has never heard of. If I said something in this comment about Mormons being racist would you also expect Hillary to denounce me because I consider myself a Democrat?

  29. Of course your right jjohonsen. O’Donnell’s rant just really pissed me off. Of course, he is not just some random guy to the Clintons or the Democratic party. He was the Democratic Chief of Staff of the United States Senate Committee on Finance from 1993 through 1995 during the Clinton administration and in 1992, he was Chief of Staff of the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. He’s as much a Clinton insider as anyone.

    I don’t think Hillary will say anything about this. I’m just saying she could score some points we me, and make be believe she is not just sitting on the sidelines and exploiting the religious bigotry in the Republican party, if she did.

  30. I think you are all overestimating the perceived value of the Mormon vote outside of Utah. If the Republicans get the Evangelicals and lose the Mormons, they will gladly make that trade (as would any other party, I assume)

  31. Every Mormon Republican needs to read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale before they ever consider voting for Huckabee in a national election. I don’t want to be inflammatory here, but this is exactly the kind of society that the Evangelical Right wants to create, IMO.

  32. I have no problem voting for an Evangelical. I do have a problem voting for someone that uses their faith as a wedge to push someone down and prop themselves up.

    If Utah didn’t Vote for Bush he would have lost. It will be the same for Huck, and he’ll likely lose AZ and ID too.

    Contrast Huck “innocently” bringing up anti-mormon sayings with Romney wanting to include all faiths. Certainly they are both doing what they think is in their interest, but my interests in that case align more closely with the person who doesn’t tear down others faiths to build himself up.

    I think what is tragic with many baptists is they don’t seem interested in converting people (or at best they are completely clueless about how to truly convert people). They’d rather hold their beliefs up and pridefully declare theirs are the bests while everyone else is inferior and is going to hell unless they change their ways. It’s unfortunate enemies of the church sometimes lump us in with that line of thought with the LDS concept of the Gospel is clearly the most liberal (in a non political way) of all the Christian faiths.

    On the other hand maybe Romney should just take the prophet’s advice in general conference. Half won’t see it, half who see it won’t read it, and half of those who read it won’t believe it and we don’t care about the rest anyway. Or something to that effect :)

  33. cj douglass says:

    Maybe the whittling and whistling brigade could be brought out of mothballs.

    Mark B., you slay me!

  34. “If Huck wins the nomination, I am moving to Europe.”


    I knew that LDS film “Baptists at Our Barbecue” was a hoax.

    Now, I suppose that if I moved in as your next door neighbor, Ronan, you would move to Europe, too.

    But I don’t know if the strength of Christianity is any better in Europe. :)

  35. Susan M–(#18)–you’re supposed to live in South Carolina to vote for Colbert.

    Seriously, I think Stephen Colbert would be a good president. He thinks well, he’s quick on his feet, and he has a solid moral core. Back in the olden days which only Kevin Barney and I remember, a comedian named Pat Paulsen ran for president. It was all a delightful joke, but he had his serious moments and said some profound things about patriotism and the country’s direction. (This was during the Viet Nam years, so it’s not unlike the years we’re living now.)

    I get a kick out of Colbert, but when he was on Larry King, he was absolutely serious when King asked him if he loved his country. “I do love my country,” he said, and it felt like testimony meeting. He went on to wax almost poetic as he talked about America.

    If Arnold S. can go from being a terminator to being a governor, and if Ronald Reagan can go from playing with a chimp to being the president, who’s to say that Colbert can’t be a future candidate? (Besides, Colbert supports all religions which eventually lead to Christ.)

  36. Margaret, I didn’t think you were old enough to remember Pat Paulsen, but that means you must have watched the old CBS Smothers Brothers Show, in which regard I must continue to raise my already high respect for you to even greater heights.

  37. Kevinf, I have two grandchildren. I was born the year Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. It was a good year. And you bet I watched the Smothers Brothers–Tommy and Dickie. I even had one of their RECORD ALBUMS (note to the youngsters–that’s what we had before 8-tracks and CDs).

    I also remember that Tom Smothers got smacked by Bill Cosby for making racist jokes on the Tonight Show. (I saw the show.) Cosby was on the show and simply didn’t respond, but later at a party, he let Smothers have it.

  38. The quote in context made me laugh, especially the writer’s intrusion. The initial quote is pretty good — a lie, of course, but not bad — but the question is just stupid. If the Mormon voting block mattered more, I would expect a retraction prompted by his staff. (Although one of Huck’s weaknesses is his rag-tag staff, apparently.)

    It’s a long shot, but I wouldn’t count Mike out yet. I heard Huckabee on an NPR podcast and was surprised at how funny and personable he is, even capable of self-mockery. (Unlike the Mormotron 5000.) Especially if the media takes it easy on him. And in the end, most Mormons won’t be aware enough about what Mike’s doing to see him as an antiMormon. (Unless somebody starts an email chain letter to their wards! C’mon, it’ll be fun!)

  39. I just don’t think I could bring myself to say “President Huckabee”. It sounds like President Howdy Doody or something..doesn’t quite roll off the tongue. I think I may have to move to the old country as well if it gets to that point. Although we sort of already do have a President Howdy Doody, don’t we?

  40. If Huck wins the nomination, I’m moving to Europe.

    For the record, I made a similar promise in 2000, and I delivered on it.

  41. Aaron Brown says:

    Ronan, are you moving to Old Europe, or New Europe?

  42. I have lost some respect for Romney, (the ‘Word of God’ incident, ugh) but am glad he doesn’t attack the religion of other people, from what I’ve seen.

  43. Eight?

  44. MBD, I had a four track cassette player in my car in high school, so I was only half as cool as Margaret.

  45. “Record Albums” So that’s what those big black plastic CD’s are called? :)

  46. Though Huckabee’s comments were clearly intended to be inflammatory, he isn’t completely wrong. Christ and Lucifer were both spirit children of God and in (roughly) the same sense that we are all brothers and sisters, so is Lucifer. Granted Lucifer did not keep his first estate, but that doesn’t change who he was.

  47. Norbert (40),
    Over Huckabee’s 2002 reelection as governor? Wow, that’s farsighted. :)

  48. Though Huckabee’s comments were clearly intended to be inflammatory, he isn’t completely wrong.

    Yes,but there’s this pesky little thing called context that Evangelicals, including Huckabee, rarely give. In context, it’s hardly inflammatory. However,for Evangelicals who believe that Jesus is co-eternal and consubsancial with the Father, and we’re all just Creatures, saying that Satan is Jesus’ brother is almost equivalent to saying “Mormons believe that Satan is a deity!”

    Though he came at it from a slightly different angle, Ed Decker elevated his version of this to a Mormon Doctrine The Church Secretly Teaches, the Lucifer-God Doctrine. When Jerald and Sandra Tanner argued that Mormons don’t think Lucifer is (a) god and don’t worship him, he accused them of being demon-possessed agents of the Mormon Church. Good times ;)

    It’s not what Huckabee says that bugs me. It’s what he refuses to say.

  49. I think this is making a big deal out of nothing. Worst-case scenario, Mike Huckabee thinks Mormons have crazy beliefs. What’s he gonna do, kick us out of Missouri? I guess I’m not very sensitive.

    I’m not rooting for Huckabee (except I do really like his name, and he IS Chuck Norris-approved), but it has nothing to do with his alleged religious bigotry. Really don’t care about that one.

    My daughter was telling her therapist about a boy at school who’s been teasing her, and the dr. told her she should do what the boy in Bill Cosby’s Little Bill (?) did, which was respond to every insult with, “So?” More Mormons should learn this strategy. Getting upset over every little offense, intended or otherwise, makes us look very small.

  50. Huckabee apologizes.

  51. madhousewife,

    There you go again, being all reasonable. What’s next, turn the other cheek?

    You’re right, we ought to get over our petty grudges. But I gotta admit, I loved it when Dennis Miller said that he “would rather shower in a Bangkok storm drain” than go down that road with Huckabee.

  52. The fact the Huckleberry was just asking an “innocent” question about Mormons that he didn’t think would get in the article is very telling of what he really thinks of us. It also tells me where he has been getting his info since every anti-Mormon tract or book since the Godmakers has included the inflamatory “Satan and Jesus are brothers” statement.

    That being said, appology accepted. I’m still not voting for him though because anyone who doesn’t believe in evolution is not fit to be president. lol.

    Don’t you think that Huckleberry and the Fundies would be a great name for a bluegrass band?

  53. when Dennis Miller said that he “would rather shower in a Bangkok storm drain” than go down that road with Huckabee

    Heh heh. Not a prospect I relish either, believe me. :)

  54. I did this because it has become painfully obvious that about 40% of my former party hates, or at least disrespects my faith. I was starting to feel like a Log Cabin Republican.

    I don’t know if I’ve ever felt like a Log Cabin Republican. But I will admit that I have been curious.

  55. Steve Evans says:

    gst, others can provide you better advice than I, but I’d suggest that you ease into it.

  56. Did somebody leave the “Welcome trolls” sign up?

  57. At least you have to admire his dedication – ok, even I don’t believe that.

  58. “only like minded people welcome here?”

    I can’t stop laughing long enough to type a coherent response.

  59. “However, for Evangelicals who believe that Jesus is co-eternal and consubstantial with the Father, and we’re all just Creatures, saying that Satan is Jesus’ brother is almost equivalent to saying “Mormons believe that Satan is a deity!””

    I always wondered why anti-Mormons got their panties in such a knot about the Jesus-brother thing. I guess I never realized this was just a back handed way of calling us Devil-worshipers.

    Now that I know I’m a Satanist, I can skip sacrament meeting on Sunday and just stay home and listen to my old Black Sabbath albums.

  60. Now that I know I’m a Satanist, I can skip sacrament meeting on Sunday and just stay home and listen to my old Black Sabbath albums.

    Here’s the important question though, would that include the ‘Dio’ years when he was fronting Sabs?

  61. Absolutely not! I’m an Ozzie purist. And I like Van Halen – not Van Haggar. We should at least get that doctrine clear before anyone tries to join my new church.

  62. Seriously though, is “Mormons believe Jesus and Satan are brothers” evangelical code for “Mormons are Satanists?” If it is, would Huckabee’s comment sound as innocent if he came right out and said “is it true Mormons worship Lucifer?”?

  63. Today liberal blogger Juan Cole came out against Huck’s comment. He even posted the full text of an apologetic article that explains the “Jesus brother of Satan” idea – this has got to be a first for the liberal blogosphere…

    see link here:

  64. John C. is right that the evangelical vote is more essential to the Republican coalition than Mormons because there are so many more of them than us.

    On the other hand, without the Mormon vote Republicans cannot carry swing states such as Arizona and Nevada. A careful voter analysis could probably identify a couple of other states that would become unwinable to Republican candidates without overwhelming support from Mormon voters: New Mexico and Colorado, for example, and may be even states such as Florida or Ohio.

    OK, the last two examples are stretching it but the fact remains that the Mormon vote is essential to the coalition of alienated white males that constitutes the Republican party’s base.

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