December 12th, 2007
09:40 AM ET
4 years ago

Huckabee takes fire for Mormon comment

Huckabee is taking heat for his comments on Mormonism.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Mike Huckabee is facing fire Wednesday for comments he makes in an upcoming New York Times Magazine article that appear to disparage the Mormon faith.

In the article, a preview of which is posted on the New York Times Web site, the former Arkansas governor is quoted as asking, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

The comment came after New York Times reporter Zev Chafets asked Huckabee point-blank whether he thought Mormonism was a religion or a cult. Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, said he thought it was the former, but conceded he doesn't "know much about it."

Speaking on NBC's Today Show, rival candidate Mitt Romney - himself a Mormon - said, "I think attacking someone's religion is really going too far. It's not the American way."

In a statement released late Tuesday night, Huckabee's campaign said the candidate was taken out of context in the New York Times article and was not bashing the religion but instead was "illustrating his unwillingness to answer questions about Mormonism and to avoid addressing theological questions during this campaign."

"Gov. Huckabee has said consistently that he believes this campaign should center on a discussion of the important issues confronting our nation, and not focus on questions of religious belief," Dr. Charmaine Yoest, a senior advisor to the campaign said in a statement. "He wants to assure persons of all faith traditions of his firm commitment to religious tolerance and freedom of worship."

Full story

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (275 Responses)
  1. statistical hypothesis

    Randy S. Lawton, OK:

    You said: "By what means do you determine the above fact. Atheism absolutely is not a religion. Who do they pray to or worship? What is the dogma? What is the doctrine? Where do they congregate? Whan an idiot!"

    Einstien, first of all I didn't say it was a fact, but rather a theory or a statistical hypothesis. Further, according to Dictionary.com the definition of religion is "something one believes in and follows devotedly". I bet you didn't even know that the word "religion" may mean something other than the "religion as belief in God".

    Atheists believe NOTHING – this is their belief, their dogma. What is their doctrine? Let's again refer to Dictionary.com and check what is the definition of "atheism". Shall we? Atheism – the doctrine that there is no God or gods; denial that there is a God; disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.

    Happy now, Einstien?

    December 12, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  2. Steve, Lyons, CO

    "Mike huckabee is right and mitt romney should get over it. The mormons say Jesus and Lucifer are brothers. well if you read the king James bible Lucifer became the devil when kicked out of heaven."

    Do any of you christian robots ever wonder why your god was so weak, he created angels that ended up turning against him, one becoming Lucifer?

    This is supposedly a omnipotent deity?

    Here's why bashing Huckabee and his religion isn't bashing everyone's: Huckabee doesn't believe in evolution or global warming. He's scientifically challenged. The U.S. does NOT need another religiously-deluded extremist like President George "God told me to kill innocent Iraqi civilians" Bush.

    December 12, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. ray madison wi

    how in the world is that an attack on romneys religion? what is untrue about the statement? thats why romney wont win – he is ashamed of his mormonism because its a strange belief compared to christianity. if he is offended, its because the rest of america can see that. hope is gets throttled in these primaries.

    December 12, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. Joe,NY

    Hey Jason, My dad was stationed at Beale AFB 45 years ago! Read Truth Seekers comment and let me know what ya think.

    December 12, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Huckabee proclaims to be a God fearing man and a minister makes me wonder what God does he serve and I like to hear him explain his religion. However, I don't think Mitt Romney would stoop that low to ask Huckabee to explain his religion after that comment. Huckabee is a snake oil salesman.

    December 12, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. Heather

    I do not think that the comment was attacking the Mormon religion. What he said is right we do belive that we are all spirit children and brothers and sisters therfore meaning Christ and Saan are brothers. It was why he said it, to point out a belief he thought people would think odd.

    It is common knowladge that southern baptists belive Mormons are a cult and therefor he as a priest would have taught a congregation that very fact. why doesn't someone ask him that.

    December 12, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. Truth Seeker

    Read the Bible; find out for yourself.

    December 12, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Christen

    When LDS Members go through the temple for the first time they are given garments to be worn as underwear, the G's are to be next to the skin (worn under the bra). They are to remind you to be modest (as they go down to the knees and off the shoulder, They have to be bought through the church (hmmm) and can only be taken off for the 4 s' (swimming, sex, shower, and sometimes sports. The G's have symbols on it to remind members of covenants or "promises" they have made to god. They are suppose to protect them from physical harm and from christs brother lucifer. If you want more info look on youtube type in ormon underwear. Kolob is also doctrine, again go to youtube and type in "mormon cartoon".

    December 12, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. Jaik , chicago, IL

    This is so funny, its like a guy that believes Superman is real arguing against a guy that thinks Spiderman is real. If you believe in invisible superhumans like santa and jesus, with no evidence for either, how can you be trusted with a nuclear arsenal ? there was no evidence for WMD in iraq either.

    December 12, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR

    I finally was able to put into words why Huck repulses me.

    He is running his campaign on the dynamics of religious competition. He is attempting to run it as a religion popularity contest. And these are his credentials. I’m the same religion as you, so vote for me. I’m a Bigot just like you. I smear other people’s religions and creeds. I am the elite Christian, I have exclusive rights to Jesus, I decide who is Christian and who is not.

    Never mind immigration, never mind being tough on crime, never mind I’m into nanny-state.

    The tradition and spirit of the KKK in the South still lingers folks, just a different target, but it is always someone.

    Huckabee’s surge will not endure, he runs on a repulsive, pompous platform.

    By the way: Evangelicals believe that Huckabee and Adolf Hitler are brothers.

    December 12, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  11. Skeptic, Staunton, VA

    Steve said: "The Know-Nothings as a political movement died in the mid-1800s."

    You wish, Steve (and so do I). They just changed their name to Republicans.

    Dani said: "Besides, what we need to be asking Huck – the "Christian" candidate about is his last few days in the Governor's Mansion in Arkansas. Why did he feel the need to use state funds to destroy (and by destroy I mean physically smash) the hard drives of several state-owned computers on his way out? And why did he deplete the state's Emergency Fund on non-emergencies on his way out of office, leaving the next governor with no money to help the several Arkansas towns hit by tornadoes shortly after the change in governorship? These are just a couple of questions that might be more appropriate for a potential presidential candidate. His 10 years as governor ought to provide anyone w/ many more. CNN (and every other news agency) needs to get somebody in Arkansas to start looking into these and other issues."

    --

    Also, let's look into why he and his wife registered for "wedding" gifts, 30 years after their wedding, for tens of thousands of dollars worth of goods that they expected people to buy for them to furnish their next home (but I'm REALLY curious as to what was on those hard drives!).

    Lastly, let's ask Huckabee, who wants credit for being a Christian leader but not the hard questions that might go with it, why he claims most of the sermons he gave as a preacher were destroyed and the press has no right to see those that "remain." He delivered them to thousands of people at a time, but Americans have no right to see what's in them now???

    December 12, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Jayson in Beale I can appreciate why you and other Mormons would get sick of how your religion is preceived by others.

    I'm not making a judgement call regarding Huckabee's private opinion regarding Mormonism or any other religion. I'm only addressing the question he was asked in the context of the interview.

    I am not a religious person in any regard. Having said that, I do not make judgements regarding those who choose to put faith in a belief system, regardless of religion. I find the entire "I'm a Christian and you're not" discussion disingenuous anyway. I've seen and heard too many religious leaders of many faiths make comments that fly in the face of their most basic religious rules.

    To that end I judge the candidates on their actions. I don't care what faith they are. Huckabee is a solid man who makes no excuses and does not pander for votes, which is not the case with other candidates. I find this particularly refreshing.

    I like Ron Paul for the same reason. I just wish he were a better speaker.

    December 12, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. JOHN, LITHONIA, GEORGIA

    KEYES CLEARLY DOES not HAVE THE KEYS TO EITHER THE THE white house OR THE NEAREST REST ROOM.
    PERHAPS HE LIKES THE IDEA OF BEING ON TV BUT I THOUGHT THAT FRED THOMPSON WOULD HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF BEING IN THE MAKE-UP CHAIR.

    December 12, 2007 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  14. Dave, Farmington Hills, MI

    "Can a real LDS member please explain what magic underwear is or if it even is a real thing in LDS. And also please explain Jesus and Kolob? Is that a real thing or are people just trying to make LDS look weird?
    Posted By Chris NY,NY : December 12, 2007 2:42 pm"
    Chris and any other truly interested person:
    The truth is you will not find this answer on CNN.com (or any other website, for that matter). Let's face it, those writing comments on this topic are not a random population sample: you have a bi-modal sample of LDS members defending their tenets (myself included) and those who wish to disparage those same beliefs. The fact is, those LDS members who can answer your specific questions will not do so in a public forum. Those who ridicule LDS beliefs will do so in public, but they tend to either (1) not be LDS and have contorted, second-hand knowledge of LDS beliefs, or (2) former LDS who have a vested incentive in demonizing their former beliefs (basic psychology). My point is recognize the biases of those who answer your questions in public, especially those who point you to YouTube videos. If you really want to understand LDS theology, ask your local LDS friends or visit http://www.mormon.org.

    December 12, 2007 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  15. David Arnsmeyer, Marionville, MO

    I think we're missing the real issue. If he is elected president, what kind of problems would his loose tongue and insensitivity to other religions and cultures get this country into? Isn't it a given that our next leader should at least have a clue when it comes to respect for other cultures and religions?

    December 12, 2007 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  16. Karen Houston TX

    DOES ANYONE ACTUALLY CARE WHERE EITHER OF THE CANDIDATES STAND ON ANY OF THE ISSUES OF RELEVANCE?

    ARE YOU ALL SO EASILY DISTRACTED?

    WHAT ARE THEIR RECORDS AND VIEWS ON:
    TAXES
    ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
    EDUCATION
    THE WAR
    CREATING NEW JOBS FOR AMERICANS
    FAIR TRADE ETC.

    We are not here to bicker over relegions. Holy Crap! Have you all forgotten that it is an election year and we are looking for a man who is qualified to lead the country. If any of you are honestly so caught up the idea that Mormonism or being a Baptist is actually going to affect the candidates abilities for the better or the worse you are seriously deluded and I would like to suggest therapy and possinly some medication.

    December 12, 2007 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  17. Damon Gus Seattle, WA

    The most basic question should be; are we all brothers & sisters of a loving Heavenly Father (aka God)? In the Mormon faith that answer is YES! Where most Christian sects take issue is that Mormons believe God (Heavenly Father) and Jesus are NOT the same person. If everyone that has ever lived or will live on this earth is a spirit child of God that would include Jesus and Lucifer. They believe that Jesus is the ONLY Begotten Son of God, the only perfect man that has walked or will ever walk on this earth. They worship him as the Savior of the world, the Redeemer of ALL mankind. Whether Mormons are a cult is really a matter of a person’s definition of the word “cult”. Dictionary.com defines a CULT as; #4. "A group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc." It should be noted that those that followed Jesus when he walked the earth would also have been considered a cult in there day.

    December 12, 2007 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  18. Will Artaza, Pleasant Grove, Utah

    Well, hey come on guys! Us mormons (LDS) aren't bad. We have different beliefs is all. We don't wear "magic underwear" we haven't been polygamous in 200 or so years. We're not racist, you don't have to go on a mission, JS did not have 23-33 wives, he had one and he died as a martyr. Moms can see their children get married, but can't go in the temple to see them get sealed. SO what? That's what we believe! And mormonism is in no way, a cult. What is it about us that makes us seem creepy? We're Christian, just like all the others. Christian is referred to believing in Christ which we do! We believe families are important because they are! Look at how your family affected you! They taught you, raised you, they were there for you! Mormon or not, we believe every family is of equal importance, we love everyone just as we do ourselves, and we don't harbor hate either, we're just good people, who are being judged poorly! Unwed mothers are encouraged to give their children up for adoption if it's just too difficult for them to take care of them! It makes me mad to be called something I'm not. I get judged for being a normal, good person, when if you saw me down the street, I would look like everyone else! We as mormons don't judge you, so then why do you judge us? You talk about religious freedom, and here you are persecuting us! That's why we came to Utah! Because no one would accept us, just because they didn't get the whole story!

    Mitt Romney will make a great president I believe! He won't push religion on anyone, " Let man worship how, when, or where he may " That's what we go by! And any president might try to push us into a relgion, but that's why we can impeach them!

    Go here to learn more!

    http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=e419fb40e21cef00VgnVCM1000001f5e340aRCRD

    December 13, 2007 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  19. Kristy Sanborhn, Buckhorn, Mo.

    Why did he bring it up to start with?
    I have heard so many times, the two things you don't talk about is politics and religion (then the came the 'ticker'!) Then the politician attacks the other on his religious beliefs, something you just don't do to anyone.
    I happen to know some people of the Morman religion, and they are fine people, one is a very high ranking officer in our Military, so I don't care what Huckabee thinks of Romney or anyone else of that religion.
    I knew this was going to be a mudslinging campaign, but I had no idea it was going to go this low.
    The only man I see so far not slinging any mud, is Mr. John McCain.
    That alone singles him out in this election.

    Kristy Sanborn, Buckhorn, Mo.

    December 13, 2007 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  20. Terry, El Paso, TX

    None of our religions can claim a majority of people as believers. Christianity is the belief of about a third of the human race. Islam is the belief of about 20%. Secularism (or no religion) comes in third with 17%, narrowly beating out the Hindus with 14%. See http://www.liberalandproudofit.com/html/the_religion_problem.html

    So, no matter what your religion is, you believe that most of the human race is lost in error. That is to say, no matter what religion you choose, at least two-thirds of the human race believes that you are an infidel, a heretic, a teacher of false doctrines, and a worshiper of false gods. Even Christians worship many gods. Each Christian denomination worships a different god, but the confusion comes from the fact that they are all named God. However, the various Christian Gods are very different in their personalities, teachings, and behaviors. The God of the Pope is not the same as the God of Pat Robertson. The gay-hating God of some Episcopalians is not the same fellow as the gay-loving God of other Episcopalians. The only thing they all have in common is that they all believe themselves to be the only ones who are right. All the others are wrong.

    We are NEVER going to agree on a theology. Give it up. Religion has no place in politics.

    December 13, 2007 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  21. Mark G., BBH, ME

    It comes from an aprocryphacal text that Joe Smith in his wisdom retruned to the Bible after the religion was hijack at Nicea. They removed the book of Enoch in thier wisdom as well. If you are passionate about being informed read teh Inspired text of the Bible.

    It deals with the rebellion of Satan and the casting out of heaven, why has modern religion not address the fall?

    December 13, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. Jose Card

    My religion is, of course, better than anybody else's. That's why we don't need a pastor in the White House. It will spell trouble for our freedom of religion or no religion.

    Separation of church and state is one of the foundations of this country.

    December 13, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. Buzz, ChillinByTheSea, California

    Whoever is moderating this forum has removed a post of mine, that was up for hours, and I'd like to know if this has happened to others, or, is my free speech being restricted individually by CNN? (Hopefully, they won't remove this one, too, or we'll never know). If this was a mistake, fine, but, the post concerned basic information and questions re: religious beliefs, which is what the topic concerned. It would be interesting to know the actual "problem". I've found that many folks, including moderators, have the incorrect idea that their personal choice to believe in the supernatural, somehow is sacred, and not to be questioned by those who believe otherwise. Is there any rational reason to show extraordinary respect for someone's choice to believe something or other? Either folks don't remember, or, never knew, that the Constitution has no interest in endorsing someone's choice of an unseen spirit to beleive in. It is about personal freedom, and has nothing to do with religion, other than as it clearly states, that religion will NOT be used as a test for public office, or that the government will NOT establish a religion. That seems pretty clear, doesn't it? God is not mentioned in the Constitution at all, and, it was not a mistake. Our forefathers understood much better than our current crop, why it is important to remove religion from government functions. It would be refreshing if (mostly) Judeo-Christian folks who are determined to have their personal choice of godfigure elevated to number one, by law, actually read and understand the document. They might get the clue that it doesn't matter one whit what you believe about how we got here. Folks have been believing in godfigures of one kind or another for eons. That's fine. My problem is when it melds with government. History tells us that usually means a loss of freedom. Making a personal choice to believe in a godfigure does not afford one special treatment. Especially in a Free society,like the USA, and, one need only look to the MidEast to see mindless Theocracy in action. This whole thread is an argument over which view of unverifiable events, by an unseen entity, is, or, is not, correct. It doesn't matter, since it is about "faith", not fact, and both are arguing about unseen entities that may or may not exist. If anything I assert above is factually untrue, please note it. It would truly be incredible if my post was taken down for offending someone's personal "idea" of a creator, and my choice to question that "idea", since it has been thrust into the public forum. Merry Christmas, moderators. Tell me it ain't so.

    December 13, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  24. christen

    oh excuse me then "the holy garnment". Yes, "worthy" members do.

    December 13, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. Chucky, PDX OR

    Not sure what Huckabee is apologizing for–what he basically said was true. He could have also asked additional valid questions, such as:
    Didn't the Mormon church bar Blacks from the priesthood until just 30 yrs ago?
    Don't the Mormons believe that God use to be a human being, and that Mormons can also ascend to "Godhood?"
    Don't Mormons believe in the Book of Mormon, which details the story of Jesus and Jews in ancient America, a story which is completely unsubstantiated by archaeology?

    If Americans have concerns with Romney's religion, perhaps people should actually take a closer look at his religion to understand why.

    December 13, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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