December 30th, 2007
02:15 PM ET
7 years ago

Huckabee stands firm on 'Christ' statement

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Mike Huckabee said Sunday he would not back down from a 1998 statement in which he said he hoped Baptists would "answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ."

The ordained Baptist minister made that remark at a meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention nearly a decade ago. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Huckabee said that "it was a speech made to a Christian gathering, and certainly that would be appropriate to be said to a gathering of Southern Baptists."

Evangelicals have been a driving force behind his rise in the polls. But with Huckabee’s ascending fortunes has come greater scrutiny of the role of religion in his campaign.

On Sunday, Huckabee tried to address those concerns, saying a person’s faith, or lack of faith, would not keep them from serving in his administration.

"The key issue of real faith is that it never can be forced on someone,” Huckabee said. “And never would I want to use the government institutions to impose mine or anybody else's faith or to restrict."

The presidential hopeful said he does not believe that women should face legal penalties for having abortions, but that the doctors who perform the procedure should.

"I don't know that you'd put him in prison, but there's something to me untoward about a person who has committed himself to healing people and to making people alive who would take money to take an innocent life and to make that life dead," Huckabee said.

The former governor also defended a 1998 book excerpt in which he said that “homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle."

“I don't know whether people are born that way,” Huckabee said. “People who are gay say that they're born that way. But one thing I know, that the behavior one practices is a choice. ...”

"But the most important thing is to find out, does our faith influence our public policy and how? I've never tried to rewrite science textbooks. I've never tried to come out with some way of imposing a doctrinaire Christian perspective in a way that is really against the Constitution. I've never done that," he added.

–CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Mike Huckabee
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Joe

    Allison's a prime example of a typical liberal. Debunk the faith that built this country, while enabling all other faiths, even those that place our country and its citizens in grave danger. I'd love to see what you tree huggers do when Muslims take our country by force (much as in Europe) after you allow them into the country's doors.

    December 31, 2007 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  2. Amanda Tanner

    Huckabee should continue to serve Arkansas very well. Particularly if Arkansas puts some spending limits in place and restrict his work as a judge. Arkansas is a landlocked state….somewhere in the middle of the country…..a good distance from our borders….where his mistakes could not hurt us much!

    Somehow, as governor of Ark, he was able to serve as judge and jury for complex capital crimes and determine some criminals should be set free in spite of other legal expert opinions.

    I do think Governors should govern and Judges should judge.

    Huckabee may be a great guy….haven't met him, but Arkansas is where he belongs!

    December 31, 2007 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  3. Tim, Minnesota

    Huck needs to stop sending those muslim Christmas cards about Romney. It's unchristian.

    Vote Ron Paul

    December 31, 2007 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  4. JW

    Allison from NH... You're my hero! I do not even need to write anything else.

    December 31, 2007 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  5. Phil

    This is the type of bigotry we don't need in this day & age.

    December 31, 2007 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  6. Sam IA

    Onward Christian soldiers. The democrats will move forward after the primary season united while the republicans decide who is Christian and righteous enough to lead. Have a good fight folks.
    I watched a republican senator on PBS explain the difference between a Republican and a Democrat once. He said democrats are like cats fighting under a porch, they scream and yowl and when they come out there are more cats. Republicans on the other hand eat thier young, they will throw it all away to settle an old score. Thus the popularity of hate radio.

    December 31, 2007 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  7. Derek, Yuba City CA

    I'm so glad that Huckabee is hitting slick Mitt back, Mitt doesn't want anybody to focus on his record because it is abysmal. If the Republican Party nominates this Bill Clinton in training they are signing there own death warrant. If the American people truly love and care about there country, like they claim they do. Then I urge those Americans to check out this website, to take an in-depth look at Mr. Romney.


    December 31, 2007 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  8. Rhonda, TX

    is it my imagination or does everyone see the klan hoodie when he talks

    December 31, 2007 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  9. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    ... a reminder to Brad R: God will sort it all out when we die – until then, keep him out of politics ...

    even the Bible warned about serving two masters ... and WWJD? Probably he would be considered "too liberal."

    December 31, 2007 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  10. political junkie

    I just saw an interesting article on why Huckabee has no shot as the national election. The blogger talks about how the lack of foreign policy comprehension is something that has really never been seen.

    December 31, 2007 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  11. Cody Harding

    Joe, as to your earlier post.

    You are the example of a conservative lunatic. This country was not founded, as you stated, by Christians. Nor was it meant to be a religious state. I suggest you do your homework.

    As for a man with profound faith in the white house, there should be no problem if the man knew the difference between politics and religion.

    Huckabee, for his raising of taxes and forgiving of rapist/murderers, seems to let his religion blind his sight and neglect the needs of the people he was elected to serve.

    I feel the same about Huckabee [and Paul] the same way Hunter S. Thompson felt for Nixon: "He's a man who can shake your hand and stab you in the back at the same time."

    December 31, 2007 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  12. concernediowan

    Huckabee has many stances that would cause me never to vote for him. Including his stance on illegal immigrants. Giving amnesty, in-state college tutition... It's interesting how religion is playing a part for Huckabee and Romney.

    December 31, 2007 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  13. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Huck is a true Christian...
    Oops, what about those ethics violations??

    December 31, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  14. deism

    The idea of yet another one of these superstitious wahoos being president is alarming. Choose REASON and LOGIC. We don't need any more Christian/Muslim/Jewish wars and raping. We don't need anymore manipulation of people's emotions and fears of dying. We need someone that uses their brain to make things better not worse. Are we going to have another president that believes in the virginal birth, dragons, giants, and unicorns (all in the Bible)? Are we going to have yet another president that tries to destroy the secular country that the Framers of the Constitution created? Are we going to allow yet another president to try to turn us into a Christian version of Iran?

    December 31, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  15. GoHomeMike, USA

    This pretty much sums up Mike Huckabee:

    December 31, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  16. Rich

    Joe December 31, 2007 1:46 am ET

    "I'd love to see what you tree huggers do when Muslims take our country by force (much as in Europe) after you allow them into the country's doors"

    This is why no one likes Radical Christian Extremists and their evil motives. Muslim's already live in this Country – a large majority at that. As well as Hindu, Buddhists, Catholics (Which most Christian's don't recognize as Christian), and several other religions. Your bigotry and hate is the same as Huck's and people like you should never be in power. You make me sick, and if there was a "Christ" – I am sure he would be sick by your words as well.

    Our Country was founded on people fleeing religious persecution! Go to College!

    December 31, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  17. Joe

    Who founded it then? Buddhists? Aliens? How do I need to do my homework? Hardworking Christians founded this country with their labor and sacrifice and many of the shared values and traditions that our country possesses are Christian in nature. Mohammad did not bring his followers over here and settle this country, nor did Mohatma Ghandi. I'm wholly aware that there is a separation of church and state, but there is also a distinct culture in America and it is continually under attack by fools like you.

    December 31, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Well, Huckabee really needs to distinguish what seperates his role as minister and his role as an elected government official. The times and places my be clear as to when they were said and to whom, but it really need to be made clear how much of any policy will be controlled by his religion (I don't like the word faith). Will his religious background inspire policy or is it the focus of his policy?

    Could you imagine if a Muslim, Jew or Hindu clergy was running for president after having served as a Senator or Governor? There would be quite a commotion and calls for this person to step down out of the race. I really don't think that a Jew could make this far because there would be so much anti-semitism and talk of conspiracy.

    December 31, 2007 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. James

    Huck is a GWB clone. Do we realy want 4 more years of that?

    Ron Paul 2008

    December 31, 2007 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. Paul, Kissimmee Fl

    Why are people so mad about him being a Christian?

    December 31, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  21. ExPakistani

    Religious people corrupt the politcal process. Their goals are not the same as the goals of any democratic society. This is the exact same phenomenon which I witnessed in Pakistan 22 years ago. Look at Pakistan now; broken; dysfunctional; marching proudly towards the dark ages. Praise the lord, his will is done; kids are dying; women are raped; men are killed; salvation is attained.

    It is time to learn from the mistakes that were made by those who came before us.

    December 31, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. ed

    Christlike vs: Hillary and almost every other candidate.

    I will take Christlike. Mike is not a pretender of faith. What is wrong with being Christ-like? He did not say the country would have religion forced on it. I know libs want to get God out of everything so you can do anything and blame it on the newest condition or family problem. Unless you don't know what Christ-like is, how could you argue with being Christ-like?

    Ed -Columbus

    December 31, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. Cody Harding

    Joe, from what I read, you want to live in ignorance:

    The nation was made to ESCAPE religious persecution from the Angelican Church. The Puritans, a group wishing to return to 'pure' worship, were our forefounders, NOT Christians.

    Jefferson wrote about his famed 'Wall seperating Church and State' to the Danbury baptist society.

    The values that drive our society, including the three unalienable rights, were based on common sense and love for your fellow man. Nearly every religion stresses this, though many people don't follow it in their religions.

    As for the 'Distinct Culture' under attack in America, look at their record. The KKK, lynchings, abortion clinic bombings, the 'God Loves IED's' protesters. Guess what they follow Joe?

    Now, give me one reason, one reason why I am flawed for my thoughts.

    I did my research, Joe. Want to do yours now?

    January 1, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  24. Ruth Thompson

    America needs more strong men like Mike Huckabee ! Someone must do something besides scrounge for money. His stand against abortion is so admirable, America has stood by wordless and actionless while millions of babies were slautered, burned, poisoned, sliced in pieces by so called doctors and the mothers and fathers of these babies allowed to just walk away without paying for the crime of blatent murder. We need more men Like Mr. Huckabee to give us stronger laws against not only abortion but child molesters that at present only recieve a slap for heinious crimes against our children. When a nation turns against its own young, it is a madness, only mad dogs will turn and rend thier pups. We need Mike Huckabe and other strong christians to stand up and fight for the helpless humans here. As a strong christian myself, I can not understand what everyone is so against, is it because Jesus teaches kindness, gentleness, honesty, goodness, healing, telling only the truth, faith, meekness? Or how about the Lord's teaching against backbiting and cruelty. Only a stupid person would be against these teachings, we need these things taught, the reason we are such a great nation is that these things were ingrained in us from the beginning of this country. RThompson

    January 1, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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