November 26th, 2007
07:19 AM ET
13 years ago

Huckabee talks Jesus, not politics

Watch part of Mike Huckabee's sermon at Gateway Baptist Church in Irmo, South Carolina.

FOUNTAIN INN, South Carolina (CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee stepped into a familiar role on Sunday morning: that of Baptist minister.

Huckabee, who was a minister before he served two and a half terms as governor as Arkansas, took to the stage for about half an hour at two Baptist churches in South Carolina and told the congregations: "I am here today to talk about Jesus and not to talk about me."

"I always try to remind people that there is a place for politics, but when I come to church, it's to worship," he said at Gateway Baptist Church in Irmo, where he was mistakenly introduced as "Governor Hucklebee."

In Irmo and at First Baptist Church in Fountain Inn, Huckabee weaved jokes and anecdotes from his life in Arkansas into his sermons while also demonstrating a deep familiarity with the New Testament, quoting passages from memory.

"God is still looking for good soldiers, good soldiers for Christ," he told the congregation in Irmo. "Every single person here is a soldier that God needs in his army. He is just waiting on us to say here am I, send me."

Huckabee said he has been confronted by people unsure about his transition from faith to politics.

"If you've been a pastor as I have and then you run for office, there are some people who are incredibly uncomfortable with all of that," he said, but joked that they were "undecided voters."

In his second sermon of the morning, Huckabee urged the audience into avoid arrogance and selfishness.

"Any time we ever look down on somebody for whatever reason, that's the sin," he said. "What we look down on them for is not nearly as sinful a behavior as our act of looking down, somehow thinking that our standard of behavior was superior to theirs and not understanding that neither our nor their standard of behavior matches up to His, because His is the only behavior that ever really hit it right on the mark.

"The only good thing about any of us is the God in us, not the us," Huckabee said.

After the later service ended in Fountain Inn, Huckabee and his wife Janet lingered for an hour shaking hands with dozens of church-goers who had lined up to meet them, many of whom told CNN they were already supporting Huckabee's presidential bid.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: Faith • Mike Huckabee • South Carolina
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Christianity is, for the most part, a top-down, authoritarian, institution that presumes to tell people how to run their lives and, worse, what they are required to believe. Any individual who is an active, willing, participant of an institution of such profound philosophical arrogance is, as far as I'm concerned, completely unacceptable as President. Such an individual has already demonstrated a capacity and willingness, to cram his, and his institution's, philosophies down everyone else's throats–"for their own good," of course.

    Another thing that bothers me is that with people who sincerely accept religion, you can never be sure whether their decisions are intended to benefit the people they serve, or the god they serve–and those two masters might or might not be served simultaneously.

    November 25, 2007 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  2. Seka, Nashville, TN

    didn't the christian crusades end like 700 years ago? another fruitcake perverting religion. stick to infecting your congregation with your poison, and not this entire nation.

    November 25, 2007 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  3. Chrristian, North Carolina

    Amen to Christian, Richmond, VA

    November 25, 2007 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  4. Ryan, St. Paul, MN

    The mistake wasn't "Governor"... it was "Hucklebee" instead of "Huckabee"

    November 25, 2007 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  5. Newt G. Chicago Ill

    "I always try to remind people that there is a place for politics, but when I come to church, it's to worship,"

    What is missing from the quote:
    Yet I think Politics belongs in church. That is why I am here in South Carolina in your Church today. To pander to you on such a personal level that you will then vote for me. I am going to ignore all common sense that tells me that I should state that I am a man of Faith and leave it at that.
    No wait I will go on:
    "Any time we ever look down on somebody for whatever reason, that's the sin," he said. "What we look down on them for is not nearly as sinful a behavior as our act of looking down, somehow thinking that our standard of behavior was superior to theirs and not understanding that neither our nor their standard of behavior matches up to His, because His is the only behavior that ever really hit it right on the mark." Here I show that I draw near HIM with my words but my actions are far from HIM. Why else would I make such a statement when I have just stated that Mitt Romney is this and Rudy Guiliani is that and I am the better person. They are heathens....
    Baptist the Jihadist of the Christian right.

    November 25, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  6. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    To Jim Hamilton of Fort Wayne Indiana:

    "On the whole I would rather befriend a Christian than someone with no foundation of principles."

    This seems to suggest that you believe it is impossible to be principled without accepting a religion. Not only is this an arrogant, offensive, assertion, it is also demonstrably wrong. It's not at all difficult to make a case that principles based entirely on fear of a god are of questionable sincerity.

    November 25, 2007 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  7. Linda - Albany, NY

    "God is still looking for good soldiers, good soldiers for Christ," he told the congregation in Irmo. "Every single person here is a soldier that God needs in his army. He is just waiting on us to say here am I, send me."

    Isn't this similar to Osama Bin Laden's advice to the taliban?

    November 25, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  8. Mark Golembiowski, Chicago, IL

    Soldiers for God ... isn't that what Al Quaida and the Taliban are looking for as well?? Just what we need, another President to lead a great crusade!

    November 25, 2007 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  9. E,

    Im sorry, but are we trying to decide on a minister or a president?!
    Either I feel that this article communicates the actions of a person who blatantly intends to violate the notion of the separation of church and state because I view things objectively or I feel this way because I'm not a christian.

    People who do things like this should be prohibited from running for public offices.... Appealing to the sheeples.

    I can't wait to see the day when humanity is over religion.

    November 25, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  10. ashley, foxworth, ms

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1107/7000_Page2.html
    Politico :Huckabee rivals unearth ethics complaints
    By: Kenneth P. Vogel

    The ethics commission fined Huckabee $1,000 for failing to report that he paid himself $14,000 from his 1992 U.S. Senate campaign and $43,000 from his 1994 lieutenant governor's campaign.

    The latter payment — for the use of his eight-seat, twin-engine plane — was reported in a cryptic way that didn’t identify Huckabee and his wife as the owners of the plane.
    There is much more to this story click on link above.

    November 25, 2007 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  11. Bob, Brookfield, WI

    Linda: Baptists have been singing Onward Christian Soldiers for many years but they don't teach their kids about suicide bombings in Sunday School

    November 25, 2007 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  12. Brad, from the great state of Texas

    Hey Brian, have you ever actually read that book? It has been the spiritual foundation for billions of people for thousands of years, but you choose to focus on the negatives (yes, the Bible has been used to justify evil deeds by evil individuals who have twisted the words around). Also, you choose to ignore the fact that Christians give more of their time and money to charity than non-Christians in this country. Maybe you haven't noticed this because you're too wrapped up in your materialistic world.

    You also said "that's not a plus in my book." What would that happen to be–the Anarchist Cookbook? A little advice: use some common sense before you regurgitate hateful, ill-informed filth.

    November 25, 2007 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  13. Lover of God and Christ and mankind

    Henry Miller, clearly you do not understand what Christianity is all about. Neither God nor Christ nor true followers of Christ ever implied that they would or could shove their way down anyone's throat. God/Christ and some (but not all Christians) know it is a matter of choice. Someone/something has caused you to be bitter about Christ but guess what...He loves you anyway. Many Christians don't live/behave as they should but you shouldn't judge Christ as you do people. Christ is truly who he said he is and worthy of worship. Read the book of John and ask God to help you to understand the truth. If you really want to know the truth and you seek for God with all your heart then you will find out what the truth is...and you will have true peace. One other thing-Humanism is a religion too, but Christianity is by far better. Don't let wolves in sheeps clothing deter you from seeking the true Lamb of God.

    November 25, 2007 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  14. chris, highland lakes, nj

    I do not want to mean. I do not want to be biased. I like what Huckabee has to say, but he does not come close to Ron Paul. Just research him. Thats all I have to say

    November 25, 2007 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  15. Jen, San Diego, CA

    You dummy. He was mistakenly referred to a Governor HuckLEbee.

    And who really cares if Obama inhaled? At least he's telling the truth, unlike that joker in Arkansas who lies to our faces about being a fiscal conservative.

    Go Hillary, because there just isn't anyone better.

    November 25, 2007 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  16. chris, Chicago, IL

    Obama admits to inhaling, but will this guy admit to Worshipping a Roman Empirical Governor /SLASH/ Ancient Historical Warmonger?

    Probably not.

    http://www.golden-lamp.com

    November 25, 2007 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  17. nameless

    May be he need to know I know where to go if I need God!

    November 26, 2007 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  18. Dismayed in Eugene OR

    Danger! Danger! Gov Huckabee is preaching! Can you imagine if this was a story about Romney doing the preaching? He'd be raked through the coals on this one. Alarms would be going off, red flags everywhere. But when a Southern Baptist minister preaches, it's acceptable. Where's the double-standard?

    November 26, 2007 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  19. TJ, Lewisville, AR

    This is awful. Huckabee would not have been extended the invitation to preach at this church if he wasn't running for President. I expect that he wouldn't have accepted either. I think the fact that Huckabee is touring the country preaching while running for President is deplorable. It's the equivalent of having casual sex while trying to save the world from sexually transmitted diseases.

    The clergy is a very respectable profession, it is horrible that it is being exploited for votes.

    November 26, 2007 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  20. Steve, Casper, WY

    Another presidential candidate who loves sin because it gives him sinners to hate. Disgusting.

    November 26, 2007 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  21. Mary, Seoul

    Henry.. actually if you studied up on religions you would find that Christianity is the only religion that does NOT believe in getting to heaven through good deeds.. so your belief that Christianity tells you a "certain" way to live is completely unfounded.

    November 26, 2007 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  22. PAUL PROVIDENCE RI

    Separation of church and state, remember this? I am sick of people bring religion into politics. Religion is a private matter.

    November 26, 2007 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  23. Some College Kid, Cary NC

    Oh no, Huckabee went to a church and preached, what a jerk he must be looking for votes! Oh wait, then we read the article and realize that he use to be a minister. So what, if he loves God? That is wonderful for him, if he follows God doubly so. A better standard to judge him on however, would be where he stands on relevant issues and if he acts with integrity.
    William Courtland: Spell check, thank you.

    November 26, 2007 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  24. Jake, Madison

    Wow.

    I cannot believe people still believe in seperation of church and state.

    As for this pastor for president thing. There is a great article on
    http://www.shallsetyoufree.com in the "In The News" section.

    November 26, 2007 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  25. AnaHadWolves, Philadelphia, PA, USA

    @ Steve, Rumford Rhode Island:

    Steve, no one really cares what a person's PERSONAL beliefs are; we DO care, however, if those personal beliefs overshadow a public career.

    I want ethical, moral and law-abiding people as leaders; being a Christian doesn't necessarily guarantee that. Look at Jim and Tammy Faye, Oral Roberts, Jr, Jimmy Swaggart, thousands of Roman Catholic priests and God knows how many more!

    If Huckabee wants to be a missionary for Christ, good for him; if he wants to be the President of the US AND a missionary for Christ, bad for us. We do NOT need a theocracy instead of a Republic. Period.

    November 26, 2007 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
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