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. roger, conway sc

    I feel there is nothing wrong with being a christian and/or a politician being a christian BUT had it not been for Huckabee's run for president he would not have been in SC so he is using his religion to make political gains...I am not judging him the MAN up above will do that this is just my personal opinion...this is another reason we Dems feel that most republicans are hypocrites

    November 26, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  2. Steve, Landing, NJ

    It's funny how Huckabee can say something really good, like "looking down on people is usually worse than whatever you're looking down on those people for", and then follow it up with something crazy and terrifying, like "the only good in us is the God in us, not us".

    Religion is a scary thing. It bypasses the rational thought process and encourages people to behave in ways that a thinking person wouldn't. Sometimes that's good, more often it's bad, and it's always creepy.

    Huckabee's last comment is a great example of why overly religious people are not the right people to have in power. A rational humanist will make practical decisions based on achieving the best possible ends for everyone involved–Good for the country and the world. A truly religious person will stand on a (usually pointless) principle, even when it results in death and horror for all involved. And why? Either because 1: They don't want to go to Hell, 2: They want to go to Heaven, 3: They have an overactive desire to be viewed by their religious peers as "good", or 4: They are so uncomfortable with moral uncertainty that they need to consult an authority to make their decisions, and NEVER because 5: They want to do what is best for everyone involved, or 6: They have come to an independent conclusion about right and wrong.

    Which of these do we want to see in a leader? 1-4 are weak, sad ways to live your life. 5-6 are what should motivate a leader, and they are entirely opposed to the basis of organized religion.

    November 26, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |

    Huckabee would strike Pakistan in case of "imminent threat"


    November 26, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. T

    some 85% of Americans claim to believe in God. No this should not be the only (or even the main) reason to vote for someone but it does matter. It tells you something about their character. Not that he is Christian but what he is actually saying.

    Oh and to all those people who jump on all the religious people out there, who claim that Christians are close minded, that they stand on a soap box be careful you remarks basically put you in the same class. You risk being exposed for someone who is closed minded, standing on a soap box, and disrespecting others.

    November 26, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. Independent in IA

    Moses this boy ain't!!! David he ain't!!! Solomon he ain't!!! The only thing this clown psycho.

    November 26, 2007 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  6. Tyson, New York

    Don't all the presidental candidates profess some sort of faith in a higher power? Why bash on Huckabee because he is preaching what he believes. He has a right, it is a free country. So what, he's a christian. If your an athiest, good for you. But unless you're going to run for president, quite complaining.

    November 26, 2007 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  7. andy hillsdale nj

    to ryan of indianapolis... thank goodness america doesn't vote that way. most people vote the man or woman. not their religious beliefs. savv that for the darkness... more people died in the name of religion then for all other reasons combined. if you keep this ball rolling the dog will stop hunting........

    November 26, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |

    Obama attends a religious gathering on the campaign trail, its cool.
    A former preacher turned politician attending and talking at a religious gathering on the campaign trail, SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, and the tolerant left spits out the usual hate. Im no bible thumper, believe me, but grow up people alot of americans and I do mean alot, are christians who likes to sit around and talk about God. Its funny how its only a big deal when its not your guy/gal doing it, this is for both sides.

    November 26, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  9. Matthew, Charleston, WV

    The outrage over a Christain running for president is actually sort of funny. I get the feeling that the people that are saying this forgets that the majority of this country's founders were Christain, and the majority of this country's presidents were Christian, whether liberal and conservative.

    Frankly, I respect Huckabee for wearing his faith on his sleeve. Too often we have politicians minimizing their core belief system when they think it will lose them a few votes. I apologize if I am incorrect, but I believe it was John Kerry in 2004 that said he personally was pro life, but was publicly pro abortion. I believe I would rather have someone leading me that leads from their personal belief system and what they think is right, rather than what they think will get them more votes. But alas, politics is filled with politicians.

    November 26, 2007 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  10. Ricky J. Fico

    "A foundation is but the base and it is the collection of building blocks that creates what many should strive to ascend." RJF

    If the highest office in the land promotes harmony, good will and worldly contentment while condemning greed, dishonesty and ignorance then it matters not to me what religion is adhered to....

    November 26, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. Linda - Albany, NY

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

    Posted By Bob, Brookfield, WI

    No, instead they teach religious intolerance and spew hate towards those that don't believe as they do, but I suppose you see them as being "justified?"

    Please, save your argument for someone else.

    November 26, 2007 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  12. Chris, Pensacola FL

    Cable King Pittsburgh,

    I think Ryan had meant the majority of those Americans who DO go to religious worship, go to Christian worship.

    We all know most Americans don't worship anything other than money and the TV. (With the idea that worship is defined by something that takes up a majority of your time or thoughts).

    David, brother, I don't think there is enough proof or evidence to justify our "self defense". I just don't see it. I suppose I could take Fox News or CNN News at face value, but I won't.

    I do understand people died, and my heart breaks for the families. I just don't know who committed these acts. No one has claimed it. I tend to side with the "crazy foil hat citizens" (which are quite a few in number to my amazement). I'm not saying our country is wrong. I just don't think one can put the blame on a religion like you just have.

    November 26, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  13. Joseph H, Warner Robins, Georgia

    Personally, I don't have any problems with Mike Huckabee. His appeal to the far right base in the GOP won't translate into votes from the moderates, the so-called "mushy middle" of the voter bell curve. What concerns me as a fellow Christian is a man who vehemently believes we are in Iraq to protect our own country (and not our oil interests). Iraq had nothing, whatsoever, to do with 9/11. They do, however, have lots of oil that the US would love to "help" the Iraqis secure. Ron Paul really schooled Huckabee during the debates. Beware of Christians who are pro-Iraq War and are frothing at the mouths over attacking Iran while they have never served in the US military and have no children and granchildren serving. The correct term is a chickenhawk. Would the GOP leaders be so adamant with waging war if their children and grandchildren would be in harm's way and on the front lines – I think not. Ron Paul will bring our beloved troops home ASAP.

    November 26, 2007 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  14. Danny Casolaro Martinsburg, WV

    A wise man once said, "There was only one Christian, and he died on the cross".

    November 26, 2007 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  15. Chris, Pensacola FL

    Daniel, what's your mojo? All you seem to do is post links to a blog. Is that your blog? Do you want people to read it? Do you get paid for doing these things? I just don't understand why you post these links and not talk about the issue at hand. By the way, your (if they are so) blogs are false and not at all accurate.

    November 26, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  16. Whyne

    I have been a Democrat eventhough I'm CCanadian. This time I really see the importance of the Moral Gauge that America needs as they try to set an example for the world. George Bush DICK Chaney and Donald Rumsfield and a few others have really messed up the world with their brand of what they think to be in the best interest of America. AMERICA let me inform you that YOU are not God's only gift to this world. Can you Imagine "God blss America" yet so evil?

    I wish to support Mike Huckabee as the only honest person runnung ofr the presidency right now.

    As an outsider looking in I'll make this prediction now. Mike Huckabee will be the next president of the United States.

    Anyother; Republican or Democrat- it will be a continuation of georgebushism.

    November 26, 2007 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. Brandon, Tampa, FL

    Mike Huckabee is starting to truly frighten me. The fact that a fundamentalist Bible-thumping wackjob actually has a chance of being our next president is simply unnerving.

    I wasn't even planning on supporting him beforehand (I'll miss the elections by a year), but now he's never getting any support from me.

    November 26, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  18. Ian, Eastham MA

    Jason Vaughn, Oklahoma OK –

    Congratulations, you proved what everyone already knows, there are far more fools in this world than geniuses.

    November 26, 2007 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. Jackson, Portland,OR

    Wow, Does anyone else see how obvious Huckabee is campaigning in churches without even having to mention politics. They should take away the taz exempt status of every church that supports a candidate

    November 26, 2007 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. Mary, Beaver, PA

    I won't be voting for someone because she/he supports my religious views. I will be voting for someone who supports the Constitution and respects the Bill of Rights.

    November 26, 2007 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  21. Steve in SC

    Good for him. If anyone is offended, first tell the democrats to stop politicking in black churches! Wonder why you never see them in predominently white congregation? I like Mike! I have no problem with him sp[eaking in church as long as it isn't political

    November 26, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  22. Anonymous

    If there truly was a god then I seriously doubt that CNN would have headlines such as "Dead baby girl identified.....medical examiners determined that her skull had been fractured..."

    November 26, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  23. freetobeme, Rochester, PA

    When Jimmy Carter ran in 1976, saying that he was a "born-again Christian," he was met with ridicule. Now it seems as if every candidate wants to parade his/her faith before the world just to prove he/she is Christian enough. I respected Carter for daring to say what was too often left unsaid during the humanistic 1970's. Now that the Christian right has kidnapped faith and has made it obligatory for candidates to mouth their piety in order to get into office, platitudes of faith mean nothing to me.

    My freedom means more to me than the faith of the president who has power over me. Give me my freedom, and you can keep your faith.

    November 26, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  24. Mayetta Wilson, Nashville, Arkansas

    Does anyone not care that Mike Huckaby is being promoted and backed by one of the TV evangelists who is under ivestigation and will probably be indicted for fraud. He will appear on 6 of his shows. Look into his "Christian" governing in Arkansas. I, too, am a Christian, and a Southern Baptist. But I believe preachers should preach if they are so called. What about this church/state thing, anyway?

    November 26, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. Steve in SC


    Yes there is a God! He has given us the ability to make choices! Some make good choices, some make bad choices! The people who killed that baby made a sad, unexplainable choice! We all have the ability to choose to believe in God or not! I choose to believe!

    November 26, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
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