December 12th, 2007
09:40 AM ET
12 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."

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- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
soundoff (275 Responses)
  1. Rob, Victoria, BC, Canada

    I notice Mitt Romney did not deny Mike Huckabee's claims that Mormonism claims Satan is the spirit brother of Christ. That's because Huckabee's statement is true.

    Here is just one of several examples of this doctrine in Mormonism literature. In the Journal of Discourses by Brigham Young, in Vol. 13 page 282 he writes:

    "... it makes me think of that second person that came forth in the heavens when the voice went forth: "Who will redeem the earth, who will go forth and make the sacrifice for the earth and all things it contains?" The eldest son said: "Here am I;" but he did not say "send me." But the second one, which was "Lucifer, son of the morning," said, "Lord, here am I, send me, I will redeem every son and daughter of Adam and Eve that lives on the earth, or that ever goes on the earth." "But," says the Father, "that will not answer at all. I give each and every individual his agency; all must use that in order to gain exaltation in my kingdom; inasmuch as they have the power of choice they must exercise that power. They are my children; the attributes which you see in me are in my children and they must use their agency. If you undertake to save all, you must save them in unrighteousness and corruption. You will be the man that will say to the thief on the cross, to the murderer on the gallows, and to him who has killed his father, mother, brothers, and sisters and little ones, "Now, if you will say, I repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, or on the Savior of the world, you shall be saved." This is what all the religious sects of the day are saying now, but Jesus did not say any such thing."

    December 12, 2007 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. Joyce Francis Jacksonville,, FL

    After hearing such ignorance from the voice of a presidential contender, I'm concerned about what chance our country has for a leader of any substance. Huckabee has proven to me that he hasn't any knowledge beyond his own little world. He will not get my vote - no, I'm not a Mormon, never have been, never will be, but I have read about it and know more about it, apparently, than someone who wants to lead this country. Such ignorance!

    December 12, 2007 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. rick fort lauderdale FL

    Isn't Santa Claus Satan's cousin? Are these people living in our century?

    December 12, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. Ruprecht, Arlington, VA

    Time for Romney to say in an interview, "I don't know much about Baptists... don't they beat their wives?"

    December 12, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. Dan, Saint Louis, MO

    Huckabee's true colors are showing. He doesn't even have the brains to shut his stupid, southern mouth for a few weeks and have Iowa fall into his lap. A vote for Huckleberry is a vote for Rudy or Hillary. As a Christian myself, I'm disgusted by Huckabee's views and insuations on religion. Romney is tougher, much smarter, has better judgment and doesn't have a history of corruption as governor, as many Arkansas people have been alluding to.

    December 12, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. Christen

    The proof is in the pudding. This is a link from scroll down and read away!

    Mormons DO believe it.

    December 12, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. Erik, Dallas Texas

    The Webster Dictionary definition of a 'cult' (derived from the Latin term 'cultus'….meaning 'worship'): 1)"A community or system of religious worship and ritual" ( this definition, it would seem that ALL religions are cults, right?)...2)"A religion or religious sect generally regarded as extremist or false, whose followers often live communally under an authoritarian, charismatic leader" ~ by this definition, the Ancient Egyptians would have considered Moses and his Jewish followers a 'cult'...later, the Romans, as well as the Jews, would have considered Christ and his followers a 'cult'...further on down the line, the Catholic Church would have considered Martin Luther, the principal founder of ALL Protestant beliefs (including, yes, you Baptists), and his followers a 'cult'...this brings us to today, where a less than two hundred year-old church known as 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints' is now under the microscope and accused of being a 'cult'.........bottom line, I think a great many of you holier-than-thou 'Christians' could do with a nice big dose of EDUCATION, as well as the tolerance that the forbearers of your belief systems worked hard for so that you yourselves could now enjoy. Now, that being said, let us remove religious bigotry, and all other forms of bigotry for that matter, from the abrasive and already annoying art of politics, and focus on the character of the INDIVIDUAL.

    December 12, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. Lee, Phila.

    Huckabee and Romney are both religious nuts. Just like Bush!

    December 12, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. Louis

    Why is Huckabee under fire ??
    If the Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers, that's their perogative. As Christians, we believe that Jesus is God in the flesh and that He created all things, including a created Lucifer who later becomes Satan.

    December 12, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    It really doesn't sound like an attack to me. He admits he doesn't know much about it and perhaps the question he put was genuine.

    I would just add that I think both Mormons AND Baptists have some beliefs I personally veiw as bizarre; but I don't think talking about it should be off limits.

    December 12, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. Basanti, Rampur, India

    I just cant believe how much importance religion has in US politics, espcially when we tell other countries not to mix two. The over the top reaction about keith wilson was just one of the many examples. I wish that we truly had a society where religion was for personal practice not public consumption.

    December 12, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Derek, Phoenix, AZ

    What exactly did Huck do wrong again? Mormons DO believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers...

    December 12, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. Gary, Detroit, Mich.

    Robert Shannon, Dallas, TX

    You left out sanctimonious, pompous bible thumper.

    December 12, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. Chris, Alexandria VA

    I don't like Huckabee and won't vote for him, but this article is idiotic. The man asked a question - a valid question, as it turns out - about a topic he is not that familiar with. How is asking a question about Mormon theology in anyway negative or an attack on Romney?

    I'd rather we focus on things that matter: Iraq, Social Security, fiscal responsibility, etc. What a waste of time.

    December 12, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. statistical hypothesis

    Atheism is a religion, therefore, it's a cult too (according to your theory Atheist).

    December 12, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Anon, NY NY

    What does it matter in the first place? Harry Potter and Voldemort are connected too. All fiction no matter how you spin it.

    December 12, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. James Hisey, Westport, CT

    I believe Mormon's do believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers.

    December 12, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  18. Marv Goosen, Richmond, VA

    How entertaining. The theocrats are now debating the fine points of their individual cults. Perhaps we can decide our next election based upon how many angels will fit on the head of a pin.

    December 12, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. CHUCK

    Sick of this! Sick Of This! SICK OF THIS!!! This country is so stuck on the Religious aspect in this election it is truly sickening.

    December 12, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. Tilamen, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I am a Mormon and they do believe that Jesus and Satan are brothers, so what's the big deal.

    December 12, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. Fred, NY

    Who is posting the pictures for these comments? How come EVERY single photo of Huckabee is awful and unflattering, while Hillary's are ALWAYS glamour shots?

    Unbiased reporting, no question.

    December 12, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. Daniel, NY

    The latest Iowa poll has Huckabee at 39%, and Romney at with every other candidate in single-digits. But a convincing case can be made that this is actually good news for Romney!

    December 12, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. ETM, Springfield, VA

    When you play with fire, you get burned.

    Our founding fathers wisely took religion out of out politics and law to prevent much the same thing as we now see in the Middle East. But the Republicans keep playing the evangelicals for fools to get the "Jesus" votes.

    If the Republicans took a sincere look at our Constitution, they might just become sane again.

    December 12, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. Mike, Boise, ID

    Huckabee is definitely a hypocrite. First he releases a statement saying "he believes this campaign should center on a discussion of the important issues confronting our nation, and not focus on questions of religious belief". Then he runs campaign adds touting his position as a christian leader. He can't have it both ways. The election is either about real issues or it's about who is the "better/real" christian.

    December 12, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Although I am not voting for either one of these guys, I have to say that making remarks about anyones religion just isn't right.
    Although, I do beleive that someone's religion and its beliefs leads a person's path in what they do. And since I do not know anything about the Mormon religion, I can't say if some of these postings or the question he asked about the mormon religion, is true or not.

    December 12, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
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