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."

Full story

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

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

    Huckabee's comment, while it is correct, is calculated to incite curiosity and disgust among those who don't understand Mormon doctrine. It clearly has the tone of making the doctrine sound ridiculous, while it really is not, with the subtle intent to further marginalize Mormonism and Romney. While it's clearly not an attack if you just look at the words, you have to weigh the effect of commenting on doctrine to a national audience.

    December 12, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Lisa R, Las Vegas, NV

    Huckabee did not "disparage" the Mormon faith. He asked a question, and as many others here have pointed out, the Mormons DO believe that Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers! God asked them each to present a plan for salvation. Jesus' plan was for humans to have free will and for the righteous to return to live with God, and Lucifer's plan was that there would be no free will, humans would have no choice to act irreverently, and so all peoples' spirits would return to Heavenly Father. Apparently, this plan was so terrible, that Lucifer and a third of the host of heaven (the spirits that backed up Lucifer's plan) were cast out of heaven and were forbidden a chance to be born into human bodies. Take it from a reformed Mormon: Mitt's religion SHOULD be an issue, and if I were running for president I would have said a lot more than what Huckabee did. At least he didn't ask something like: "Don't Mormons believe that only men can hold the priesthood and that women should be subservient to their husbands?" I'm sure that would have garnered a lot of attention, too, but alas, it's all true, true, true!

    December 12, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. NYC

    who cares?

    December 12, 2007 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. Steve, Landing, NJ

    Keep in mind as I say this that I think all religions are completely erroneous and based on misplaced faith.

    Having said that, Mormonism is a pretty glaring example. Ignoring, as many Christians do, that what today is considered the "canonical" Bible was winnowed down from hundreds of sacred texts with various points of view at the discretion of people within the Church is one thing. Ignoring that the book of Mormon was dictated by a man with a hat on his face is another.

    Having said *that*, Huckabee was wrong to make this comment. The fact is, while the Mormon faith believes that Jesus and Lucifer were brothers, this is in the context of their *souls*–that is to say, all souls spring from the Holy Father, and so all people are spiritually brothers. His phraseology was either calculated to cast a negative light on the Mormon faith among those who don't know much about it, or a display of ignorance that he should've kept to himself.

    And *that* being said, Huckabee would still probably make a better president than Romney. But, then, I'm almost certainly voting Dem, so whatever.

    December 12, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  5. Chas, Princeton, NJ

    Doesn't Huckabee believe that Jesus is his own father?

    December 12, 2007 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. Tannim

    Let the Huckster/MittWit Holy Wars happen. They'll just wipe each other out and we'll be rid of both of those unworthy neocon twerps.

    Meanwhile, have some tea on Dec 16 and join us at Dr. Paul's Tea Party. Much more fun there with a candidate who walks the walk instead of just talking the talk!


    December 12, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. Samantha

    It's sad how americans can be so idiotic. The majority of americans, including some republicans dislike our current president, but yet a carbon copy of Bush is surging in the polls. Wake up american!! Do you want another 4 to 8 years of an egotistical self-centered bigot running the country.

    December 12, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  8. JB pf ID

    MORMONS= UTAH....stay there It's a dead belief anyway.

    December 12, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. AF, San Rafael CA

    I am a Mormon. God created the spirit of both Satan and Jesus. He did not create the evil that Satan became. Satan's own pride made him evil. He chose. That is the thing that is fundamental to our doctrine–we always have a choice. God didn't create evil, pride did. I get tired of people like Huckabee, who use sound-bites that sound horrendous, without explaining the truth behind them.

    Vote for the men based on who they are...Huckabee is a big spender and a bigot. Romney is a man who is very young politically but has led a good life. Ron Paul is an extremist. Rudy is a proven leader with some major personal faults. None of them are perfect. In my opinion, Huckabee is the worst.

    December 12, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. bob,az.

    The comment by huckabee is true
    Mormons beliefs are:

    They believe in Gods ( yes plural)

    They believe if you are a good mormon when you die you become a god and get your own planet.

    They believe the God of earth was a regular man on another planet and he resides near a star called KOLOB

    They have special handshakes and secret names so they can find each other after they die.

    They wear special secret underwear with secret religious symbols sewn into them that protect them from bullets and other bad things.

    All of the following and more are FACTS and can be researched in the 3 books they have the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Book of the Law of the Lord.

    The Bible is the forth book they use and when Mormon beliefs don't agree with the Bible they say that passage was interpreted wrong.

    P.S. They say that Jesus had multiple wives when he was on earth.

    December 12, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. Lee, Mays Landing New Jersey

    What's the problem? What Huck said is precisely what Mormons believe, that Satan and Jesus are brothers, both sons of one of their gods. It may sound batty, but it is what they believe, so it's factual. It's something the republican values voter cares about so it's relevant in the modern republican party.

    If Mitt Romey believes something different and is going to abandon Mormanism just so he could be President, it would not be his first flip-flop.

    I can't belive that CNN did not fully report the story by providing CONTEXT, and indicating that what Huckabee said about Romney's Morman religion is factually true. Whether you think it's relevant or not is another story but to millions of republican evangelicals, this is crucial information.

    December 12, 2007 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. Dee Reynolds, VA

    I've studied the beliefs of the Mormon faith and what Rep. Huckabee said is nothing but the truth. However, this is one of many secret facts Mormons do not want placed out in the public arena. You have to first be apart of the Mormon faith prior to acquiring this knowledge. But it is a fact the Mormonism is a cult, primarily for the fact that they deny and/or reject traditional Christian doctrine, Jesus Christ and the Trinity. Therefore, this makes Mormonism unorthodox and that is defined as a cult.

    December 12, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. Randy S. Lawton, OK

    What's so hard to beleive about Jesus and Satan being brothers? Since neither was born of a woman (don't give me that Mary crap, I'm talking about before any supposed earthly incarnation) and both were 'created' by God they're not really brothers in the strict familial sense.
    Frankly, that notion makes every bit as much sense as anything else dealing with the Creation myth, regardless of denomination.
    The only scary part is how such beliefs will affect the individual's judgment, and Huckabee scares me.

    December 12, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. T.J Salt Lake City, UT

    I find it entertaining how many people come on here with the agenda of not discussing a candidate's credibility, but rather what they heard once about the "Mormons."
    If you have questions visit Every question you have can be answered. I promise they have every ounce of LDS doctirne on record. There, now no excuses on stating ignorant untruths.

    To set the record straight, yes LDS people believe that Satan was Christ's and our spiritual brother. After all, we are all children of God. LDS doctrine teaches that Lucifer decided to defy God and was therefore cast-out.

    Huckabee's question was legitimate and the content was non-offensive. The only aspect of his decleration that is diheartening would be his reason for asking the question. If it was because he was honestly wondering? No harm no foul. If he was trying to belittle someone's faith? I would consider that downright shady.

    December 12, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. Attorney, Fairbanks AK

    Huckabee is a Bigot.

    There is no way he should be the President of the United States.

    If America votes for Huckabee, I am not participating in the general election. America can have the punishment they deserve of getting Hillary for president if they support a Bigot during the GOP primary

    December 12, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. JB T F ID

    Mutt, opps i mean Mitt dosen't stand a chance. You should pack it up.

    December 12, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. Erilyn, SLC UT

    If you want to know the truth about it, ask a Mormon. After reading some comments about how Romney was a follower of polygamist Jeff Warren, let me say that he–and ALL LDS Mormons–are NOT of the same sect as Warren. Warren is an FLDS Mormon, whereas Mitt, myself, and many others, are LDS Mormon. There is a VAST amount of differences between the two.

    Also, yes, we believe that Jesus and Lucifer are spiritual brothers, and that they and we are all sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. However, Lucifer rebelled against God and became a "fallen angel," or in other words, the devil. What Huckabee said is true, but he didn't state the complete truth of the doctrine because he was trying to slander our faith and imply that Jesus is a devil, WHICH HE IS NOT, just so that he could take votes away from Mitt Romney. Targeting someone's personal faith in an effort to get votes is pretty low.

    December 12, 2007 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. Titania, East Coast

    A degree in theology is misleading. Huckabee's theological degree would be limited to the Baptist view and not cover other Christian sects least of all Mormonism It would cover no other religions. Hucakbee in all likelihood knew the answer, but he was more interested in the question. It frieghtens people. A theology that believes that Jesus and Lucifer where "spirit" brothers, to use the term mostly commonly used here, does not equate to Satan worship. But the general public doesn't know that. That is exactly what the good ol' Baptist minister is counting on.

    December 12, 2007 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. Bots, Seattle

    If anyone should be attacked over all this, it should be the reporter who asked the question! The NY public library, or any library anywhere, has plenty of material on the issue if he really wanted to know anything about the LDS. It's obvious the reporter is only looking for muck to throw around, as if NYC doesn't already have enough garbage. Most people well-versed in the Christian faith would probably either give the same response, or be more direct in what the do know about the Mormon church. I could suggest that if that reporter were really serious about who the bibilical Jesus is, he should get on his knees and ask God Himself.

    December 12, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. Jason, SLC, UT

    Coming from a Mormon perspective, yes Mike Huckabee's comment is technically true. Jesus Christ and Lucifer are spiritual brothers, as all mankind are spiritual siblings. However, put his comment in the right context and you can see it was thrown out to cause a controversy. Does it have any other relevance to the debate other than to cause a theological debate? I think not.

    I'm continually perplexed as to why this is such an issue. Is it that important to evaluate specific points of religious doctrine when considering who to vote for in a Presidential debate? I'm a Mormon and I have many friends of differnt faiths and I rarely have such specific doctrinal discussions as we seem to keep having with Mitt Romney. Does the majority of the American People care about such specifics of religion or is it more important to share similar values and priorities in helping build a stronger and better America. Come on people, get over the stereotype and focus on relevance.

    FYI, I would not vote for any candidate simply based upon religion. I'm still undecided. Let's get educated and make the best decision for our country.

    December 12, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. Jon B Olathe KS

    I think the department of Homeland Security would be very interested in this blog post.

    HR 1955...Home Grown Terrorism & Extremism...Just remember not to tell anyone after the CIA raids your houses with non-judicial warrents and seizes your computer for promoting extremism in the US. If you tell your spouse or lawyer its a felony punishable by 5 years in prison...

    And remember kids theocracy is a great system, been in practice for thousands of years, and as long as you believe what they tell you to believe you will have a great life of servitude..

    December 12, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. JB T F ID

    I wondering who Mutt is going too bash next. Don't you think he should just get his own show and tell everyone what you really think?? You're spending alot of money and the sad thing is, that you don't stand a chance of being voted in for president. MY name is Josh and i approve this ad.

    December 12, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  23. Sam, Phoenix, AZ

    Hey I got an idea. Lets hang the guy for asking such a question, or setup a firing squad. Seriously give the guy a dam break. If a major component of your political platform is religion then you should be asked or be able to answer any questions regarding it. What’s bigoted about asking a question. Last I checked the right to free speech still exists (that's why we're all sitting here reading each others' slanted views about god or life in general)

    Sure religion is detrimental to this country and continues to be (my opinion) so let them drown in their own ignorance. statements like he’s bigoted or picking cotton in arkansas IS ignorant. Inflammatory comments only make you look like the fool.

    please debate such a topic intellectually next time.

    December 12, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. Lorena, Lancaster CA

    After Huckabee's question was asked the press did get an answer by talking to a Mormon church representative. She pointed out that this is frequently used to vilify the church not to clarify the doctorines. That's why it's seen as an attack even though it's essentially true.

    I don't buy Huckabee's argument that it was taken out of context. Why ask a question at all when you're being interviewed? I think he really was trying to stir something up. Even though it's just plain stupid. So, Mormons don't believe in the Trinity. Neither do Jews! So, should evangelicals not for a Jew either?

    I guess they wouldn't admit that even if it were true.

    December 12, 2007 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. sandra bailey, corona, ca

    Huckabee was correct. I was raised mormon. I know they are changing their tune a lot these days but as a kid in the 50's and 60's....that's exactly what mormon doctrine taught... Jesus and Lucifer are brothers. I believe that's bull but that's what they taught....100%.

    December 12, 2007 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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