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Friday, December 21, 2007

Bob Novak: Southern Baptists Not Supporting Huckabee

Forgive me for linking to yet another Bob Novak article! However, in his latest piece, Novak argues that the lack of support for Huckabee from prominent Southern Baptists such as Richard Land and Paul Pressler should cause conservative evangelicals to be concerned.

When Mike Huckabee went to Houston on Tuesday to raise funds for his fast-rising, money-starved presidential candidacy, a luncheon for the ordained Baptist minister was arranged by evangelical Christians. On hand was Judge Paul Pressler, a hero to Southern Baptist Convention reformers. But he was a nonpaying guest who supports Fred Thompson for president.

Huckabee greeted Pressler warmly. That contrasted with Huckabee's anger two months ago when they encountered each other in California. The former governor of Arkansas took issue then with comments by Pressler, a former Texas appeals court judge, that Huckabee had been a slacker in the war against secularists within the Baptist church.

The War Against Secularists Within The Baptist Church?!? First Bob, the "moderates" during the Takeover can hardly be painted as "secularists." Even fans of Pressler like this Southern Baptist blogger would concur. Second, I know you converted to Catholicism ten years ago and may not understand Baptist polity but there is no such thing as "The Baptist Church." Such a description implies a hierarchy. We have no hierarchy in Baptist life. Our local churches are autonomous.

‘More than personality explains why not all his Baptist brethren have signed on the dotted line for Huckabee. He did not join the “conservative resurgence” that successfully rebelled against liberals in the Southern Baptist Convention a generation ago. . . Because no Republican candidate since Pat Robertson in 1988 has depended so much on support from evangelicals, opposition by Huckabee’s fellow Southern Baptists is significant. . . [Pressler] did not go so far as endorsing Huckabee for president, and that sends a strong message to conservative evangelicals.’

I suspect Huckabee will do just fine without the support of Land (who as head of the ERLC shouldn't be supporting candidates anyways) and the increasingly irrelevant Pressler.

What was more bothersome is the fact that Huckabee held his fundraiser at the home of Steven Hotze whom Novak describes as a "a leader in the highly conservative Christian Reconstruction movement." More on Hotze here. Novak has really gone to great lengths to discredit Huckabee. In the same article, Novak implies that Huckabee is not-a-real-conservative yet he has the support of a prominent Christian Reconstructionist!

Novak's friend Ann Coulter critiques Huck here.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Debbie Kaufman said...

Aaron, what is your point in posting all of this? I don't get it.

7:43 AM

 
Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

My purpose seems obvious: to critique an article written about Baptists (the article has implications for moderates) BY a non-Baptist who clearly doesn't have a clue. Denny Burk (a SBC blogger I believe) made similar points to mine. Further, I'm the 3rd or 4th "moderate" who thought it necessary to respond to Bob Novak's smear on moderates with his phrase "The War Against Secularists In The Baptist Church." Seems clear to me.

9:19 AM

 
Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

If you're asking whether I have an agenda against Mike Huckabee? No.

I'd like to see him win the nomination though I wouldn't put my money on him. As someone who blogs about all-things-Baptist, it would be nice to continue the Huckabee coverage through 2008. Plus, I believe any of the three Democrats would eat him alive.

9:22 AM

 
Blogger Debbie Kaufman said...

Well, my vote will be for Huckabee. If he doesn't get the nomination, we'll see but it looks like this will be the first election I won't be voting in. It should be interesting. Thanks for the explanation. Now it makes sense.

2:32 AM

 
Anonymous Chuck said...

Debbie,

Please vote in the general election, even if it's a matter of choosing the lesser of two less-than-desirables.

8:14 AM

 
Anonymous Lee said...

Novak thinks that when Richard Land and Paul Pressler speak, they speak on behalf of all Southern Baptists. The fact of the matter is that there isn't one Southern Baptist in ten who would recognize either of those names, and the members of the churches are not waiting around to see who Land or Pressler endorse in order to know how to vote. I would even bet that an accurate survey would turn up a significant percentage of Southern Baptists who are Democrats.

The Republican Party establishment is doing everything it can to try and stop Huckabee. The problem is that the religious right, including a good number of Southern Baptists, is finally tired of delivering millions of votes for Republicans in exchange for absolutely nothing in the way of return on their social issues. The Republican establishment hates Huckabee because he is sincere, and consistent when it comes to his Christian faith, which is generally incompatible with the Republican economic and foreign policy agenda.

Other than Huckabee, the only candidate in the Republican field that I could vote for in good conscience is John McCain.

8:14 PM

 
Anonymous Chuck said...

Lee,

I know some, but have long wondered how a Southern Baptist becomes or stays a Democrat in light of the party's abortion and homosexuality stands.

4:43 AM

 

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