The Christmas Eve Huck | Arkansas Blog

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Christmas Eve Huck

Posted By on Mon, Dec 24, 2007 at 6:00 AM

THE INVISIBLE FORCE: The Dallas Morning News writes about some, but not all, of the conservative religious networks getting behind the Huckabee campaign.

THE PATH TO CLEMENCY: In the Huckabee administration, it passed through the office of a black minister who befriended the governor and won freedom for a cold-blooded killer, to the shock of another grieving family. Wall Street Journal reports.

PRAGMATISM PAYS: That's the headline on a USA Today review today.

THE GOD CANDIDATE: A former aide to G.W. Bush and an evangelical conservative is a bit uneasy about Huckabee's play on religion.

Invoking one's faith is not unprecedented in American politics and is not, by itself, disconcerting. It can even be reassuring. But it is also fraught with danger. If certain lines -- inherently ambiguous lines -- are crossed and faith becomes a tool in a political campaign, it can damage our civic comity and our politics and demean our faith.

Religious beliefs should play a role in our public life, especially when it comes to great moral questions, as they have from the abolition movement to the civil rights movement to efforts to advance a culture of life. For the most part, America has achieved the right balance -- one that recognizes the importance of faith in our common life while resisting the use of politics to advance sectarian purposes. We believe people of all faiths have every right to be active in politics -- but there are no Christian or Hindu parties in America. That is as it ought to be.

And for those of us who are Christian, there is an important context to bear in mind: Jesus's entire ministry was directed against the pretensions of earthly power, and Christianity is trans-political, beholden to no party and no ideology. The City of Man and the City of God are different, and we should respect and honor those differences.

Mike Huckabee, by all accounts a faithful Christian, may not have crossed any bright lines yet -- but he's edging close to them. He should pull back now, before his political ambitions injure what he claims to care about, and undoubtedly does care about, most.

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