Favorite

Scary evangelists 

In his desperation to collar the evangelical conservative vote, Mike Huckabee has overplayed his hand rather badly. Five weeks before the Iowa caucuses he will be on national television for six days making common cause with Kenneth Copeland.

Copeland is the scariest of all the money-grubbing television evangelists. He must have been the brand of cleric whom the Englishman Sydney Smith had in mind when he wrote that a certain unpleasant acquaintance “deserves to be preached to death by wild curates.”

Rev. Copeland has a menacing visage, at least to some of us, but his religion is scarier still. He converses with God and Jesus regularly and he quotes them verbatim. God, if you are curious, is “a being that stands somewhere around six-two, six-three that weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple hundred pounds, a little better.” He runs things on Earth from an undisclosed planet, where Copeland says Heaven is situated, and He intends for those who worship him to be rich. One way you can start to claim your treasure is to send money to Bro. Copeland because God will reward you lavishly for it.

God regularly gives Copeland prophecies to pass on, like this one on Dec. 2, 2001, seven weeks after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center: “There's going to be close to a billion people that have been trapped in that religion [Islam] that over the next few months are gonna come into the kingdom of God. That's gonna happen, you watch and see what I'm telling you . ... I can tell you this, that this thing has come to an end, it's over. I'm talking about Islam and all that that stands for.”

Huckabee does not believe any of that stuff or at least he has never betrayed any such theological foolishness, unless you count the time that he refused to sign a bill giving relief to tornado victims because it carried the phrase “acts of God.” He thought it blasphemous to blame God for tornadoes, which would put him at odds with evangelists like Copeland. Huckabee's has always seemed a tolerant doctrine, closer to the Catholic social gospel than to that of weirdoes like Copeland, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, the latter two of whom agreed that Americans “deserved” the punishment that God meted out to it on 9/11 because they tolerated gays and abortions.

But Huckabee counts Copeland and his wife Gloria, who hails from just up Highway 278 from Huckabee's boyhood home at Hope, as dear friends and Copeland as a spiritual counselor. He stays with them when he is in the Fort Worth area.

Copeland is going to give him a leg up on the Republican presidential nomination at the end of this month by broadcasting six segments of their recently videotaped discussions on “the biblical perspective of character.” The Dialogues of Ken and Huck will be a pallid imitation of the Dialogues of Hylas and Philonous in Opposition to Sceptics and Atheists and fewer will be swayed by them.

Conceivably they could help Huckabee in Iowa, which has a sizable but not controlling quotient of fundamentalist Republicans, having almost gone for Pat Robertson in the 1988 presidential caucuses. But in his zeal to capture the conservative religious bloc that Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson seem to be splitting, Huckabee runs the risk of triggering the impulse that scuttled Pat Robertson. The vast majority of Americans, even conservative Republicans, are suspicious of religious fanatics and preachers in politics.

A Southern Baptist preacher would have no chance of being elected president, but Huckabee's long divorce from the pulpit, his secular achievements and his studied efforts to project himself as a regular guy who loves rock and roll and off-color gibes lift him from that realm. The Ken Copeland dialogues and his attempts to line up other right-wing evangelicals like James Robison remind people that he is, after all, a Southern Baptist preacher first. Copeland says God told him recently that he was taking over politics in the United States and would arrange the right outcome. We can presume that Mike Huckabee is His man.

The governor seems particularly incensed that the libidinous Fred Thompson should be rivaling him for the hearts of evangelicals. He was shocked — shocked! — last week that Thompson favored leaving abortion as a question for individual states to address rather than a federal constitutional amendment. Huckabee ridiculed the idea that the legality of abortion should be left to the states.

But that is exactly the idea that he had expressed only months earlier. In an interview with the conservative essayist John Hawkins (linked on Huckabee's presidential website) he said abortion should not be settled at the national level but should be left to the states. The quote: “I've never felt that it was a legitimate manner in which to address this and, first of all, it should be left to the states, the 10th Amendment ...” The 10th amendment is the states-rights amendment.

Huckabee enjoys rising speculation that Rudy Giuliani will pick him as his running mate. Giuliani embraced Pat Robertson's endorsement but he would never put him on the ticket. Huckabee is putting himself in the same position.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Ernest Dumas

  • Tax tales

    The easiest task in the world may be to persuade people that they are paying higher taxes than folks in other communities, states and countries, but there is never a shortage of people taking on the task.
    • Oct 5, 2017
  • Stifling dissent

    Whenever Donald Trump in his serial bouts with failure decides he must re-energize his base of white nationalists by doing things like demonizing black athletes who protest discrimination, the mainstream press falls for it and gives him maximum space and time. We're addicted.
    • Sep 28, 2017
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
    • Sep 21, 2017
  • More »

More by Fritz Brantley

  • The incredible shrinking Huckabee

    Plus: COPS!
    • Dec 20, 2007
  • The Week That Was, Dec. 20

    The UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS. After our deadline last week, they landed a football coach, the collegiately successful — but personality-challenged — Bobby Petrino. Petrino fled a losing record with the Atlanta Falcons, who hurled insults at him in his wake.
    • Dec 20, 2007
  • Mike’s humble roots

    James H. Wallis in 1935 wrote a cynical primer for office seekers, which he dedicated to Niccolo Machiavelli. The important first step, he said, was for parents to arrange for the ambitious child to be born in a log cabin or, that failing, the next worst
    • Dec 20, 2007
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • No tax help for Trump

    The big conundrum is supposed to be why Donald Trump does so well among white working-class people, particularly men, who do not have a college education.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Dollars and degrees

    Governor Hutchinson says a high graduation rate (ours is about the lowest) and a larger quotient of college graduates in the population are critical to economic development. Every few months there is another, but old, key to unlocking growth.
    • Aug 25, 2016

Most Shared

Latest in Ernest Dumas

  • Tax tales

    The easiest task in the world may be to persuade people that they are paying higher taxes than folks in other communities, states and countries, but there is never a shortage of people taking on the task.
    • Oct 5, 2017
  • Stifling dissent

    Whenever Donald Trump in his serial bouts with failure decides he must re-energize his base of white nationalists by doing things like demonizing black athletes who protest discrimination, the mainstream press falls for it and gives him maximum space and time. We're addicted.
    • Sep 28, 2017
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
    • Sep 21, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

October

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The casting couch

    • sigh............ I would argue that the idea of 'freedom from fear' is part of the…

    • on October 19, 2017
  • Re: Caution: government at work

    • As to the AR Chamber of Commerce-DO NOT FORGET it supports passage of SJR8, which…

    • on October 19, 2017
  • Re: The casting couch

    • Freedom from fear is a human right.

    • on October 19, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation