- Sep 3, 2007
- Washington state
The Huckster, who apparently is running for pastor in chief, is becoming a real potential danger to those of us that like the concept of a separation between church and state. That separation has already become blurry at best, we don't need another religious nut. Now, he's breaking one of those commandments he loves so much, by lying about the ad with a cross.
Sometimes I really wonder about the intelligence of a certain segment of the American population. Huckabee is playing to that segment right now.Huckabee Gives Church Sermon; Unapologetic About Christmas Ad
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Mike Huckabee stirred up the faithful at a mega-church in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday, preaching to a congregation of 10,000 evangelical Christians who gave him a superstar welcome, including a 30 second standing ovation, and plenty of applause for his refusal to apologize for invoking Jesus’ name in a recent Christmas ad.
The former Arkansas governor and current Republican frontrunner in the Republican presidential primary race said he wasn’t appearing in a political capacity at Cornerstone Church, which boasts 25,000 members, but he wasn’t shy to discuss the latest advertisement and accompanying controversy.
The ad, airing in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, shows Huckabee in close-up while the camera pans left past a bookshelf and a a Christmas tree. In the ad, he asks: “Are you about worn out by all the television commercials you’ve been seeing, mostly about politics? Well, I don’t blame you. At this time of year sometimes it’s nice to pull aside from all of that and just remember that what really matters is the celebration of the birth of Christ and being with our family and friends.”
The bookshelf is lit so that it creates a cross-like image. Complaints of subliminal messages and mixing politics and religion have followed Huckabee since the ad began airing last week. Meanwhile, most of the other candidates have launched their own holiday ads, with varying degrees of religious reference.
“Sometimes in the middle of Christmas, Jesus is the one person who’s tough to find. You notice that? I can find Santa at every mall, you can find discounts in every store but if you mention the name of Jesus, as I found out recently, it upsets the whole world. Forgive me but I thought that was the point of the whole day,” Huckabee told the congregation.
Huckabee also discussed the ad during an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” before delivering the sermons.Asked whether he was running for president of Christian America, Huckabee said he was campaigning to be the “president of all America, to be the people’s president. And that’s how I served as governor.”
He said the ad was put together quickly, and that book shelves formed the cross in the background.“Everyone thought that we were so smart and clever. The truth is, it was a book shelf,” Huckabee said. “We hurriedly put the spot together. It wasn’t scripted. I ad-libbed the spot. It was done at the end of a long taping day, and really kind of a thought of, well, let’s do a Christmas spot just in case we decide to use it maybe on our Web site.”
Huckabee, a Baptist minister, said he was not at the church as a candidate and wanted to “get that out of the way” to avoid any tension.
“I have to remind people there’s a time for political things and this is not one of them. Trouble is when you’ve been a Baptist pastor and then you run for office, you become a political person. People get real nervous when you show up for church, and in part because they think Okay, pastor, politician, they expect two things will happen. Number one you’re going to be here a long time and the second thing they fear is am I going to ask for money,” Huckabee said, then joking, “Will the ushers please come forward?”
But Huckabee’s appearance at the church undoubtedly brought with it an undercurrent of a man seeking the approval of influential opinion-makers. Cornerstone is run by evangelical leader Pastor John Hagee, frequently a spokesman for the 50-million strong movement. Hagee, a well-known defender of Israel, has received criticism from the Catholic League for statements he’s made about the Catholic Church’s connection to the Nazis in World War II Germany. “I want to thank your pastor, Pastor Hagee, for having me here today. (He is) one of the great Christian leaders of our nation,” Huckabee said.
Huckabee, who’s returning to his home for the holiday before getting back on the trail ahead of the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, warmed up the crowd with his trademark jokes, and recounted how when he first ran, a woman approached him and said, You’re one of those Baptists who thinks you’re the only one going to heaven. Huckabee said he replied, No ma’am, I am Baptist but I don’t think of a lot of them are getting in either.
While press cameras weren’t allowed into the church, FOX News spotted at least six cameras operated by church officials who broadcast the services. The large orchestra style band accompanied a 40 person choir.
Huckabee finished his speech by noting that those who believe in Jesus won’t have to worry about the current events of today.
“One hundred years from now when all your worries are over, if your faith is in that child in Bethlehem born that day, and you’ve taken yourself off the throne and you’ve decided you’d rather be a shepherd than a Herod, then the good news for you is, when the game is over no matter what It looks like now, you win in the end. That is the message of Christmas so I say to you, Merry Christmas! Jesus is lord!