[UPDATE: I'm sure it's coincidental but three part story, below, could almost have been some sort of dog-whistle that only Mike Huckabee could hear ; a new Talk To Action piece by Jon Perr entitled Huckabee Delivers Sermon on "God's Army" in NH, describes a speech Huckabee gave last Sunday in Windham, NH in which the presidential aspirant lapsed into militant Christian rhetoric: ""When we become believers, it's as if we have signed up to be part of God's Army, to be soldiers for Christ..."]
The Unbearable Temptations of Working For God...
"One of the most dangerous things about the fundamentalist mindset is that those afflicted with it will tend to put their interpretation of The Will of God above any other consideration. If you have to break man's law in order to enforce God's Will, then so be it. As the movement has grown in power and arrogance, its tendency to play fast and loose with the IRS's strict rules against politicking has risen right along with them. Seven years of good-'ol-boy winking and nudging from the Bush Administration have lulled many ministers on the religious right into a sense of invincibility on this front. They'll say what they want, confident (often wrongly so) that the IRS won't know, won't care, and certainly won't intervene.
With Huckabee in the race, the desperate urge to violate those rules will rise to the level of an overwhelming temptation."
From Abusing Church 501c(3) Status To Fundraise For Huckabee...
From there, the post takes an interesting twist as Robinson pulls in the Southern Baptist Convention's Vice President, Wiley Drake who, as Frederick Clarkson has covered here on Talk To Action, appears to have a bit higher approval of domestic terrorism than the US Department Of Homeland Security might (or should at least) be fully comfortable with.
[UPDATE: I should also add that Wiley Drake denies ever having endorsed, as described below, James Kopp. Here's Talk To Action author moiv with an update on the flap over Drake's alleged endorsement.]
The Southern Baptist Church, in particular, has been known to play very fast and loose about this kind of thing. Back in August, I blogged about the SBC's national vice president, Wiley Drake, who persisted in using church stationery to raise funds for Mike Huckabee even after he'd been called on the carpet by the church's attorney. Last fall, Drake finally found himself on the wrong end of an Americans United for Separation of Church and State lawsuit -- and responded by instructing his flock to curse the AU staffers responsible, in one of the more deranged right-wing moments of the year.
Sara Robinson goes on to discuss the temptation to bend or just break outright "men's laws" in favor of "God's laws" (however defined) ; at the far end of the tendency lies American domestic terrorism and, of course, international religiously-inspired terrorism such as that perpetrated by self-anointed wearers of the Al-Qaeda brand of terrorism.
To Endorsing an Admitted Domestic Terrorist ?
The SBC's Vice President Wiley Drake has been in the spotlight more recently - in May of 2007 - as some observers noticed Drake's stated support, on the website of a group called "The Army Of God", for confessed assassin James Kopp.
As Clarkson, Talk To Action co-founder wrote last May 2, 2007 at Talk To Action, in a piece he titled A Top Leader of the Southern Baptist Convention Endorsed Domestic Terrorism. Shouldn't That Be News?:
There have been some big scandals in the church world in recent years. There is the ongoing Catholic priest pedophilia scandal. The crimes were first enabled and then covered-up by high ranking church officials like Boston's Cardinal Law. Then there was Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals who was paying a male prostitute for anal sex -- while publicly denouncing homosexuality and campaigning against gay marriage.
And now there is the vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention who publicly endorsed the assasination of a doctor by a member of an underground terror organization, who had been on the FBIs Ten Most Wanted List. The first two scandals created international news, but the third has not; at least not yet. Since Intelligence Report, the magazine of the Southern Poverty Law Center broke the story, there has been no press coverage that I can find, except for Ethics Daily; and only a handful of blog posts, notably Mainstream Baptist, Big Daddy Weave, Moiv and me. This merits further discussion.
Rev. Wiley Drake endorsed the murder in signing a declaration of support for confessed assassin James Kopp on the web site of the Army of God.
As an update, Talk To Action contributor moiv made a follow-up post after the initial hullabaloo over Drake alleged endorsement had simmered down a bit. In the post, moiv wrote:
What public figures do when they get caught doing or saying something controversial is endlessly interesting. Sometimes they puff on a big cigar and blow smoke in your face. Sometimes they try to nuance their way out of it. Sometimes they toss out a series of evasions, red herrings and other distractions. Sometimes they just lie. This brings us to the strange case of Rev. Wiley Drake, a national vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). It was recently reported and widely blogged that he had signed onto a Declaration of Support for the confessed assassin of an abortion provider; and that the endorsement is featured on the web site of a domestic terror organization, the Army of God.
Rev. Drake has issued a denial via at least two of his SBC political allies, Wade Burleson and Art Rogers, who are now calling for apologies all around.
But on the Internet, nothing ever really goes away -- and existing evidence makes the Rev. Drake's explanation sound almost as hard to understand as any justification for supporting James Kopp in the first place.
The US media, and even the FBI, has generally avoided dealing with the issue of domestic terrorism regardless of the continued existence of an anti-abortion terrorist network, which also advocates implementation of a Christian theocracy, in the United States.
Does Huckabee Think Gays Should Be Stoned To Death ?
As this December 21, 2007 Washington Post story suggests, Huckabee and Wiley Drake share much in common - their sense of religious righteousness, their willingness to bend or break rules in apparent belief they're acting for God... It's also worth noting that Huckabee's political career started in the antiabortion movement. That doesn't, of course, make Huckabee into a "terrorist". But it might be a good idea for mainstream media reporters to ask Huckabee certain questions:
For example - as Jim Burroway, writing for the excellent Box Turtle Bulletin, continues his in depth look at GOP presidential hopeful Jim Huckabee, Burroway takes a look at Huckabee's association with Christian Reconstructionists who advocate, among other things, the death penalty for homosexuality.
' We reported earlier on Southern Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee's fundraising event at the home of Houston multimillionaire Steven Hotze, a well-known Christian Reconstructionist. Pastor Rick Scarborough, who also maintains Reconstructionist beliefs, was there as well. Since then, we've learned that Huckabee's ties go far deeper than mere acquaintances and financial backers. He has a history of working very closely with some very well-known Reconstructionists over the years. In this report, we will examine two of Huckabee's closest Reconstructionist colleagues.
Modern Christian Reconstructionism (sometimes known as Dominionism) was founded by the late R.J. Rushdoony and his son-in-law, Gary North. Rushdoony believed that it was the duty of every Bible-believing Christian to place each and every word of the Bible at the core of that person's life. According to Rushdoony, this meant that the Bible must necessarily replace all civil laws and constitutions with the Old and New Testaments, including the revival of the death penalty for homosexuality, incest, adultery, lying about one' virginity, and apostasy or public blasphemy, among a much longer list of biblical crimes. Rushdoony wrote that Democracy is a heresy and "the great love of the failures and cowards of life." '
In the piece, Burroway examines Huckabee's ties to Christian Reconstructionists George Grant-- who coauthored a book with Huckabee in which homosexuality was categorized along with pedophilia, sadomasochism and necrophilia as "institutionally supported aberrations."-- and Bill Gothard, who among his less sinister and more quaint beliefs holds Cabbage Patch dolls to be vectors of Satanic, or demonic, influence.
Did Huckabee believe legislating a death penalty for homosexuality when he co-authored "Kids Who Kill: Confronting Our Culture of Violence", with reconstructionist George Grant (who unabashedly advocated such a penalty ) in 1998 ? Does Huckabee believe it now ? What does Huckabee think about anti-abortion terrorism ? Will any reporter have the guts to ask these questions ?...
For a look at one victim of anti-abortion terrorism, see: Gay Hating, Abortion Clinic Bombings, Veiled Threats on "race mixing"