Thursday, September 28, 2006

Governor Huckabee Redefines Conservatism

Since I was fortunate enough to attend the "Washington Briefing" hosted by the American Family Association, Focus on the Family, and Tony Perkins, many people have asked my what I thought of the Governor's speech to that assembly.

Mike Huckabee is a magnificent public speaker. He was a better speaker than the other candidates. He is so much better than the current President that I cannot communicate the vastness of the difference without unintentionally denigrating the latter. He is better than anyone he is likely to face in his run for President on either side of the isle.

He had them laughing. He had them nodding. And a very very few, he had puzzled. Those were the ones listening closely.

"Oh what a great Governor you have, we are voting for him for President" a couple at our table said. I smiled and nodded and said nothing to disabuse them of their notions. But those of us who have been paying attention know what the man is selling. He is trying to re-define conservatism. And his new definition of "conservatism" sounds a lot like the old definition of statism.

(continued- click THURSDAY and scroll down for rest of article)


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

After he got them laughing and nodding, the Governor pulled out the old bait and switch. He said something very much like, "We have long known that being pro-life means we care about what happens to babies in the womb, but now we have to realize that to be a conservative we also have to make sure their needs are met after they are born as well."

Since the crowd had been nodding "yes" for quite a while, most heads kept bobbing. But what he was saying could not withstand intellectual scrutiny. Being a consistent pro-lifer does not mean we are compelled to support the nanny-state. It does not mean that we think the government ought to "take care" of us. It means we are pro-life.

And that means we think it should be against the law to take an innocent life BEFORE they are born and that it should be against the law to take innocent life AFTER they are born. That's all it means. Huckabee is trying to hijack the pro-life movement to get it to carry all of his big-spending socialism. Its dumbing conservatisim down.

The government should protect our God given rights, not provide for our needs. You know what the Apostle Paul's welfare program was? "He who will not work, neither let him eat."

I am not arguing that children should not be cared for, I am arguing that the government is the wrong institution to do it. Rather than building government on the assumption that "the family is breaking down so we have to find a way to do the job through government", the conservative approach is "we have got to do everything we can to honor, support, and encourage strong families." Will that guarantee that no families ever break down? That no child will ever want?

No. But neither will the government programs. Perfection is not an option. I can't guarantee you that no child will ever be in want with either approach, but I can guarantee you that the big-government approach will turn you into slaves.

This idea that the government rather than the individual, family, and church, should be the providers of all needs is not the new conservatism, it is the old statism. The idea that government should provide food for the hungry, drink for the thristy, and Gas-X for the flatulent sounds compassionate but its not. It sounds Bibical, until you read the Bible. Once you do, you know where compassion is supposed to come from, and its you, not your government.

10:38 AM, September 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post, Mark. I was also at the Washington Briefing and on Sunday afternoon I was talking to an older couple that really liked what Huckabee had to say, especially on illegal immigration. I told them what had happened with him and Joyce Elliot and they asked me if he was just trying to sound good. My response to them was that he's wanting to run for president and is trying to appeal to both sides. What he doesn't realize is that he already has alienated a lot of the conservative base. I'm also a staunch conservative and very much pro-life and I wouldn't vote for him in 2008. He wouldn't make it past the primary anyway.

1:15 PM, September 28, 2006  
Blogger Wayne said...

I am pro-choice and I won't vote for Huckabee for dog catcher. He is working hard to take our rights as citizens of this state and union and I do not believe he is for freedom, he is for control of the common man's every action (as mentioned, slaves). All those who vote for him and anyone he supports are failing to see the big picture. A small glimpse of it is: for every choice you are denied the right to make, many more choices will soon be denied IF you sit back and let it happen.
Maybe you aren't the one being denied the right to make a choice, could be your next door neighbor who smokes, or the guy down the block who wants to kite tube on the local waterway. Their right to persue happiness in their own way has already been taken by Huckabee and his political machine.
I fear many more rights will follow before we are rid of him and his kind.

1:40 PM, September 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
Luke 14:13-14

He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.
Proverbs 28:27

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7

He who despises his neighbor sins,
but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.
Proverbs 14:21

He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.
Proverbs 19:17

Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness [a] will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
Isaiah 58:7,8

We are a government of the people, for the people. What more is government than a collection of people charged by God to care for their fellow man? If the Church carried out the commission set forth for us in the Bible, the debate over government action in caring for the needy would be silent. Pro-life is all life, all the way through life. What is currently called "pro-life" is simply pro-birth. Well spoken Mr. Huckabee.

1:56 PM, September 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's socialism. America is the most charitable country on Earth, so take your unfounded criticisms of the Church and stuff it in your ear.

There will never be enough money for big government socialist politicians who like to paint themselves as compassionate by spending money they steal from others in the name of the law.

Let's not pretend that the Huckster is doing anything but following in the footsteps of other socialists before him.

It's our own fault if we keep electing him.

6:17 PM, September 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's clear that there is a fundamental ignorance of socialism and what it really is. I'll assume that the above comments including the "stuff it in your ear" comment are a needed humor break in this turbulent election season. Thank you.

7:45 PM, September 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, someone obviously doesn't understand when Huckabee is pitching socialism in the name of the Republican Party.

No, the "in your ear" comment wasn't in jest. When you slander my brothers and sisters in Christ by baselessly calling them stingy merely so that you can salvage some political capital for a baptist-preacher-turned-socialist governor, you can truly stuff it in your ear.

7:56 PM, September 28, 2006  
Anonymous Mark M said...


You are adding to God's word when you imply that the STATE is His chosen instrument for compassion when His word clearly says it is the duty of individuals and churches.

There are many scriptures where God commands us to be generous to the poor- there are zero scriptures where God commands civil punishment on people for failure to give charity to the poor.

God has listed all kinds of things that should be punished by civil authorities if you do or fail to do them, but I have been in many debates over this issue and never have my opponents been able to show me even one scripture where civil penalties are commanded for failure to be generous to the poor. That is not because God does not want you to do it, it is because He wants it to be a personal matter, not a civil one.

Today's big government welfare programs are not God's will that we should expand- they are God's judgement on us for our failure to be personally generous and enforce God's standards for personal behavior to a greater degree, both within ourselves and as a nation.

5:57 AM, September 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a very fair response, and well stated. I believe that the church should do more to help the needy. In the absence of such church action, we as a God-fearing people should not allow the needy to flounder. Could it be that the government (What more is government than a collection of people charged by God to care for their fellow man?) is a tool for the people to use to help implement God's command? President Bush's faith-based programs have used the government as a tool for assisting those that need it. The government, as stated above, is no more than a group of humans (and a few that I suspect are otherwise, ha ha). If I want to drive a nail into a board, I use a hammer, not my bare hand. We Christians can likewise use the government as a tool to help our fellow man. It is very difficult to organize churches due to denominational squabbles and whatnot, but government is a ready tool at our disposal. I appreciate your response Mark. It was fair and unaccusatory. What do you think?

8:52 AM, September 29, 2006  
Anonymous Mark Moore said...

See, you are slipping into statism. "The family won't do it, so we have to have the government raise the kids", "The church won't do it so we have to have the government take care of the poor". The Bible gives those jobs to other institutions, not the government, and using government to do them violates God's ordained role for government.

The difference is that if I choose to help the poor it is with money I have volunteered to give of my own free will. If the state does it, that is money they have taken from me by threat of force if I don't give it. Does that produce true compassion in me? Does that give me an owner-ship stake in helping that poor person break the cycle of poverty?

No. It produces a bureacracy whose owner ship stake is in just the opposite- perpetuating poverty.

The best way a Christian can use the government to help their fellow man is in knowing the limits of what government is God-ordained to do. This will protect the populace from utopian delusions from those who dream of government programs so perfect than no one has to be good. For every personal mistake you can make their are five programs to clean up your mess.

I am against the so-called "Faith Based Initiatives". They are exactly the kind of thing that the first amendment was designed to prevent. They will turn churches into servants of their government paymaster rather than the conscience of the nation that will confront government when it becomes unjust.

I am praying that God will give you a "Eureka moment" here. Read the Bible with an eye to understanding what God has called Goverment to do and what God has called other institutions and individuals to do. The truth will be found in His Word, not my keyboard or Mike Huckabee's mouth.

10:40 AM, September 29, 2006  

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