We are all used to seeing cars with “Jesus is my co-pilot” and songs that say “Drop Kick Me Jesus through the Goal Post of Life,” but Mike Huckabee appears to be running with (or at least for) Jesus in an upcoming ad. The ad (to be shown in key states this month) is set in front of a Christmas tree and shows Huckabee saying that he wants to put politics aside — and just celebrate the birth of Jesus with voters.
Of course, this could force other candidates to take positions for or against Christmas.With Santa’s entry into homes late at night, law and order advocates like Giuliani may be a bit hesitant. It will be interesting what the focus groups over at the Clinton camp say about her best stance. I would suggest a wait-and-see approach along the lines of: “a president should wait for the actual rapture before committing on the Savior. However, I want to say in the strongest possible way that I am and I have always been pro-holiday.”
In the meantime, Obama is actually trying to fend off bizarre claims on the Internet that he is a Muslim. I would expect that he will need to close the Jesus gap by actually appearing in a Santa outfit.
For his part, Tancredo must be a bit nervous about an alien who enters the U.S. without a single border check or search. Certainly, Romney . . . well he is still dealing with the whole Jesus thing.
I personally believe that McCain is the best bet with a counter-ad about spending Christmas in the Hanoi Hilton.
I would hope that the next presidential debate would include pointed demands to name all of the gifts for the twelve days of Christmas. Of course, after 9-11, politicians often have trouble with the French hens.
The important thing is that all of our candidates show the courage to come out in favor of Christmas and not bow down to the anti-Christmas lobby like the National Easter Federation.
Indeed, we may see a cascading effect of candidates preemptively grabbing their own holidays. Easter, Groundhog Day, Arbor Day are all scheduled before the general election. My only request is that Ron Paul get Independence Day as the only libertarian in the race.
For those interested in the recent sectarian politics in our country, click here for a prior column.
For the new ad, click here
4 thoughts on “Video: Huckabee Takes Hard Stand in Favor of Christmas in New Ads”
Magic underwear or flying carpets aside – Huckabee is not the average citizen. He is an ordained minister, and has used his title when it suited his needs, routinely. His ministerial tenure didn’t dissolve when he became a presidential candidate. Now clearly, nothing in our constitution prevents politicians from also being clerics. In fact, there have been a number of Catholic Priests that have served in Congress. However, that didn’t insulate them from regular interrogatives about their rationale in legislating. It certainly shouldn’t insulate a proclaimed Christian minister, who feels compelled to make sure everyone knows he’s not a pacifist. Madison abhorred war and considered it a deadly germ. I don’t think Madison would enjoy being invoked with this particular cast of characters.
Secondly, there would be no Christmas message on National Television from Huckabee, Guiliani, Romney or any other candidate if they were not running for office. Therefore to contend, that these are holiday messages is almost ridiculous – nor is it about their convictions. These messages were clearly designed to inform the Christian right neo-consevatives, that they weren’t afraid to stand up and wear their “Christian values” as it were, regardless of the diversity of the electorate. These ads were paid for by the campaigns.
These were not Christmas or faith relevant ads, despite the settings or theatrics. One doesn’t need to spend millions of dollars to wish a television audience a blessed Christmas. In fact, many acts of ransom kindness and charity could have been a much better use of the millions of dollars without anyone taking credit. Now that would be a Christian or for that matter, a generally faithful Holiday message.
Sorry, these were political ads that have a created an argument that doesn’t exist. There is no distinction necessary except the fact that these candidates didn’t go as far as to dress up in short skirts and spike heels and cruise the docks. That whirring sound you hear is Madison spinning in grave as though he were on a runaway rotisserie.
Madison calls for freedom of religion, not freedom from it. He believes people should be free to worship who they want or not to worship at all. Which is exactly why theological beliefs should not be part of a political discussion. However, he does not call for a separation between convictions derived from religion and a person’s beliefs as far as candidates go.
It is an important distinction.
I was with you up to the last paragraph.
No reinvention necessary. A lot of serious minds consider that such a separation was the original intent of the writers of the First Amendment. And this analysis is by no means recent. May I point you to Madison’s famous Remonstrance against Religious Assessments as one such document from that era.
Faith, the possession or lack of it, has nothing to do with analysis of how the Establishment Clause is to be taken. Co-religionists can come to opposite conclusions on this.
If one’s religion is used as a marketing tool, or vote-getter, than is it not fair game for that most American of political discourse, critical humor? Professor Turley’s was very gentle (and indeed, even-handed)as such go….
I love your work and your sense of humor is certainly evident in this post, however, in this entry and the entry on faith that you linked to makes several mischaracterizations.
For one, this was a Christmas ad. Huckabee is a Christian. I would have absolutely no problem with Lieberman putting up an ad at Hanukkah time about remembering that the holiday is about how God sustained his people or Moses or something like that. He wants, at Christmas time, to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Also, to call George W. Bush the most Christian candidate…that is the candidate making his faith the biggest part of his campaign…is wrong. Actually, the way you put it, that he is the candidate to make the most “faith-based appeals” is inherently and obviously wrong. Abraham Lincoln, William Jennings Bryan, Pat Robertson, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, etc…all of these candidates made at a minimum a comparable number of such appeals, and the majority of them ran their campaign on their faith. I would argue that Bush did not do that. Also, if I remember correctly, I don’t think the question was “political philosopher,” rather simply “philosopher.” And if you are right, if a political philosopher is defined as someone who thinks and teaches things that are or could be related to politics, as Jesus did, then Bush’s answer is fine.
There is no candidate who has a sounder, both practically and constitutionally, view of religion in politics than Barack Obama.
Finally, I feel as though some use a candidate, particularly a Republican (someone they don’t agree with), talking about his or her faith, as a justification to condemn them because of the more peculiar elements of their theological doctrine. Mormons and their “magic underwear” is a perfect example. Everything the media is attacking Huckabee with is applicable is well.
Faith should be examined, but secularists and people who have reinvented the “separation of church and state” should only critique that which is applicable to policy as noted by the candidate.
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