Friday, December 21, 2007

The problem with Huckabee being the Christian Candidate

Growing up in a house that was all about politics, I never confused politics with faith. There are, after all, two completely different animals. In fact, as I was growing up and into the '80's, faith was never even a consideration regarding candidates and politics in my mind. Basically abortion and other social issues being forced upon us, forced Christians into the political process. We felt we couldn't be just voters anymore, we had to be activists.

I remember in the 80's thinking that the pro-life movement was handling the politics of abortion all wrong. They let the media paint them as radical protesters, instead of ones who help women in crisis pregnancies. For example, I bet most of you remember "Operation Rescue," but none of you know that during that time pro-lifers set up 3 times the number of pregnancy crisis centers than there are abortion clinics across the country. Crisis centers that not only provided for women during pregnancy, but after the baby was born as well. The negative is what will always be reported. And politics is ugly business, the pro-lifers were not up for that, the pro-abortionists certainly were, which is why they won the political battle.

This is the problem with Huckabee in my view. It's one thing for a candidate to claim to be a person of faith (as all of them do) and quite another to make it the hallmark of his campaign. We expect politicians to do negative campaigning against their opponents. That is a part of politics, but we don't like to see our "Christian leaders" involve themselves in the ugliness that is politics.

By Huckabee putting his Christianity front and center, he allows himself to be painted as a "Christian leader." Then when he is force to play the ugly political game, it makes us more than uncomfortable. It seems out of place, not right.

Huckabee has gained alot of ground touting his faith. Christians liked hearing the language of faith from a candidate, but I think he overplayed his hand. Once the mudslinging begins, he will look more like a Pharisee, claiming to be on the side of good, while acting in the opposite way.

It's impossible in the midst of the "fight club" that is Presidential politics, to portray yourself as the minister of the people, and on the other hand, be the pit bull candidate one has to be to win a political campaign.

It's like Mother Teresa trying to win a beauty pageant. It just doesn't work.

So Huckabee may shine with the light of Jesus now, but when the mud starts slinging, I'm afraid the light might get covered.