Yesterday, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, one of my favorite radio guests ever, announced that he’s running for president in 2016. I interviewed Governor Huckabee in 2009, when he was considering a 2012 presidential run. He was congenial, articulate and clearly adept at integrating his Christian faith and politics. At the end of the interview, he commented that he especially enjoyed our conversation because, unlike many of those who interview him, I understood his Christian convictions. I truly felt we were kindred spirits.
That interview is still relevant today, so I’ve pulled several clips that I think are especially compelling. I think you’ll find they provide great insight into some of the issues surrounding politics and religion. And, they tell a bit about this Christian brother who is asking for your vote. Enjoy!
What do you make of the new, younger Evangelical Left?
Today’s young evangelicals tend to be more liberal (and Democrat) than the previous generation. I explored why with Governor Huckabee and found his answer to be insightful: “Younger demographics, people under the age particularly of 30, don’t think like people of my generation when it relates to faith. . . . A lot of younger people, who would call themselves Christians, are more cafeteria-oriented. They look at faith as, ‘Oh, there’s some things about Buddhism I like. There’s some things about Islam I like. There’s some things about Zoroastrianism I like. Oh, and I like Jesus too.’. . . ”
Is there a danger of Christians becoming too partisan?
Many criticize evangelicals for allegedly marrying politics and religion. Governor Huckabee, though definitely holding strong conservative political convictions, warns conservative Christians against becoming too partisan. He also talks about his relationships with Democrats who are strong believers: “People have to be careful not to think that if Republicans, let’s say, are typically more pro-life, and they’re the ones that are out-front on the marriage issue that that means that all Democrats are somehow ungodly and that there aren’t any Christian Democrats. That is very, very dangerous. It is dangerous to make an assumption that Republicans are believers or that Democrats are unbelievers. . .”
Is contentiousness killing the conservative movement?
So many conservative talk shows are nothing more than shouting matches. Governor Huckabee explains why this approach is counter-productive and why he loves to let liberals talk on his former show: “If I really let him talk, truth is, most liberals will talk themselves out of their issues better than I can. The conservative often makes the mistake of trying to engage the battle too early. Let him talk because most people when they hear the full liberal line all the way to its logical conclusion, they’ll say, ‘That’s crazy!’”
Is it okay for a pastor to leave his congregation and pastoral calling to run for political office?
As you may know, Governor Huckabee used to pastor a Southern Baptist Church. He said people still criticize him for abandoning his pastoral call. Here’s his response: “When people say, ‘I’m so sorry you left the ministry, my answer was, ‘I didn’t know I did!’ Last time I checked, Romans 13 says that those who govern are ministers of God. They are there to bring order in a culture . . .”
Gage Skidmore via Flikr CC BY-SA 2.0
Gage Skidmore via Flikr CC BY-SA 2.0
iprimages via Flikr CC BY-ND 2.0
John Pemble via Flikr CC BY-ND 2.0
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