Huckabee backpedals, Marty critiques

GOP candidate Mike Huckabee now says that he was misunderstood in making what were perceived as anti-Mormon comments:

WASHINGTON — Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee says it is “unfounded” for anyone to say he has alienated the Mormon community or that he used rival Mitt Romney’s LDS faith as a wedge issue.

Huckabee, talking to reporters over breakfast in Washington Tuesday just two blocks from the White House, blamed a single remark he made to The New York Times Magazine last year — when he asked whether Mormons believed Jesus and Satan are brothers — as the cause of the angst in the Mormon community.

The LDS Church issued a statement following that remark that acknowledged the belief that Jesus and Satan were both children of God, as well as all of humanity. Still, Huckabee’s comment was seen by many as pejorative.

Some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have charged that Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor, was tapping into wariness about Mormons in campaigning against Romney. Some even raised the specter in letters to the editor that they would vote Democratic if Huckabee were the GOP nominee.

Huckabee said Tuesday he would have concern if anyone said he had estranged the Mormon community. 

Fine. If Huckabee is serious, here’s all he needs to to: publicly and unequivocally state “Yes, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Christian church.”

Not holding my breath.

In the meantime, Martin E. Marty — who, unlike Huckabee, actually knows a fair amount about the LDS Church — has his own observations about what went on in the GOP primaries:

Now that Governor Romney is off the campaign trail — we don’t do any columns of candidates on the trail — we can, without commenting on him or the part his church and faith played in his demise, do a retrospective on the Mormon-hate that blighted air waves, the internet, and some printed quotations while he was spotlit…

Taking testimony about the evils of Mormonism by ex-Mormons is likely to be as objective as it is if it comes against Catholicism by ex-Catholics. Were it our calling, we could find profound fault with many policies and actions of some Latter-Day-Saints or members and leaders of other faiths. My own company, that of historians, is in the business of telling stories about others’ stories. No one is to be uncritical, where there is often much to criticize. But criticism is one thing; hate-speech and untruths are another.

Amen, Martin.  ..bruce..

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