Ayatollah Huckabee’s Fatwa

In Shiite Iran, only a Shiite may be president. Not a Sunni Muslim, not a Christian, and not a secularist. Article 115 of the current Iranian constitution says:

‘ Article 115

The President must be elected from among religious and political personalities possessing the following qualifications: Iranian origin; Iranian nationality; administrative capacity and resourcefulness; a good past-record; trustworthiness and piety; convinced belief in the fundamental principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the official [religion or ] madhhab of the country. ‘

Mike Huckabee seems to differ little from the ayatollahs in his willingness to deploy religious orthodoxy as a weapon to exclude others from high political office. Ayatollah Huckabee has issued his fatwa against a wretched heresy.

Here’s the view from Salt Lake City: Huckabee is using Mitt Romney’s Mormonism against him in a cynical bid to exploit the religious bigotry of the Protestant Right against Mormons. Excerpt from the article of Thomas Burr:

‘ Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, aired a TV commercial in Iowa recently telling voters he is a “Christian leader,” a move that could be seen as a veiled hit on Romney, whose faith is viewed as heretical by some Protestant evangelicals. And Huckabee has so far refused to say whether he believes the LDS Church is a cult, as his Southern Baptist religion labels the church. In Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, Huckabee goes even further when asked if he believes Mormons are cultists. While first saying he didn’t know much about Mormonism, Huckabee then asks the reporter in an “innocent voice”: “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?” Some political observers say Huckabee, now the leading GOP candidate in Iowa polls, is raising the issues of Romney’s faith as a campaign tactic. “I think he knows it’s clearly an issue with his base,” says Kelly Patterson, director of the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at the LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University. “He’s sending signals through his advertisements and his comments that his base will understand. It’s obvious he’s making it an issue.” ‘

Huckabee just picked up that accusation against Mormons from some fundamentalist Protestant web site. (See below).

Almost as disgusting as Huckabee’s willingness to hype his opponent’s personal religious views was the mealy-mouthed statement his campaign put out on the issue:

‘ In fact, the full context of the exchange makes it clear that Governor Huckabee was illustrating his unwillingness to answer questions about Mormonism and to avoid addressing theological questions during this campaign.’’

But in fact there is no context that would change what Huckabee told the interviewer, which implied that he thinks Mormons are heretics, with the further implication that it is undesirable to have a heretic as president. (Of course, from the point of view of Baptist theology, most presidents have been heretics.)

Having failed to put the controversy to rest with his lame press release about the “full context,” Huckabee then “apologized” to Romney, saying he would never make another candidate’s religion an issue and that he wasn’t aware that his remark would appear in the interview. But since the remark was made in the course of an interview, it is not plausible that Huckabee did not think it would appear. And, I am suspicious of this apology because its main effect will be to alter the headlines on Thursday from “Huckabee calls Romney a Heretic” to the more sympathetic “Huckabee apologized to Romney for Religious Slur.” As you can tell, IC is not falling for it.

Of course, the irony is that Romney is also perfectly willing to cut out the secular “heretics” and the Muslims from high public office. The Republican candidates seem to be running on who can be the most religiously narrow-minded.

A secular person or a Buddhist might well argue that since all Christians believe God the father created all beings, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that they all believe all beings are in that sense siblings, including any two beings you’d like to pick. Only if Huckabee believed God the father did not create the dark angel would his own gibe at Romney be justified.

As for what Mormons really believe on this score, see below. The only thing I care about with regard to a candidate’s religion is that he not try to use high political office to impose it on the rest of us. In that regard, none of the candidates scares me more than Huckabee, and if I were a biologist I’d be very worried what he would do to federal funding of that field– a field which is crucial to America’s economic future.

Below I am mirroring from A Mormon apologetic site the following explanation of the controversy from a Mormon point of view:

‘Is Satan the Brother of Jesus?

by W. John Walsh

Is Jesus the brother of Satan?

This is a common question asked by those exposed to Anti-Mormon literature. Anti-Mormons often twist our doctrines out of context to make people falsely believe that Latter-Day Saints denigrate Jesus and consider Satan and the Lord to be equals. Of course, anyone familiar with our beliefs about Jesus Christ knows that we have the utmost respect and reverence for Our Savior and Redeemer.

First, Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God the Father (and is therefore divine) and the mortal virgin Mary. Satan, a malignant spirit, does not share this parental heritage of Jesus, and cannot be considered divine in any respect. Therefore, in the usual way that we speak of brothers and sisters, Jesus and Satan are not brothers.

However, Latter-day Saints believe that God is our Father in Heaven. Before we came to this world, we all lived as spirits under his care and guidance. We believe that God begat or created the spirits of Jesus, Lucifer, and all of the human family as his children. Our Heavenly Father is literally the father of our spirits. Jesus Christ is considered the preeminent “firstborn” or “firstbegotten” (see Hebrews 1:4-6; Firstborn in the Spirit)

Even though God the Father created all of our spirits, we were not equal in that premortal state. Jesus was a member of the Eternal Godhead, through his own innate worthiness, and created the universe under the Father’s direction. The Godhead is comprised of our Heavenly Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. Since the Fall of Adam, the Father has represented himself to the world through Jesus Christ. Jesus was Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament.

Lucifer, who was never a member of the Godhead like Jesus, rebelled against God, and was forever cast out. He became Satan, our adversary. Unlike Jesus or us, Lucifer will never be born into a physical body.

Latter-day Saint scriptures summarize this issue as follows:

AND I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying–Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.

But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me–Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.

Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down;

And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice. (The Pearl of Great Price, Moses 4:1-4)

So it can be said that Jesus and Lucifer were brothers, in the sense of both being spiritually begotten by the Father, but it is a misrepresentation to say so without giving the contextual background. Whatever similarities in background exist between Jesus and Satan pale compared to the differences. Jesus is the Beloved and Chosen, who is the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh.’

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