Let’s all pitch in this Christmas and buy Mike Huckabee a new Bible.
He seems to have forgotten the words.
The Christian minister and former Arkansas governor debased himself Tuesday defending Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of sexually assaulting two minor girls when he was in his early 30s.
Amazingly enough, Huckabee did little to dispute the actual allegations of sexual misconduct. Instead, the Fox News regular focused mostly on recent Democratic scandals, including the ones involving Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and freshly ousted Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., both of whom stand accused of multiple counts of sexual harassment.
“They have a lot of questions about Roy Moore, I understand that,” Huckabee said. “But you know it’s down to the fact that as long as Al Franken is in the Senate, and Conyers is staying in office, why not have Roy Moore?” Huckabee asked his Fox News interviewer.
There is a lot to unpack in this. You could probably write an entire book exploring everything that's wrong with the governor's response, but we'll try to keep it brief.
First, it’s a hell of a thing to dismiss the allegations outright. Moore himself hasn’t even attempted a convincing refutation of the more than five women who’ve accused him of assault or harassment, or the more than 30 people who have corroborated their stories.
Instead, Moore has responded by alleging a conspiracy by the press, a conspiracy by the Democratic Party, and a conspiracy by the Republican Party.
Then there’s the fact that there are also some holes in the Alabama candidate's varying responses to allegations. He has gone from denying everything to acknowledging he dated a couple of his accusers when they were teens, to denying he knows any of the women.
Second, it’s a hell of a thing to hear a Christian minister suggest any amount of alleged moral depravity is okay so long as the other team is guilty of the same.
It's obvious the governor thinks he has a slam-dunk response to Moore’s critics, but all he’s really doing is arguing from a position as a well-known Christian that it’s okay if the people he supports are bad because the other team is bad, too.
We shouldn’t need to remind a Christian minister of St. Paul's exhortation in Romans 12:
[B]e not conformed to this world; but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, and the acceptable, and the perfect will of God."
In short, "everyone else is doing it" isn't an excuse. We're called on to be better.
Deflecting from one's bad behavior by pointing out someone else is just as bad, if not worse, is cowardly. It also ignores the fact that you're behaving badly. Perhaps the governor is familiar with the origin of the saying, "physician, heal thyself."
If Huckabee wants to present himself to Fox's audience as a man of God, he needs to decide whether he’s a devout Christian or a partisan operative. This mixing-and-matching routine isn’t doing Christians any favors.
If he wants his branding effort to include an emphasis on his being a Christian minister, the least he can do is act the part.