The rôle of religion in the pursuit of political power is quite an intrigue. Tony Blair has entered into the catholic faith after the end of his political career. He attained and maintained the highest political office in his land. Mike Huckabee is attempting to obtain the highest political office in his land. Huckabee is a Baptist minister and has used those arrows in his quiver a plenty.
Blair entered the church AFTER it could signify anything in his work, either to advance the faith in his land or, to suffer for it from public opposition. Huckabee is utilizing, as adroitly as he possibly can, any advantage christianity, in the public sphere, can gain him. The political use of the pulpit in protestant churches is part and parcel of the political life of the United States.
In Britain there has been a steady trickle of individuals into the Catholic Church since the emancipation (1829). Some of the finest minds in the land, men who would be cardinals: Newman and Manning; writers: Greene, Sitwell, Hopkins, Waugh, Thompson, Muggeridge ... There has been relatives of the queen, who need special dispensation, and thereby, remove themselves from succession. These people are referred to as crossing the Tiber or having "poped".
Recent news reports have confirmed, what many knew, that on Sunday there are more Catholics in church than Anglicans. Many are of irish and polish nationality and other non sassenach extraction; but still, those from either the high end or the low end of social prestige are free to be Catholics. In the Daily Mail, Katie Grant has the succinct :
Yet Mr Blair did not convert when it would have been hard, he converted when it was easy.Blair in Parliament, took anti-Catholic positions on many issues, including abortion and, perhaps, the greatest being -- toadying Britain in support of Bush, in his imperial invasion, in a war of aggression. Both, the arrogant buffoon, Bush, and Tony Blair tried to have the papacy, in the person of John Paul II, a man who lived under both german and communist occupation, either support or countenance war. Naturally, this did not happen.
Tony now joins the church militant at Christmastide. For an Anglican, has already been baptised as a christian, all he needed was to give a good confession in the private secrecy of a confessional, but in such a public life should not a public accounting be à-propos?
As a couple of quotations more than amply suggest that public use of religion in British life is discouraged in today's Britannia.
Alastair Campbell, Blair's press secretary -- 'We don't do God.'"But in protestant America, the charlatan, huckster preacher is ubiquitous; also the preacher has been a responsible community leader and spokesman in the negro [now black], and in the southern milieux. These two have often combined. In the anti-catholic, and anti-papal, propaganda the ever present charge, IS, that the priest, the pope dictate everything to the mindless catholic congregant. Yet, this is exceedingly rare. A mass is not interrupted to present a politician! In homilies, a priest may speak at length on certain issues and causes that a christian, and especially a catholic christian, ought to concern himself with; some of his congregation will agree whole-heartedly, but silently; others will be annoyed and vexed to the point, that they will complain to the bishop. Some catholics, too distinctly, separate their sacred lives from their public lives. This is in great contrast to the evangelical protestants, in particular.*
Blair, himself -- "You talk about it in our system and, frankly, people do think you're a nutter."
Very recently, Huckabee went to San Antonio, Tejas; not to the Cathedral of San Fernando, but to the megachurch of John Hagee. Outside of certain circles, this name means nothing. I have read and heard people say that he is a television evangelist. He has been profiled on 60 Minutes as a christian zionist. He fancies himself a published historian. What can be quickly gleaned, is that he, Hagee, is a cheerleader for Armageddon, and a lying, anti-catholic bigot. Since these two positions are so disgusting, and must ought be so outré, that it is difficult to gage his sanity or sincerity. Yet, Mike is there, immediately before Christmas, in a state that will reliably vote Republican, in a city where its culture, to a significant degree, is pre-anglo, pre-wasp; and all this importunes what in the Iowa campaign?
Huckabee has given sermons in his former career. These are not available, now, to the public. Huckabee was a radio and television broadcaster. I have met, worked with, evangelicals who offer me recordings of their pastors' talks. They encourage me to listen to them on local a.m. radio. They have played them for my edification at work. I was passive to this, and did not take up their offers, and they were not particularly interested in my views. I have met several of his co-religionists, in the course of my life, and to say, that, they have been hostile to catholicism is an understatement. The kindest were dismissive, the more assertive were unpleasant. Historical fact meant nothing. They share a created legend of history and, not only do they have an interpretation of their beliefs, they have one of mine. They expound with cheney like certainty on catholics and catholicism.
Huckabee is not a candidate of the Republican establishment, that would be Romney and Giuliani. A great deal of his programme I can agree with. Sam Brownback had some, similar positions, and worked Iowa from neighboring Kansas -- he gained no traction amongst Iowa's evangelicals and was easily dispatched. But, there are some unspoken, but fully understood, positions that, I, never could affirm, agree, accept or in anyway be a part of either as a democrat or a Catholic. This appearance with Hagee implies comfortability with dominionism.†
*This is also the case amongst mohammedans.
†An evangelical protestant fascism.