Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Not Our Kind

Pastor Dan at Street Prophets points out this attack on Sam Brownback, written by Mike Huckabee campaign volunteer Rev. Tim Rude of Walnut Creek Community Church in Windsor Heights, Iowa.

Pastors XXX and XXX relayed to me that you are both supporting Sam Brownback for President. It sounds like there is, in fact, regular contact with Senator Brownback and yourselves. I applaud your participation in the selection of the next president of the United States. It is our duty as Christians to take our stewardship of this country extremely serious. And I am sure that you are aware that our entire Walnut Creek leadership staff, to my knowledge, is supporting Mike Huckabee.

On July 20, we drove up to Ames and spoke with pastors XXX and XXX about our position and were well received. However, it sounds like you are the men we need to communicate with about our advocacy.

I am interested in your decision to support this candidate. As you know, both candidates are down in the polls. Nation-wide polls show Brownback at 1% and Huckabee at 3% amongst Republican candidates.

About 3 weeks ago, I met the Governor personally. I learned that he was a Southern Baptist pastor for 12 years. The Governor told us that he concluded that people needed to gain positions in the government in order to safeguard our Christian values. People need to make that sacrifice. He served as LT. Governor prior to serving as governor for 10 and a half years.

The second time he ran for Gov. he gained over 48% of the black vote. That is remarkable and it conveys he can really broaden his base. I think he is electable. He is a remarkable communicator. I believe as people listen to him, just like in Arkansas, they will like what he says and like him personally. I have listened to him in private and over the radio. He is the best communicator I have ever heard run for office. President Reagan was a great communicator but he did not as closely represent a Christian perspective as does Huckabee, although Reagan did a very good job.

Huckabee is an evangelical. He has not learned how to speak to evangelicals; i.e. Bush 41 & 43. He is one of us. I know Senator Brownback converted to Roman Catholicism in 2002. Frankly, as a recovering Catholic myself, that is all I need to know about his discernment when compared to the Governor's. I don't if this fact is widely known among evangelicals who are supporting Brownback.

The one criticism of Huckabee is that he raised taxes in Arkansas. First of all, is that he had to raise money to meet some Federally imposed funding initiatives. When he took office, Arkansas was 47th ranked state in education. When he left office, they were 23rd rank. The roads were in horrible shape in the aftermath of the Clintons. He raised money for them. This is a constitutionally sanctioned responsibility of government. He cut taxes 86 times in Arkansas. He left with a budget surplus that was significant. He also left office with an 86% approval rating. He can build consensus even in a primarily Democratic state.

Michael Ferris of the Home School Legal Defense Association enthusiastically endorses him as does the former Promise Keeper magazine New Man.

There is much more to say. Like you, we are trying to make a 1st or 2nd place showing in the Iowa Straw Poll to give our candidates a boost and viability. Money and media attention would be gained to the winners. All Huckabee needs is exposure in my opinion. The money will come and will the volunteers. I would ask you to reconsider your support of Senator Brownback; and lead your people in not splitting the Christian vote among the two candidates. I have been impressed with the pastors across the Greater Des Moines area switching their support or giving their support for the Governor. We are in Iowa for 'such a time as this'.

XXX church is trying to gain 1000 votes of people who were not planning on going to the Iowa Straw Poll from our efforts alone. Would you join us in accomplishing this goal?

Brownback is a good man but there is a better candidate in my opinion. One that will gain momentum as he is heard. The Gov. is of true presidential character.

Well, I thought I would give this a shot. I know it is hard to change horses in the middle of the stream but I know you will prayerfully consider what I have to say.

Your brother and friend,


Rev. Rude has since apologized, although he doesn't seem very sorry about what he said, only that he got caught.
"Rev. Rude, who left the Catholic Church 30 years ago, plans on issuing an apology. He says he did not intend the e-mail to be made public.

All I was trying to say" he explained, "is that Protestants should vote for Protestants."

That's right. Not only does one have to be Christian to serve as President, one has to be the right kind of Christian. His civics instruction was sadly lacking; apparently he missed the part about NO RELIGIOUS TEST for public office. Yeah, I'm yelling. Maybe he'll hear me all the way up in Iowa. And if he doesn't hear me, perhaps he'll listen when the IRS comes knocking on his door. Not only does he strongly imply his church's endorsement of a particular candidate, he is asking at least one other church to participate in a "Get Out the Vote" effort for Huckabee.

Of course, he's drumming up support for a Republican candidate; that along with the invocation of Ronald Reagan and the obligatory swipe at the Clintons pretty much guarantees that IRS officials will stick any reports they receive in the circular file.

I'm not sure I could enumerate every objectionable thing in this missive -- there's so much, I'd likely overlook something. And I'm not surprised to hear this kind of religious bigotry. But here's a question: does anyone else pick up a vaguely threatening vibe? Something about the tone leaves me with an "or else!" feeling. Creepy.

Cross(but not in a Religious Right kind of way)-posted at Birmingham Blues.