This is the kind of reasoned analysisÂ we need more of. Not “Oh my word, Huckabee mentioned the word Jesus” hysteria.
All of this alarms neoconservatives like Charles Krauthammer, who detects in Christian conservativesâ€™ reluctance to back the chameleon-like Romney the dread specter of bias against Romneyâ€™s Mormon faith. He doesnâ€™t deign to mention Romneyâ€™s socially left-wing gubernatorial record and past campaigns, instead asserting that the Romney trails Huckabee â€œbecause about 40 percent of the Republican caucus voters in 2000 were self-described â€˜Christian conservativesâ€™â€”twice the number of those in New Hampshire, for exampleâ€”and, for many of them, Mormonism is a Christian heresy.â€ Before Mormons or anybody else rushes to embrace Krauthammer as a paragon of religious tolerance, however, one should consider whether the Washington Postcolumnist doesnâ€™t think that denominational commitments of all kinds are a distraction from the one true faith: the Church of America. Says Krautie, â€œThe God of the Founders, the God on the coinage, the God for whom Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving day is the ineffable, ecumenical, nonsectarian Providence of the American civil religion whose relation to this blessed land is without appeal to any particular testament or ritual.â€ (Krauthammer isnâ€™t endorsing secularism here: heâ€™s conscripting religious sentiment, stripped of theological content, into the service of Proposition Nationalism. But thatâ€™s a subject for another day.)
Authentic (paleo) conservatives need to criticize Huckabee for all the right reasons without siding with Krauthammer style historical revisionists in the service ofÂ some benign civil religion and a buck naked public square. McCarthy hits the right note here.