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There is something this political race is doing that nobody would have expected. Among conservative and pro-family leadership the sheep are being separated from the shepherds.
There are those in “leadership” in the pro-family movement who follow the pundits, the polls or the politicians instead of leading on principle. I could list them, but, well, you already know who they are. The ones sitting on their hands or convening to the candidate of compromise.
Nancy Gibbs had it right in her recent Time Magazine article, “The Evangelicals’ New Clothes”:
- So when Robertson et al, ignored the conspicuous apostasies of Rudy and, in his earlier more liberal life, Romney, in order to jump on the bandwagon, they exposed a much less lofty agenda: they just liked their seat at the table; they didn’t want to lose, and they didn’t seem to realize that by signing on with a frontrunner, they were following, not leading, demonstrating weakness, not strength.
As I told one national pro-family leader this week, “You have a voice; you have influence, and this is the moment to use it!” Actually, the moment was months ago as the same Time Magazine article pointed out:
- Had the religious right leaders fallen in behind Huckabee early on, when he was a late night joke, they actually might have demonstrated their clout. … But the worst scenario is to expose yourself as just another cynical poll. Any success Huckabee has had, he obviously had without their help – in fact in spite of it – thereby exposing just how little clout, judgment or principle they have.
The article pointed to one of our pro-family leaders who actually led on principle, Don Wildmon, chairman of the American Family Association. Here’s a few more: Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel and Dr. Jimmy Draper, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention – both co-chairs (with me) for the Faith and Family Values Coalition for Gov. Mike Huckabee – the only candidate who stands for both the Human Life Amendment and Marriage Protection Amendment. You would think a stand like that would get groups like Right to Life standing up and doing cartwheels – or at least handing out ballot cards. Had that happened in South Carolina, Fred Thompson’s votes would have gone to Huckabee along with the state and the momentum for a Florida win (just for starters).
But it’s not over as some prominent leaders in Texas proclaimed in a press release yesterday:
“(T)he conservative choice in this race is Mike Huckabee, and everybody knows it,” said Kelly Shackelford, president of the Free Market Foundation. “Conservatives across Texas are being encouraged to fold up their values and go home,” said Shackelford. “We’re saying, ‘don’t do it. Stand for what you believe. Vote for your values; vote for Mike.'”
Dave Welch, executive director of the Houston Area Pastor Council, said “The legacy of Texas is to stand and fight for what we believe – even against the odds – as long as there is a hill to fight on. Pastor Rick Scarborough, president of Vision America, added: “God help us if we refuse to vote our values, and we run from the battlefield.”
We heard the mantra, “A vote for Huckabee is a vote for McCain!” Interestingly, the same people who said that are now saying, “Don’t vote for Huckabee. Vote for McCain!” Really? Support the guy who wants to force us to fund medical experimentation on human beings like Joshua and Rachel Hubbard – who were themselves once frozen embryos. Real human beings. Just older than they were when they were shoved in a freezer and vulnerable to policies like those of Sen. John McCain. Just because someone shoves children in the freezer doesn’t mean they’re no longer human beings in need of adoption. “Thou shalt not kill” doesn’t say “unless they’re really small and discarded by people who don’t want them.” If you found a kid locked in a closet, would you justify performing medical experiments on him before taking his life because he “was going to die if nobody let him out of that closet anyway?”
They are rallying to the very guy who wanted a two-month gag rule prior to an election on all of us who want to inform people about what Congress may be doing – like forming a gang (of 14, for example) to block good judicial nominees.
Ann Gimenez, whose husband Bishop John Gimenez, a true Christian leader who just went on to his reward, said, “This is not the time to lose our moral compass. Take a stand for righteousness, and don’t deviate from it.” Good advice.
There are sheep, and there are shepherds. Sheep follow the pundits, the polls, political expediency and promised perks. Shepherds follow principle. Gov. Mike Huckabee is such a man. So are those who stand on principle with him.