Daily Record (Morris County, NJ), Sunday, December 16, 2007
Imagining part God plays in 2008 race
We have with us today three self-professed Christian candidates for president -- Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and John Edwards.
Host: Gentlemen, welcome.
All: Good to be here.
Host: Let me start with you, Mr. Huckabee. In 1992, you said, "Homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle." Do you still believe this?
Huckabee: I might put it differently, but yes.
Host: So your God, by the way, do you feel he is the one true God? And is your God a "he?" Anyhow, is God equally concerned with people dying in Darfur and the sinfulness of homosexuality?
Huckabee: I can't grade God's concerns.
Host: You stated that God was behind your recent surge in the polls. Do you feel that God dissed Sam Brownback, and that's why he dropped out of the race?
Huckabee: I can't say whether God likes Sam. I can only say he really likes me.
Host: Mr. Huckabee, what about all the gifts you accepted as governor, and registering at Target when you left office so people could furnish your house?
Huckabee: The Good Lord provides!
Host: No, I meant, you shop at Target?
Mr. Romney, both you and Mr. Huckabee support a constitutional amendment banning gay and lesbian marriage. Going this far indicates you feel very strongly that God dislikes gays. Didn't Jesus love and protect the most despised among us?
Romney: The sanctity of marriage is a basic precept of Christianity!
Host: I know you had a change of heart about stem cell research and abortion rights, which you now oppose. Did you also have a revelation that made you turn against homosexuals, since you supported gay rights in Massachusetts?
Romney: I'm not against homosexuals. I just don't think that God gives them the same rights as the rest of us.
Host: As for revelations, in 1978, Mormon leader Spencer Kimball announced God told him that blacks could now enter the priesthood. What made God so open-minded a century after he told Joseph Smith that black people descended from Cain?
Romney: I have supported several African-Americans for the priesthood.
Host: What about women; why doesn't God feel they deserve to become Mormon priests?
Romney: Why don't you ask the Catholic candidates that question? They've diminished women a lot longer than we have.
Host: Mr. Edwards, you told belief.net that, unlike John Kerry, Faith (they capitalize "Faith") affects your decision-making.
Edwards: My faith informs everything I think and do. I believe Jesus would hate that we ignore the plight of those less fortunate than we are.
Host: Your family recently moved into what tax officials say is the most valuable property in your county. Your house is 28,000 square feet, including a separate recreation building with a basketball court.
Edwards: What's your point?
Host: It seems that you're isolating yourself. Your house sits in the middle of a 102-acre estate posted with "No Trespassing" signs. Wasn't Jesus all about being with common people?
Edwards: I earned my massive fortune by defending common people against powerful interests.
Host: I confess, I'm not a Christian. But I couldn't devastate that much of the earth for my personal use no matter how much money I had.
Edwards: I don't see it that way. My family and I deserve such a nice crib because I've helped so many people. Jesus wants that for me.
Host: Ohhh ... I see time is up. Gentlemen - thank you for lifting the presidential debate to such a high spiritual plane!
Alan Keyes: You never called on me! I am the sword of God. May he strike you all down -- like I smote my gay daughter!
Stanton Peele of Chatham is a lawyer and psychologist.