Sorry Pastor Mike. . .

but I now know you’re not my guy. It’s not even close.

I have several friends and acquaintances–smart, savvy, Christian folks–who are quite gung ho about Mike Huckabee. That’s one of several reasons I have been diligent to find out more about the Governor’s positions and political philosophy. The more I have listened to and read Huckabee’s own words, the the less favorably disposed I’ve become.

This week’s position paper in Foreign Affairs magazine was the clincher for me. More on that in a moment.

I, like a lot of people I think, made a lot of assumptions based purely upon the knowledge that Huckabee is an strong evangelical Christian. For most of us, the term “evangelical conservative” is almost redundant–the terms are so closely identified.

But that is no longer as safe assumption. There is a growing Evangelical Left in this country. Jim “Why the Right is Wrong” Wallis”, Brian McClaren, Tony Campolo, Ron Sider and even Rick Warren are some of its most visible spokesmen. And Huckabee’s rhetoric is very consistent with the way these guys talk.

In the latest issue of Foreign Affairsmagazine, Mike Huckabee presents a position paper that could just as easily have been written by Sen. Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi. I found this opening section particularly obnoxious:

The United States, as the world’s only superpower, is less vulnerable to military defeat. But it is more vulnerable to the animosity of other countries. Much like a top high school student, if it is modest about its abilities and achievements, if it is generous in helping others, it is loved. But if it attempts to dominate others, it is despised.

American foreign policy needs to change its tone and attitude, open up, and reach out. The Bush administration’s arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad. My administration will recognize that the United States’ main fight today does not pit us against the world but pits the world against the terrorists.

More prescient and credentialed people than I have given this nonsense the thrashing it deserves, so I’ll just point you here, here, here and then there is this from Peter Wehner:

. . . the belief that if we are modest and generous we will be “loved” by other nations, and that anger at America is based on our attempts to “dominate,” is both naive and foolish. Some nations (like Cuba, Syria, Iran, North Korea, and others) will oppose us because they are totalitarian states that hate our efforts to curb their ambitions and advance freedom and self-determination.

They are not the loving kind.

Other nations (like France under Jacques Chirac) will oppose us because they can’t stand the idea of a unipolar world and want to counterbalance it. And other nations (like China and Russia) will oppose our efforts to end genocide in Darfur and keep Iran from gaining nuclear weapons because of their economic interests.

Memo to Mike Huckabee: Sometimes we are despised for all the right reasons.

I am still nowhere close to knowing who I am rooting for in the primaries. But I do know who I have ruled out. I started out with “Anyone but McCain.” Then it became “Anyone but McCain or Ron Paul.” Now, Pastor Mike has been added to that formulation.

Like Brian McClaren, Tony Campolo, Ron Sider and others of the Christian Left, and like President Bush in some respects, Huckabee loves Jesus but is profoundly wrong about how the Christian faith ought to be applied in the public policy arena.

Christians are clearly commanded to operate in compassion within their culture. Government cannot. When it tries, it becomes a destructive false messiah. And the law of unintended consequences kicks in with a brutal and unrelenting vengeance. (Just ask the inner city family structure–if you can find it.) We have 43 years of bitter lessons from our well-intentioned “war on poverty”–lessons some influential believers have not bothered to learn. 

For a crash course, I recommend:

The Tragedy of American Compassion by Charles Murray and Marvin Olasky

Productive Christians in the Age of Guilt Manipulators by David Chilton

Freedom, Justice and Hope: Toward a Strategy for the Poor and Oppressedby Marvin Olasky