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Wayne Bessen

Is Mike Huckabee a closeted stoner?

Mike Huckabee may not be a rock star drugie, but he sure may be a stoner.
Is former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee a closeted stoner? This is the question many people are asking, while the mainstream media has looked the other way.

Of course, what I am talking about has nothing to do with drugs, but is potentially more dangerous. Unfortunately, one needs a headline that includes drugs, sex or Britney Spears to get anyone to pay attention. Simply being a leading presidential candidate with ties to religious extremists who would stone homosexuals, adulterers and people who lie about their virginity is not newsworthy, I suppose.

It is scary to imagine, but the jovial Huckabee is linked to leaders of the Reconstructionist movement, which is so far to the right it makes Pat Robertson look like Ted Kennedy. The late R.J. Rushdoony, a prolific writer who sought to replace the Constitution with the Old Testament, founded this school of religious thought. In essence, they want a Christian version of Iranian or Saudi Arabian Sharia law in the United States. The Bible would govern every action, whether religious, personal or civil.

These fanatics believe that in order for Jesus to return, we have to create their view of the Kingdom of God on earth. I know this may be surprising, but their plan doesn’t include gay people and Hillary Clinton would be in the kitchen fixing trail mix instead of mixing it up on the campaign trail.

Let’s be clear, it is likely that Mike Huckabee does not share these nutty views. However, America has a right to know why he has cavorted with several extremists and why he scrubbed the record of his preaching days.

“On the campaign trail, it is the ‘Lost Decade’ of his life. No one can find, or get access to, texts or video of his sermons,” writes Howard Fineman in Newsweek magazine.

It seems Huckabee has shed his prayer papers faster than he shed those much-ballyhooed pounds that first put him on the national radar. What is he hiding? Many of us are afraid the happy-go-lucky preacher is whitewashing a controversial past that includes views that, in the minds of many people, would disqualify him for higher office.

The first hint that Huckabee was on the fringe was during a Republican debate when he raised his hand signaling that he did not believe in evolution. The next red flag appeared after a 1992 Associated Press questionnaire was found where Huckabee called for the quarantine of AIDS patients and referred to homosexuality as “an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle” that could “pose a dangerous public health risk.”

Next, the Cato Institute’s blog revealed that Huckabee held a fundraiser at the Houston home of Dr. Steven Hotze. As columnist Bob Novak notes, Hotze is “a leader in the highly conservative Christian Reconstruction movement.” In 1986, Hotze signed onto a Coalition on Revival manifesto that said, “All theories and practice are only true, right, and realistic to the degree that they agree with the Bible.” This included the spheres of government, medicine and science.
Two weeks ago, I revealed that in 1998, Huckabee co-wrote the book, “Kids Who Kill” with Reconstructionist author George Grant. In his 1987 book, “The Changing of the Guard,” Grant says Christians have a mandate to take “dominion” over all aspects of life and to “bring the land into subjugation to [Christ’s] Lordship.”

“But it is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion we are after,” wrote Grant. “Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion we are after. World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish.”

There are also ties to controversial evangelist Bill Gothard, a strict preacher who believes Cabbage Patch Dolls were a threat to families, because the contract signed to own one was a form of idolatry.

It is critically important that the media ask Huckabee tough questions because he has based his entire campaign on being a “Christian Leader.” He whizzed to victory in Iowa by galvanizing social conservatives on the phony issue of Christmas being under attack.

More worrisome, is that Huckabee is a gifted candidate — a political natural who has an outside shot for the White House. He is genuinely funny, likable and has become a media darling. But, who is he, really?

Huckabee presents himself as the fun-loving fundamentalist who “isn’t mad at anyone.” This is good, because the more we learn about his shady friends, the less he seems like someone we’d want to anger. If we end up with a religious zealot as president and the cabinet stacked with kooks, the media can’t say they did not have ample warning.

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