A letter is being circulated among evangelicals in Iowa asking them not to split the Christian vote between former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Kansas Senator Sam Brownback; they are urged to vote for Huckabee, an evangelical, over Brownback, a Roman Catholic.
The letter stems from Walnut Creek Community Church in Windsor Heights. It says that unlike President George W. Bush, and his father, both of whom had to learn “how to speak to evangelicals,” Governor Huckabee is “one of us.” The missive continues as follows: “I know Senator Brownback converted to Roman Catholicism in 2002. Frankly, as a recovering Catholic myself, that is all I need to know about his discernment when compared to the Governor’s. I don’t know if this fact is widely known among evangelicals who are supporting Brownback.”
This issue was addressed today by Catholic League president Bill Donohue:
“Discernment. Evangelicals have it, and Catholics do not. But are those evangelicals who express themselves this way capable of discerning the difference between persuasiveness and abrasiveness? Do they really think all Catholics are rote-minded robots who let the Vatican do their thinking for them? We thought we’d gotten beyond such nonsense, but apparently some stereotypes are proving hardier than others.
“Like Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee is a man of character, and as such he would never choose to be associated with such bigotry. The blame for this incident lies squarely with Rev. Tim Rude, pastor of the church. Unfortunately for him, he has now compounded his problem by saying that he did not intend his e-mail to be made public, and that in any event, ‘All I was trying to say is that Protestants should vote for Protestants.’ Great. But now that his gig is up—everyone knows about his stealth campaign against Brownback—the time has come for Rev. Rude (what a great name!) to fess up and apologize. He might also take this opportunity to explain his lack of confidence in the ability of Protestants to discern whom they should vote for in the election.”