In his December 5 column in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle ("Huckabee’s moment of shame”), Richard Cohen accused Governor Mike Huckabee of “punting” when asked by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos if Governor Mitt Romney, a Mormon, is a Christian.
He also accused Huckabee of having “obdurate and narrow-minded religious beliefs.”
I suggest that Mr. Cohen has such narrow-minded beliefs, and that he does not understand Christianity or Huckabee.
Huckabee’s told Stephanopoulos, “Mitt Romney has to answer that. ... It's not for me to determine what somebody else's faith is.”
He was stating common Christian beliefs that each person has to account for his own faith, and it is not for other's to judge what lies in a person's heart. Moreover, Huckabee left ministry a long ago to become a public servant. He is running now to be President of a multi-religious United States, not Evangelical-in-Chief.
Further, Huckabee avoids tearing down others – as he declined to do to Rudy Giuliani in the same interview. Huckabee is trying to focus on issues and a vision for America.
People may disagree with him on those issues and that vision. That’s fine. But Cohen going after Huckabee on religious grounds for not going after another candidate on religious grounds strikes me as “narrow-minded.”
Echoing Cohen’s football reference, I think in this case Cohen’s attempted bomb was just an incomplete pass.
(A modified version of the above is being submitted as a letter to the editor.)