Bob Novak has an interesting piece about Southern Baptists not being “on board” with Governor Huckabee’s candidacy.
As you’ll recall, Governor Huckabee is an ordained Southern Baptist minister, and he was president of the Arkansas state convention. In brief, Novak claims many Southern Baptists are not supporting him because he wasn’t an ally in the 1980s and 1990s battles in which the Southern Baptist Convention became more conservative theologically. Having been baptized in a Southern Baptist church, those war stories are fascinating to me as an academic matter — though I don’t think they’re very relevant to voting for a presidential candidate in 2008. However, the end of Novak’s article is:
Shortly thereafter, bitterness was demonstrated during an interview with Zev Chafets of the New York Times. Huckabee was irritated that Richard Land, a prestigious Southern Baptist leader, had not endorsed him. “Richard Land swoons for Fred Thompson,” he said, though as a policy Land endorses no one. Huckabee appears to believe that everyone in the Southern Baptist Convention is obliged to support him: “If my own abandon me on the battlefield, it will have a chilling effect.”
I knew Governor Huckabee had suggested that evangelicals in general had an obligation to support him, but I was unaware Southern Baptists were under special strictures. This is even more indicative of an unhealthy and sectarian campaign. And I’m not just saying that because I go to a Presbyterian church these days…