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Mike Huckabee: An Example of “The Ugly American Christian”


Ever read the well known book, The Ugly American?

A short quote from an essay written about the book, by Michael Meyer of the NYTimes,

In the annals of misunderstood titles, a special place belongs to William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick’s novel “The Ugly American.” Today, the phrase is shorthand for our compatriots who wear tube tops to the Vatican or shout for Big Macs in Beijing. But as summer vacation season begins, it’s worth recalling that the travelers in “The Ugly American” aren’t drunken backpackers or seniors sporting black socks, but the so-called educated elite, whose insensitivity to local language and customs prompts observations like this (*quoted from the book):

“The simple fact is, Mr. Ambassador, that average Americans, in their natural state, if you will excuse the phrase, are the best ambassadors a country can have,” a Filipino minister tells an American official. “They are not suspicious, they are eager to share their skills, they are generous. But something happens to most Americans when they go abroad. Many of them are not average . . . they are second-raters.”

The novel is a series of linked sketches of real people that Lederer, a Navy captain who served as special assistant to the commander in chief of United States forces in the Pacific and Asian theater, and Burdick, a political scientist, encountered overseas during the buildup to Vietnam. The book was originally commissioned by W. W. Norton as nonfiction, but an editor suggested it might be more effective as a novel.

“What we have written is not just an angry dream,” the authors note in the introduction, “but rather the rendering of fact into fiction.”

Yet the book’s enduring resonance may say less about its literary merits than about its failure to change American attitudes.

Today, as the battle for hearts and minds has shifted to the Middle East, we still can’t speak Sarkhanese….

It’s also a fact that the most vocal of America’s Christians, have forgotten how to speak as Christians,

Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas GOP governor-turned-Fox News host and radio personality, tore into Islam earlier this week, using a recent terror threat that put United States embassies on high alert to suggest that the Muslims were “uncorked animals”…

“Can someone explain to me why it is that we tiptoe around a religion that promotes the most murderous mayhem on the planet in their so-called ‘holiest days,’” Huckabee said. “You know, if you’ve kept up with the Middle East, you know that the most likely time to have an uprising of rock throwing and rioting comes on the day of prayer on Friday. So the Muslims will go to the mosque, and they will have their day of prayer, and they come out of there like uncorked animals… ”  – Continued Here, Mike Huckabee: Muslims Depart Mosques Like ‘Uncorked Animals’

I find it hard to wrap my mind around the fact that this man was once a Baptist minister/pastor. 

And we wonder why our ability, as followers of Christ, to touch the hearts and minds of the lost has become so difficult…    

7 comments on “Mike Huckabee: An Example of “The Ugly American Christian”

  1. “Can someone explain to me why it is that we tiptoe around a religion that promotes the most murderous mayhem on the planet in their so-called ‘holiest days,’”

    Of course the same logic could be used against Christians based on the actions of a few bad examples. Zealots in Northern Ireland? Cultists like Jim Jones? The “Mormon” polygamist cults? The crusaders who sacked Constantinople? Not to mention contemporary “Christians” here in the USA who at times say the craziest things in ways that come pretty close to paralleling Islamic extremists.

    Muslims these days have every reason to feel that they are being singled out for abuse and discrimination. Most of them take it with grace, but a few, and there are always a few, react violently. What is surprising about this? I would be the LAST person to try to defend radical Islamic extremism, and I would be the last to try to remove the cult label from Islam, but to vilify a whole community based on the actions of a few is just wrong.

    • George, i totally agree with your response.

      I would be the LAST person to try to defend radical Islamic extremism, and I would be the last to try to remove the cult label from Islam, but to vilify a whole community based on the actions of a few is just wrong.

      Amen.

      I didn’t purposefully post this as an example, but it is an example of what i was trying (admittedly, not very well) to say in the previous post on Manichean Theology. Huckabee (and many of the most vocal American Christians today) are quick to verbally attack and demonize entire groups/races of people for the actions of a few, but they see nothing wrong or “bad” about immoral actions our own country takes, which has resulted in the torture or death of thousands of people…many of them children or innocent bystanders. Because in their eyes, we, America, can do no wrong because “we” are a “Christian” nation.

      Do they really believe we can win the lost to Christ by vilifying them? I don’t believe these folks are that stupid…they know we can’t and frankly they don’t care. Those like Huckabee are not the least bit interested in the souls of lost Muslims.

      As you pointed out, Huckabee asked,

      “Can someone explain to me why it is that we tiptoe around a religion that promotes the most murderous mayhem on the planet in their so-called ‘holiest days,’”

      My reply would be in the form of a question of my own: How long are we, the Church of Jesus Christ, going to continue to tiptoe around the truth, that Huckabee and the rest of these posers are NOT Christians and start proclaiming so loudly to the world?

    • A double amen to both you guys!

      This empire of ours, how it has blinded us so totally from the God who jumped off his throne to save his wretched creatures because of his unfailing mercy and love. How did he save them? By sponging up all their shame and wickedness and dying on a cross. That is our God!

      But what do these Christo-Americans understand from this? Rank moralism, sustaining national mythology, and hands and feet quick to shed blood. That George W was the evangelical candidate?! It is true, sadly, but that’s not the good news that the apostles proclaimed.

      Muslims who take to violence are not far away from the work of their prophet. As they see it, they’re defending their culture, people and religion. Victory only comes from the edge of the sword. This is not to say that all Muslims are as Huckabee says, but many times they’re just pushing back at the American Hegemon.

      What of Christ who told us to take the way of the cross? He is cast down behind libraries of theologians who excuse away the reality shattering grace that flows from the throne.

  2. A correction. You misspelled the word American in your title.

  3. I guess the gospel ends when your religion is violent. Of course Huckabee supports all kinds of war in the name of America. Once you become a conservative patriot you cease to follow Jesus.

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