Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee speculated in a New York Times Magazine interview this weekend whether Mormons believe Jesus and Satan were brothers.
It is causing quite a controversy, as you can imagine.
Stirred by the debate, the Associated Press asked for clarification from a spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kim Farah.
She said the question is usually raised by those who wish to smear the Mormon faith, but she evaded a direct answer: "We believe, as other Christians believe and as Paul wrote, that God is the father of all. That means that all beings were created by God and are his spirit children. Christ, on the other hand, was the only begotten in the flesh, and we worship him as the son of God and the savior of mankind. Satan is the exact opposite of who Christ is and what he stands for."
Not to split hairs, but just because God is Father does not mean all beings are created. The Christian faith does not acknowledge Jesus as a created being. They believe He is God, as well as God's Son and the Savior of mankind.
I am a big believer in lively and spirited theological debates. I don't think it is a matter of bigotry to ask tough questions of people. We should know what our potential leaders hold as their core beliefs because it will most certainly shape their view of the world, its problems and the solutions they would embrace to address them.
Nevertheless, in the context of the current presidential race, I can't help feeling like this is all a bit of a diversion.
After all, Satan is a wily character is he not? He is subtle. He likes to take our eyes off the ball and focus on issues that really have no value. So maybe we are just not asking the right question in this current Huckabee/Romney media circus.
Maybe the question should not be whether Jesus and the devil are related, but Hillary and the devil.
I mean, let's face it, when you talk about the characteristics of Satan, they seem similar in a lot of ways to folks closely watching the actions of the Clintons. We all know real people like this, don't we? People who lie, cheat and steal. People who subvert, undermine and twist. People who have never been held accountable for their offenses who just go on, and on, and on, appearing to get away with murder.
They lose billing records. They destroy evidence. They take illegal campaign contributions from $6 per hour Chinese dishwashers in bundles, and only those giving the money go to jail. They vote to go to war, then oppose the conflict. They run campaigns championing women's causes, but actually enable the victimization of women. They form "bimbo eruption" teams. They bully. They intimidate. They triangulate. They throw their power around. They parse words like "is." And that horrible cackle ...
You bet it does. It could be Hillary, or it could be the devil. Maybe they are related. They sure act very similar.
I don't know what Mormons believe versus what their church believes. I don't pretend to understand other religions. I just don't think it is a productive use of time. But I do know people.
There is no evidence that Satan and Jesus are brothers. Their words, actions and desires are completely opposite of each other. But, at the very least, one can build a strong circumstantial case that Hillary and Satan could well be siblings.
After all, despite popular opinion, not all are children of God. Some are truly, as we are told from the scriptures found in 1 John 3, children of the devil.
So don't be fooled!
If theology is going to be an issue in this presidential contest, we ought to not just debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. We should examine the words, works and track records of these men (and woman) to decide who is practicing the righteousness they claim hold to and who is clearly not.
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