by Editor & Publisher Staff and The Associated Press
NEW YORK The New York Times posted on its Web site today a lengthy profile of suddenly serious Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee that will not appear in print until this Sunday.
The Associated Press circulated last night a hot quote from the profile that gained wide attention, and then the Times put up the piece, titled "The Huckabee Factor." The quote AP used from Huckabee was: "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"
Among the highlights of the article:
--"Huckabee’s affability and populist economic and social views have sometimes been misinterpreted as a moderate brand of evangelical Christianity. In fact, as he wrote in his book "Character Makes a Difference," he considers liberalism to be a cancer on Christianity. Huckabee is an admirer of the late Jerry Falwell (whose son, Jerry Jr., recently endorsed his candidacy) and subscribes wholeheartedly to the principles of the Moral Majority. He also affirms the Baptist Faith and Message statement: "The Holy Bible . . . has truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy."
The AP story appears below.
* Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, asks in an upcoming article, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"
The article, to be published in Sunday's New York Times Magazine, says Huckabee asked the question after saying he believes Mormonism is a religion but doesn't know much about it. His rival Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, is a member of the Mormon church, which is known officially as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The authoritative Encyclopedia of Mormonism, published in 1992, does not refer to Jesus and Satan as brothers. It speaks of Jesus as the son of God and of Satan as a fallen angel, which is a Biblical account.
A spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Huckabee's question is usually raised by those who wish to smear the Mormon faith rather than clarify doctrine.
"We believe, as other Christians believe and as Paul wrote, that God is the father of all," said the spokeswoman, Kim Farah. "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."
Romney did not respond to a request for comment.
Earlier this month in Iowa, Huckabee wouldn't say whether he thought Mormonism _ rival Romney's religion _ was a cult.
"I'm just not going to go off into evaluating other people's doctrines and faiths. I think that is absolutely not a role for a president," the former Arkansas governor said.
While he said he respects "anybody who practices his faith," Huckabee said that what other people believe _ he named Republican rivals Romney, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton _ "is theirs to explain, not mine, and I'm not going to."
He also resisted wading into theology when pressed to explain why some evangelicals don't view the Mormon faith as a Christian denomination.