Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is waiting to announce his presidential intentions until next month but this week advised military recruits to refrain from enlisting until there's a new commander-in-chief. Huckabee said in an interview Thursday with Iowa radio President Obama has an "open hostility toward the Christian faith," and has prioritized "gay marriage and gay rights in the military" over the protection of "religious liberty." Excerpts from the interview were posted Saturday by Mediatite.
Huckabee questioned why Christians, Orthodox Jews, or any "truly devoted people of faith" would want to join a "military that would be openly hostile and not just simply bring some scorn to their faith, but would punish them for it."
Huckabee then advised parents of would-be military recruits: "I’d wait a couple of years until we get a new commander-in-chief that will once again believe ‘one nation under God’ and believe that people of faith should be a vital part of the process of not only governing this country, but defending this country."
Huckabee's comments followed a Washington Times story Thursday about religious freedom advocates who argue Christians are leaving the military owing to a "hostile work environment."
Michael Berry, an attorney with the Liberty Institute, based in Texas, is currently representing two military chaplains facing complaints from soldiers about how they allegedly expressed their religious beliefs during counseling sessions. One of those chaplains was removed from his position after "he reportedly advocated against homosexuality and sex outside of marriage," the Washington Times reported.
“People of faith are going to stay away from the military,” Berry told the paper.
Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, was able to count on evangelicals to propel him to a surprising Iowa caucus win in 2008 -- the last time he threw his name in the hat for the Republican presidential nomination.