(Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder)
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told a Christian gathering in New York on Saturday that it is believers' responsibility to get more involved in civic life, give a bold declaration of the life of the Gospel, and not live as if they were "recruited by the Secret Service."
"I think a lot of Christian people tend to think they need to disassociate themselves from cultural pillars. I think it's the opposite," said the former presidential candidate, the keynote speaker at Saturday night's kickoff banquet in Cicero, N.Y., for a new non-profit organization, Ten Good Men Inc.
"Christians in this country could be the most important source for good in America if they would execute their basic civic responsibilities," said Huckabee, a Fox News Channel personality. "Many (Christians) think they were recruited by the Secret Service instead of giving a bold declaration of the life of the Gospel."
Huckabee added that Christians should not blame "things that putrefy and get spoiled, because that's what things do when they're left alone and godless." If things are dark, it's the Christians who are going to turn the lights on, he said. "If politics is dirty in this country, it's dirty because not enough good, clean people get involved."
Huckabee told the 130 guests at the banquet that only about half of Christians were registered to vote, and further only half of those registered actually cast a ballot.
Huckabee also criticized national Republicans for wanting Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, who came under fire after his "legitimate rape" remarks, to drop his bid against Democrat Claire McCaskill. He called their reaction "the most hideous and outrageous, disgusting treatment I've ever seen."
He admitted Akin's comments were "inexcusably wrong," but also noted that Akin had apologized. "You don't keep punishing a person," he said. "I know he's a good man. He's got an impeccable voting record."
Huckabee had earlier said Republican leaders' actions could "discourage" Christian conservatives and activists from supporting the GOP in November. "The poll numbers need to come back up. Todd needs to show that he can raise money and be competitive. That will be a game changer. If not, the pressure will still be there for Todd to exit the race and clear the field for somebody else."
Ten Good Men founder David E. Long noted at the banquet that six of the eight colleges, except Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania, began as Christian institutions. But now, "they are not places of Christian virtue." These are "bastions of liberal devilish lies" and have produced some of the worst leaders the nation has seen, he said.
Long also criticized the media, saying news organizations had lost their bearings. "Thank God for Fox News."
Long's new group seeks to "challenge Christians in America to be more involved in affecting change in society and to provide biblically based leadership training to those seeking to impact society."