Jan 23, 2012

Huckabee, Mormons, and Blood Libel?

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

I will give a dollar to the first person who can explain to me why Mike Huckabee made this bizarre allusion to blood libel in his discussion of Mitt Romney's Mormon problem... because I'm flabbergasted.

"I'd like to believe that's not the issue," Huckabee told Fox Business host Neil Cavuto. "Four years ago, I was accused of making it an issue. It wasn't for me then, it isn't for me now. I would no more not vote for someone because they were Mormon than I would vote for somebody like Al Gore because he's a Baptist, for heaven's sake. I think that's a ridiculous reason to vote or not vote for someone, unless they've done something that's so wacky — like mix the blood of little children together in a public ceremony."

If you, like Sarah Palin, are unfamiliar with the meaning of "blood libel," here's a quick tutorial. Once upon a time, Jews were rumored to kill little Christian children and use their blood to make their matzo. Such tales served as a justification for pogroms and other anti-Jewish violence. Okay, Jews were not the only religious minority ever accused of killing children to use their blood in rituals, but this is the first time I've ever heard this even tangentially tied to Mormonism.

So what on earth was Huckabee on about? He reached for a random example of weird religion and pulled out blood libel? Who does that?!

And why has there been near silence about this bizarre and extremely provocative statement? The only mention I've seen to date is this one in the Arkansas Times.

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