On today's date in The Beacon archives, we published:•Funny Finney! Sometimes, they guy makes a lot of sense. (2010)
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Posted by The Dean of Cincinnati
Character Cities uses Huckabee Letter to Sell Program
Photo: Mrs. Arkansas (Mary Elizabeth Tate) and Gov. Mike Huckabee proclaim “Character Education Month” in Arkansas.
As reported by The Beacon, last week’s Colorado papers reported that Matthew Murray, the young shooter who killed a bunch of churchgoers, had been raised according to the teachings of Chicago evangelist Bill Gothard.
When it comes to criticizing Gothardism, Murray wasn’t the only one:
What last week’s reports didn’t mention is that political man of the moment Mike Huckabee is a “long-time admirer” of Gothard. In fact, “Character Cities,” the secular front organization which Gothard uses to infiltrate city governments, uses a letter from the former Arkansas governor to promote their program. From the training manual, “How to Build a Character City”:
According to a March 10, 1997 Ocala Star-Banner article, Gothard sounded ready to take over Arkansas’s entire social infrastucture with Huckabee’s blessing:
Just this year, Gothard’s advocacy for teaching public school children character qualities such as obedience, gratefulness and attentiveness brought him to a southern state capitol. But Little Rock, Ark., had already been established as friendly terrain for Gothard. Two of his long-time admirers—Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee and Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey, a Democrat—are loyal advocates of Gothard’s agenda and have encouraged him to expand juvenile rehabilitation programs there.
Gothard has described his meeting in Little Rock as the start of something big. He said it laid the groundwork for “the most exciting opportunity I can imagine” to merge the institute’s teachings with government programs. In a letter published on the institute’s Internet site, Gothard said his organization has been asked to “present a plan and contract to restructure ( Arkansas’ ) welfare program, their educational system and their juvenile justice methods.” He also claims that Gov. Huckabee’s aides “have already begun taking steps” to put the proposal into action.
According to the website of Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles, the governor jumped in with both feet:
A 2002 New Times expose describes how Gothard’s program instilled character into the lives of young people in Indianapolis:
From yesterday’s New York Times Magazine cover story about Huckabee:
Mike Huckabee may be the first Presidential candidate to admit that he beats his kids.
The Times story doesn’t say if the Huckabee home has a prayer closet. If he gets elected, I’m sure his friend Bill Gothard will be available to install one in the White House.
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