Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Well, it doesn't surprise me that VP wannabe Mike Huckabee said this about the Wright controversy:

"[Y]ou can't hold the candidate responsible for everything that people around him may say or do," Huckabee says. "It's interesting to me that there are some people on the left who are having to be very uncomfortable with what ... Wright said, when they all were all over a Jerry Falwell, or anyone on the right who said things that they found very awkward and uncomfortable, years ago...."

Huckabee, after all, has to worry that he might someday be asked to explain his significant ties to a right-wing preacher named Bill Gothard, whose organization, among other things, has been accused of abusing children sent for residential counseling:

Hundreds of young people from around the country come to the ITC – some sent by their parents, others by juvenile court – for a special brand of bible-based learning and counseling.

It's run by Chicago-area minister Bill Gothard, who oversees a $63 million evangelistic empire....

But Eyewitness News has learned of disturbing allegations about the center, including routine corporal punishment - sometimes without parental consent - and solitary confinement that can last for months.

...[One] girl allegedly was confined in a so-called "quiet room" for five days at a time; restrained by teenage "leaders" who would sit on her; and hit with a wooden paddle 14 times. At least once, the family contends, she was prevented from going to the bathroom and then forced to sit in her own urine....

Gothard has nutty ideas. He's warned of the evils of Cabbage Patch dolls, claimed that schizophrenia is the result of avoidance of personal responsibility (citing an unnamed "Jewish psychiatrist"), and believes that rock music is evil in all forms, blaming rock music for last December's shooting rampage in Colorado Springs (the gunman had angrily denounced Gothard after going through a Gothard homeschooling program).

Huckabee's ties to Gothard are not trivial:

...From Gothard's website:

Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas stated, “As a person who has actually been through the Basic Seminar, I am confident that these are some of the best programs available for instilling character into the lives of people.”

From the March 10, 1997 Ocala (FL) Star-Banner:

...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.

According to Gothard's website, Huckabee helped bring IBLP's program into the Arkansas prison system, in partnership with the Corrections Corporation of America....

Huckabee also helps market [Gothard's] "Character Cities" program....

But maybe we shouldn't tip McCain off on this potential liability if he decides to run with Huck. Or, of course, it might not matter, because they're Republicans, and pretty much everything's OK if you're a Republican.

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