The Second Commandment Republicans

Mike Huckabee is more interested in salvation than condemnation. And that's exactly why he irks people in his party

Susan Walsh / AP

Republican Presidential hopeful and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee gestures while addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on Friday, March 2, 2007.

The weakness of modern religion is its obsession with sin, G.K. Chesterton once observed. "A modern morality," he wrote, "can only point with absolute conviction to the horrors that follow breaches of the law." And so it has been with the religious conservatives who have overwhelmed the latter-day Republican Party. For preachers like Jerry Falwell, James Dobson and Pat Robertson, the prospect of hell has always been far more vivid than the possibility of heaven. Presidential candidates like Robertson, Pat Buchanan and Gary Bauer have loaded up on the "Thou Shalt Nots" and rarely, if ever, mentioned the grace and serenity...

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