Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Why did Mike Huckabee take stem-cell blood money?

As former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has moved up as a contender for the GOP presidential nomination, he's gotten more scrutiny and criticism. Many have faulted him for naive views on foreign policy (supposedly he thinks talking more nicely will solve our problems with Iran) and for insouciant big-governmentism--he speaks breezily of a federal smoking ban, and having Uncle Sam do something about CEO's being paid too much, and people getting too fat.

But what has rallied so many to his cause is the belief that he's the real deal at least as a so-called "social conservative"--meaning, folks count on him to be a determined advocate of the unborn.

So it is surprising to learn that in 2006, Huckabee received $35,000 in speaking fees from Novo Nordisk--a company that grinds up embryonic unborn children for the sake of "research." I had forgotten, but Mitt Romney got a lot of criticism because his blind trust invested in this same company.

This news comes out in the context of other reports that, as governor, Huckabee accepted quite a lot of such fees--over $370,000 from corporations as governor. So reports the Weekly Standard, here.

Huckabee has a lot of explaining to do; and folks who have high hopes for Huckabee may want to look closer, and ask him some tough questions.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Good job we have you to ask the tough questions Fr..

Scott said...

Novo Nordisk is one of the leading producers of insulin and diabetes care products. Huckabee was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which he reversed by changing his diet and lifestyle and losing over 100 pounds. He was invited to speak for Novo Nordisk about his experience.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Blue State:

Treating diabetes and producing insulin are wonderful things, but destroying unborn children is not wonderful. He might have done two things: first, chosen another venue to say what he wanted to say, or two, he might have done it for no fee, or just his travel expense.

Anonymous said...

Fr Fox - I thoroughly enjoy your thoughtful sermons and generally find more meaning there than in my own parish. But on this occasion I think you are horribly off the mark. And I'm not by any stretch a Romney fan or approver. I challenge you on account of Matthew 7:3: "Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?"
One diocese has scrapped plans for a new high school in order to pay off some of its recent legal fees. Psysical abuse of children now becomes educational and catechetical abuse. Another diocese has found nearly one-fifth of a billion dollars to spend on a new cathedral, but no new high school has opened in 4 decades.
To paraphrase, [preaching the Word] and [saying Mass] are wonderful things, but [harming] born children is not wonderful. What percentage of a priest's income is from the Catholic Church?
Yet the priests I know either own or are working on their retirement homes. In nicer neighborhoods than mine. Why don't they sell all of them and give the money to the poor? There are lots of vacant rooms and vacant buildings for them in our monasteries and seminaries. I suspect we can pay down our legal fees, open the schools, and have vibrant monasteries for years to come.
If bishops in two states can give a wink wink nudge nudge to Plan B, where are the priests to correct them? I suggest that Mitt's doing a better job in his political ministry than the American Church is doing in its.

Fr Martin Fox said...


I appreciate what you're saying about the failure of clergy--sorry to say, particularly bishops--in oversight of priests and protection of children; but I don't see how that relates to my original post.

Fr. Ron Williams said...

Fr. Martin,

Recently, Mike Huckabee confronted Mitt Romney about his faith by pointing out that Mormons believe that Jesus Christ and the Devil were brothers. This is a little known fact about certain tenets of the Mormon faith. I was wondering what you thought about this in terms of:

1) Huckabee's character in using the political forum to debate another's religious beliefs; and

2) the Mormon religion itself, which is not recognized as being Christian per se either by the Catholic Church or any mainline Protestant denomination.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Fr. Ron:

1. I thought Huckabee's comments were sly, and I don't buy that it was just a slip. He expects us to believe that after many years in public life, he thinks he can say something like that to a reporter, and not expect it to find its way into print? People who work with the media regularly know that the groundrules are simple: when you talk to a reporter, it's "on the record" unless things are specifically spelled out to the contrary.

2. As to the Mormon Church, you said it yourself.

Anonymous said...

the link isn't working... i'd like to see it... thanks.

Fr Martin Fox said...


The link is fixed; sorry about that. Thanks for letting me know.

Kasia said...

I'm confused, Father. Usually speaking gratis is something you do for people you really like.

I understand the point about blood money, but it seems to me that waiving the speaking fee would have sent a stronger message of support for Novo Nordisk than speaking with his regular fee.

Is there any chance he took that and immediately donated it to a pro-life cause?

Alternately, is it plausible that he (or his PR manager) just didn't do their homework about Novo Nordisk? It would be a bad thing, but not as bad as if he'd known. I mean, should he have known? Probably. But is it possible that it was an honest mistake on the part of Huckabee and his people?

(I'm just looking for the most charitable possible explanation...)

totustuus said...

If Gov Huckabee had waived the fee what difference would that have made?I don't get the gyst of his speaking there would have been ok,had he not taken the fee.

Because Gov Huckabee spoke on diabetes at the invite of a compnay that destroys unborn children does not equate with Gov Huckabee supports destroying unborn children.I do know as Gov of Texas he passed 2 constitutional amendments.One on human life beginning at conception and ending at natural death.The other defining marriage as between 1 man and 1 woman.
Can i ask where this story originated?