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Mike Huckabee: Inviting LGBT Guests to Meet Pope Like Offering Alcoholics an Open Bar

Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee has made a strange comparison between gays and alcoholics.

In an interview with Megyn Kelly on Fox News, the Republican presidential hopeful criticized the White House’s decision to include LGBT activists at a Wednesday reception to meet Pope Francis.

He illustrated his criticism with a recipe-for-disaster comparison: Inviting LGBT people to meet head of the Catholic Church is equivalent to serving booze to a group of recovering alcoholics.

"If I were hosting a group of Alcoholics Anonymous, I wouldn’t set up an open bar. If you’re going to host the pope, for heaven’s sakes, bring the best and the most faithful Catholics you can,” he said, implying some of the guests don’t fit that description. They include former Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay man to hold that position; an activist nun, Sister Simone Campbell, who is executive director of Network, a self-described “Catholic social justice lobby”; and Mateo Williamson, a former co-head of the transgender caucus of DignityUSA, a group for LGBT Catholics that advocates for equality within the church.

“I’m not sure that inviting people who are openly at odds with the Vatican, who have criticized the pope for his positions and the church’s positions, the doctrinal positions on abortion and on euthanasia — why do you put them in the very likely position where they would be photographed with him and make it a very embarrassing moment?” Huckabee said.

The Vatican itself has also reportedly "taken offense" at the Obama administration’s guest list. A senior Vatican official told the The Wall Street Journal the Holy See is worried that having those guests at the White House welcoming ceremony puts the pope at risk of having his photograph taken with those activists, and that, Vatican officials fear, could be misconstrued as the Francis's endorsement of them, the groups they lead, or their sexual and gender orientations. 

However, Kelly proposed another purpose. She asked Huckabee if the invitations might be “an opportunity to expose the pope and those who surround him with another point of view.”

In response, Huckabee said such an intent would be inappropriate for the reception, and he found it audacious that a president would presume to edify the pope on Catholic teachings.

“I’m not sure President Obama needs to school and lecture Pope Francis on Catholic doctrine and why he’s wrong. Last time I check, it’s the pope’s who’s supposed to lecture Christians, not the other way around," he said. “For a long time, we thought Obama had a really high opinion of himself, but this would really, really take it to a whole new level

Watch Huckabee's remarks below.

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