Live From Des Moines! The recent controversy over whether Jesus and Satan are brothers has prompted Iowans to demand a new debate among Republican candidates.
Given the subject matter, organizers have invited an expert to moderate. Enid Strict, known to some as the Church Lady from "Saturday Night Live," has graciously agreed to get to the bottom of this confusing issue for the sake of the republic.
Church Lady: Hello, and thank you for giving me this opportunity to interrogate - I mean interview - these fine gentlemen, every one a sinner except for Mike Huckabee. Hi Mikey (makes kissy sounds).
Let's cut to the chase, shall we?
Mr. Huckabee, is there something you'd like to say about the heretic Mormon standing to your right?
Mike Huckabee: Well, you know I would never question another person's religion, especially Mormonism, because I don't know anything about that doctrine, even though I have a degree in theology and am a Baptist minister and was once a speaker at the Southern Baptist convention that, ironically, was held in Salt Lake City.
Look, I don't know if Mormons are heretics or not. The sister of the wife of a friend of my first cousin mentioned something about Mormons believing that Jesus and Satan are brothers, but what do I know? I hardly even glanced at that book they handed out at the convention, "Mormonism Unmasked."
Church Lady: Did you say SATAN?????
Huckabee: Only as something I heard. Again, I would never question another person's religion. I have a hard enough time explaining my own.
Alan Keyes: Well, I can explain it.
Church Lady: Nobody asked you.
Alan Keyes: Forty million fetuses later, and you're bickering over whether Satan and Jesus are related. At least they were alive!!! Unlike 40 million souls obliterated in the womb, denied their constitutional rights and abandoned by the heritage of the Republican Party as Rudy Giuliani would do!
Church Lady: Are you insane??? How did you get on this stage? Who are you?
Fred Thompson: If I may interject, I think what the country needs is leadership. Thank you.
Church Lady: Well, isn't that special? Before we move on to Mr.
Giuliani's love muffin, let me get back to Mikey - I mean, Mr. Huckabee - who is, I think, on to something here. Just to clarify: If the heretic Mormon thinks that Jesus and Satan are brothers, what else might he believe, hmmmmmm?
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Mitt Romney: Excuse me, Madame Church Lady, but if I could just make a brief comment.
Church Lady: I'm not talking to you. Mikey, you have 30 minutes.
Alan Keyes: Why does he get 30 minutes and I get 30 seconds?
Church Lady: Because your eyes are popping out of your head.
John McCain: Excuse me.
Mike Huckabee: Thank you, Enid, if I may. And I wish I could take every minute of your generous offer to explain why I am the only real Christian standing on this stage, to tell the good people of Iowa and evangelicals everywhere why I - and not Mitt Romney - am The One, but I do have to part the Red Sea later today and so will have to cut my remarks short.
Let me just say, though, that I am really very sorry I ever mentioned the Jesus-Satan thing to that New York Times reporter, who took those words among 8,000 and made it sound like I was trying to remind voters that Mormonism is a false religion. I wasn't. It was just something I heard.
Mitt Romney: Madame …
Church Lady: I'm not talking to you.
Alan Keyes: I was for fetuses before Mitt Romney was for fetuses.
Fred Thompson: Madame, if I may just point out, I am the tallest person here today and should be president.
John McCain: Excuse me …
Church Lady: Alrighty, alrighty, everybody shut up. We're out of time and we didn't even get to talk about Giuliani's naughty parts. Well, I guess out of Christian charity, we should give heretic Romney five or 10 seconds. Make that three.
Mitt Romney: Thank you, Madame Moderator. I just wanted to say that as president, I will put no doctrine of any church above the plain duties of the office and the sovereign authority of the law. And, of course, I forgive Mr. Huckabee, even though he knows exactly what he's doing.
Church Lady: Isn't that special.
Kathleen Parker writes for the Washington Post Writers Group. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.