Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) resigned Thursday from his short-lived post as a board member on the Country Music Association Foundation (CMA) just one day after being elected – in response to the music industry’s outrage over his biblical and political views.
After the former Republican presidential candidate was announced Wednesday as a new board member on the charitable arm of the group that runs the annual CMA Awards and CMA Festival, Huckabee quickly resigned from his post, crediting the music community’s intolerance of his conservative Christian beliefs.
LGBT pressure too great
It was primarily harsh criticism by prominent music industry leaders over his traditional family values on homosexuality – as well as his support for gun rights – that quickly spurred Huckabee to issue his resignation letter, where he said he became an “unnecessary distraction” for the CMA Foundation and called his critics bullies.
“If the industry doesn’t want people of faith or who hold conservative and traditional political views to buy tickets and music, they should be forthcoming and say it,” Huckabee wrote in his resignation, according to Fox News. “Surely neither the artists or the business people of the industry want that.”
He indicated that CMA has caved in to the pressure of the LGBT community.
“I genuinely regret that some in the industry were so outraged by my appointment that they bullied the CMA and the Foundation with economic threats and vowed to withhold support for the programs for students if I remained,” Huckabee impressed in the letter, according to CNN.
Huckabee also vented his frustration and resignation via social media.
“Got home from 28-hour trip from Taipei that lasted longer than my time on CMA Foundation board,” Huckabee posted on Twitter Thursday night. “Read my FULL letter of resignation and see that ‘Hate Wins’ and bullies care [more] about themselves than kids needing music.”
One of the “bullies” to which Huckabee referred was Monument Records Co-president Jason Owen – a homosexual who also heads Sandbox Management, which represents country artists Faith Hill, Kacey Musgraves and Little Big Town. He was one of the fiercest critics attacking Huckabee’s appointment … going as far as threatening that his clients would stop supporting the foundation after his election onto the board.
“Huckabee speaks of the sort of things that would suggest my family is morally beneath his and uses language that has a profoundly negative impact upon young people all across this country,” Owen wrote in an email obtained by MusicRow that was addressed to CMA CEO Sarah Trahern and CMA Foundation executive Tiffany Kerns concerning Huckabee’s election onto the board. “Not to mention how harmful and damaging his deep involvement with the NRA is. What a shameful choice.”
Owen stressed that Huckabee’s Christian views on same-sex “marriage” and adoption – as well as his stance on the Second Amendment – are not to be tolerated in the music industry that he oversees, while indicating that he and his alternative-lifestyle family feel threatened by the former politician.
“Owen and his husband have one child and are expecting more, but Owen said that Huckabee has made it clear that his family is not welcome,” Fox News’ Gregg Re reported.
Huckabee responded to the criticism by lamenting that the music industry is more focused on politics than art.
“I hope that the music and entertainment industry will become more tolerant and inclusive and recognize that a true love for kids having access to the arts is more important than a dislike for someone or a group of people because of who they are or what they believe,” Huckabee wrote in his resignation announcement, according to Fox News.
A major part of the political left’s qualm with Huckabee has to do with his straightforward criticism of the homosexual lifestyle and its increasingly unbiblical acceptance in the United States.
“Huckabee – a two-time Republican presidential candidate – compared legalizing same-sex marriage to incest and polygamy in 2010,” CNN recounted. “He also compared same-sex adoption to experimentation, saying that ‘children are not puppies.’”
One example of the politicizing of country music was witnessed at the 51st Annual CMA Awards, when Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley used lyrics slamming President Donald Trump in a song performed during the event last November.
“It’s fun to watch it, that’s for sure, till little ‘Rocket Man’ starts a nuclear war,” the two country music artists sang at the awards show. “Maybe next time he’ll think before he tweets.”
Resignation gladly or sadly received?
Amber Williams, who serves as CMA’s communications and talent relations, was quick to make Huckabee’s resignation public to country music fans.
“The CMA Foundation has accepted former Gov. Mike Huckabee’s resignation from its Board of Directors, effective immediately,” Williams declared in a statement, according to the Tennessean.
CMA member Whitney Pastorek was more candid when addressing Huckabee stepping down, going a little further by expressing her take on why she opposed Huckabee’s short stint as a fellow member.
“What a terrible disappointment to see [the CMA Foundation’s] mission clouded by the decision to align with someone who so frequently engages in the language of racism, sexism and bigotry,” Pastorek told CMA executives, as reported by the Tennessean.
However, many conservatives are concerned about the sway the country music group has on America’s youth – and its strategic position to influence them within school gates.
“The CMA Foundation is the CMA’s charity and is dedicated to promoting country music education programs in the U.S,” The Hill reported. “The foundation has put $20 million into 84 programs in the U.S. public school system.”
It was mentioned by CMA Board member Joe Galante that Huckabee’s track record of having a strong conservative influence on education would have been an asset to the CMA Board – noting that Huckabee was elected because of his gubernatorial experience in Arkansas.
“Gov. Huckabee led an impressive administration while serving the state of Arkansas, and his policy experience with education reform is something we are fortunate to be able to learn from,” Galante stressed, according to The Hill.
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