Don't Dance, And Other Tidbits From Mike Huckabee's 1970s College "RAPture Express" Column

"Welcome aboard the 'RAP'ture Express!"

In 1973, Mike Huckabee, a graduating senior of Hope High School on his way to Ouachita Baptist college, began writing a column called the "RAPture Express" for the Baptist Trumpet. The Trumpet was the weekly newspaper of the Baptist Missionary Association of Arkansas.

Huckabee's columns offer an interesting look into the possible Republican presidential candidate and former governor of Arkansas' early life.

"Mike is a talented young preacher, and is in wide demand as a speaker in schools, churches, etc," says the notice on Huckabee's new column in the newsletter.

The columns touch on a variety of topics for youth, including dancing, dating, and smoking, as well as some more serious topics such as the Houston Mass Murders and the Arab oil embargo.

Here are the highlights from the columns:

In his first piece, Huckabee lays out his vision for the column: "The primary objective of "RAP"ture Express is to prayerfully and carefully discuss youth problems and issues openly and frankly in order to strengthen Christian youth..."

On dancing: "I strongly recommend that Christian teens stay away from dancing, mainly because some people would just not be able to respect a person who attended dances."

On soap operas, Huckabee says, "I literally hate them!" He suggests watching soap operas make adultery, lying, divorce, murder, hating, and stealing seem routine and normal to people. He writes that "studies" link soap operas to liberal views.

In a dating column, Huckabee advises his readers to date other Christians and not "lost people," although he says his readers should still associate with them.

Huckabee also advises teens to date a fellow Christian who does not swear or drink excessively: "If the person isn't the type you'd feel comfortable talking about Jesus with then I recommend you don't date that person."

After a letter to the editor accused Huckabee of having "straddled a fence" in his column about dancing, he praises looking at both sides of an argument: "I don't want other young people to stay away from dances just because I do."

"I had rather them look at all the facts, and then on their own decide that dancing is not for the Christian."

While urging his readers to send money or prayers to a friend, University of Arkansas football player Lynn Norton, who was injured in a car accident, Huckabee writes: "I believe churches and its members should help not just Lynn, but others who need us."

Huckabee cites the Houston Mass Murders (in which nearly-30 boys were kidnapped, raped, and murdered) as a reason to evangelize: "If we don't tell our brothers and sisters about Jesus...we can expect many more of the same as what happened in Houston."

Huckabee says that he became a member of a new church, where he and his girlfriend "were especially pleased" that the pastor "preached about Jesus Christ, instead of a bunch of social reform and other junk that has no place in a New Testament church."

"Just get turned on to Jesus, and the social reform and all that good stuff will take care of itself."

Huckabee says not to smoke: "For the Christian it can damage -- even ruin your witness."

Mike Huckabee on how Christians should strictly follow automobile laws during the energy crisis of the 1970s:

In an article on converting other Christians to his faith, Huckabee says his readers should lead through their actions and not argue with other Christians.

Huckabee talks about how Christians range from "real loud people" to "those who are rather shy," and preaches tolerance and self-acceptance: "The main thing, then, is to be the person God made you."

"If you can't get along with other Christians because they don't act like you, then you haven't experienced the love of Christ as a reality in your life yet."

Huckabee on "Jesus People," a Christian element of the counterculture: "They do not all believe in free sex, and most importantly, do not all believe that the church is a waste of time, and a social institution full of a bunch of hypocrites."

"Now I don't advocate that all of us Christian young people drop out of society and live like the Jesus Freaks. But I do advocate that every Christian should be as excited about Jesus as they are, and tell about Him wherever we go."

Mike Huckabee encourages extracurricular activities: "but just remember, let others see Jesus in you -- even at school."

"Because Christ has saved you, you are different from those who aren't. And you should be different enough (not weird, though), to where your peers could see a definite difference."

Megan Apper contributed reporting.

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