Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Huckabee Horror

Mikaela says:
Okay, the latest Huckabee news has me mystified on several levels.

Here's the story as reported by Democracy Now:

In a 1998 children’s book that also equated environmentalism with pornography, Huckabee wrote: “It is now difficult to keep track of the vast array of publicly endorsed and institutionally supported aberrations—from homosexuality and pedophilia to sadomasochism and necrophilia.” Asked about the comments, Huckabee campaign research director Joe Carter said: “No way is he saying that homosexuality is like having sex with dead people. That’s not it at all.”
Okay, problem #1: Since when has necrophilia been publicly endorsed and institutionally supported? Where exactly is that? I wanna make sure I never die there!

Problem #2: This is a kids book!?! What kind of weird, bad assumptions is he making about kids that any of them would 1) want to read this and 2) be helped by reading it??? SCARY! Makes me fear for his Adult Book! (Turns out, this is NOT a children's book, but rather a book inspired by a school shooting. Big difference, and shame on the media for confusing that vital distinction)

Problem #3: This man is running for President? You've got to be kidding me. This little paragraph is not an aberration, either. It's part of a pattern of intolerant speech and restrictive ideology. Don't believe me? Don't take my word for it: Take Huckabee's.

  • Huckabee in 1998:"I hope we...take this nation back for Christ"
  • Huckabee on AIDS in 1992: he proposed that people with the disease be quarantined.
  • Huckabee on the role of women in society in 1998 (a big year for this hater): endorsement of an ad affirming the Baptist teaching that a "wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband"
Mother Jones also looks into the pattern of Huckabee's thoughts in his 1998 book, Kids Who Kill: Confronting Our Culture of Violence:

[Huckabee] drew a rather harsh picture of an American society starkly split between people of faith and those of a secular bent, with the latter being a direct and immediate threat to the nation [because of their immoral and destructive behavior].

Huckabee argued that school shootings were the product of a society in decline, marked (and caused) by abortion, pornography, media violence, out-of-wedlock sex, divorce, drug use, and, of course, homosexuality. Huckabee and his coauthor bemoaned the "demoralization of America..."

Abortion, environmentalism, AIDS, pornography, drug abuse, and homosexual activism have fragmented and polarized our communities.

He slammed those Christians who accept a "misguided version of 'tolerance'" and do not voice outrage at cultural deterioration... He denounced "radical ideological secularism," and he declared, "in the name of civil liberties, cultural diversity, and political correctness, a radical agenda of willy-nilly moral corruption and ethical degeneration has pressed forward." ....

The legal commitment of ideological secularism to any and all of the fanatically twisted fringes of American culture—pornographers, gay activists, abortionists, and other professional liberationists—is a pathetically self-defeating crusade that has confused liberty with license.

Huckabee approvingly quoted a "pastor-patriot" of the early 1800s [my emphasis] who said, "Every considerate friend of civil liberty, in order to be consistent with himself, must be the friend of the Bible." ...

Huckabee ... also groused about unnamed "modern government-sponsored social engineers," claiming that "virtually every dollar poured into" government social programs "has only made matters worse." With such a remark, he was planting himself firmly in the government-is-the-enemy camp.

Huckabee claimed that "equality in the workplace has ironically worked against women in innumerable ways" ... [and] heaped scorn on those who advocate [for it].

So what to do about a culture that breeds kid killers? Faith is more important than policy or politics, Huckabee argued.

Men who have rejected God and do not walk in faith are more often than not immoral, impure, and improvident (Gal. 5:19-21). They are prone to extreme and destructive behavior, indulging in perverse vices and dissipating sensuality (1 Cor. 6:9-10). And they—along with their families and loved ones—are thus driven over the brink of destruction (Prov. 23:21).

Kids Who Kill presented a black-and-white perspective: environmentalists, homosexuals, civil libertarians, supporters of social programs, advocates of workplace equality, and nonbelievers are on the dark side and allied with the forces of decline; people who believe in the Bible are the decent Americans. In 1998, Huckabee was claiming a religion-oriented cultural war was under way in the United States and he was happy to be a warrior for his side.

Okay, so I realize he's not alone in thinking all this. And I realize that if you believe what he believes, you want to do something about it. But if you believe that faith is more important than policy or politics, why stop being a minister and become a politician who will shape ... policy?

I understand the underlying goal is to dismantle government and its social services, but doesn't the hypocrisy keep him up at night? Not liking current policy because it allows for the things he abhors, and government shouldn't have that role, so instead he's going to change the rules so that it does what others abhor?

It's this Catch-22 that drives me crazy. If you really believe that government should stay out of social policy, then KEEP GOVERNMENT OUT OF SOCIAL POLICY. Trust the individual to make the right choice for themselves, and leave it between him/her and his/her God. Right? Isn't that the point, here? Even the Bible supports the idea of free will, so let's embrace it and its implications. The very idea of using a tool you don't believe in -- policy and politics -- to legislate your personal beliefs? BAD IDEA.

In my mind, there needs to be an acknowledgment of the difference between "institutional support" of some behavior or other and government protection for individual freedom. It's the basis of our entire system -- our country -- our founding as a nation with liberty and justice for all, not just those who believe as we do.

The Right is smart to appropriate the protection of freedom and civil liberties, calling them "social activism" and equating them with moral decline and corruption. It's working. But I still believe that freedom and liberty protects your right to religious freedom AND sexual freedom, and I trust that there are a fair number (please, please a majority!) of folks who see that, too. We are a nation of plural beliefs; the day that we stop protecting that freedom is the day America ceases to be a nation of liberty, nevermind justice.

My instinct is to say, "This guy has no CHANCE of being President! Surely no one would vote for a hate-speech-spewing, ideologically driven, social fascist." Then I remember that he got elected Governor.

Holy crap.

Marjorie and I went to go see former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor last week. She made a big fuss about the real problem with our government today is the lack of cordiality between folks who disagree. We're so polarized, and so nasty about it, that nothing gets done. As though all our problems are caused by the acrimony of our fights.

She didn't seem to give any credit to the fact that we're polarized at the most fundamental level -- fighting for what freedom really means, and what the government's role is in protecting it, and how that should happen.

Of course it gets nasty! These are our most cherished and closely held beliefs! On both sides!

I agree things would be better if we could debate things calmly -- we'd be able to hear each other much better -- but in my mind, that can't happen until both sides acknowledge the real fight we're having -- not the surface issues that are really just the tip of a giant iceberg, but the iceberg itself -- the one we're all heading toward at a fast clip -- the one that's melting not quite fast enough to save us from certain shipwreck.

Who's got the lifeboats? Oh, right. The rich. The powerful. And we won't hear a thing about it thanks to the recent FCC ruling allowing media consolidation into the hands of the rich and powerful.

It's a pretty pickle, isn't it? Oh how I wish we weren't locked in the jar.

Hey, kid! You, Bush! Stop tapping on the glass! Can't you read the sign? It bothers the ones inside.