Mike Huckabee was on the Daily Show again last night. He’s hawking his new book, but naturally he didn’t much talk about his book.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Exclusive – Mike Huckabee Extended Interview Pt. 1|
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Exclusive – Mike Huckabee Extended Interview Pt. 2|
“Why does anybody have to be automatically anything other than what they truly believe?” Huckabee asked Stewart in the first part of the interview (6:14). At that point, he was talking about letting black conservatives be conservative without calling them “pawns,” or worse. A good question, which begs the question put to him in the second segment of the interview: why do Christians who don’t believe what their fundamentalist preachers tell them to believe have to be consigned to the fires of hell?
Yes, the second segment of the interview is what’s really important.
Stewart started the second segment by asking, “When [conservatives] keep demonizing these groups, whether it be single women, black people, illegal immigrants, it makes it impossible to work with them as a collaboration. Why would you collaborate with evil people? And when you convince them that they’re evil, why work with them?”
Unfortunately, this question never got answered. Huckabee denied demonizing these people, and truthfully, he probably has not demonized most of them himself. His network and his party certainly have, though he won’t speak for either of those entities. Now, Huckabee has demonized the natures of gay people, but Stewart did not take him to task for that.
Instead, Stewart segued into an abbreviated version of the despicable two minute commercial Huckabee narrated for the Christian Right just before the election. You know the one.
In it, Huckabee quotes Psalm 127:1 and says that “unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” He then calls certain things “not negotiable:”
- The right to life from conception to natural death
- Marriage should be reinforced, not be defined
- It is an egregious violation of our cherished principle of religious liberty for the government to force the church to buy the kind of insurance that leads to the taking of innocent human life
Against a backdrop of flames, Rev. Huckabee goes on to say that “Your vote will be recorded for eternity.” He asks, “Will you vote the values that will stand the test of fire?”
This commercial is so incredibly offensive on so many levels my stomach still churns with anger to watch it, and the election is over and done with.
Huckabee actually claimed that this commercial did not attempt to send the message that if Christians voted for the Democrats they would go to hell – unless they were biblically illiterate. I really cannot imagine how that wasn’t the message, since I don’t even believe in hell and that’s the clear message I got from it – and I’ve read and studied the Bible extensively. “Oh, no!” exclaims Huckabee. “If they know 1 Corinthians 10, they will know!” Then he claimed that 1 Corinthians 10 was about being tested in the fires of a forge, and coming out stronger or some such.
For the biblically illiterate, let me explain 1 Corinthians 10. There is not one word about forges or fire. It’s all about not worshipping false gods and not participating in idolatry. We all know that since there is only one true god, so there can’t be any other gods, no matter how true their own believers believe them to be, and no matter how false those idolaters believe the one true god to be. Frankly, the arrogance of the “one true god” thing just staggers me, especially when one considers that the adherents of the Abrahamic religions have no better proof of their god than the adherents of any other religion.
But let’s look at 1 Corinthians 10:29, which asks, “Why should my liberty be judged by someone else’s conscience?”
Why, indeed, Reverend Huckabee? Why should my freedom be judged by your conscience? You arrogant twit, I can cherry-pick Bible verses just as well as you can.
I think the Good Reverend Huckabee was actually referring to 1 Corinthians 3:13, which more or less says what Huckabee claimed this commercial meant to say, just without the forge part. Because that’s totally not in there. And the part about judgement day, and therefore hell, definitely is in that particular passage.
Again, this is what pisses me off about Christians. They want to spew their Bible at me, but then I have to correct them – even the supposedly learned ones – because they don’t get it right. If they want to beat me up with their scripture, they should at least know their stupid scripture.
Of course, maybe he really meant 1 Peter 1:7, or 2 Peter 3:7, or some other passage that refers to fire but not hell, even though most of the passages I find pretty much equate testing by fire with the Judgment Day and hell. So Huckabee’s protests that the reference to fire doesn’t also refer to Hell or Judgment hold about as much water as that colander I used to strain my spaghetti last night.
Let’s examine the the three points of that disgusting commercial.
The right to life from conception to natural death
Nowhere in the Bible does any religious authority, real or imagined, claim that life begins at the moment of conception. I’d cite verses where it says so, but there aren’t any.
Let’s face it: The Biblical God is not pro-life. He advocates and permits child murder, infanticide, child abuse, and, yes, abortion. Fundamentalist Christians rely on such passages as “thou shall not kill” Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17 (one of the commandments), and “If men strive and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no misfortune follow, he shall be surely punished according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.And if any misfortune follow, then thou shalt give life for life,eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.” Exodus 21:22-24. Although the Exodus passage seems to be a favorite among the anti-choice crowd, I would point out that the harm mentioned in it is harm to the woman, not to the aborted or miscarried fetus.
God’s favored prophets prayed for abortions. Don’t believe me? Read Hosea 9:11-16. This same favored prophet also advocated ripping the fetuses out of the wombs of pregnant women in Hosea 13:16, something the God-favored King Menahem of the Israelites proudly did in 2 Kings 15:16, too. There’s even a ritual to induce an abortion in a faithless wife in Numbers 5:21 (presumably done instead of stoning her, although when stoning and when abortion is the proper course of action, the Bible doesn’t say).
So God is definitely not pro-life, at least for fetuses. But what about hastening death? Apparently the fundamentalist Christians also don’t like euthanasia, mercy-killing, or assisted suicide, either. They want people to suffer. This is where compassion gets thrown to the wind by these Christians. Suicide is tantamount to murder, in their eyes.
The Bible reports several suicides (Ahithophel; Saul and his armor-bearer; Samson; Zimri, who was king of Israel for only seven days; and Judas Iscariot) and men who want to be stricken dead (Moses, the prophet Elijah, and Jonah – twice) but nowhere in the Bible does it condemn them for that. The Bible also reports mercy killings, without reference to judgment, except in the case of the Amalekite who lied to David about killing Saul. Saul himself was not condemned for asking to die. Abimelech begged his armor-carrying servant to kill him in Judges 9:52-54, because he lost a battle and could not bear the indignity of his inevitable murder at the hands of (gasp!) women. There was no judgment attached to Abimelech’s death.
So, there does not seem to be a problem with euthanasia, either. Huckabee’s first point fails, on both counts.
Marriage should be reinforced, not be defined
This one is so easy it’s almost a no-brainer. I cannot grasp why these wackjob Christians think that the Bible defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Jon Stewart jumped on this pretty fast, pointing out that the biblical definition of marriage is polygamy. Although Huckabee tried to say it isn’t, he cited no biblical authority for his position other than the Adam and Eve story. Lots of biblical marriages came after that one. Furthermore, it’s not real clear that Adam and Eve ever actually tied the knot. They sort of hooked up because of the dearth of others of their same species to choose from, and apparently shacked up, never going that extra step of committing to each other monogamously. They had no other options but bestiality.
So it stands to reason that yes, marriage could stand to be defined. But to say it’s biblical marriage really leaves the door wide open.
Because if you let your servant get married, and he leaves your employment, his wife and children are yours unless the servant agrees to stay and have his ear bored through with an awl. (Exodus 21:6) I’m not clear whether this means the servant’s earlobe gets pierced, or if his eardrum gets pierced. Either way, it’s pretty barbaric. But, that’s one definition of Biblical marriage.
Exodus 21:10 reminds men who take second wives that they can’t neglect the first one. Oops, Mr. Huckabee. Guess there’s a new definition of biblical marriage implied here.
Deuteronomy 22 is a great place to look for definitions of marriage. I like the one where the guy marries the woman and decides he doesn’t like her. If her father can’t then produce bloody sheets proving that she was a virgin at the time of the wedding, well, she gets stoned to death. What a sweet marriage that makes.
One of my favorite definitions of marriage is the rapist and his virgin victim. Yeah, Deuteronomy 22:28-30 is all about that.
Now, Paul is not real keen on marriage at all. Despite the fact that the species will disappear without it, sex is gross, and women are … well, Paul’s misogyny is another issue altogether. Paul thought everyone ought to have a spouse, though, if they really want sex, whether or not he could fathom why they’d want it. My guess is that Paul was so undesirable he never got laid, and therefore had no idea what he was missing.
And that doesn’t count all the various marriages in the Bible that involved multiple wives, concubines, and slaves. Heck, Abraham had a wife (Sarah), his wife’s slave (Hagar), another wife (Keturah), and an unknown number of secondary wives.
Solomon had 700 wives and 300 secondary wives, in addition to the Queen of Sheba. That’s 1001, for those of you who aren’t good with math.
And the list goes on.
It is an egregious violation of our cherished principle of religious liberty for the government to force the church to buy the kind of insurance that leads to the taking of innocent human life.
Right. Do I really have to explain this?
Most people in the United States who are lucky enough to have health insurance coverage have it because their employer provides it. If their employer did not provide it, health insurance would be prohibitively expensive. Therefore, people are generally forced to accept whatever health insurance is offered through work, unless they are wealthy enough to afford it on their own – which most people are not.
Limiting your employee’s health insurance options based on your own religious beliefs, whether or not your employee shares your religious beliefs, is totally not forcing your religion on them. (/Sarcasm)
Until there is a single-payer system, or until health insurance is decoupled from employment and made affordable, employers are in a position to unfairly force their religious beliefs on their employees.
It is an egregious violation of our cherished principle of religious liberty for anyone to limit our access to health care based on religious beliefs we do not hold. If the government permits this, the government is complicit in the establishment of religion.
Stewart nailed him on the thinly disguised guilt trip the Huckster attempted to foist on good believing Christians. The commercial was pro-life and homophobic, and it essentially told Christian voters, with the appropriate imagery of their religion of intimidation and threat, that if they were not also pro-life and homophobic, they would burn for all eternity. Sweet message, that.
Among the most disturbing things about these Christians who want to impose their Bible on the rest of us are:
- For a number of reasons, foremost among them its bizarre contradictions, we don’t believe their Bible to be reliable, and therefore object to basing our laws on it;
- Their Bible contravenes proven science;
- We do not agree that some of the crazy shit they think is good is actually, well, good;
- As a foundational document, their Bible is inconsistent, violent, bigoted, misogynistic, and homicidal, and none of those things are acceptable in modern society;
- If they cherry-pick only the “good parts” of the Bible to apply to modern life, we have to question why, if so much of it is dispensable, they consider it to be a legitimate authority;
- Why they think it is acceptable to force their dogma on people who do not accept their dogma.
Dissenting minorities and minorities representing different demographics will always need protection from the will of the majority. And right now the majority seem to be batshit Christians, who want to impose their will on the rest of us.