Friday, January 18, 2008

Mike Huckabee actually said this

WARNING: This is a serious post.

In setting up this blog, I made the choice to keep the content on the lighter side: silly observations, sports, my adventures in the world of improv/film/theater, etc... I've intentionally avoided posting on politics and philosophy, despite having strong opinions in these areas. I now feel compelled to make an exception to this principle in response to the following comments made by Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee in a recent speech in Michigan:

I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the Living God. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.

If this seems surprising or unlikely to you, here's the video:

Please understand what this man is saying, especially if you, like many voters, believe the country is headed in the wrong direction and increasingly lacks a moral center or code. Understand it most especially if you are sympathetic to the idea that Christianity is right and this country would be a better place if more people adhered to its teachings.

He isn't just saying that he doesn't like the way things are going. He isn't just saying that Christianity is good. He isn't just saying that Christianity has something to offer our culture. He isn't just saying that Americans would do well to embrace or "return to" traditional Christian values and ethics.

He is saying that your Constitutionally-protected right to freedom of religion should be repealed and that the government should legally require you and every other citizen to adhere to certain principles or practices of the Christian religion.

There is a name for a political system that forces its citizens to adhere to a particular religious doctrine: it's called a theocracy. Just think about that for a minute: you and I and every other American now live in a country where a major political candidate just publicly and explicitly advocated the establishment of a theocracy: not in the Middle East, not in the Third World, but here in America. Ask yourself if that's something you ever thought you would see in your lifetime.

I acknowledge that there are a lot of people in this country who think Huckabee probably has the right idea: they were instrumental in electing our current President (twice!). I'm not interested in talking to those people. If you agree that this country would be a better place under a fundamentalist religious dictatorship, please do the following for me: on Election Day, don't vote. Instead, have the courage to demonstrate the strength of your beliefs by staying at home and praying for your candidate to win. If you're really serious about what you believe, you should be honest enough to acknowledge the outcome of the election is in God's hands anyway and that He is much more qualified to decide who should be President than you are.

If, on the other hand, you believe that individuals should be free to make their own decisions about religion according to the dictates of their own conscience -- even if you have personally made the decision to embrace Christianity or any other particular doctrine -- I urge you to go back and read or watch Huckabee's comments again and again until you fully grasp the implications of what he's saying. Then, decide if you're comfortable with the idea of supporting a candidate (or political party or faction thereof) whose platform includes the concept of forcing every man, woman and child in this country to adhere to the same religious beliefs -- even if they are beliefs you happen to personally agree with.

Thanks to NoodleFood for bringing these comments to my attention.

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