Mike Huckabee, from what I’ve seen, is a likeable guy. Very personable, somewhat articulate and can pretty much hold his own in a conversation. He’s also dead wrong about a number of issues. Recently, he was be found on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The topic went pretty rapidly to the topic of gay marriage, a topic on which I’ve blogged here before. Predictably, Huckabee supports the support of “traditional marriage”, which really is a misnomer for “denying the rights of gay people”.
His point seems to be two-fold. That one man and one woman is “traditional”, going back 5000 years, so we shouldn’t change it and that the purpose of marriage is to produce children which is, admittedly more difficult for 2 people of the same gender to naturally accomplish. This of course misses the fact that there are many childless marriages and that it is not only possible, but has already been done, for same gender couples to raise children. More successfully than some heterosexual couples, I might add (Stewart’s example was Britney Spears). Stewart rightly pointed out (as I said in an earlier post) that going back to Old Testament marriages (“traditional” according to Huckabee) would mean accepting polygamy. That in fact, women used to, in many cultures, like the Mideastern culture responsible for the Old Testament, be considered property. Marriage, during that time, has changed. If we kept doing everything the way it has been done because it is traditional, no social progress would be made. India still struggles with the legacy of a traditional caste system. Does that make it right? As Stewart pointed out, it was also “traditional” to deny the rights of interracial couples to marry. Most of us can agree that was wrong. So what exactly is wrong with 2 same gendered couples getting married and enjoying the same privileges as that we differently gendered couples have?
The answer of course is that it is wrong within the context of Huckabee’s narrow religious view. That same view that makes him utter that we need to change the law to be in line with “God’s standard”. I assume this God would just happen to be the God that Huckabee believes in and not the “compeerless” God of Islam (in which case we are talking sharia), or Vishnu, Shiva, or the Tao (Though I imagine a Taoist government could be libertarian. Exercise for the reader.). So I guess Huckabee’s law would be a kind of Christian sharia applied to all Americans regardless of their faith or state of disbelief. The law (as far as he could control it, until somebody more hardlined came along) would be based on an interpretation of the Bible according to Huckabee. It would not allow polygamy (although that is in the Bible), but would disallow (based on a few cherry picked verses condemning homosexuality) same gendered marriage. We would probably not have stonings for adultery or blasphemy, but, in line with certain actions from the U.N. recently, it might try to restrict free speech to no “defaming” of religion. Of course, once that line has been breached, the way will be open for a further, shall I say, “Talibanizing” of our country.
Fortunately, our founding fathers envisioned and implemented a form of government contrary to what Huckabee seems to desire. Where government and religion are kept separate, divided by what Jefferson himself described as a Wall of Separation. Our founding fathers had access to a long history of wars based and justified on religious strife and carried out by states with religious power. Oliver Cromwell was recent example from which they certainly drew historical lessons. More recently, of course, we see how an ultimate control of government by a system beyond reason can result in such states as Saudi Arabia, or with the Taliban.
Huckabee’s notion that the definition of marriage is only between a man and a woman is based on his religious views. Religious views which unnecessarily restrict the rights of others by enforcing a particular interpretation of ancient scripture that not everybody accepts. I say unnecessarily, especially in the case under discussion, since when a gay couple marries, nobody else is harmed in any way. I can attest to this. Here in California, we were almost enlightened for a short time and gay couples were allowed to marry. Nobody was harmed. Although not a binding legal document as such, the Declaration of Independence states that we have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. If 2 same gendered people wish to pursue happiness by having loving and stable marriage, that in no way takes away from another’s happiness. If you are religious type of the mindset of Huckabee, you may already be upset that 2 gay people are together already, which, 1) is none of your business anyway, and 2) that’s not going to change whether or not they can marry.
So, back to Huckabee, the likeable guy with a dangerous theocratic mindset. I fear that in 2012 we’re going to see both him and Palin make a bid for the Republican party nomination. Which would you like, Theocrat #1 or Theocrat #2? I hope Obama does well and in his first term and keeps the possibility for a 2012 Republican return low (especially if it’s these 2).