Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Mike Huckabee & Christian Reconstructionists

For about one moment, a number of usually sensible persons thought Mike Huckabee was different.  It was said, for a moment, that Huckabee was a “nice” guy, had some integrity, and was not a panderer.

That moment’s up!

Mike Huckabee is no longer a cute Baptist Minister with a warm demeanor; he has been found to be a religious fanatic, or worse, a bigot, who not only is willfully ignorant, but blinded by his faith even in the commission of his public trust and associates with the darkest and most extreme elements of American religious fanatics.

Where do we begin?

It’s almost trivial, compared to some other issues we’ll explore, to mention that Mike Huckabee is a Creationist.  He has said that he is a bible believer, and probably a literalist, so this is not a new revelation.  It is sobering, though, to consider that an admitted Creationist and Bible literalist could be soon impacting our children’s schools nationwide.  It is also amazing to see how little grief he gets for this willful ignorance from other candidates and the media.

Why is he let off the hook?  Answer: because his Creationism is a religious belief and a nutty religious belief is off limits in a way thatnutty non-religious beliefs are not.

For a person like Huckabee, magic and science and reason and faith are one and the same.  The mind boggles.

Yet, this is the least of it.

According to CNN, “Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee refused to retract a statement he made in 1992 calling for the isolation of AIDS patients… Responding to an Associated Press questionnaire, Huckabee said steps should be taken to “isolate the carriers of this plague” during his failed run for a U.S. Senate seat from Arkansas 15 years ago.

He said he probably would not make the same statement today because of what is known about how HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is transmitted.

"I had simply made the point -- and I still believe this today -- that in the late '80s and early '90s, when we didn't know as much as we do now about AIDS, we were acting more out of political correctness than we were about the normal public health protocols that we would have acted," Huckabee told Fox News on Sunday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded in 1985 that AIDS was not transmitted by casual contact…”

Well if that were the end of it, this kind of ignorance would probably be par for the course for a politician.  But it’s not.

What about gay marriage?

In February, 2007, when pressed in an interview with the Associated Press, Mike Huckabee said the historic definition of marriage has worked for so long for a reason.  “’People have a right to decide how they live their lives.  But they have to respect not changing the definition of marriage,’ said Huckabee, who served as a pastor in Baptist churches before becoming governor in 1996.”

In 2004, the year Arkansas approved a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, Huckabee said the ban was needed to quiet activists looking to rewrite the nation's social code.  But Huckabee also said it was OK to say a person's sexual preference was nobody's business, "even though it's not consistent with the Biblical norm of male and female."  Apparently it’s no one’s business until they want to get married; then it’s Mike Huckabee’s and the Religious Right’s business.

In 2006, when the Arkansas Supreme Court rejected a ban on gay foster parents that had been put in by a state board, Huckabee said through a spokeswoman: "I'm very disappointed that the court seems more interested in what's good for gay couples than what's good for children needing foster care."

Exactly how would eliminating potential foster homes be “good for children needing foster care”?  And please note the admission on Huckabee’s part that he does not want to do  “good” for gay citizens.  Of course, we suspect Huckabee’s answers reside in the bible.

Will these homophobic views come back to haunt Mike Huckabee?

Probably not; in the Republican Party most candidates, though not all, want to be seen as “tough on gays,” in the way that being tough on crime was always seen as an asset.  It’s got to be tough being a Log Cabin Republican.

Another area where Huckabee exposed a bigoted side was his passive-aggressive attack on Mitt Romney’s Mormonism.

Huckabee asked this question in a NY Times interview: “Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?”

According to Mormon scripture this is correct; but what was the point of asking?  Answer: to point out how Mormons are heretics, meaning Romney is a heretic, and of course, as every Christian fundamentalist knows, heretics are not capable of being President.

Once again, this may help Huckabee with some voters and indeed his poll numbers continued to increase after this little episode.  This and other anti-Mormon attacks forced Romney to give a speech where Romney promised not only that he would not take orders from the Mormon Church but that he instead would force a broad form of Christianity down everyone’s throat.  Thanks Mitt and Mike!

Unbelievably all of the above will probably mean little in the nomination process to most Republican voters, but there are some issues that may indeed come back to haunt Huckabee.

As governor of Arkansas, Huckabee took interest in the case of a convicted rapist, Wayne Dumond.  Huckabee began to believe that Dumond was railroaded and deserving of sympathy and ultimately release before his sentence expired.  Why did Huckabee take an interest in this particular convict?

The answer is twofold; one reason was that Dumond had raped a distant relative of President Bill Clinton, and this irrelevant fact had convinced many Religious Right fanatics such as Huckabee’s Baptist minister friend Jay Cole, and the NY Post’s Steve Dunleavy that Dumon was railroaded and innocent!

The other reason was no better: serial rapist Dumond claimed a religious conversion in prison and that he had become a “born-again” Christian.

Instead of commuting his sentence, which would have been an obvious ploy subject to criticism, Huckabee instead pressured the appointees of the Parole Board to release Dumond; Huckabee asked them to do his dirty work.  They complied.

Huckabee now denies he applied the pressure; however, ALL of the members of the Parole Board claim he did, including those who voted for and against the parole.  In addition, recently disclosed statements and letters from Huckabee at the time exposed his desire to see Dumond go free, indicating Huckabee thought that Dumond got a raw deal, not unlike his radical minister friend Jay Cole believed.  Worst of all, publicly disclosed at the time of the decision, Huckabee had meetings with and received letters from multiple rape victims of Wayne Dumond, including the Clinton distant relative whose rape landed Dumond in jail, who warned Huckabee in person not to have Dumond released!  Huckabee ignored the personal pleas from these victims and pressured for his release anyway.  They had no effect on Huckabee; Huckabee is evidence impervious.

In other words, because of Right-wing paranoia about Bill Clinton and unconscionable favoritism towards “born-again” Christians, Wayne Dumond was indeed paroled, and subsequently raped and murdered one, if not two more women.

Dumond was convicted of one subsequent rape/murder after his release but died in prison before he could be tried for the second murder.

Imagine: releasing a rapist despite warnings from MULTIPLE victims because of truly asinine political partisanship and religious favoritism leading to the rapes and murders of two innocentwomen!  So, what else could possibly be even worse with presidential candidate Mike Huckabee?

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee attended a fundraiser for himself in December 2007, and it was held at the Houston, Texas home of a self-proclaimed Christian Restorationist, Dr. Steven Hotze, a person others would describe as a Christian Reconstructionist.

As an aside, Dr.Hotze has also been cited by Quackwatch as spreading dubious medical information to the public (for his own profit as it turns out.)

Dr. Hotze has long advocated, as do all Christian Reconstructionists, that the government should enforce biblical law.  Many Reconstructionists apparently believe this means re-instituting slavery, executing homosexuals, adulterers, practicing Jews, Muslims, Hindus and non-fundamentalist Christians such as Catholics or Episcopalians (go to http://www.religioustolerance.org/reconstr.htm).  According to "Talk To Action," Hotze has said, "There is no neutrality.  Civil government will either reflect biblical Christianity or it will reflect anti-Christian positions."  ( http://www.talk2action.org/story/2005/11/23/85532/138 .)

Hotze also signed a Manifesto that endorsed the following: "We affirm that the laws of man must be based upon the laws of God.  We deny that the laws of man have any inherent authority of their own or that their ultimate authority is rightly derived from or created by man."

Doesn't this imply that an endorser does not recognize the laws of the United States?  Of course, all of this is the opposite of the American idea that a government derives its authority from the consent of the governed.

Why is Mike Huckabee having a fundraiser at the home of a person such as this?  Why would such a person support Huckabee?

Would some other candidate get away with associating with such an extremist—if he were not a religious extremist?

If it has not become apparent already, the active endorsement of a staunch extreme American Taliban-like Christian such as Dr. Steven Hotze should make one wonder; is Minister Mike Huckabee on a mission to make our laws conform to the only authority he and they actually recognize; the God of the Bible?

(More on Christian Reconstructionism; for the “Manifesto” go to http://www.churchcouncil.org/ReformationNet/COR/cordocs/Manifesto.pdf For the “42 Article” got to http://www.churchcouncil.org/ReformationNet/COR/cordocs/42Articles.pdf.

For more on Dr. Steven Hotze and his alternative medical practice go to http://www.drhotze.com/EN/index.html .)

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