There's no party like a persecuted Christian party and Fox News knows how to bring it. Last night, on The Factor, professional Christian Laura Ingrham whined about how "the elites" are trying to say that "traditionalist" Christians are anti-gay. (Ya Think!) Her guest, fellow professional Christian and Fox host Mike Huckabee defended those poor Christians and explained how he isn't homophobic, but just a good bible believing Christian who, unlike our phony Christian President, will never waiver in his homophobia beliefs about "traditional marriage." Whether it's the "war on Christmas" or the "culture war," The Factor is always ready to fight.
While America is religiously diverse, the America of the "fair & balanced" Fox News is either evangelical Protestant or conservative Catholic. While Fr. Jonathan Morris provides a sweet, right wing spin to his homilies, the conservative evangelical community is well represented by Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister who preaches the gospel of the religious right to his Fox audience. In addition to promoting radical anti-choice lies and propaganda, he has also used his Fox platform to blame the Newtown shooting on gays and defend Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson's "Christian" anti-gay comments. Huckabee's homophobia is obvious. He pals around with homophobic hate group leaders. He compared gays to alcoholics and said that gay marriage will lead to bestiality. But he supports "traditional" values so it's all good.
Last night, in keeping with O'Reilly's ever popular "conflict" motif, Ingraham (sporting her great, big cross cuz she's a great, big Catholic) began with "the fight between secularists and the traditionalists." She showed video of Mike Huckabee, in Iowa, "where he stood up for traditional values." What she didn't mention was that Huckabee was speaking before the virulently homophobic Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition. Huckabee preached: "I'm not a hater, I'm not homophobic, I honestly don't care what people do personally in their individual lives; but I tell you the individual reason when people say why don't you just kinda get on the right side of history I say you've got to understand, this for me is not about the right side or the wrong side of history, this is the right side of the Bible and unless God rewrites it, edits it, sends it down with his signature on it, it's not my book to change. Folks, that's where I stand where I stand."
After Ingrahm touted Huckabee's high standing in Iowa presidential polling, she described how her listeners say that "there really is this concerted effort, by the elites, that's a shorthand, by the elites to tar Christian conservatives or traditionalists, as Bill likes to call them, as anti-this or anti-that, or you're anti-women, and it's really tiresome, it's really demeaning." Huckabee noted that his views were the views once held by Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hilary Clinton. He had this question for the President: "I'd like to ask him whether he was lying then, whether he's lying now, or did the Bible get re-written. One of those three scenarios has to be the reason he was comfortable enough to change his mind. If one has Christian convictions, they don't change because of what the culture does."
He asked if Obama has Christian convictions because Christian convictions don't change "depending what the culture does." ROFLMAO - Mitt Romney was pro-choice in 2012 but "evolved" to an anti-choice view. He challenged the press to challenge Obama. Sister Mary Laura whined about how some big GOP donors want to "get past" social issues and focus on the economy. Huckabee agreed that jobs and the economy are important but so are "issues that touch people's basic sense of history, character, and tradition."
So only those Christians who say that God hates fags are real Christians. Way for possible presidential candidate Huckabee to bring in more moderate Republicans who might belong to Christian denominations that welcome gays. Seriously, folks, if Mike Huckabee thinks he's not homophobic, he can keep on pretending!!!
His comments about his homophobia are of course based on the resignation of Brendan Eich from Mozilla after his active support (including financial support) of California Proposition 8 in 2008 was exposed. Huckabee wants to find an excuse for Eich’s behavior, so he trots out the right wing trope that ‘Well, Barack Obama agreed with the reasoning of this proposition in 2008, so why doesn’t the left make him resign?". Which is a ridiculous comparison on its face.
Let’s remember the actual history of Proposition 8, and not just the version that the right wing pundits would have their gullible listeners believe. This actually dates back to California’s Proposition 22, which passed by about 65% of the vote in the year 2000. Prop 22 was designed as a parallel to the hateful “Defense of Marriage” act that went through Newt Gingrich’s House in 1996. The purpose of it was to block same-sex marriages from being recognized, specifically in California. Before Prop 22, same-sex couples would try to marry outside California and then use a clause in state family law to have California recognize the marriage as legal inside the state. Anti-gay groups rallied against this idea, supporting both the federal legislation and state initiatives like 22, which were designed to say NO to gay couples. It’s a sign of how things have changed since then that the polling in 2000 indicated that the proposition would narrowly pass, but when the final vote was held, the numbers were much higher for its passage. Which tells us many people didn’t want to publicly say “I support this”, but in the ballot booth, they did just that. For several years, the anti-gay population crowed over this victory, using it to block same-sex couples from having many of the same rights as heterosexual couples. As had been the case in the past, homophobic parents would bar the partner of their son or daughter from their hospital rooms, and would legally deny that there was any official relationship between the partners. This got particularly nasty when one partner would be on their deathbed and the other partner would be forbidden to see them.
In 2008, the California Supreme Court finally overturned Prop 22, among other homophobic pieces of legislation. The anti-gay forces knew this was coming, so they had mobilized to create Proposition 8, built from the same language but designed to circumvent the legal challenges that killed 22. Unlike the year 2000, the campaign in 2008 was much more evenly fought. This time, the opponents of the proposition were even able to out-fundraise the anti-gay forces by about 5 million dollars. (The Prop 8 supporters raised about 39 million, including from Brendan Eich, and the opponents raised about 44 million.) Polling indicated the populace was pretty evenly split, and this time, the final vote was much closer. Prop 8 did pass, but on a much, much narrower basis – at 52 percent. Which tells us that people were thinking a bit more tolerantly in 2008 than in 2000, and tells us that it was only the absolute virulence of the Prop 8 supporters that got it through. We shouldn’t sugarcoat the hatred behind Prop 8 – it was always intended as a slap in the face of same-sex couples and their supporters. Prop 8 supporters were quite open that they despised having gay marriage thrown at them, and that they felt it was wrong for various reasons. Brendan Eich’s support for the proposition, including his financial contributions to it, place him in the camp of people who wanted to once again say NO to same-sex couples and keep us in a world where those couples would be considered second-class citizens. Sadly for the anti-gay forces, Prop 8 got tossed by the courts even faster than Prop 22, with a huge hit coming in 2010 and then a final knockout blow finishing it off in 2013. These guys are still smarting from that, and one wonders what they’ll come up with for an encore. It’s not surprising that Mozilla was publicly embarrassed and shamed by their CEO’s conduct in this matter. It’s also not surprising that Eich decided to resign rather than further besmirch the company. That’s not a matter of him having his free speech censored. It’s a matter of him properly being called out for doing something hateful, and the right wing not liking that one bit.
Huckabee thinks it’s a good analogy to accuse President Obama of supporting Proposition 8, as a way of providing political cover for Eich and other homophobes like Huckabee. Except that Barack Obama expressly OPPOSED Proposition 8. He said that while he personally believed in 2008 that marriage was between a man and a woman and he supported civil unions to allow legal status to other couples, he found initiatives like Prop 8 to be “divisive and discriminatory” in their attempts to change the constitution to codify discrimination. There’s a big difference between saying you personally have a belief about marriage, and openly supporting legislation that would discriminate against one group of people. Huckabee knows this, but he’s hoping that his listeners won’t.
Of course, Huckabee can’t resist pushing the analogy even farther over the line. So he makes up this straw man argument that the left insisted on Brendan Eich resigning because somehow they are intolerant and not interested in free speech. Huckabee makes the wild statement that right wingers are inclusive of everyone’s speech, and says that the proof of this is how he personally enjoys the music of Barbra Streisand regardless of her politics. I’m thankful that I wasn’t drinking anything when he said this over the weekend as I might have laughed it right out of my nose. Let’s see? Huckabee wants us to think that the right wing is TOLERANT and INCLUSIVE? That the right wing would NEVER boycott a product over politics? Really?
Perhaps Huckabee has heard of Bill O’Reilly? You know, the guy who advocated for a boycott against all French products in the early 2000s because they opposed the US attack on Iraq? (And this during a time when US right wingers made the heroic choice to relabel “French Fries” as “Freedom Fries”?) The guy who advocated for a boycott on anyone travelling to Aruba over the Natalie Holloway case? The guy who called for a boycott against Pepsi over their use of Ludacris as a pitchman? (O’Reilly doesn’t get to weasel out of his behavior by saying ‘Hey, I don’t think I used the actual WORD boycott’ since his stated intention was for his viewers to refuse to buy Pepsi…) Perhaps Huckabee has heard of One Million Moms, a right wing group that regularly calls for boycotts against such outrageous institutions as Toys R Us and JC Penneys. Maybe Huckabee knows Rush Limbaugh, who told his listeners to boycott GM in 2009.
Or perhaps Mike Huckabee is aware of a right wing pundit who advocated for a boycott of NPR when they fired Juan Williams for bigotry. Huckabee might remember this, as it happened recently, in October 2010. This pundit was so angry about Williams being called out for his behavior that the pundit even called for Congress to cut NPR’s funding. This pundit was certainly not calling for “More speech” like Huckabee would prefer today. The pundit’s name? Oh. It was Mike Huckabee!
“… this is the right side of the Bible and unless God rewrites it, edits it, sends it down with his signature on it, it’s not my book to change.”
This from a man who belongs to a branch of Christianity where repeated attempts at rewriting have resulted in the creation of a multitude of denominations. And he presumes to be the only one who is right? What arrogance!
For starters, he could stop lying (bearing false witness), realise that speaking so badly of others is not respectful of them (love thy brother and sister), grow a beard, refuse to eat prohibited foods and dress only in garments made of untreated wool from sheep, goats and camels. I agree with Joseph that that would be walking the talk.
I also want to know why Huckabuck doesn’t have a beard if he’s going to play preacher (violations of Lev 19:27 and 21:5). Does Huckabuck believe in the Constitutional mandate of “freedom of religion” or does he believe in the Biblical command “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live?”
Basically, why does he (like so many other “Christians”) enjoy picking-and-choosing the Biblical verses he wants to follow? I don’t remember any “leeway” being granted by God or Jesus to only abide by some of the “Holy Word” and, apparently, only when it’s convenient for you. I’m exempt because I don’t give a rat’s patoot about Christianity. Personally, if it were up to me, people who want to use the Bible as if it were the foundation of US law would be given a choice: Recognize you’re an American citizen and subject to the country’s laws which apply to everyone, regardless of religious belief; or Leave the country.