Thursday, January 3, 2008
Devil's Advocate: Mike Huckabee
As someone who believes that the separation of church and state strengthens both church and state, I should be terrified by the prospect of Mike Huckabee winning in Iowa today. And yet...
It's hard not to admire a politician who actually seems to have his own set of beliefs and doesn't backtrack on them the second the media starts asking questions. (Yes, I was the one shouting at John Kerry through my TV during the last race: "Dammit, just say you threw the medals!") I'd put 2000-era McCain in this camp as well (um, possibly not the best choice of words there, but you know what I mean), and a number of the current candidates, notably Barak Obama. But for a progressive Christian, Mike Huckabee is a more complicated prospect. Let's take a completely biased look at his theology:
GOOD! Huckabee believes that we are stewards of God's creation and therefore need to take care of the environment.
BAD! Mike Huckabee signed the 1998 Southern Baptist Convention statement on the family, and specifically supported the inclusion of this passage: "A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ." Tip for Mike: next time you sign your name on a Bible verse, make it something Paul actually wrote.
GOOD! When pressed about his Christmas ad being 'too Christian,' Mike was all "No shit, my Christmas ad is Christian." Not in those words, exactly.
BAD! Huckabee believes it's wrong to teach kids that evolution happened. (Because where are the unicorn fossils?)
GOOD! "The key issue of real faith is that it never can be forced on someone. And never would I want to use the government institutions to impose mine or anybody else's faith."
BAD! Despite the above statement, the Bible is the only reason Huckabee ever cites for wanting to outlaw abortion and gay marriage.
GOOD! It's also the reason he's pushed for prison reform and poverty relief, issues that most Republicans don't seem to have thought twice about.
Still, every time I find myself on Huckabee's side, I'm reminded that he said this. These kind of statements show that he's not as in touch with larger world issues as he seems to think he is. But at least he's in touch with himself -- and that' s more than we can say for Romney.