Wednesday, January 16, 2008

On open theocracy

Okay, so this kind of thing is why this election is so important, and why you just cannot believe the fundies when they claim they respect your right to practice your own religion (when they bother to claim it):
" 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 is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards," Huckabee said, referring to the need for a constitutional human life amendment and an amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

Despite the fact that Huck doesn't define which god, whose concept of God, or the god of which holy book or series of books is the one whose will is to be enshrined in our nation's constitution, I think it's fairly safe to assume that he means the god of the King James version of the Christian bible as interpreted by the Southern Baptist Convention, also known as his god. Amending the Constitution to those particular standards would mean banning blended fibers (which should improve business for cotton farmers, at least) and shellfish (but not so much for the shrimpers, crabbers, and lobstermen off the coast of New England) and approving slavery and the stoning of insubordinate children. We know for sure it'll involve wifely submission.

If Huck asked me what God's standards are for gay marriage or universal health care or national defense, I daresay he'd get a couple of answers that he'd disagree with. And I daresay he'd go right ahead and push for unitary executive power over my uterus whether I thought God would approve or not. Because we're not talking about God's standards; we're talking about Huck's standards, the ones he's pushing by waving a bible around and invoking the name of a being that between five and ten percent of Americans don't even believe exists. We're talking about Mike Huckabee as the god of the Constitution, and if not him, the fundie wackos behind him, and if not them, some other fundie wacko pursuing the presidency with the same agenda.

What ever happened to John F. Kennedy's take on religion?
I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish--where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source--where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials--and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew--or a Quaker--or a Unitarian--or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim--but tomorrow it may be you--until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.


Whatever issue may come before me as President--on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject--I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressures or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.

A personal belief system is inevitable, as is the fact that whatever your beliefs happen to be will have some influence over your conscience. That's unavoidable. But a presidential candidate needs to come into the race conscious of that fact and determined to avoid it to the extent that it is possible to do so. Because the president needs to see to the physical, terrestrial interests of the American people and leave their heavenly salvation to whatever higher power they worship or choose not to, as is their right as enshrined in the first amendment of the Constitution on which he's trying to impose the questionable standards of his personal god.

Unless we're talking about the standards of this guy's god. He seems to have it together.

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