I have a problem with Mike Huckabee and everyone who supports him. My other half is tired of hearing about it--'tiresome' he called me, 'paranoid' I believe was mentioned once or twice. I think the latter was invoked when I announced on Super Tuesday that I would never live in a state where Huckabee won the primary.
I'm not a Republican, never was, never will be. What I am however, is a non-Christian. When I heard the excerpt from Huckabee's Michigan speech, a chill went down my spine.
"I have opponents in this race who 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 -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view."
OK, perhaps there are certain types of Jews who may be a bit touchy about the kind of coded language that aims to exclude and/or diminish us. Perhaps there is something genetically implanted that might make one sensitive to the nuances of anti-Semitism or to the thought of living with the Christian American version of Sharia. So, do I dismiss him and his supporters as the lunatic fringe? Or is some measure of paranoia realistic? We all know where complacency gets us: think of the pre-war urban upper-class Jews who didn't believe that lunatic Nazi party would ever affect them. Or the Japanese-Americans who considered themselves Americans first, Japanese second-- right before they were rounded up for the internment camps. Or, for that matter, Muslims living in this country who are about as likely to be terrorists as your local PTA chapter.
Huckabee and his supporters are the kind of Americans who force me to think as a Jew first and an American a distant second; who invoke a fight-or-flight response. I ask both Christians and other non-Christians out there; does anyone else feel paranoid when an estimated 70 million Americans call themselves evangelicals? and roughly 20% of of Republicans planned to vote for Huckabee according to a USA Today poll? I'm definitely not feeling the love.
Joe Conason's article in Salon analyzes Huckabee's "biblical reformation of every aspect of American society' in a way that chills me further. It also brings to the forefront an aspect of the evangelical movement that I have long found abhorrent, which is the assumption that God speaks only to them, God favors only their causes, and, if you will, God has taken sides. Of course, all faith requires certain immovable conviction. I for example, cannot be convinced that Jesus was the Messiah. However, unlike such religious paradises as Saudi Arabia and Iran, this country's Constitution is pretty straightforward about the separation of church and state. Huckabee's Michigan speech says to me nothing less than he is an extremist of the worst kind--he smiles with affable charm and then tells us he'd basically like to overturn the Constitution. People have ended up on Gitmo for less.
If Huckabee still doesn't freak you out, here's some suggested reading:
Talk to Action
For more on Dominionism ,or Reconstructionism, which many believe to be at the core of Huckabee's platform, see ReligiousTolerance.org
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