Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Republicans Want A Theocracy

This is a oft repeated claim by many on the left. I myself have pointed this out many times. But when you look at the details we were presenting it was clear that most of the time those who are pushing for a God based government were only the wacko's on the fringe of the Republican party. The Dominionism and Christian Reconstructionist that want God to rule the US traditionally have been kept at arms length from the forefront of the republican party, much like a crazy uncle who lives upstairs but is kept away from visitors.

That was until this week the the crazy uncle came downstairs while the media was in the living room. Huckabee opens his mouth and made it instantly clear that there are many Republicans who do want a theocracy and not just the lunatic fringe, but some who have to be considered main stream within the party clearly want this too.
“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 — is 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 of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.”

This does raise a few very interesting questions about which of 'God's standards' we need to incorporate into the the constitution. Do we start with the ten commandments, if so which version? To move things along lets use these. It is not exactly like any one version, but gets the point across and is the one of the few areas with the laws in the Bible that is fairly clear.

I am the Lord your God you shall have no other gods before me
You shall not make for yourself an idol
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God
Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
Honor your Father and Mother
You shall not murder
You shall not commit adultery
You shall not steal
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
You shall not covet your neighbor's wife or house

We already have civil laws that address murder perjury and theft. We have in some backwaters of the US bluelaws in the effort to 'keep the Sabbath holy' (but I am not sure how preventing people from going shopping is going to force someone to keep something holy, but this is another issue). As to the rest, while you could pass amendments to mandate that there is no other God, there shall be no Idols, honoring your parents, no coveting etc, but how do you enforce them. Do we create an American version of the Mutaween to enforce these new laws.

Most of the 10 commandments are focused of how an individual thinks (honor your parents, do not covet etc) and are basically undeterminable to everyone else. How do you know what is in someones heart. How can you tell if your neighbor holds other Gods before our nations God, unless he tells you? No, working the 10 commandments into the constitution is not his goal.

Huckabee was pushing this for the big three issues of the religious right: abortion, homosexuality and state support of religion. He wants to use his interpretation of the bible to make law on these issues. Unfortunately for him, there is nothing like the 10 commandments that he can rely on to base his opinion on. No where in the bible does it plainly denounce abortion. Homosexuality is denounce in the Old Testament, unfortunate for Huckabee and his followers so are shrimp, oysters and poly cotton blend cloth. Leviticus has a lot more to do with than just homosexuality. outside of this book, just as with abortion, the rest of the bible is far from clear on the issue and subject to varied interpretation.

This takes us to what is wrong with Huckabee and his right wing religious foolishness. He has looked at the issue, turned to his faith and made the decision that abortion is wrong, and homosexuality is a sin. That is fine. I have done the same and have come to slightly different answers. The difference is in how we respond to the result. I live my life based on how I answer these questions, and let others live these lives. Huckabee and his followers insist that everyone live their lives based on how he (and his minions) answered these questions.

But I would like to know why are his answers better than mine? Maybe we both could live our lives without imposing our religiously based ideas on others who don't share them.

That would seem to be the American way, a reliance on both reason and liberty. But this view is one that both the republican party and the religious right refuse to accept. They believe that their religiously based world view is the only acceptable view and that it is proper that they have the right to force all Americans to live in a theocracy based on their religious dogma.

And, a person who openly expressed this overtly authoritarian view is a leading candidate to be the Republican parties presidential candidate.

All I can say is, wow.

Who would have thought that a one time fringe element in the Republican party would feel comfortable enough in their position to utter something that is so fundamentally anti-American.



Anthony Palmer said...

I saw that quote from Huckabee too. That's the kind of rhetoric that will destroy his appeal among moderates who had originally viewed Huckabee as a Christian conservative who wasn't in the mold of Falwell and Dobson.

Also, does Huckabee not realize that this kind of rhetoric is the exact same thing we criticize "radical Muslims" for doing when they talk about integrating religious teachings into their constitutions and into law.

Very scary indeed.

tbuzz41058 said...

Huckabee would do well to take the advice of another famous Huck; Huckleberry Hound who used to always say "well hush my mouth".

Speaking of “well hush my mouth” check out what Huckabee said in Michigan:

“[Some of my opponents] 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.”— Mike Huckabee, campaigning in Michigan last night.

I’m a God fearing Christian myself, but shouldn’t someone inform him of that little thing called the First Ammendment, umm seperation of church and state. Our forefathers included this based on their experience with the overbearing influence of the Protestant Church in England’s government.

tsylatac said...

I really think we are not headed for anything like theocracy. The president may (if the press has its way) get us a president that has very strong Christian beliefs. But I think the worst thing that president will do is vote his conscience that is influenced by the Bible, and talk too much about it. As far as trying to get a law passed that establishes a state religion, I really don't think so.

To be honest, I am Democrat. And the religious stance of John Edwards is the one I admire the most. He says if asked he will tell anyone what he believes, but that he will be the president of the whole country, not the Christian church. He says civic matters don't call for a religious approach, it's not necessary. I like that.