Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Huckabee on Amending the Constitution

Well, you may have already heard about it. Huckabee publicly proclaimed that we need to amend the constitution to bring it into conformity with "God's standards."

You can check out the minute and a half clip HERE.

Man, is he going after the evangelical vote, or what?!

Now, I can't help but wonder what this sincere man means when he says he wants to "amend the constitution to fit God's standards." Of course, he probably means he wants to outlaw gay marriage, since the Bible teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman. But if we're going to make our constitution fit "God's standards," as reflected in the Bible, why stop there?

Marriage throughout most of the book of "God's standards" allowed for polygamy and even concubines. If the Bible is to be our standard for marriage in America, perhaps our constitution should be amended to reflect its comprehensive view of marriage.

So too, the Bible allows for (and even occasionally commands) slavery, as the good old pre-abolition Christian South was eager to point out to the liberal secularists in the North. Would Huckabee have us amend our constitution to fit this aspect of the book of "God's standards"? Why not? If our goal is to conform to "God's standards," why be selective?

How about the way women are treated as property throughout much of the Bible? And let's not forget the pervasive "holy wars" we find in the Old Testament. If we want a constitution that truly reflects "God's standards," why not incorporate these as well?

And of course, the Bible knows absolutely nothing of any "inalienable right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness." This comes out of John Locke, not the Bible. So maybe these pagan concepts should be jettisoned if we're going to seek to have a constitution that conforms to "God's standards."

Then again, for Christians "God's standards" are centered on Jesus Christ and the New Testament. Since Huckabee is appealing to Christian voters, and apparently wants to promote a "Christian America," why shouldn't he center his constitution amending policy on this central aspect of the book of "God's standards"?

Now that would be interesting.

Can you imagine if it was in the U.S. constitution that whenever we as individuals or as a nation were attacked, we by law would have to turn the other cheek, love our enemies, bless our assailants, do good to our persecutors, refuse to retaliate, offer them whatever they ask (expecting nothing in return), offer to feed them, clothe them and provide housing for them, and of course offer our lives up on their behalf, however evil they may be (e.g. Lk 6:27-35; Mt 5:39; Rom. 12:17-21)?

Goodbye to "the right to bear arms"!

If this is the direction Huckabee would like to amend our beloved constitution, I would greatly admire his courage and wish him the best -- because there's no way in perdition Christians would get him elected if that is what he meant! They may want a constitution that "conforms to God's standards," but only certain passages carefully selected out of his book of holy "standards," and certainly not the standards set by Jesus Christ!

Isn't it ironic?

Now please hear me. My point is not to weigh in on the political issue of gay marriage. Vote your faith and values (like anyone doesn't do this). My point is that there's something profoundly naive, if not disingenuous, about trying to pretend like we can resolve this or any other political issue in our pluralistic society by trying to make the Bible law.

Even worse -- much worse -- when Huckabee and other well-intentioned Christians talk this way, they earn the right to be despised by non-Christians, and thus to have the Gospel they claim to represent despised as well. The beauty of God's self-sacrificial love is once again smothered in the ugliness of politics.

Jesus never let politics get in the way of the message he was sent to bring. And the central job of his followers is to simply imitate him (Eph. 5:1-2).

How I'd love it if Huckabee would call on all Christians to consider their own sins to be much worse than the sins of gay people (Mt 7:1-3; I Tim. 1:15-16) and to commit to demonstrating God's love for gay people by sacrificially serving them.

Of course, he'd never get elected.

He might get crucified.

But I'd certainly vote for him!