I’ve waiting a while to post something on Mike Huckabee, the Christian fundamentalist who is running for president and who has lots of fundamentalists all in a foaming excitement. He runs as a "Christian Leader." This, by itself, isn’t bad, since all candidates have to be Christian (or say they are Christian) this day and age to get voted into office. But it is a worry for all those people who are not Christian. Do we want, as president, a man who is a Christian leader? I personally don’t. He will be pushing the conservative Christian agenda (which by the way wouldn’t including making divorce illegal even though God hates divorce). Gays and lesbians need to really worry about this candidate. Other reasonable-minded people need to really worry about this candidate. In reality he doesn’t have much of a chance of winning. But he is giving some of the Republicans a good run for their money.
One thing that Huckabee said in his "Christian" past is that all those who have AIDS should be quarantined. That means everyone–from little kids to adults, from gay to straight. Yep, everyone. He said this in 1992. He does not apologize for it now. Here are some things a NY Post article had to say about this guy who is running to be our president:
December 8, 2007 — GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee once advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased federal funding in the search for a cure, and said homosexuality could pose a dangerous public health risk.
As a candidate for a US Senate seat in 1992, Huckabee answered 229 questions
submitted to him by The Associated Press. Besides a quarantine, Huckabee suggested that Hollywood celebrities, rather than federal health agencies, fund AIDS research from their own pockets.
If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague, Huckabee wrote.
When asked about AIDS research in 1992, Huckabee complained that AIDS research received an unfair share of federal dollars when compared to cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
In light of the extraordinary funds already being given for AIDS research, it does not seem that additional federal spending can be justified, Huckabee wrote.
Also in the wide-ranging AP questionnaire in 1992, Huckabee said, I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk.
A Southern Baptist preacher, Huckabee has been a favorite among social conservatives for his opposition to gay marriage.
Now what kind of president is this guy going to be for me? Probably much worse than Bush ever was. Much worse. He hasn’t said very much about his comments. He did make up some excuse that he was speaking in 1992 when we didn’t know very much about AIDS. Well, it is clear he didn’t, nor did he want to. He is a dangerous man to not only gays and lesbians, and atheists, but also Christians who are not of the southern Baptist kind.
The S.F. Chronicle also had an article in the Editorial page today about Huckabee. Here it is in its entirety:
As much as been made of Mitt Romney’s attempt at a "JFK speech," the candidate who most needs to assure Americans of his commitment to religious liberty is the least likely to deliver it.
Mike Huckabee, the genial former Arkansas governor, has not only been blurring the lines of church and state in his campaign. The former Baptist preacher has been touting his faith as a presidential credential – and it seems to be paying off in the polls, which now show him near the top of the Republican field.
He quotes Scripture on the campaign trail, he suggests that divine intervention might be helping lift his prospects and he appeals to Christian conservatives with his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage and his support for the teaching of creationism alongside evolution in schools. One of his TV spots flashes "CHRISTIAN LEADER" in capital letters as he talks about how his faith "defines me."
In 1992, as a candidate for U.S. Senate, Huckabee suggested that carriers of the AIDS virus should be isolated from the general population. Even today, Huckabee stops short of fully distancing himself from those remarks, insisting that "when we didn’t know as much as we do now about AIDS, we were acting more out of political correctness than we were about normal public health protocols."
But 1992 was hardly the Dark Ages for anyone who was paying the least bit of attention to the science of AIDS. Remember, basketball star Magic Johnson had disclosed that he was HIV-positive a year earlier, and public education campaigns throughout the country were making it clear that the AIDS virus could not be spread by casual contact.
As likable and iconoclastic as Huckabee may seem on the surface, there is something deeply disturbing about allowing anyone’s religious tenets to drive public policy. As John F. Kennedy noted in his 1960 speech to assuage the concerns of protestants about a Catholic president, Thomas Jefferson’s statute of religious freedom was motivated by the harassment of Baptist preachers in Virginia.
"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," Kennedy said on Sept. 12, 1960.
Christians who think Huckabee’s faith-based appeals are benign, or even endearing, should think about whether they would be similarly moved by TV spots for a "Muslim leader" or "Jewish leader" or "Mormon leader."
It’s time for Huckabee’s speech on religious liberty.
I don’t know if it is time for Huckabee’s speech–he has made it clear his views and ultimately his intentions. This country cannot afford a religious zealot, even a mild-mannered looking one, as president.