(yes, the entire blogosphere seems to be doing a post about Huckabee on The Daily show. It gives me a reason to address specific parts of the bible, so I’m getting my own licks in)
Jon Stewart of The Daily Show did an excellent job at showing how Mike Huckabee is quite a liar or simply not too cognizant about his very own holy book (Friendly Atheist has the transcript here). Huckabee wants to be seen as the good natured grandpa, just wanting the “best”, aka his way, for everyone but under his sheep’s clothing, he’s quite the hateful and lying wolf that does indeed believe people will go to some eternal torture that he gets his jollies from. All we see from Huckabee are the usual appeals to fear and greed.
Like all theists, Mike Huckabee is sure his god reflects his opinions. All pastors do. He hasn’t yet willfully murdered anyone directly like the Catholics here but his actions are happily controlled by the secular laws of the US. The theocrats are sure that women are worthless as anything but incubators, and that they can deny a woman health care if it dares go against their baseless claims. Being “right” is more important than anything else to them.
Huckabee tried to claim that “life begins with conception” and that it’s a “biological fact”. To run to “biology” aka “science” when it’s convenient is quite the mark of pure hypocrisy. Science and the scientific method are great but when many theists want to ignore evolutionary theory, well that same science is willfully ignored. Jon may have not wanted to call Huckabee a liar but I have no problem in doing so. No, Mike, it’s not a fact. A fact is something that doesn’t depend on opinion. Why not call a sperm alive then? Hate to tell you biology does consider them alive. Those little suckers are out there moving right along. But ah, that would make men responsible for supposedly killing “children” (thousands at once!) too and we can’t have that, can we?
Huckabee tries to claim that if you for something, that doesn’t mean you are against its opposite. That’s just lovely. So, if I’m *for* stopping genocide, that doesn’t mean I’m *against* genocide in Huckabee’s world. Sorry, Mike, but when you say that homosexuality will damn you, that supporting a woman’s choice of her own health care will damn you, you are indeed saying you are against such things. You have tried to legislate your opinions into law and thus that shows you are against those things. Your views are primitive and ignorant, based on your personal version of one religion, but at least have the courage to actually stand by them when you are put on the spot. Alas for Huckabee, there are Christians who disagree with him and what he claims his god “wants”. They are just as sure that this Christian god is fine with homosexuality and a woman being considered equal. Mike, I do request that you and they join me with two altars so we can sort out whose god is the “real” one right away.
Jon showed the ad that Huckabee had supported, taking the position that it showed that that fire was in the offing for anyone who disagreed with Huckabee, the Catholic Church, etc. The biblical nonsense behind it is 1 Corinthians 3. Huckabee seems to be confused when he repeatedly mentions chapter 10 when he says that’s where the ad came from. It didn’t. I guess it can rattle you when you try hard to defend the liars at Faux Noise.
Of course, many Christians run when someone dares equate fire with hell and brings up that little nasty notion of eternal torture by their god. Hell is one of the many things Christians disagree on, and it’s a rather important thing. It’s also a bit distressing to your average Christian to be reminded that their god hasn’t returned yet. Paul invokes “the Day”, which certainly seems to be the day of judgement. I do agree with Huckabee to a point, that chapt. 3 as being more about refining a belief, and the fire isn’t directly to hell. However, the fire will will indeed destroy you if you can’t pass through it, aka hell. Paul repeatedly says that those who don’t agree with him will be damned, that his god will “catch the wise in their craftiness” etc. The ad that Huckabee did, in the actual context for the bible and the individual book 1 Corinthians rather than just a convenient chapter cherry picked by Mike, show that if you don’t vote for those who Huckabee approves of, you will be damned. That chapter of 1 Cor that Huckabee keeps mentioning in error, that’s where Paul repeats that you ignore him, you will be killed, by snakes, by God, etc. Quite the sequence of threats there, just like when that ad says “Your vote will affect the future And be recorded in eternity. Will you vote the values That stand the test of fire?” It’s always fun when Christians, who so often claim “but everything has to be in context with the “entire” bible” get hoist by their own petard.
Further along in 1 Corinthians, Paul assures everyone that being unmarried is best. Indeed, marriage is a very second-best choice for the Christian per Paul. Mike, when invoking the “biblical definition of marriage” seems to forget this part in this book that he loves to claim should apply to all of us. Rather than encourage heterosexual people to get married, Mike should be encouraging everyone to stay single, only grudgingly allowing marriage for those that cannot control themselves to be biblical. Indeed, Paul says that those who marry will have many many troubles, and with the time for JC coming back being “real soon now”, no one should bother. “From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not;” (1 Cor 7) Makes it a bit hard to keep making new little Christians though, as the various celibate Christian groups found out and then died out. Mike tried to claim that marriage is based on Adam and Eve, which also fails and amusingly so. His argument is based on “God made them for each other” = Married. Okay, then this means that as long as two people say that god made them for each other, that should be good enough. If it isn’t, then the person claiming so must show that their god did not make them this way. I’d love to see that attempted. 🙂 If people only need to be made for each other, then no pastor or church is needed to “sanctify” the marriage. Oh, the bible is putting Mike out of a job. Poor thing.
Now, let’s focus on 1 Cor 10 since Mike was so enamored with it. He’s sure that only the biblically literate aka those that agree with his opinion, know what it “really” says. This is one of those great letters from Paul to a Christian church in Corinth. You know, one of those that Christians love to source for commands from God that apply to all people except when the commands are inconvenient. Then what Paul supposedly said *only* applies to those people at that time.
Paul invokes the story of the exodus, one of those myths that has no basis in actual evidence at all. Paul’s god fails to impress a lot of Israelites. They can’t get barely out of Egypt before they start whining. Yep, for a people who supposedly saw God in action, they bitch about how badly he did. You’d think an omniscient, omnipotent deity could make a better impression. Supposedly these people committed sexual immorality and a whole 23,000 died in one day. Funny how OT doesn’t mention this at all. Closest I can find is Numbers 25, where 24,000 died in a plague, no time period mentioned, that was stopped by murdering a woman and a man. I guess “sexual immorality” is having sex with someone “different” – see arguments against interracial marriage. This murder made their god happy.
Paul also claims that some people somewhere “tested Christ” (or the Lord, depending on the version you read) and were killed by snakes. Well, the OT does say that the god sent snakes because he evidently isn’t a good cook and the Israelites complained about the food he gave them. He also said looking at a bronze snake would cure snakebite. Well, we know how well Christians and snakebites get along…… Finally we have the threat of a “destroying angel” killing people for “grumbling”. Ah yes, death is the appropriate punishment for complaints. Since Paul seems to be invoking Numbers here, I’m surprised that he didn’t mention the donkey that talked. Or did he realize that was just as silly as most Christians do?
This chapter is also where Paul says “God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” and that he will always give you a way out to resist that temptation. Again, really? What does this say about all of the priests and pastors that have commited adultery? Raped children? Stole from their congregations? Mike, why does your god fail so miserably in this? The newsletter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation has a two page spread in small type *every month* with all of the failures of those who are so pious. It seems that this god does nothing at all. I will guess that Mike would claim that they weren’t TrueChristians and that they didn’t pray in the “right” way for help with their weaknesses. Ah, yes, those standard excuses for a god that does no more than a figment of the imagination.
Paul then goes on to say that *all* other religions are simply people worshipping demons. Ah, Mike, you might want to rethink claiming that you aren’t against other religions if your bible says this. But golly it does make it hard for you to claim that you are so supposedly tolerant. Again, it seems that the ad threatening people with fire for not voting the way certain Christians want is quite spot on here.
The next bits are classic and I can definitely see why Mike would want to invoke these bits. They are the claims that this god created the world and thus one can indulge in pork all you want, but golly, there are some things, determined by the claimant of course, that this god doesn’t want you to do. Paul is down with eating meat that his god supposedly said was right out; but tsk, if you want to have sex in a way he, or his followers, doesn’t like, that magically becomes not of this earth which he claims is entirely his god’s, including “everything in it”. I guess Paul has a different definition of “everything”.
Paul goes onto claim that he only wants the “good of many” because he thinks his way is the only way to be “saved”. However, like Mike, Paul has no more evidence that his religion is any more real than the next. He claims he does not want to make anyone stumble, which I would think means not follow their conscience, but he sure is wanting to claim that they are evil and literally damnably so.
To my amusement, the *very* next chapter is the one about a women covering her head to worship this god and how men should not cover their heads (a rather straight out condemnation of the kippah/yarmulke). Hmmm, I don’t recall Mike’s church enforcing this or campaigning about it. Right away we see that Mike cherry picks his bible and his quote from the interview was quite appropo “MH: Well, we only had 60 seconds. You pick and chose what you want.” Yep, Mike decides that controlling who gets married and controlling women is what he wants but ah, can’t have his church women wear “head coverings”, the lack of which is evidently just as sinful as anyone committing adultery or lying. Why that would be inconvenient, right Mike?
It’s also great fun to note that Paul is sure that long hair for men is a disagrace and offensive to God himself; but the very bible I received for high school graduation has JC himself with his nigh unto blonde flowing locks. Give him a big hammer and he’d look like Thor.
1 Corinthians 13 has the famous “love is” passage. If I recall correctly, I had this read at my wedding to satisfy some folks. It’s a nice passage but unfortunately, the god that it is supposedly referring to, the god that many Christians equate with “love”, fails in every single instance. The Christian god is not kind, or loving, or patient (see the OT). It is murderously envious (see the commandments), it boasts (see Job), it is proud. It keeps the ultimate record of wrongs. It cooperates with evil (see Job again and Rev. 21). It does not always trust, protect, hope or persevere. Seems a case of do as I say not as I do.
And then we get to 1 Cor 14, which has that oldie but goodie that says women are not to speak in churches at all, no if ands or buts, but to ask *any* questions they might have to their husbands at home, not at the church/gathering of Christians. (seems that the bible itself wants to be putting Mike out of a job again since it seems that a pastor isn’t needed at all, with everyone in the group to speak as they feel inspired) It finishes with Paul insisting that anyone who is “really” with God will be defined by that person agreeing with Paul. Why even that early a pastor was certain that his was the only right way! How unsurprising. How Huckabeean.
Chapters 15 and 16 finish up with the words that if JC didn’t die and rise, then all is for not. Since we have no evidence for such things happening, well? Paul says that some that he is addressing will not “sleep” e.g. die, before the return of JC, but unless there are really old folks out there, he was wrong in that too. One passing of the collection plate later and we’re done, with only a curse to be said “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord”
Mike said “I’m not going to defend that [Christians telling people that they are evil and going to hell, just like Huckabee has claimed himself]. And I hope you wouldn’t defend that every time Christians are depicted on many of the talk shows, they are depicted as homophobic, racist, unscientific…” Mike, many Christians aren’t “depicted” as these things. Many Christians *are* these things: homophobic, racist, unscientific, outright liars etc. No one has to claim they are, they vigorously demonsrate they are exactly those things. You are exactly those things: you claimed that AIDS could be spread by casual contact aka spreading homophobia; you are ignorant about other cultures when you’ve claimed that marriage has only ever been between a man and a woman; you claim that evolutionary theory is not true but golly you use the science that supports it every chance it makes you more comfy; you claim that homosexuality is aberrant and sinful, like “lying and stealing”; you have lied directly claiming to not have supported cap and trade when you did “period”. You claimed that you would win the presidency because of your god and well, we all know how that went. You claim that your religion has value but your religion is what you’ve picked and chosen from the bible to agree with you, not some magical truth from some god. Your values are not the same as other supposed Christian values and there is no way to determine which are the supposedly real God approved ones. There is no biblical standard or model, only humans who want to believe some god supports them and only them. You do reject those who disagree with you and you do try to scare them into obeying you. It’s more than evident you don’t want to understand anyone else’s opinion because you have deluded yourself into believing that some deity agrees with you and your self-worth depends on that. You want a theocracy with you in charge.
Sometimes I wonder why Jon Stewart wastes time on people like Huckabee and O’Reily. They are both unrepentant liars dependent on fear and greed for all they say and do. But then it dawns on me, that’s exactly why it’s important to have them on The Daily Show. Give them all of the rope they need to hang themselves.