With Romney’s religious rant (see my earlier post), I had hoped that we had reached the low point in the current round of platitudes that passes for campaigning for the position of President. Now, however, with Mike Huckabee (Baptist preacher and former Arkansas governor) climbing in the popularity polls, his pronouncements have plummeted politics to a new low in ignorance and arrogance, i.e., hubris. Of course, Huckabee puts a different spin on it. He says he’s climbing in the polls because God’s on his side: “Divine Providence helps my poll numbers.”
“But why,” one might ask, “would God be on Huckabee’s side?” Well, the answer to that question is obvious to anyone who is sufficiently brainwashed so that, like Huckabee, thinking is no longer a viable option: it’s because Huck has “faith”. And he tells us how he “found his faith” (in an invisible sugar-daddy in the sky) when he was ten years old: “I went to Vacation Bible School for all the wrong reasons – I was told they’d give me all the cookies I could eat and all the Kool-Aid I could drink. But that day I got something better than cookies and Kool-Aid. I got the Savior.”
Isn’t it heartening that the free world might be led by someone with a worldview of a ten-year old? Surely he’ll be able to successfully confront the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has the mental development and the worldview of a six-year old and claims: “There is no truth on earth but monotheism and following tenets of Islam and there is no way for salvation of mankind but rule of Islam over mankind.” You’ll show him who has the better savior, won’t you, Huck? After all, you’ll have more nuclear warheads to fire – and as everyone knows, happiness is having Rapture Time just a button away.
And it’s heartening, too, to have Huckabee spell out his goal: “I didn't get into politics because I thought government had a better answer. I got into politics because I knew government didn’t have the real answers, that the real answers lie in accepting Jesus Christ into our lives.” Of course it’s great to know that Huck, like any good huckster, has all the answers – but I admit that I’d feel better if he had some idea about which answers go with which questions.
For example, “accepting Jesus Christ into our lives” isn’t the right answer to the question: How can we improve the critical-thinking skills of our children? Nor is it the right answer to questions such as: What are the best ways to stop Islamic terrorism? What mix of coal, oil shale petroleum, and nuclear energy will most rapidly, safely, and economically get us to energy independence? What’s the best way to constrain the military- industrial- congressional- bureaucratic complex? What’s the best way to ensure that American workers are competitive in a global economy? And so on. In fact, if one aligns all such questions with Huckabee’s single answer (“accepting Jesus Christ into our lives”) his answer seems to be correct only for a single question: “How can you best dupe Christians into nominating a fool for president?”
For those who feel that the word “fool” is too strong, I know of no better word (although “dumb”, “clown”, and “nut-case” are close contenders) to describe someone who says, as did Huckabee: “I think that students also should be given exposure to the theories not only of evolution but to the basis of those who believe in creationism.” Here’s a fellow who must have never taken a science course in his life – but he’ll do what he can to have children taught the science of the savages who wrote his “holy book”. After he gets creationism taught in science classes, no doubt he’ll want “equal time” for astrology to be taught in astronomy classes, alchemy in chemistry, faith healing in health science, “speaking in tongues” as a foreign language, magic numbers in mathematics, and of course, Huck’s all time favorite: “laying on of hands” in sex education.
But, says Huck-a-fool, it’s not important that he “believes” in creationism. He rhetorically asks: “Is a president going to sit in the Oval Office and really make a decision on what’s being taught… on creation or evolution?” He adds: “The answer is no.” But can this fool be trusted? How is his answer consistent with his statement: “Faith doesn't just influence me. It really defines me. I don’t have to wake up every day wondering what do I need to believe…” But the question is, Huck-old-boy: How do you reach your “beliefs”? Based on what you “wish to be” – as in wishing to live forever with your “savior” – or by estimating the probability that any claim is “true” based on the most reliable evidence? Similarly, Huck-a-nut, how do you gain your “faith”? By the scientific method, finding that all predictions of your hypotheses are validated, or by “listening to your heart”, succumbing to the “proof-by-pleasure” fallacy?
And then, Huck-a-clown, I assume to test if you can bury your foot even deeper in your mouth, you tell us that our freedoms come from your god. Really? The only freedoms that the damn clerics (such as you) claim were given to anyone by their god are the freedoms to sell one’s daughter into slavery and beat one’s slaves to death (of course in the manner specified by the Bible), the freedoms to stone to death all witches, infidels, homosexuals, and others who practice “abominations before the Lord” (such as thinking for oneself), and other such Biblical idiocies and atrocities. In reality, Huck-a-dumb, the freedoms that we’ve managed to gain weren’t given to us by any god. Saying so dishonors every woman who demanded women’s rights, every Black who sought civil rights, every police officer who protects our rights, every soldier who fought for, won, and still secures our rights, and every person who is a producer, rather than a parasite, who gives our country the economic strength so that we’ll have the ability to protect our rights.
And with respect to your hope and goal, “I hope we answer the alarm clock and take this nation back for Christ”, then I dearly hope that you’ll soon wake up. Obviously you’ve never studied any science, but have you at least studied some history? Do you know anything about the origin of our Constitution? Have you ever heard of the concept of separation of Church and State? Is there any chance that you ever read The Treaty of Tripoli, which the Senate passed unanimously and was signed by President Adams in 1797? I’d call your attention, especially, to the part that states: “As the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian Religion…” And oh, if ever you do wake up, after you’ve had your first look at science and history, why don’t you try to learn about the concept of hubris and nemesis? Maybe you’ll understand why I predict that your hubris, your horrible combination of ignorance and arrogance, will soon plunge you back to the obscurity where you belong. I mean, surely-to-science the vast majority of Americans isn’t so stupid as you; surely it’s just a minority, living in the dream world of the Christian Reich.
Yet, that’s not to say that I disagree with everything Huckabee has said. For example, there’s his: “Politics are totally directed by worldview. That’s why when people say, ‘We ought to separate politics from religion,’ I say to separate the two is absolutely impossible.” Yet the question is: who wants a president who adopted the worldview of savages when he was ten – and is still clinging to it like a child who clings to his security blanket?
Further, Huck-old-boy, whereas you stated: “I have always said you don’t punish a child for the crime of a parent…” (with which I agree), then explain: Why do you need a savior, if it was your great-great… great grandparents (Adam and Eve) who allegedly sinned (by eating fruit from the tree of knowledge)? Or do you mean that theirs was the unforgivable sin of learning something new? You wouldn’t ever do that, would you?
And I agree with Huck’s: “America today is a deeply troubled nation. But its primary problem is not a political but a perspective problem.” Where I disagree is with his perspective: his perspective is that ‘belief’ means “wish to be” rather than an opinion about probabilities derived from evidence, and his perspective is that ‘faith’ means “blind trust” rather a decision resulting from the best possible evaluations.
For example, Huck-a-dumb “believes” in god (in spite of a total lack of evidence supporting such an opinion), because he wants to live forever, whereas I have “faith” in the scientific method, because evaluations show that it works. Thereby, I understand why Huck-a-nut quotes Proverbs 3, “Trust in the Lord, and lean not upon thine own understanding”: Huck-a-dumb doesn’t have any understanding. Consistently, Huck-a-fool affirms the Baptist Faith and Message statement: “The Holy Bible… has truth, without any mixture of error… all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.” The trouble is, Huck-a-clown doesn’t have a clue what “true” means: ‘truth’ has meaning only for closed systems (such as all games, including all religions); in contrast, for open systems, in reality, ‘truth’ can be approached only asymptotically, via the scientific method. And as for “trustworthy”, how’s this: I think that far more trustworthy than any claim in the Bible is the idea that Huckabee should NOT be a candidate running for the justifiable right (given to him by the people, not any god) to occupy the White House; more appropriate would be if he were running from medical authorities who justifiably want him incarcerated in a nut house.
Nonetheless, I agree that Huck seems to have “a big heart”, has developed skills at giving other people’s money away, and is quite an entertainer. But those are desired traits of a local preacher, not the president of this country.
Therefore, Huck, what I’d recommend is that you stop running – both for the presidency and from the authorities. The latter really wouldn’t be so bad as you apparently imagine. So your father beat you mercilessly when you were a kid; so you replaced him with an imagined merciful father in heaven; it’s okay; lots of kids do that – and lots of fathers, too. Your father beat you because he was brainwashed into believing it was best – by a bunch of clerical parasites; the same occurred for you; so, you beat your kids; and you passed the same message on when you were pastor. But it’s time to get over it all. Forgive your dad; try to make amends to your own kids and your congregation; and move on.
Don’t you see, Huck? You’re not the “right stuff” to be president. Instead, think about this: when your psychiatrist thinks you can handle it, go to a real university, get a real education and a real degree; then, see where you might be able to go from there – as a producer rather than a parasite.