Searching for Mike

Once again I have been getting lots of traffic from various Mike Huckabee searches. It is interesting to see the sort of searches that bring people to my blog. So far today it has included “huckbee + gay rights”, “Mike Huckabee theocrat”, “huckabee theocrat”, “Michael huckabee”, “mike huckbee evolution”, and “mike huckbee immigration”.

Seems a lot of folks are worried about Mike, afraid he is going to persecute gays, ban the teaching of evolution, and do all sort of other dastardly theocratic things. Of course he’s never suggested these things.

The closest thing might be when in 1992 he suggested that those with AIDS should be quarrantined. Since AIDS was generally associated with the gay community due to the nature of the transmission of the disease, particularly in the early days, I suppose this could be considered a persecution of gays.

Most Americans don’t believe in evolution, so like the majority of the electorate, Mike Huckabee is a creationist. Of course the liberal elite (even those who call themselves Fiscal Conservatives) can’t imagine that someone who holds high political office actually holds the same views as the unwashed masses. This is really why they can’t stand Mike. Politicians all talk about being public servants – but they don’t really mean it.

The only weakness I see is the immigration issue. There seem to be an awful lot of people for whom immigration is a very hot button issue. Mike is trying very hard to be anti-immigrant as possible, while still obeying the directive to love his neighbour as himself. It is certainly a hard row to hoe. If he shows a Christ-like attitude toward immigrants it could cost him the votes of many of his natural constituents who are anti-abortion, favour the traditional family, and don’t believe in evolution.

Remember That You Were Strangers

Once again, I’ve been found using “Mike Huckabee theocracy theocrat” as a search string. It is always hard to tell if this is used by someone who thinks any Christian values in civil government is the equivalent of theocracy, or whether it is someone who can use it in the more specific sense of a particular set of views within Christian theology.

Since the former is really a straw man argument, it is pointless to argue with it. However, I am pretty sure that Huckabee would not fit within the usual bounds of the theocratic view, which is used as a synonym for – or close relative to – theonomy or Reconstructionism. That is not to say that he hasn’t been influenced by it – or even that he doesn’t have books by R J Rushdoony on his bookshelf, but he has not come across as a theonomist.

That being said, he does take the most theonomic view when it comes to the hot-hot-hot-button issue of immigration. It is one of the few policy areas where the other Republicans can “fault” him. After all, Tancredo and Hunter helped build the wall in California. Guiliani is protesting as much as he can that he didn’t run a sanctuary city and Romney that he didn’t hire undocumented aliens to work for him. Huckabee just keeps explaining over and over why he chose the policy about in-state tuition in Arkansas.

In my view, Huckabee is the only one approaching a biblical view on immigration. I don’t think he has one or supports one, but he comes the closest. I think he put the bar too high on the in-state tuition. I think a child of an undocumented adult who is domiciled in the state, has always lived in the State, and has no personal connection to any other jurisdiction should automatically get in-state tuition, whether or not they achieve a level of academic excellence not required of other children in the state. “One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.” (Exodus 12:49)

The treatment of aliens in the Old Testament, both legally and spirirtually, is a matter of God’s keen interest. They are not to be oppressed. “You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether one of your brethren or one of the aliens who is in your land within your gates. Each day you shall give him his wages, and not let the sun go down on it, for he is poor and has set his heart on it; lest he cry out against you to the LORD, and it be sin to you.” (Deut. 24:14-15)

Just like the Israelites, we should remember that we were and are aliens. We were alienated from God, yet Christ died for us and gave us citizenship in heaven. And now that we have that citizenship, we have become strangers and aliens in this world.

One blogger criticised Huckbee as ridiculing the religious views of his opponents because they disagreed with his policy toward immigrants in Arkansas. Well, I’m not going to ridicule anyone; I’m just going to say they are wrong. There is no place in the heart of the believer for Nativism. It is a tenet of that form of idolatry known as American Civil Religion.

It is a patriotism that fails to acknowledge that every founding father was a stranger and an alien. They showed up in a place that didn’t belong to them without being invited, and in many cases stole the land from the previous inhabitants, driving them out with a combination of conventional and biological warfare. Native Americans were not even legally recognised as people until 1879 and did not have the full rights of citizenship until 1924.

The current influx of strangers in the land may have an impact on the current culture, but not nearly as much as the previous culture was impacted and nearly obliterated. How conveniently that is forgotten.

God doesn’t forget. He hears the cry of the oppressed and answers them. Those who fail to recognise this will have a lot to answer for.

“You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”