Leader Blues

Friday, January 18, 2008

EDITORIAL>>Reframing Constitution

The mortal danger to Mike Huckabeeís biblically driven campaign for president has been that he would go just too far in insinuating God as the pilot of his race and his own religious doctrines as the foundation for government policy. We had thought mistakenly that he had reached that point several times, and we had to wonder again Monday when he said that the U. S. Constitution had to be reframed to mesh with Godís wishes.

Huckabee has been alternating between campaign speeches and fee-driven sermons to churches and other religious gatherings, and his messages to both are becoming similar. Speaking to a cheering crowd of Republican evangelicals Monday before the Michigan primary, Huckabee chided candidates who were reluctant to amend the Constitution.

ďBut I believe itís a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God,Ē Huckabee boomed. ďAnd thatís what we need to do is amend the Constitution so itís in Godís standards rather than trying to change Godís standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.Ē
In other words, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights should be rewritten to match what the prevailing religious group ó his, if he wins the presidency ó thinks the Bible seeks to tell us.

Huckabee seemed to be referring specifically to the treatment of gays and lesbians and to abortion, both of which are the objects of proposed constitutional amendments that Huckabee says he would push as president. The specific parts of the Constitution that God wants to amend, at least according to Huckabee, are the First Amendment and the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection of the laws for everyone in the land.

But there are those who believe that the 14th Amendment, and the First Amendment, too, for that matter, with all its freedoms, are perfect expressions of Jesusí yearnings for mankind.

The truth is, however, that none of us, including Bro. Huckabee, knows what God wants a national Constitution or our own state Constitution to say. Apparently the former governor does not believe that the original Constitution and Bill of Rights were divinely inspired or else God would not want to amend them.

He has been saying, as late as Sunday, that the Declaration of Independence was divinely inspired because he interprets it as somehow opposing abortion, although it was written by the decidedly non-Christian Thomas Jefferson. It was Jefferson who worried most about the theocratic state and who wanted it on his tombstone that he was the author of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom. Mike Huckabee would not like it at all.