January 11, 2008

Huck the liar

Perhaps that is too strong. But as our friend Bruce Prescott notes, he certainly wants to revise SBC history. During a recent debate, he was asked about his denomination's stance on wifely submission. BDW grabbed this from the transcript (it is on Fox and you know how I hate to link there). Notice the dishonest way that Huckabee responds to the question.
HUCKABEE: You know, it's interesting, everybody says religion is off limits, except we always can ask me the religious questions. So let me try to do my best to answer it.
Yes, I am being persecuted by these questions about religion. It isn't as if I spend time preaching during my campaign. Oh, wait.
The whole context of that passage -- and, by the way, it really was spoken to believers, to Christian believers. I'm not the least bit ashamed of my faith or the doctrines of it. I don't try to impose that as a governor and I wouldn't impose it as a president. But I certainly am going to practice it unashamedly, whether I'm a president or whether I'm not a president. But the point...... the point, and it comes from a passage of scripture in the New Testament Book of Ephesians is that as wives submit themselves to the husbands, the husbands also submit themselves, and it's not a matter of one being somehow superior over the other. It's both mutually showing their affection and submission as unto the Lord.

So with all due respect, it has nothing to do with presidency. I just wanted to clear up that little doctrinal quirk there so that there's nobody who misunderstands that it's really about doing what a marriage ought to do and that's marriage is not a 50/50 deal, where each partner gives 50 percent. Biblically, marriage is 100/100 deal. Each partner gives 100 percent of their devotion to the other and that's why marriage is an important institution, because it teaches us how to love. (APPLAUSE)

Some weird mixed messages there. On one hand, the passage only applies to Christians--so those of you heathens in the audience, don't worry, I won't ask you to be moral like me.

And as Bruce and BDW point out, Huckabee is purposefully distorting the SBC's stance on submission. Had it been equal submission, few people would have disagreed, but the SBC clearly advocated a one-way submission where the wife submits to Hubby because he is in submission to God.
The view of mutual submission was not embraced by the drafting committee of the Family Statement which Huckabee signed his name to. Committee member Dorothy Patterson declared that "When it comes to submitting to my husband even when he's wrong, I just do it. He is accountable to God."
Not only did SBCers assert an unequal submission, some openly derided equality as --gasp-- feminism.
Just a few years ago, Russell Moore, theology dean and academic vice president at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary denounced the practice of "mutual submission." Touting "Biblical Patriarchy," Moore argued that evangelicals who practice "mutual submission" in marriage have been influenced by a "thoroughly feminized grassroots theology" which he says is "bubbling up" in academic and denominational life.
Huckabee is once again trying to toe a line--and a line that Bush didn't have to manage. Bush could simply throw out some code words to the faithful and be done with it. But Huck is trying so very hard to convince the church goers that he is their guy that he has to be far more explicit about his faith. But on the other side, he has to assure the rest of America that he isn't a fundamentalist--which of course, he is. Here (and I think that is why his initial response is irritation) he is forced to explain church language to the secular audience. And if they don't follow up, it sounds like the SBC is some bastion of feminine equality.

End of the day--Huckabee is just as much of a politician as Hillary or anyone else. He lies and dissembles and essentially tells the audience what they want to hear--even if that contradicts what he told the church last Sunday.


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