Huckabee again *#&!

Everytime I think it is possible to write about something else, my man Mike makes it impossible.

By now, most of those who make it to this blog will have heard about this interview, in which former Governor Huckabee, a leading Republican candidate for President says this:

” I think the radical view is to say that we’re going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal.”

Lots of folks have picked up on this — I found it first here, at Josh Marshall’s shop. Most of what I read emphasizes the fact that this is something that Huckabee believes, and that his beliefs are on the fringe.

I’d like to drag the conversation to a slightly different place: the problem with focusing on belief, and then arguing about the prevalence of one interpretation or another is that it plays into the world view behind this kind of hateful claim.

“Beliefs” for believers are not subject to challenge, to rational analysis and the test of material facts. With that in mind, please note that to Huckabee’s credit, he’s an honest man here. This statement is wholly consistent with a body of belief to which he has already told us he adheres.

But the point is that the rest of us don’t have to, and should not play in that particular playground. It’s not just enough, that is, to say he’s crazy or on the fringe — that the rest of us don’t believe what he believes. Rather we need to bring the conversation over to our swing set, and say, each time he makes a claim about things or people that fly in the face of what lots of data have shown, that Huckabee is not just misguided — he’s wrong.

And, of course, he is not just wrong here, he is terribly, terribly so. He assets an equivalence — not the mealy-mouthed “spectrum” of his spokesman’s earlier claim — between same sex attraction and relationships, and pedophilia and bestiality. This is simply false.

If you want to go beyond my say so: check out the context of a broad base of scientific inquiry into the biological and evolutionary underpinnings of same-sex attraction (link to review article). Now search out the repeated smack-downs of the conflation of the act of bestiality pedophilia with sexual orientation, gay or straight. See this post from a couple of years ago as a pretty good example of folks doing good work year after year, using a bit of scientific rigor to demolish this kind of nonsense.

So — science (not to mention common sense) tells us that there is a difference between two grown men who wish to marry (or just have sex) and a man who has sex with a child or an animal. Huckabee refuses to acknowledge that data.

What does that choice tell us about Mike Huckabee’s candidacy?

It tells us this: The fact that he chooses to ignore scientific results to preserve a treasured assumption means that he cannot be trusted with a job for which, as we have learned over the last seven years, paying attention to what actually happens out there in reality matters a whole lot.

Explore posts in the same categories: evolution, Huckabee, political follies, Politics, Sexuality, Who needs science?

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