"I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution," Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. "But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that's what we need to do -- to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view."Political observers, including some Republicans, are rather freaked out by this, and they certainly have cause. But what exactly does Huckabee mean about bringing the Constitution around to God's standards? Is it possible to take his statement literally?
He surely doesn't mean amending the Constitution to allow for the stoning of adulterers or the banishment of menstruating women or the death sentence for those who sow the wrong types of crops next to each other. Presumably, he means we need an amendment prohibiting abortion. Fine. Is that any more extreme than Bush talking about a creating a "culture of life" or his support for the National Right to Life Committee? Is it crazier than Bush's claim that Jesus is his favorite political philosopher? Is it more radical than John Ashcroft's statement that we have "no king but Jesus"? Is it worse than John McCain (!) saying that ours is a Judeo-Christian nation or that he supports teaching "intelligent design" in public schools?
I don't think so. The chief difference is that Huckabee is a minister, so presumably he means it. Bush et al, by contrast, are merely dogwhistle politicians, telling conservative Christians what they want to hear for political reasons. That strikes me as a ridiculous double standard.
But it does show where the lines are drawn. Interpreting the Bible to mean opposition to abortion and homosexuality is just fine. Interpreting it to mean aiding the poor? Not so much.