Despite the fact that this nation is not a theocracy, there are still those among us who continue to believe that this nation was founded on Christianity. As I’ve pointed out plenty of times, that’s an asinine belief considering there’s literally not a single mention of Christianity, God or Jesus Christ anywhere in our Constitution.
In fact, the only mention of religion that exists is in our First Amendment, which clearly states that our laws are not to be based on any form of religion or religious beliefs.
Yet, despite all of that, it still doesn’t stop millions upon millions of conservatives from believing that the United States is, indeed, a nation founded on Christianity.
One of those individuals is GOP presidential candidate Mike “I’ll Call Fire From Heaven” Huckabee. And while Huckabee has always been fairly open about his faith (he is, after all, a former Baptist pastor), the last few years his rhetoric has become more and more fanatical.
Take for instance comments he made during an interview with Jan Mickelson where he essentially agreed that we should follow “biblical law” when it comes to those who steal, by selling them into slavery if they’re unable to pay back whatever they stole.
“It says, if a person steals, they have to pay it back two-fold, four-fold. If they don’t have anything, we’re supposed to take them down and sell them,” Mickelson said, specifically references Exodus.
“We indenture them and they have to spend their time not sitting on their stump in a jail cell, they’re supposed to be working off the debt. Wouldn’t that be a better choice?” he asked.
“Well, it really would be,” Huckabee answered. “Sometimes the best way to deal with a nonviolent criminal behavior is what you just suggested.”
Now, for a little background on this, here’s what Exodus 22:3 (the area of the Bible which Mickelson referenced) says about what to do with thieves:
If the sun be risen upon him.—In the daytime no violence is to be feared. The housebreaker seeks to avoid observation, and decamps if discovered. Moreover, assistance is readily obtainable, and thus there is no need of resorting to extreme measures. The English law makes exactly the same distinction as the Mosaic.
For he should make full restitution.—Heb., restoring, he shall restore. It is not quite clear whether he is to restore double; but so most commentators understand the passage.
If he have nothing.—Rather, if he have not enough. If he cannot make the full restitution of the preceding verse, then “he shall be sold for his theft.” He shall become the slave for the term of six years of the man whom he has robbed, and in that way pay his debt.
Being that Huckabee is a former Baptist preacher, he’s obviously well aware of what Exodus says about thieves and how to handle them. So he knew exactly what he was saying when he agreed with Mickelson’s assertion that we should shape our policies on theft based upon Exodus. As shown, it clearly states that if someone steals and they’re unable to repay their debt, “He shall become the slave for the term of six years of the man whom he has robbed.”
In other words, Huckabee isn’t against forcing those found guilty of theft into slavery.
This is what I mean when I say that crazy has now become the new mainstream within the Republican party. Huckabee isn’t some far-right lunatic on YouTube spouting off whatever drivel he feels like saying. This is someone who was once the governor of Arkansas, had his own show on Fox News for years and is running for president. While I wouldn’t exactly call him a “mainstream, establishment Republican” – he’s not a fringe radical House member from some small rural Alabama district either.
This is the new reality for the GOP. It’s now a party where it’s acceptable to say God’s wrath is going to punish the United States for giving gay Americans equal rights or that Jews are partially to blame for the rise of Nazi Germany.
Today’s Republican party really does seem to be about who can pander to the crazy the best.
Listen to the audio below via Think Progress: