Devout Christians, especially clergy, are inclined to claim their deep-seated faith prevents them from deliberately committing sin or wavering from a strongly held biblical worldview much like a true conservative claims they are immune to change. For a deeply religious Christian, particularly a member of the clergy, to violate biblical prohibitions or adopt a contradictory position on a subject they felt strongly about just a few years earlier would take an event that shook their faith and worldview to the core. In fact, for former Arkansas governor and Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee, and the preponderance of Republican politicians and conservatives, an Earth-shattering event transformed their beliefs to such an extreme that they embraced hypocrisy as their defining characteristic and reject policies they once held like religious faith.
Religion and political ideology are powerful motivators, but they pale in comparison to the deep-seated influence of racial animus. Approximately five years ago racism transformed Republicans into anti-American government advocates that drove them to spend the next five years deliberately thwarting economic recovery as well as begin a crusade to eschew the U.S. Constitution in favor of the Christian bible. Last week devout Christian Mike Huckabee asserted that Democrats are telling women “they cannot control their libido” by offering no-copay contraception through the Affordable Care Act during a speech at the Republican National Convention. Huckabee also compared the Affordable Care Act’s expanded contraception coverage to a sugar daddy he claimed is Democrats’ desire for women to think “they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government.” By contrast, preacher Mike said Republicans want to empower women “to be something other than victims of their gender” that is stunning since Republicans have spent the past five years victimizing women for their gender as dictated by the Christian bible, but that is another story.
Setting aside the incredible affront to women, Huckabee’s opposition to contraception coverage in insurance plans is a hundred-eighty-degree departure from his position when he was governor of Arkansas. Huckabee claims his crusade against contraception coverage is driven by a desire to protect Christians’ religious liberty to control women’s sexual activities and when they start a family, but his true opposition is borne of hostility for an African American President. When Huckabee was Arkansas governor, he signed legislation in 2005 requiring all health insurance plans that provide prescription drug coverage to cover contraceptive drugs and devices as well.
For all his bluster and religious indignation at the President’s mandate that contraception is covered in health plans, his exemption for religious organizations was actually narrower than the exemption in the ACA, and like the original regulation proposed by President Obama, Arkansas law did not exempt church-affiliated hospitals and universities. It only exempted “religious employers” that were nonprofit organizations whose primary mission was “the inculcation of religious values” and primarily employed people who share the same religion; a standard few Catholic hospitals meet. So what was the Earth-shattering event that transformed Huckabee and drove him to violate the bible’s admonition to reject hypocrisy? It is the same event that drives Republicans and conservatives to reject policies and agendas they held as staunch conservatives until January 2009; a Black man officially became President of the United States and took up residence in the White House.
There is no shortage of examples of Republicans opposing and rejecting President Obama’s proposals they supported when a white man was president, and it is proof their five year obstructionism, attempts to thwart economic recovery, and assault on Americans is borne of racism to portray the Black President as incapable of leading the country out of their 8 year disaster while Bush was president.
Early in Obama’s first term, Republicans vehemently opposed the idea of economic stimulus, and yet in 2002 Paul Ryan made an impassioned plea for stimulus, including extending unemployment benefits, in a package supported by George W. Bush. Ryan said at the time “What we’re trying to accomplish today with the passage of this third stimulus package is to create jobs and help the unemployed.” Six years later, the Republican Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 was praised by white president Bush as providing “a booster shot for our economy” that Eric Cantor, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and nearly 200 other Republicans agreed was necessary to keep the economy running smoothly.
The Republican opposition to the President’s signature healthcare insurance reform law was non-existent when the Heritage Foundation first proposed a model that Willard Romney enacted as governor of Massachusetts, including an individual mandate Republicans hailed as teaching residents the value of personal responsibility. Of all the Affordable Care Acts’ statutes and features, Republicans decried the individual mandate as the epitome of government overreach and imposition on the people they have spent three years attempting to undo. Even after the law’s passage, vindication as constitutional by the Supreme Court, Republicans continue to make killing the ACA their raison d’être that shows no sign of letting up anytime in the future.
After the massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, President Obama called for federal legislation aimed at tightening gun safety laws such as background checks to screen gun buyers that drove Republicans into apoplectic fits. However, they were not calling for George W. Bush’s impeachment or assassination when he signed a federal law in 2008 to expand the federal database used to screen gun buyers who are ineligible to buy firearms. Racial hatred is a powerful motivator, and it is the only reason Republicans have become the party of no to reject any and all proposals the African American President supports.
Although the past five years have demonstrated a profound Republican hatred for policies and agendas put forth by an African American President they once supported when a white president occupied the White House, preacher Mike Huckabee’s about face on contraception coverage in prescription plans is astonishing. Religious faith is alleged to be the one of, if not, the most powerful motivating forces in human beings, and yet Huckabee is guilty of shunning Jesus Christ’s condemnation of hypocrisy to assail an African American man as President for doing less than he did as governor of Arkansas. Huckabee has attempted to portray the President’s contraception mandate as an attack on the Constitution’s 1st Amendment as well as the religious liberty of Christians opposed to contraception coverage in prescription plans, but he did not consider signing a stronger requirement an attack on religious liberty because he is a white man.
Devout Christians claim, and the clergy preaches, that their faith provides them with an unshakable resolve that no man, or Satan, can breach. Republicans, as conservatives, decry change and claim that their ideology and policies are inflexible even when the majority of Americans oppose their agenda. But something happened in January 2009 that aroused a force more powerful than religion, and more potent than a conservative’s resistance to change; the inauguration of an African American man as President. The resultant racial opposition to every and any agenda Barack Obama has proposed or supported, including policies Republicans supported when a white man was president and a simple contraception mandate that Huckabee signed into law, has nearly brought governance to a halt and severely damage the economy and the American people. For Huckabee though, there is a special place in the proverbial Hell because not only is he a rank and lying hypocrite, he uses the defense of religious liberty as a weapon to support his racial animus.