Mike Huckabee stood on Mt. Carmel overlooking the site of the Bible's (Revelation 16) future Battle of Armageddon, and said, "I hope that, if called upon, I would be willing to stand all by myself to call fire from Heaven and believe that God will answer even if there are hundreds and hundreds of false prophets on the other side." This is actually from the Gospel of Luke (9:54): "When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, 'Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?'" So Huckabee says he is willing to use his own magical ability to call down fire on all those people who refuse to share his religious beliefs. What he doesn't mention is what came next in Luke: "But Jesus turned and rebuked them." He hasn't given thought, of course, to the possibility that he might be wrong about what his God wants. He certainly seems never to have heard of a guy named Jesus of Nazareth, who, besides eschewing fire from heaven, preached some very radical things about poor people and the evil nature of rich people, who, like Huckabee, have sold their souls to Satan. Dude. Get a grip. I'm afraid the First Amendment won't allow you to do that. It guarantees you have a right to debate your opponents. It does not guarantee your right to call down magical fire from heaven to kill them. Drawing upon the old tale of Elijah facing down the prophets of Baal, an early example of monotheistic religious intolerance, Huckabee told listeners, God wants us to stand in the gap. And sometimes my heart's broken because, in our own country, a lot of pastors will stand in the pulpit but they won't stand in the gap ... We wonder why our culture has turned godless. We wonder why people don't grow up understanding the fundamentals of natural law, the moral basis of our Judeo-Christian founding as a nation. Might it be that the problem is not the history classes in our high schools but the pulpits of America who have not taken what they even believe and applied it to the pulpit and to the people? Oh geez, enough already. My heart breaks listening to dumb crackers like you. If you've got a strong stomach, take a listen courtesy of Right Wing Watch: I stand here on Mt. Carmel today, and I hope that, if called upon, I would be willing to stand all by myself to call fire from Heaven and believe that God will answer even if there are hundreds and hundreds of false prophets on the other side. You may stand here someday," he said, and pointed to the valley where the future battle is supposed to be fought, "and be called upon to call the fire from Heaven. I hope you're ready to believe that God will answer that prayer. Boy, I don't know about that. Bryan Fischer compared Ted Cruz to Elijah, after all, not Huckabee. The real problem, however, is not who might or might not be Elijah (none of them, obviously) but the belief that somehow, because they believe something, these men think they have a right to coerce everybody else to that belief. The Good News? Hardly. As scholar Gerd Lüdemann has pointed out, "How soon the Good News developed into Threatening News," What happens, he asks, "if the offer of salvation was turned down?" If you didn't know the answer before, you do now: the fire of heaven gets called down on your head. Those poor prophets of Baal. Baal never murdered or ordered to be murdered entire cities of people, as far as we know, unlike the God of the Old Testament, but he sure takes a beating even thousands of years later. As I wrote of Huckabee back in 2011, "The fate of the 450 prophets of Baal will be the fate of all who make the wrong choice, indeed, who make any choice at all, since what is demanded of us is not choice, but obedience." "In reality," as Lüdemann observes, "neither Christian theology nor the church can champion freedom of religion without betraying a considerable degree of hypocrisy." For tolerance requires an unconditional acknowledgment of the freedom and dignity of human beings without recourse to God. Yet the jealous Yahweh of the Bible, who demands unconditional obedience can never approve of such liberal affirmations. What Huckabee is pointing to is not actually Armageddon, of course, at least, not the way people like him think. Armageddon is really just the Greek name for Tel Megiddo, which is the modern name for the ancient city of Megiddo, which used to guard a pass below Mt. Carmel that also just happened to be an important trade route. There have been many battles there, as you can imagine, which have left the ancient town in ruins, but Huckabee is looking forward to an event described in Revelation 16: 12-16, a book more bizarre than Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Against the Book of Revelation, I summon as witness the United States Constitution. Mike Huckabee might wish to read the United States Constitution, which forbids religious tests for office (Article VI, paragraph 3): "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States," but also forbids the establishment of a state religion (First Amendment). You know, like the bastardized form of Christianity Huckabee insists be imposed on the country, assuming we survive being forced, at gunpoint, to watch David Barton lie about our history, that is (I personally prefer the prospect of heavenly fire to listening to Barton's interminable lies). Huckabee is a man who is not like the rest of us. He doesn't understand or share our values, and our strong secular tradition of government. This is, instead, a man who, assuming he had those magical powers he so passionately desires, just announced his willingness to kill everybody who doesn't believe what he believes. After Jesus rebuked his disciples for wanting to call down fire, the Gospel of Luke tells us (9:56): "Then he and his disciples went to another village." Just like that. Go to another village, Mike. Just not here. Please.