Jesus in the Constitution?

by | Feb 3, 2008

A liberal friend phoned last week with his analysis of how the presidential race was shaping up. The news that morning was that both John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani had dropped out. “Same old,” he said, referring to the likelihood that our choice in November will be between John McCain and Hillary Clinton. McCain first […]

A liberal friend phoned last week with his analysis of how the presidential race was shaping up. The news that morning was that both John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani had dropped out.

“Same old,” he said, referring to the likelihood that our choice in November will be between John McCain and Hillary Clinton. McCain first went to Congress in 1983. Hillary moved into the White House as the First Enabler in 1993.

“On the Republican side, it’s now down to a flake, a flip-flopper and a religious nut,” he said, speaking, respectively, of McCain, Romney and Huckabee. “On the other side, the pick is between a Clinton re-run and a guy who’ll never get enough white votes to win.”

It’s true that Romney flipped on abortion and gay rights, renouncing his liberal record on both when he walked into the national Republican spotlight.

It’s also true that Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee went theocratically off the deep end last month at a campaign stop in Michigan. “I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution,” Huckabee declared. “But I believe it is 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.”

And which person’s idea of “God’s standards” do we use? Which interpretation of “the word” do we use when we’re changing the Constitution? Is Jesus for peace through strength, i.e., a bigger Pentagon budget, or for turning the other cheek? Does “the word of the living God” call for more income redistribution and higher marginal tax rates (“Again I tell you,” Jesus said, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” — Matthew 19:24). Or should we amend the Constitution to mandate the production of smaller camels and bigger needles?

Not to be undone, McCain told The New York Times that he saw Jesus in the Constitution. “I would probably have to say that the Constitution established the United States as a Christian nation,” he stated.

Similarly, Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, asked the following about Romney’s religion during an interview with Zev Chafets for The New York Times Magazine: “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?” A Mormon spokeswoman, Kim Farah, answered Huckabee’s question: “We believe, as other Christians and as Paul wrote, that God is the father of all. That means that all beings were created by God and are his spirit children. Christ, on the other hand, was the only begotten in the flesh and we worship him as the son of God and the savior of mankind. Satan is the exact opposite of who Christ is and what he stands for.” Jesus, make them stop! What about the falling dollar, government waste, terrorism, the trade deficit, crooked politicians, overregulation, nukes, litigiousness, melting glaciers and unfunded entitlements? So far, Huckabee hasn’t brought up the Mormon history of multiple wives, faith-based racism and magical underwear.

Brigham Young, Mormon prophet and president of the church from 1847 until his death in 1877, taught that black misfortune is God’s plan: “You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of intelligence that is generally bestowed on mankind.” Why this eternal deprivation, inflicted solely on the basis of skin color? “Cain slew his brother,” explained Young, speaking of Abel. “This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark on him, which was the flat nose and black skin.” And “the law of God in regard to the African race,” according to Young? “If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot.”

Regarding the magic underwear, i.e., Jesus jammies, meant to keep “the destroyer” at bay, there were only strings (no buttons) and open crotches permitted until Mormon authorities revised the rules in 1923 and allowed buttons and closed crotches.

It feels like we’re on the road to Kabul.

Recommended Reading:

The Dissolute Dogmatists by Christian Beenfeldt (April 19, 2007)
Why do some freewheeling Westerners so easily morph into fanatical Islamists?

Religion vs. Liberty by Peter Schwartz (February 20, 2007)
Secularism is not a sufficient condition for freedom–but a necessary one.

Faith’s War against Worldliness by Wayne Dunn (February 3, 2007)
When stripped of details, Christianity and Islam are identical in essentials. But if that’s true, why then do Islamic extremists traffic in barbarism while their philosophic cousins seem relatively docile?

Potter’s Morals vs. Bible’s Magic by Wayne Dunn (January 30, 2007)
Christians have it backward. If you’re worried about your child obsessing over magic, it’s not Harry Potter you should guard against; it’s the Bible.

The Religious Conservatives’ War on Birth Control by Keith Lockitch (December 24, 2006)
The war on contraception is not a war against the alleged excesses of the “birth control revolution” — it is a declaration of war against the pursuit of happiness.

Ralph R. Reiland is the B. Kenneth Simon professor of free enterprise at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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