Rebuking Huckabee’s Book: Introduction

[Since Mike Huckabee is a former pastor, many Christians see him as the truly Christian candidate and therefore embrace his politics as being one-and-the-same as Christianity. I believe that Huckabee uses his position to lead more Christians astray than anyone else in the world, and that’s why I go out of my way to refute his deceptions. Over the next several months, I will tackle points he makes in his latest book, “God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy” on what will usually be a chapter by chapter basis.]

As this book was released, Huckabee promoted it on the Daily Show as his attempt to help people in big cities (which he refers to as “Bubbleville”) understand the thinking of people in the American South and Heartland (which he calls “Bubbaville”). One might expect that he would kindly appeal to non-bubba’s, showing them that he understands where they’re coming from and how the bubba’s really aren’t that different on the inside; they just live in a different world that big city coastal dwellers will come to appreciate if they would just take a fresh and humble look at what the bubba’s experience and why they think the way they do. But that’s not the approach that Huckabee takes. In the introduction to this book, Mike Huckabee wastes no time revealing his total inability to understand and accept any culture that differs from the Bubbaville he has always known and loved. Here are a few quotes:

“If you’ve had the misfortune of spending all your life in the tony, uptown enclaves of Manhattan, the Washington Beltway, or in Beverly Hills, I truly feel for you.”

“Unless you’re a cop or a crook, you probably don’t possess a firearm in New York City. In fact, you’ve probably never seen one in person.”

“Have you ever tried to order grits in a fancy Manhattan restaurant? Good Luck. Not even for breakfast! And you’ll get some real weird looks if you ask for “sawmill gravy” on your potatoes or biscuits – that is if you can find real biscuits.”

“How can an eating place that fancies itself fancy have the audacity to open its doors and not have biscuits and gravy or grits on the breakfast menu?”

As a person who grew up near Philadelphia and attended college in Nashville, TN, I realized I couldn’t buy steak sandwiches, shoo-fly pie, and Tastykakes in the South as I could in Philly. So did I write a book about this crisis? No, I just accepted that different regions have different foods and customs and got on with my life, happy to have expanded my horizons by witnessing a world that differed from that of where I grew up. Unfortunately, some people struggle to accept anyone whose culture differs from their own as good people. In the Mideast, hateful, closed-minded people launch terror attacks against alternate cultures. In the Midwest, they write books about them, or at least, Mike Huckabee did.

In my mind, there’s virtually no difference between a racist and someone like Mike Huckabee, who for the moment, I will call a “culturalist” – someone who sees members of his or her own culture as being superior those of other cultures. This is the dictionary definition of racism, except I replaced the word “race” with the word “culture.” (I will cover many more examples of this culturalism in upcoming chapters. He criticizes a whole lot more than food differences.) Either way, being a culturalist requires the same arrogance, judgmentalism, mercilessness, and unwillingness to empathize with others as being a racist does. It’s the same hardened heart targeting cultures instead of skin colors. The truth is that nearly all humans are comfortable with the culture they grew up in, while the cultures that differ the most from theirs initially appear to be evil. Only when we realize this and judge those of other cultures as being created just as much in the image of God as we are will we seek to understand and appreciate people of different cultures rather than judge and condemn them.

Huckabee’s claim that he made on the Daily Show was a lie. Huckabee’s book is not at all designed to help those from the Northeast and the West Coast better understand how Southerners and Midwesterners think. It’s not as if this is some sort of psychology book. Rather, this book is written for conservative Southerners and Midwesterners. Huckabee’s message to them is that he just can’t understand those crazy New Yorkers and Californians, either, so voters from the Heartland should vote for Huckabee in the 2016 Republican primary, because, gosh darn it, he’s just like they are. To Huckabee and the Heartlanders, the good old days are gone, and the world is going to hell in a hand basket, so the only way to keep it from getting crazier and to bring back the good old days is to put Huck in charge. How he’s going to use presidential powers to make America adopt old-fashioned culture and morality remains to be seen. It’s not like he’s revealed any plans on this. My guess is that his plan is to legally force Christian morality down the throats of all Americans, even those who are non-Christian. This will supposedly lead everyone to admit that Jesus showed them a thing or two and then change their ways and embrace Huckabee’s version of Christianity.

History has shown that Huckabee’s conversion by force approach fails, and the Bible shows that it’s wrong. For example, regarding the punishment of sexual sin, the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 5:12, “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges.” This is why you will never find Jesus, his disciples, or members of the 1st century church pressuring non-Christians and non-Jews to adhere to Judeo-Christian morality and practices. Even when Jesus and the Apostle Paul spoke with high-ranking government officials, the Bible contains no record of them trying to convince leaders to impose Christian-based laws on society. This is probably because forcing religious practices and rules on those outside the faith causes people to resent the faith, not embrace it. Imagine if Muslims overtook our nation and required us to obey their laws which included wearing their clothes, such as burkes. Would we resent them or embrace their faith? Of course, we would resent them and become more entrenched in our non-Muslim beliefs. Likewise, this is how non-Christians respond to having Christian rules imposed upon them. The 1st century church knew this, so they only required that people obey Christian rules after they chose to become Christians. Huckabee and his Republican Christian followers do not know this, so they impose Christian morality on non-Christians, causing more and more Americans resent and oppose Christianity.

Again, this week’s blog just addresses the short Introduction of Huckabee’s book. Next time, I’ll cover chapter one, and thereafter will pick apart “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy” on a weekly, chapter by chapter basis.