As the never-ending parade of Republican candidates continues its inexorable march toward futility, we drop in to check on Mike Huckabee, who this week is discovering that when you’re running for president, your past can come back to haunt you, even if your name is not Hillary Clinton.
We speak, of course, of Huckabee’s stupid comment about transgendered people, brought back into the limelight during a week that has seen its most high-profile moment with Caitlyn Jenner introducing herself to the world.
For those who missed it, let’s quickly recap before moving on: Huckabee, in a speech to the National Religious Broadcasters’ Convention in February, he said, basically, that there was a time he wished he could be transgendered so he could shower with the girls in the girls’ locker room. This came during a portion in his speech where he echoed the oft-repeated thinking of the religious right that transgendered people are doing it simply because of sex.
Which is clearly stupid, short-sighted, ignorant, and shows where their entire line of thinking goes whenever considering the gay, bi-, and trans communities.
But let’s break down another disturbing aspect of his stupid statement: he was speaking to a clearly friendly crowd, and he obviously was very comfortable with his speech, because he spends much of the 20+ minutes walking back and forth near the podium and doesn’t spend much time actually behind it. So what makes this statement worse is that while he is clearly illustrating the depth of the belief that being transgendered is only just about sex, he’s also showing the level of sexism that exists there to make him think this is actually a funny joke, in a room of religious broadcasters, no less! (Sure, a joke about being a high school boy in a girls’ locker room would be a great joke for this room!)
It’s all illustrative of the fact that the religious right agenda, aside from lashing out against the world for supposedly putting christianity under attack, is actually about making sure that everyone stays in line, within the societal box that has been intended for them, and does not stray from it in the least, lest the world have to accept differences among us. There is no room, regardless of what these people say, for non-conformity, individualism, or–heaven forbid–freedom.
Yes, freedom. That word they toss around all the time saying in claiming that their freedoms are being taken away. Sure, I’ll agree with the argument that any business that doesn’t want to serve a customer is certainly within their right. But when you make it about who they are or who they love or how they live their lives, then it’s blatant discrimination, and as a free society, we cannot allow that.
But by claiming that their religious freedoms are being taken away because they don’t want to allow gay marriage is insane: you can still hold your beliefs and celebrate your religion in your church. No one’s stopping you from doing that. But by telling a group of people that they cannot get married in your church because of who they love, that’s wrong. Why? Because marriage is not an inherent sanctioning of sexual activity. The marriage license or certificate doesn’t say that you’re now legally allowed to go have sex with the person you love. So why would gay marriage a specific sanction for two people in love to have sex with each other? People have gotten married for reasons besides love, and somehow that was okay, simply because they were a traditional union–getting married for immigration reasons, tax reasons, arranged marriages, and the like. Under the thinking against same sex marriage, these unions should also be disallowed, because they clearly don’t fulfill the true purpose of marriage.
To break it down to its simplest concept: marriage is solely about sex. Period. Man-Woman, procreative sex. Not about love, or a partnership, or trust, or respect, or equality, or friendship, or family, or togetherness.
Somehow, love, sex, sexuality, and gender have become one all-encompassing concept to the religious right. And they’re going to have one hell of a time extricating themselves from that because by relating it all in such simplistic terms, they’ve woven a web that they can’t easily take apart.
Oh yeah. What does Huckabee stand for? Frankly, the same crap that just about every other far right conservative does. Read up on the others and you’ll get a feel for it. In the meantime, realize that he, and most like him believe that marriage is only about sex.