According to usnews.com, presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is trying out some new(-ish) ways to spin gay marriage into something Republicans can exploit without shooting themselves in what remains of their bullet-riddled feet.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Sunday said being gay is akin to choosing to drink alcohol or use profanity — lifestyle choices he says are appealing to others but not to him.
The former Baptist pastor, who is weighing a second run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, also claimed that forcing people of faith to accept gay marriage as policy is on par with telling Jews that they must serve “bacon-wrapped shrimp in their deli.” That dish would run afoul of kosher rules in the same way Huckabee sees asking Christians to accept same-sex marriages.
Ooo, so close, but he fumbles on the one yard line.
Part of the reason for his stumble is that he starts out on completely the wrong foot by assuming that people choose their sexual orientation, as though you could pick who you do and do not find attractive. That’s not just wrong, it’s stupid, and it throws off the whole rest of his stride.
Where he makes some progress is when he realizes that gay marriage is like profanity and alcohol and non-kosher foods—all things that the government has no business prohibiting, and all things that people should be able to do without being discriminated against by any particular religious majority. But he fumbles when it comes to discerning where the actual parallels lay.
Forcing Christians to accept gay marriages is like forcing Jews to accept the fact that some people eat non-kosher foods. That’s it. You’re not violating the rights of any Jews by eating bacon or ham or other pork products. Their religion has no right to impose constraints on your diet—or your marriage.
Forcing Christians to perform gay marriages would indeed be akin to forcing Jews to serve non-kosher foods. But, earth to Huckster: nobody is trying to force Christians to perform gay marriages. Forcing Christians to sell gay couples the same wedding cakes they sell anyone else is like forcing Jews to sell Gentiles the same cold cuts they sell to anyone else. That’s not discrimination, and in fact it’s the exact opposite.
Now, if you’re a baker, and a gay couple wants you to make a custom wedding cake with the message “Congratulations Ted and Ike” and you don’t believe you can bring yourself to write a congratulatory message, then, hmm, I’ve had mixed feelings about this, but I think you should probably have the same right to refuse that message as you would have to refuse a hateful and bigoted message. If you can’t bring yourself to congratulate someone on their wedding because of their sexual orientation, you’re a bigot and should be ashamed of yourself, but I think the principle of free speech has to protect you from people who would try to force you to express a message against your will.
If they say, “Fine, just sell us the cake and the icing and we’ll decorate it ourselves,” though, then you’re stuck. You can’t refuse to sell them the product, because that would be discrimination. Just like the Jews can’t refuse you service because of your religion, you can’t refuse gays (or Jews or blacks) because of your religion.
So nice try, Huckster, but we’ve seen through your hypocrisy and bigotry. You’re trying to promote prejudice against gays and a false, self-absorbed persecution complex among Christians, and you’re only hurting yourselves.