Everyone’s making a big fuss out of Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s recent theocratic gaffe:
“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution,” Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. “But I believe it’s 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.”
Ed Brayton at Dispatches, however, notes the real story here: that Huckabee’s statement and its evangelical applause are a tacit admission that the Constitution isn’t a “Christian” document to begin with. If it were, why would it need changing to bring it in line?
In an age when many Christian Nation activists have been implausibly arguing that the country was founded on Christianity all along (and thus they should win all SoCaS court cases by default, or something), many people seem to have forgotten that Christian activists of nearly every other era took the opposite position: that the Constitution was Godless and needed to be fixed. If the Roy Moores of yesteryear had had their way, the preamble to the Constitution would now go something like this (per the language of a proposed amendment in 1864):
We, the people of the United States, humbly acknowledging Almighty God as the source of all authority and power in civil government, the Lord Jesus Christ as the Ruler among the nations, His revealed will as the supreme law of the land, in order to constitute a Christian government…
Huckabee, thankfully, doesn’t seem to have any desire to go anywhere near that far (just banning gay couples from civil equality and making embryos legal people). I still can’t say I’m too impressed, but at least now he’s being a lot more honest and realistic than he was when he was claiming that the country was founded on the Ten Commandments.