However, one man has gone way beyond the pale. I give you former Arkansas governor and Fox News host Mike Huckabee. On a recent edition of his show, he defended Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty in a monologue:
HUCKABEE: Do you remember when America was a free country. Religious liberty, so foundational to our nation's origin, that faith was embedded in the very first amendment in our Bill of Rights. The government is forbidden to prefer or prohibit an expression of religion. Religion is free to express, but government has never been free to infringe. In recent days, a small, but vocal and militant group of same-sex marriage advocates have co-opted religious liberty to force industry and government to go beyond tolerating homosexuality, but to approve it. Now I'm told to shut up advocating for traditional marriage, but those who force acceptance, approval and activism of same-sex marriage allow no deviation from their views. Wedding caterers and wedding photographers are being forced, by government, to serve same-sex weddings, even if it violates the conscience and religious convictions of the provider. It's not just government. A&E network found a successful formula to save it financially from its beginnings of "Arts and Entertainment." Reality shows have turned it into a cash cow, but none of its shows has ever rocketed it to the stratosphere of green and gold like its most popular show ever, "Duck Dynasty." Elites have never understood its popularity in "fly over" country, but for those of us who live in the part of America, Duck Dynasty wasn't about the beards or the ducks, but the strongly knit sense of family that the Robertson clan embodied. Their Christian faith is apparently a little too real for reality TV.
It goes on like this but then he said the following:
. . . . Gay rights groups used to lobby for tolerance. Now they're lobbying for intolerance. Reality TV has given us such high brow viewing as Jersey Shore, Temptation Island and Cheaters. . . . Most Christians I know (including me) are respectful and tolerant of those who are homosexual and engage in friendship with, employment with, social interaction with people who are openly gay. I can accept anyone, but I shouldn't be forced to embrace a view of sex that is at odds with my faith. I've got friends who accept me and love me, but they think I'm a religious nut for believing the Bible and in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. So are the militant homosexuals so insecure that they're incapable of tolerating anyone who disagrees with them?
How can Huckabee claim to be "respectful and tolerant" of gays when, according to Media Matters, he has a long history of denigrating the lgbt community:
As A Public Official, Huckabee Called Homosexuality An "Aberration" And Condemned The Government For Supporting It Along With Pedophilia, Sadomasochism, And Necrophilia. In a 2007 appearance on Meet the Press, Tim Russert asked Huckabee about his assertion in a 1998 book claiming "it is now difficult to keep track of the vast array of publicly endorsed and institutionally supported aberrations -- from homosexuality and pedophilia to sadomasochism and necrophilia." Huckabee responded that "all of these are deviations from what has been considered the traditional concept of sexual behavior." Russert also asked Huckabee about his assertion in 1992 that "I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle." Huckabee responded that "all of us are sinners."
In 1992, Huckabee Came Out Against Additional Funding For AIDS Research And Called For U.S. Government To "Isolate" AIDS Patients
During a 2010 interview with Anne Coulter, Huckabee said "I Am Not ... Pro-Gay, Pro-Sodomy."
In that same year, Huckabee attacked same-sex families by voicing support for an overturned Arkansas law which prohibited gays and lesbians from becoming foster or adoptive parents, claiming that laws like that are in the best interest of the child.
In 2012, he equated gay Scout leaders to pedophiles.
Huckabee thinks he is bragging about his "tolerance" of the lgbt community, but in reality he is demonstrating his ability to lie.
Comparing lgbts to pedophilia, sadomasochism, and necrophilia isn't "tolerant." Neither is defining the lgbt community by a sex act (enjoyed also by heterosexuals), or attacking same-sex families. Are doing these things an article of Huckabee's faith? He seems to be so concerned with the verses of the Bible which supposedly speak against homosexuality that he ignores the one about not bearing false witness against one's neighbor.
The fact that Huckabee can actually label himself as "tolerant" of gays regardless of his history of attacking and stigmatizing us is uncanny. And the fact that he does it while talking about his Christian faith is enough to make me understand why so many folks are leaving the Christian church.
And therein lies the problem, not just with Huckabee, but with Phil Robertson and that entire bunch who seem to think that they can say anything about lgbts and then expect us not to respond.
The Bible is no excuse to attack any group of people. Saying that your insults are "simply according to your faith" isn't worth the energy you expunge to breath out such a simpering explanation. You don't get a free pass for denigrating lgbts in accordance to the Bible any more than a racist who uses the Bible to call African-Americans inferior or chauvinist who uses it to claim that women should be subservient to men or an anti-Semite who uses it to claim that Jews killed Jesus.
And yes, you are just like the racist, the chauvinist, or the anti-Semite when you exploit the Bible to attack any group. And your assurances of supposed "loved and tolerance" after your insults are as empty as the promises of man who swears not to beat his wife after slapping her for the 20th time.
If you attack a group of people, expecting them to be silent is insulting. It's as if you are expecting them to have such a low opinion of themselves as you do.
And to have a history of homophobic comments against the lgbt community, but then call yourself "tolerant" of gays goes beyond the pale.
On one hand, it means that you are so clueless that you need to be pitied. And on the other, it means that you are such a brazen liar that perhaps the Old Testament plagues of frogs, locusts, boils, and gnats should all bombard you at the same time.
So which one is it, Mr. Huckabee? Are you a clueless fool or a brazen liar?