Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee figured out the grace of the Blind Side
BY PAUL KAIHLA — There is a crisis in America. That crisis is divorce. It is easier to get out of a marriage than (to get out of a) contract to buy a used car.
– Mike Huckabee
Another governor of Arkansas is always running for president — this time, a Republican. Incredibly, Mike Huckabee was even born in the same small town as Bill Clinton (Hope, Ark.). And Huckabee also has a marriage problem, although his isn’t personal. It’s policy.
A Baptist pastor, Huckabee became a minor political celeb last year when he released a book, Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork, which chronicled his journey losing more than 100 pounds during his second term as governor of one of the high-fat states in America.
But long before that he became a darling of the evangelical right. Not for writing stuff like this:
I’m a conservative, pro-life, pro-family evangelical who believes in God, lower taxes, less government, personal empowerment, personal ownerhip and personal responsibility.… I have a simple philosophy – we need to take God more seriously and ourselves less seriously.
But for championing what’s called covenant marriage, a principle he passed into law in Arkansas in 2001 that forces couples to seek counseling before getting a divorce and eliminates the “no-fault” provision for divorce. In an Arkansas covenant marriage, a judge will only grant a divorce if issues like impotence, abuse, adultery, or addiction “to habitual drunkenness for one (1) year” plagued a marriage.
So Huckabee’s answer to America’s divorce epidemic is to make it harder to get divorced. But he’s got it backwards.
The problem isn’t that it’s easier to get out of a marriage than a car purchase agreement. The real issue is that it’s way easier to get into a marriage in America, than it is to get out of one.
It ought to be the reverse: it should be way harder to get a marriage licence in the first place than it is to get divorced. The barriers to entry should be at the beginning, not the end.
To go back to the car analogy, how strange is it that we have to pass a competency test in both theoretical knowledge and practical road skills to get permission from the state to drive a car? Yet the only hurdle to joining a live human being in a lifelong sacred contract is a line-up at city hall and a nominal fee.
It’s not as if the federal government hasn’t already developed intricate measures for what it thinks constitutes a marriage with merit, they’re just isolated for very special cases. Try marrying a foreigner and sponsoring him or her for a green card, and see what the Department of Homeland Security says
We’re simply noting the irony here — not advocating a revitalization of marriage through the machinery of government or legislation. We at Soul’s Code are all about change from within.
Huckabee’s covenant marriage isn’t just wrong in utility, it’s totally tone-deaf in a disposable consumer society where half of all first marriages are discarded, and 60 percent of re-marriages fail. Especially in election season. Where is it positioned on his campaign website ?
If Huckabee actually won the nomination and became the Republican candidate, it would be a gift to a Democrat like Hillary. Her campaign would haul out Huckabee’s past advocacy of covenant marriage and nuke him with the equivalent of a Daisy commercial depicting covenant marriage as an Abu Ghraib for all women, a new form of prison reinforced by the lack of female parity in earning power.
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