Huckabee at the Gate

January 18, 2008 on 1:39 pm

The Washington Post on January 13 quotes Gov. Mike Huckabee lamenting that the Republican Party has welcomed the support of social conservatives but “…Lord help us if we ever stood forward and said we would actually like to lead the party.” This, of course, is exactly his current purpose and the implications go well beyond a particular primary, or even a national election.

Even before independence from Britain, this country’s political foundation was built on the emergence of a three realm dynamic in which the political, spiritual and economic realms of those living here were separate and apart. It is the strength and vibrancy of this dynamic, first in the colonies and later the in nation, that most distinguishes us from our European forebears.

And make no mistake: This separation among the realms is more than the expression of our freedoms, it is the cause of them. A person can be politically free only if he or she is economically independent of the state, does not depend on it for a job or sustenance. A person is challenged to truly believe in God if he or she can be compelled to belief by a church capable of the political or economic sanction of those who will not “believe”. Indeed, it was the emergence of the economic realm that marked the separation of the political and spiritual realms and formed the basis of American democracy.

It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of the separation of the spiritual and the political realms to the freedoms that define this nation. And this same nation now faces the clear risk that of one of its national parties will come under the leadership of a candidate whose political base is a religious caucus, one whose unifying force and expression is a religious denomination. A Huckabee nomination cannot but fracture the National Republican Party and with it the functioning two party system that defines this nation’s political process. The two party system needs work, no doubt, but we need it more than it needs work.

Apart from any consideration of the two party system, though, is the threat of a national candidacy, not even to mention the electoral victory, of a faith-based candidate. If there is anything that political Independents in this country must have in common it is an unwavering, unalterable and instinctive repulsion to any threat to this nation’s constitutional separation of our spiritual and political realms.

South Carolina is an open state. If you are registered to vote, vote this conviction. Stop this now, and guard against it always.



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