God’s Constitutional Standards

So! Mike Huckabee thinks that we need to amend the Constitution to bring it in line with “God’s standards.” By “God,” I presume, he means Jehovah, as opposed to Allah, Ahura Mazda, Baal, Krishna, Odin, Quezacoatl, Tiamat, or Vishnu.

Now, to some people, the phrase “Christian America” means an America where people are pretty much all Christian, they are all nice to each other in a generalized sort of way, and people go to church because they like it. But Huckabee is taking this at least one step further — he directly implies by this that there should be amendments to the Constitution criminalizing abortion and defining marriage as something that only heterosexuals can have, because that is how he interprets the Bible’s vision of what society should look like. So, let’s take a look at how a Constitution that conforms to Biblical standards would be change our current society. I’ll draw my references from both the Old and New Testaments — Jesus did, after all (Matthew 5:17).

Obviously, America would become explicitly a Christian nation* (Philippians 2:10-11) and non-Christians, including Jews, would be put to death (Acts 3:23, citing Deuteronomy 18:18-19) and it’ll be their own damn fault for being apostates (Acts 18:16). So the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion will have to be discarded. As we’ll see below, so will the freedoms of speech, association, and petition to the government for redress of grievances.

We’d still have slavery (1 Corinthians 7:21; Ephesians 6:5), although a period of slavery would have a waivable time limit of seven years; the slave could waive the seven-year period by insisting on his wife being manumitted along with himself (Exodus 21:2-6). In the meantime, we would have to treat our slaves humanely (Colossians 4:1). So, if you wanted to beat your slaves to death for some reason, you would have to do it very slowly (Exodus 21:20-21). Citizens would be obligated to return fugitive slaves to their masters (Philemon 1:12). This, it seems, would require repeal of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments.

In their place, there would be reinstated racial segregation (Matthew 10:5-6). The Americans with Disabilities Act would be repealed because physical disabilities are a sign of God’s disapproval of one’s sinful life (John 5:14). Women would not enjoy equal rights of worship as men (1 Corinthians 14:34-35), so by implication the Nineteenth Amendment needs to go, too.

Of course, welfare programs of all sorts would be terminated immediately (2 Thessalonians 3:10) — with the exception of welfare for widows over the age of 60 years who lost their only husband, bore children, have done charitable work themselves, and refrained from gossip (1 Timothy 5:9-15). So we’ll need to have an amendment terminating social welfare programs. This would include Social Security (other than for the aforementioned chaste widows), so that might make the budget easier to balance.

The state, as the embodiment of the will of God, would be an object of loyalty greater than that of a person to another member of their own family (Matthew 10:37). Failure to love and obey the state (1 Peter 2:13) better than one’s own family would be a capital crime (Matthew 10:45; see also Genesis 19:24). But fear not, family values advocates, for disloyalty to one’s parents would also be a capital offense (Mark 7:9-10; see also Leviticus 20:9) — although this obligation to be nice within one’s family would be most definitely a one-way street (Romans 8:32). So, of course, would homosexuality (Romans 1:24-32) and adultery (Leviticus 20:10).

Drinking alcohol seems like it would still be okay — as long as you don’t drink in church, which would require, at minimum, exile (Leviticus 10:6-9). So Prohibition can stay repealed and we won’t have to rescind the Twenty-First Amendment.

Criminal law would be substantially revised, with only two classes of people: “guilty” and “innocent;” it will not matter which law you broke, because by breaking one law, you break them all (James 2:10). Poor hygiene would be a capital crime (Exodus 30:20-21) as would working on Sunday (Exodus 31:14) and using profanity (Leviticus 24:16).

Bear in mind also that a whole new class of crimes, based solely on intent and with no component of overt action, would need to be created. For instance, the capital crime of adultery would be committed solely in one’s own mind merely by looking with lust at someone else’s spouse (Matthew 5:29-30). And, capital punishment would be expanded in scope to include animals — at least cattle — who committed various crimes (Exodus 21:28-32). To accomplish these substantial legal reforms, the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments would probably have to be set aside more or less completely.

However, civil law would be dramatically simplified because Christians would lose the ability to file civil lawsuits against one another (1 Corinthians 6:1-7), making the Seventh Amendment superfluous.

Wealth would be considered bad (Matthew 19:23; Luke 6:24-26). So no one will be allowed to accumulate wealth (Mark 4:25; Luke 3:14). Sexual relations would result in mandatory marriage or fines payable to the father of the woman (Exodus 22:16). I think this means that the Sixteenth Amendment can stay.

Our foreign policy would be, to say the least, aggressive. We would be prohibited from entering into alliances with non-Christian nations (2 Corinthians 6:14-17). We would give honor to those who were best able to lead troops to destroy the cities of our enemies (Acts 13:19) and a military expanded to a membership of 200 million soldiers would be authorized to commit acts of genocide on two billion people (Revelations 9:15-19).

This is a what a truly “Christian America” would look like, and it is what I hear when Mike Huckabee advocates changing the Constitution to be more in line with God’s commandments. I want no part of it.

UPDATE: Belatedly, I realize I should have called these changes to our society the “Systemic Huckabee Administration Reform of Internal American Law.” And let me point out that I’m not the only person right of center who is critical of Huckabee for his ill-phrased and politically dangerous sentiment.

* It is explicitly not a Christian nation at the moment — the Constitution derives its authority from “We the People,” not from God.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.