Mike Huckabee served up one big giant heaping helping of projection this Saturday on CNN while discussing Indiana's so-called "religious freedom" law. There's one side being "militant" with their opposition to gay marriage and pretending that being a bigot is somehow justified by the teachings of Christ, and then there are the people in and supporting the LGBT community that want to see the discrimination against them end. I suppose which one you choose to call a "militant" or an "extremist" lies in the eyes of the beholder.
Earlier this week, Mike Huckabee took on critics of Indiana’s religious freedom law and declared that gay rights activists “won’t stop until there are no more churches, until there are no more people who are spreading the Gospel.”
Huckabee appeared on CNN this morning, and CNN’s Michael Smerconish brought up an important fact about the Indiana criticism: it’s not just coming from gay rights activists, it’s also coming from “traditionally Republican-supporting business interests,” including Walmart and Apple.
In response, Huckabee said, “The reason that those corporations put the pressure on Indiana and Arkansas was because the militant gay community put the pressure on them.”
I never thought I'd live long enough to watch an Arkansas Republican attack Walmart and big business for any reason, but here you go. Isn't it amazing that right wingers have suddenly decided they don't like Walmart's business practices?
Don't expect old HuckaJesus to really go off the rails and support unionization of their employees or any legislation that might actually put an end to their race to the bottom on wages. He and his ilk don't give a damn about their abusive business practices unless they can use it as an excuse to play the poor picked on downtrodden Christian card that's supposedly being abused by those "militant" gays who are trying to destroy America for all decent God-fearing Bible-thumping Republicans.
Full transcript of the segment above via CNN:
SMERCONISH: So the question of the week, should the baker have to bake the cake for the gay couple?
HUCKABEE: Well, I think the question is really whether or not a person of conscience is able to say no to something. This is not about discrimination, it's about discretion.
The fact is, if the baker said, no, you can't come into my shop, you can't get a cupcake, I'm not going to serve you a donut, that's discrimination. But if the baker is asked to do something that would require him to do something artistic that is not within his personal convictions, of course he should be able to say I can do this, but I can't do that.
SMERCONISH: But how would you...
HUCKABEE: And that would be true for anyone.
SMERCONISH: How would you distinguish that circumstance, Governor, from the Woolworth's lunch counter circa 1960 with an African-American patron?
HUCKABEE: Well, I don't think there's any -- any comparison, Michael. And I think it's a false parallel.
For first place, if a person walks into a lunch counter, he doesn't walk in saying I'm gay, don't serve me. There's no one who is suggesting that a person is going to be turned away because of sexual preference. I mean I don't know of anybody who can say that that's happening in great numbers, or at all, for that matter.
What we're talking about is whether people who have a business and are asked to participate in a service ceremony or something along the lines of that have the artistic freedom to decline.
Try going to a Muslim bakery and seeing whether or not they will do a same-sex wedding cake.
So it's not just Christians, but the issue is religious liberty, whether or not people have a right to believe what they want to believe, practice their faith and not have the government come down on them and tell them they have to do something. And beyond that, to try to have people put them out of business because they don't agree with a particular view of marriage.
I -- I find that very strange...
SMERCONISH: Well, could...
HUCKABEE: -- that in America, where we're supposed to be tolerant and have diversity, this is intolerance and a lack of diversity and a push toward uniformity.
SMERCONISH: Governor Huckabee, you said earlier this week it won't stop until there are no more churches. And it occurred to me, and I listened to the totality of that interview, that in this particular instance, it wasn't the -- the LGBT community that I think caused the reversal in both Arkansas and Indiana, but rather, business interests, you know, traditionally Republican supporting business interests, whether it's entities like Walmart in your home state, Angie's List in Indiana.
React to that alliance, the alliance between the gay and lesbian community and transgenders and those business entities that traditionally would have been in the Chamber of Commerce realm with the GOP.
HUCKABEE: Well, Michael, first of all, the reason that those corporations put the pressure on Indiana and Arkansas was because the militant gay community put the pressure on them. I found it a little hypocritical, when you have companies even -- and I love Walmart, a big company in my home state -- but they do business in China, for gosh sake. And, I mean, I don't think the Chinese are exactly the paragon of human rights.
You've got Apple Computer, they're selling Apple Computers in Saudi Arabia.
Is Tim Cook going to pull out of there?
I don't think so. He doesn't mind making millions, if not billions of dollars, in cultures and countries where human rights are really an issue. And -- and for anybody to try to draw some comparison between what's happening by not getting a wedding cake made and people having, you know, their hands cut off or being hanged or imprisoned, I mean that's -- I find that a stretch. And I think these corporations really ought to either be consistent, quit making money from these countries that are really oppressing human rights, and quit bowing to the pressure and just sell their stuff. That's what they're in business for, to sell stuff.
SMERCONISH: But that's the argument...
HUCKABEE: Quit trying to make political decisions.
SMERCONISH: -- but that -- but Governor, that's the argument that's made from the other side about the baker and the florist and the candlestick maker. You're in business to bake a cake.
SMERCONISH: Just bake the cake and...
HUCKABEE: That's right.
SMERCONISH: -- go home. And go home and be a good Christian...
HUCKABEE: And a lot...
SMERCONISH: -- whatever that means.
HUCKABEE: -- a lot of people will do that, Michael. They will bake the cake.
It -- but shouldn't they have the discretion?
That's really, once again, the issue. If they want to turn the business down, they're not turning down the business of being open, being willing to serve any customer what they've got on the shelf. Again, it's the religious liberty, when people are asked to do something which they believe violates their conscience.
And the big, to me, confusion over RFRA was it didn't guarantee that the baker, the florist, the pizza maker, for that matter, was going to win. It just meant that he would have a hearing in court. And over the 22 years that RFRA has been in place, very few times has the religious objector even won.
So I'm not sure why Democrats loved RFRA in 1993. And you had Al Gore and Bill Clinton trumpeting it as wonderful and Charles Schumer sponsoring it. And 22 years later, because of political pressure, now they run from something that they once embraced.
I find it just hypocritical.
What's hypocritical is lying and pretending that the law they passed in Indiana is the same as what was passed in other states or by Clinton. It's not.