On same day #SCOTUS granted marriage cases, @HRC Mississippi flagged this hateful graffiti in downtown Jackson. pic.twitter.com/tPMs99DY14
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) January 16, 2015
As Mark Silk says, he's baaaaaaaak! with his own special Southern-fried version of defiant faith-based bigotry, and how can a lonely blogger not blog about him? Mark is talking about Mike Huckabee, Southern Baptist minister and former governor of Arkansas, who has long fooled so many folks who don't understand the culture from which he hails — as Allen Clifton notes he himself was fooled until, well, Rev. Huckabee opened his mouth.
And things started falling out. Which causes many of us with roots in Arkansas, who have long known who Rev. Huckabee is and what he stands for, to wonder why so many ostensibly thoughtful human beings in the rest of the country have imagined that the man is a cipher for decency the "moderate" Republicanism they claim to keep spotting like the magic unicorn in one buffoon after another that the GOP trots across the national stage from backwater places like Arkansas, Louisiana, or Iowa . . . .
Here's his latest: Igor Bobic at Huffington Post:
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee disputed what he called the "notion of judicial supremacy" on Tuesday, arguing states would have the final say on gay marriage regardless of whether the Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.
As David Graham points out for the Atlantic, Huckabee's nullification position regarding same-sex marriage and the Supremes — should the Supremes strike down state bands on marriage equality as unconstitutional, a big should — comes as no surprise to any of us who remember what happened in the South when the Supremes struck down legal segregation:
That's not an entirely novel idea, as Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas, should know. In 1957, the state believed it could block the Little Rock School Board from adhering to the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.* President Eisenhower disagreed, and dispatched troops to show Governor Orval Faubus how wrong he was. Faubus is not an historical model most contemporary politicians would be willing to follow.
Gabriel Arana adds further historical perspective at Salon:
It is hard not to see the parallel between bans on interracial marriage and bans on gay marriage. When the Supreme Court overturned miscegenation laws in 1967, 16 states still banned unions between members of different races; today, same-sex marriage is banned in 15 states. As Philip Bump at the Washington Post has noted, bans on interracial marriage were far more deeply (and ignominiously) rooted in our legal tradition than bans on gay marriage, which only came into being in the mid-1990s and 2000s. Another striking parallel: When the justices invalidated bans on sodomy, such laws existed in 13 states.
Nor is Rev. Huckabee the only one beating the faith-based horse: to his discredit, African-American GOP contender Ben Carson is making similar defiant religious-freedom noises, as Brian Tashman reports for Right Wing Watch:
Ben Carson, the likely Republican presidential candidate who believes that the gay rights movement is part of a communist conspiracy to bring about the New World Order, wants Congress to intervene in court cases involving marriage equality, including the upcoming cases before the Supreme Court.
While the likes of Jim Bakker shouts hallelujah
all the way to the bank — he with the pastor-son Jay Bakker who supports LGBT rights:
Bakker led the audience in cheers while shouting “hallelujah” after Huckabee said that he ended his Fox News program in order to explore a possible presidential candidacy, which prompted Huckabee to declare that he ought to “launch the entire campaign” on Bakker’s show.
And as Chad Griffin of Human Rights Campaign tweets the image at the head of the posting, from Jackson, Mississippi (another defiant faith-based state that pushed nullification when the Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation), noting that the grafitti was found in Jackson the same day the Supremes announced that they were taking gay- marriage cases (thanks to Timothy Kincaid at Box Turtle Bulletin for Chad Griffin's tweet).
The Supremes, gay marriage, "religious freedom," the South and its faith-based integration crisis redivivus: buckle up, folks. It's going to be a rocky ride this year in the nation with the soul of a church.
* Graham notes that he has made a correction in the original text of his article.