January 21, 2008

Mike Huckabee Religious Conversion: Will Worship Fred Thompson

Huckabee on religious switch
Says Fred Thompson more powerful than Jesus, Chuck Norris

LITTLE ROCK, AR — Stunning staffers and supporters alike, Mike Huckabee today announced his intention to abandon his Baptist faith and found a new religion in the wake of his string of primary losses...

"I did the math," the former governor explained, "and my beliefs didn't add up. I'm sorry for all the people I've led astray in my years as a Baptist minister and invite all of them to join me in an improved search for salvation."

Standing at a whiteboard in his Little Rock campaign headquarters, Huckabee began scribbling notes in what looked like a mathematical proof. Turning to his supporters, he reviewed them line by line.

"God was powerful enough to cause a surge in my opinion polls last December. Fred Thompson was powerful enough to stop me from winning key counties in South Carolina. He also made it snow. I have to conclude, and you should, too, that Fred Thompson is more powerful than God. I'm going to leave off campaigning and wander the land proclaiming the glory of Thompson for all my days, and I invite you all to join me. I understand that not all of you will. It's up to you if you want to be Left Behind..."

Huckabee calls the new religion Thompsonian Dispensationalism... and warned that if anyone tried to talk him out of the new faith he would "tell them what they could do with their Bible..."

Calls to Thompson's campaign headquarters about this development have not been returned...
I hope that anyone reading this has figured out by now that I made all that up. If you clicked the headline link, you've certainly figured that out — and good for you for checking sources! The bizarre part of this, however, is that it's only one logical step away from almost being true. I base this stretching of reality on a combination of arguments put forth by Huckabee over the last month or so. For starters, there's this:
“We obviously wanted and we honestly thought we would win. The fact of Fred Thompson’s being in the race took away some votes that we most likely had. I believe every analyst has looked at it that way, Huckabee said. “The snow pretty much - not only froze the streets of the Greenville-Spartanburg area, but the votes came to a stop when it started snowing. That was an area where we had really looked forward to get a heavy and significant vote margin.”


Combine that with Huckabee's assertion from his speech at Liberty University in November:
In a brief question-and-answer period after his talk, one student asked Huckabee what he can attribute the surge in success to. Huckabee replied: “There’s only one explanation for it and it’s not a human one. It’s the same power that felt that … two fish and five loaves could feed a crowd of 5,000 people. … There literally are thousands of people across this country who are praying that little would become much and it has.”


The juxtaposition of these two assertions results in the "math" in the faux-article above. If God is powerful enough to raise Huckabee's numbers in a poll, but Fred Thompson is powerful enough to lower his numbers in a subsequent poll, it is reasonable to conclude that Fred Thompson is capable of thwarting divine will, which means that he's more powerful than God. Therefore, it is better to worship Fred Thompson than it is to worship Jehovah.

That's not a personal belief of mine, by the way. I don't think it's better to worship one thing than another or, indeed, to worship anything at all. Fred Thompson didn't thwart divine will and certainly isn't responsible for it having snowed in South Carolina. To extend one argument often put forward by the religious that attributes statistically unusual events to divine intervention (miracles), however, it would be just as valid to posit that snow on primary day was a divine act intended to hurt Huckabee in the polls. The probability of the event occurring randomly, after all, are rather low. Perhaps Thompson had a hand in this as well? There's no way to reliably test for either divine or Thompsonian-induced precipitative powers.

By the way, if you think I've been picking on poor ol' Huckabee lately, you're right. I admit freely to doing so. There's a method to the madness, though. Huckabee has made rather loud public religious statements, including everything from attributing his success (but not his failures) to divine influence to his desire to make the Constitution conform to what he perceives as biblical edicts. He thus makes a good foil for illustrating what a terrible basis religion is for making judgments about the world. One can create all kinds of macabre results from religious reasoning because the suppositions in the arguments put forth, not to mention the logical process involved, is so far removed from testable reality. I don't expect such things to ever disappear from our memepool, but it's always worth noting that people who talk about basing policies that affect the lives in the real world on this kind of reasoning are likely to make some bad calls. When they do so, everyone bears the brunt of the faulty reasoning, whether or not they believe in the religion behind it. This isn't to say that non-believers don't make bad decisions based on faulty logic, either. They certainly do. To start from a religious position, as is the case with Huckabee, should be a red flag, though. It is effectively an announcement, like a man jumping up and down, waving his arms and shouting, "Hey! Look at me! I'm going to do something dumb now!"

Religion as a matter of personal choice? Whatever; it doesn't involve anyone but the believer. Religion as a basis for policy? That involves everybody, and so is an entirely different matter.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go find a goat to sacrifice to Fred Thompson.

Sphere: Related Content