Matt Comer

Huckabee: Words more important than human dignity

Filed By Matt Comer | December 10, 2008 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: Jon Stewart, marriage equality, Mike Huckabee, The Daily Show

Note: Hey all! Matt Comer here. Thought I'd give just a little introduction on my first post as a regular Bilerico contributor. I'm so excited to be among the list of your contributors here. I'm looking forward to the community, the discussion and the opportunity! Feel free to hit me up anytime! No need for me to be all narcissistic here, so if you want more about me, check it out in the contributor section.

Did anybody else catch Mike Huckabee on Jon Stewart's Daily Show last night? The fabulous (and fellow North Carolinian) Pam Spaulding has a partial transcript and video.

Lots of great items to discuss, and as Pam says, "Jon Stewart asked serious questions any hard-hitting progressive journalist or political commentator with a talk show is perfectly capable of asking. He made Huckabee explain his positions on LGBT rights and connects it to the messages in his new book about the merits of social conservatism that he's hawking. That's on-point and newsworthy journalism -- and Stewart certainly found and made the topic interesting."

The one thing that seemed to stick out to me was this exchange:

Stewart: ...Why? It would just be redefining a word. It feels like semantics is cold comfort when it comes to humanity...

Huckabee: Words do matter. Definitions matter. We have to be very thoughtful and careful...

Honestly, I find it deplorable that any person would defend the "value" of a word over the value of human equality and dignity. Stewart gets it. He knows this "issue" is really about taking care of our families and stepping up as responsible citizens who eagerly want to be a part of this nation and contribute to its greatness. It seems so un-conservative to deny equal playing field to people who really want to make America a better place.

Other great moments from Stewart:

"I think it's a travesty that people have forced someone who is gay to have to 'make their case' that they deserve the same basic rights."

..."I'll tell you this: Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality. And the protections that we have for religion? We protect religion -- and talk about a lifestyle choice -- that is absolutely a choice. Gay people don't choose to be gay. At what age did you choose not to be gay?"

I've thought a lot about marriage equality in the past few days, especially after a great panel discussion up at the National LGBT Blogger Initiative in D.C. last weekend. Thoughts are a-brewin' and something will be coming down the line sooner or later. Among my first suggestions: National Movement. That's something we don't have, but it is something we need. I guarantee you our opponents have one. But more on all that later.

Jon Stewart, thanks. Huckabee, let's help you find something better than a "word" to defend on national TV.


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Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | December 10, 2008 6:57 PM

Another point that stood out to me was when Huckabee said that if we allow same-sex marriage, then we have to allow polygamy, too.

Huh?!

Says who? It's a strawman argument. Polygamy and same-sex marriage are not equivalent.

People like Huckabee and the audience he seeks to convince cannot handle nuance. They think in simplistic, black-and-white terms; base arguments on emotion; and do not think nor argue logically. Hence, Hucakabee can suggest that if you change one aspect of the law, the whole edifice will come tumbling down, and these folks believe it.

I am so sick of them trying to foist their worldview on me.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | December 10, 2008 6:58 PM

Oh, and welcome, Matt!!!

Excuse my lack of proper manners.

Hi Brynn. Thanks for the warm welcome.

"I am so sick of them trying to foist their worldview on me."

That's funny: They say the same thing about us. Which brings me to a point I should have made in the post... Both sides of this debate have so much in common. If only we could get past the minor issues, and if only the Right didn't think these minor issues were so major.

Hi Matt
Glad to see you on the various blogs. I would like to see you debate Huckabee. You were great when you debated the panel of straight Southern Baptists in North Carolina several years ago. Do you still have that video. You should post it.
Cheers
Charles

Hey Charles. Thanks. Me, debating Huckabee? That would be great. I wonder when he last had a chance to debate someone other than a politician?

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | December 10, 2008 8:33 PM

Matt, this is a great first post on Bilerico!

It was great seeing you at the LGBT Blogger Summit. I hope you had fun in our city.

I am looking forward to reading your thoughts on building a national movement for marriage equality.

Hey Michael! The weekend in DC was great. I really enjoyed our little group conversation at dinner on Sunday.

My piece on the national movement is a work in progress. It'll take a few days to get up here, but it is coming. :)

Well, polygamy has a strong biblical pedigree, don't ya know?! I'm waiting for the likes of Huckabee to stand up for the "real" biblical definition of marriage: one man and as many women as he can afford. (Just kidding!)

Matt, it's good to have you on Bilerico. Yeah, the Stewart/Huckabee matchup was fantastic!

Speaking of biblical definitions of marriage, Newsweek has a great article about the biblical argument for marriage equality. The next time someone hits you over the head with a so-called "religious" definition of marriage, just point them to this article.

I hope as many people in the world as possible see that video.

Welcome to the clan, Matt. You've made a good beginning.

Congratulations Matt, you've made it to the big time. :-)

Sam is a reader of Bilerico. Small world. Nice to "see" you again, lol.

Polygamy? I thought they shut that thing down years ago!

What I didn't like about that interview was how Stewart let Huck off the hook when it came to being homophobic. He is, and he shouldn't be allowed to say "these are just my views" and get off scott free.

He went further than polygamy and brought up a case of pedophilia since those girls were underage. But associating homosexuality with pedophilia is knee-jerk for these folks.

Great first post, Matt! Welcome to Bilerico Project.

Since everyone and their brother should see the video, I've embedded it at the end of your post.

Thanks Bil... and excuse my "newness." The YouTube embed button works for other video types, too, right? :)

The YouTube embed button on the back end of the site (where you post) is just for YouTube. It resizes them and makes them iPhone friendly. Just put in the URL for the video. It doesn't work with other video types though - you just paste in the code.

And there's nothing wrong with being new. :) We all were at one point or another!

If you expect logic, reason, and a coherent argument from people like Huckabee and his supporters, then you will be in for a long wait.

Of course they use simplistic arguments and black and white thinking, nuance sounds too French for the likes of them, and you know how they feel about the French; dirty, hairy, decadent, two time losers who couldn't even beat a few Germans without our help. In other words, reactionaries.

Conservatism used to mean fiscal responsibility, government staying out of people's lives as much as possible, that sort of thing. It has been hijacked by people who like the modern conveniences, but wish society would just stop evolving and changing. Their worldview is stuck in some sort of "The early twentieth century was great, why can't we just stay there." time loop.

So it goes with their religion too. They expect something that was written thousands of years ago to tell them how they should act, what is right and what is wrong. They want the rules for society to stay stuck in ancient times. They want laws that applied to a pre-industrial, agrarian, ethnic society, to rule a modern post-industrial, twenty first century pluralistic world.

Calling them fools would be demeaning to the foolish.

Oh, and welcome to the Blog Matt, keep up the good work.

the deal is they had polygamy back in the ancient days.........religion was its hosts in Judaic community and as society progressed they left that mode of marriage. Other societies had it too and eventually let go of it until pretty much no one does it anymore today.

Gay marriage will not bring that back as no one advocates it socially. That is a weak argument from the element fringe. LGBTQ are not advocating anything outside of couples being recognized in society.

Civil unions will look like the next palatable step to many folks and then it will go like what has happened in NJ. Separate will not equal Marriage and it eventually will have to be challenged unless the individual states get there first by seeing civil unions trying it out and finding out that it is not true to be separate but equal and pave the way for the full onset of marriage for everyone

the deal is they had polygamy back in the ancient days.........religion was its hosts in Judaic community and as society progressed they left that mode of marriage. Other societies had it too and eventually let go of it until pretty much no one does it anymore today.

Gay marriage will not bring that back as no one advocates it socially. That is a weak argument from the element fringe. LGBTQ are not advocating anything outside of couples being recognized in society.

Civil unions will look like the next palatable step to many folks and then it will go like what has happened in NJ. Separate will not equal Marriage and it eventually will have to be challenged unless the individual states get there first by seeing civil unions trying it out and finding out that it is not true to be separate but equal and pave the way for the full onset of marriage for everyone