Friday, December 21, 2007

Reflections: Huck Line and Thinker

This is not an endorsement. Nor does it make any kind of political statement, whatsoever. But it is something to think about.

I saw presidential hopeful, Mike Huckabee, being interviewed and commenting on the hot tabloid issue of the day--the pregnancy of Britney Spears' sixteen year-old sister.

Huck said (and I paraphrase from memory): "I'm not going to condemn her. There will be plenty of people lining up to do that. And I always look for the short line."

I always look for the the short line: I like that. I agree with that. I find wisdom in that. Most often, when I find myself in the short line, I find myself in the correct line. I may not be waiting for the most pleasant, the most entertaining, or the least challenging eventuality by hanging in there on that shortest line. But I inevitably find myself in the best company.


William R. Barker said...

HUCKABEE the political candidate says he doesn't condemn her; how'bout Huckabee the Baptist Minister of God?

Listen... there's a lot to be said for what I call "Little House on the Prairie" Christianity where all is loving and positive, but as you know, Rob, the Christian religion - particularly from a institutional doctrinaire standpoint - worships a JUDGEMENTAL God.

Oh, yes... a FORGIVING God... but a judgemental God just the same. Plus... think about this... "forgiving" implies in its very essence that there's "something to forgive."

Stupidity, irresponsibility, selfishness... in American culture getting pregnant at 16 *is* indeed something to "condemn." To bring this paragraph full circle... we should CONDEMN the stupidity, ireesponsibility and selfishness that the act implies.

Do I "condemn" this stupid young girl? No. But I certainly "condemn" her actions.

As to Huckabee... I wonder... how long till there are YouTube videos of past sermons and/or recorded personal or political events where Huckabee *did* condemn sex and resulting pregnancy outside of marriage?


Rodak said...

Naw. He's right in keeping with the story of the woman taken in adultery, where Jesus challenges he who is without sin to cast the first stone. Huck is also happy that the girl didn't chose abortion, of course.
But the point of my post was not Huckabee's charity; but rather Huckabee's perception that the short line usually leads to the road less taken, in the Robert Frostian sense. (Or at least that's how I choose to interpret it.)
I lifted that quote out of context, in any event. Huckabee made it quite clear that he in no way approved of the behavior that resulted in the girl's pregnancy. I used only what he said--given the fact that she is pregnant--he would not do, which is condemn her.

Rodak said...

The story of the woman taken in adultery is from the Gospel of John. The punchline is:

8:10 Jesus, standing up, saw her and said, “Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?”

8:11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more.”

So, Jesus uses the same word, i.e. "condemn" that Huckabee used in reference to the Spears girl's premarital sex and unwed pregnancy.

William R. Barker said...

I'm looking at it from a Barkarian perspective, Rob. Basically, the thrust of my thinking focuses on the societal statement which SHOULD be made and not the individual "compassion," or if you'd rather, "charity."

In my judgment, it's not enough to say "hers was not the a responsible action," but rather, in my opinion, he SHOULD condemn her actions - condemn them forcefully.

The irony of my quoting a phrase associated with HRC aside... it DOES take "a village" to inculcate the message to young teens that they simply SHOULDN'T be having sex. And it's not enough to just "say" it... there have to be societal repercussions attached to going against the code - especially if a young girl is stupid enough to allow herself to get pregnant.

To my way of thinking, this Frostian "short line" is the EASY line - the line of least resistance as applicable to "Little House on the Prairie" Christianity. But in any event, I'm not so much interested in "short" vs. "long" lines as I am in CORRECT vs. INCORRECT behavior.

To reiterate, I believe Huckabee was INCORRECT to say "I'm not going to condemn her." Her actions make young Ms. Spears worthy of condemnation in my view.



Rodak said...


I believe that the operative Christian phraseology for these situations is: Hate the sin, love the sinner.

That is what Huckaby intended to convey, I believe. He accurately predicted, therefore, that a long line would quickly form, made up of folks with your take on it.
He's on the other line, and I'm on it with him: the deed's done; now what?
It's not that I don't hear you, Bill. It's not even that I disagree with you. But abstinence programs have been spectacular failures, pretty much across the board. I was not abstinent at that age, and there was no easy availability of contraceptives yet then. Most kids are more lucky, or careful, than they are chaste. We can give them good (and somewhat hypocritcal) advice, but few of them will take it. 'Twas ever thus.
All that said, it's also true that Jesus was pretty much forgiving of sexual improprieties, not seeing them as very important sins, apparently. He came down much harder on hypocrites, for instance. ;-)

William R. Barker said...

Good exchange, Rob.


Rodak said...

I agree, Bill. Not too shabby.