Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee argues all we need is Jesus to put an end to racial tensions in America.
Trying to seduce voters with Jesus, a new campaign ad from former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee claims racism is not about the color of skin, and argues instead that racism is really about sin.
Last Sunday, while speaking to the mostly African-American congregation in attendance at the Rock Hill Missionary Baptist Church in rural South Carolina, Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher, promoted the “sin, not skin” theme:
I hear people say we’ve got racial problems. We don’t have a skin problem in this country, we have a sin problem in this country.
In a new campaign ad released earlier this week Huckabee declares:
We don’t have a skin problem in America, we have a sin problem in America. That is the root and the heart and the cause of racial strife and it cannot be reconciled by the government stepping in and making pronouncements. There is a prescription…2nd Chronicles 7:14….’If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways’ – those are the conditions – then He says ‘He will hear from Heaven, He will forgive our sins, and He will heal our land.’ I think people forget God will heal this land, but He won’t do it if we don’t meet the conditions for Him to heal it.
The Christian Post reports that last Thursday, in advance of his speech at Rock Hill Missionary Baptist Church, the Huckabee campaign released a video online titled “Reconciliation,” which shows the former governor giving a speech in 1997 in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School.
In that video Huckabee proclaims:
Government can do some things, but only God can change people’s hearts. Government can put us in the same classrooms, but government can’t make classmates go home and be friends when school is out.Government can make sure the doors of every public building are open to everyone. Government can ensure that we share schools and streets and lunch counters and buses and elevators and theaters, but let us never forget that only God can give us the power to love each other and respect each other and to share life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The idea that some imaginary God will “heal our land” of “racial strife” is rather silly. More to the point, anyone familiar with American history will recognize the sad truth that racism and Christianity have often gone hand in hand, with each often being used to justify and promote the other.
For every Bible verse Huckabee cites that is vaguely in favor of some sort of racial harmony, one can find another verse that Americans have used to promote, establish, and maintain racial inequality, oppression and even slavery.
Indeed, the foundations of American slavery, segregation and racism are rooted in the Christian tradition. It is only quite recently that Christians have reached the tenuous consensus that racism is wrong. Historically Christianity justified and endorsed the institutional racism that continues to infect the nation.
One would think that if Jesus was going to heal the racial tensions of this country he would have done so a long time ago.