WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ask any Republican voter what they value most about America, and you’ll invariably get an answer that in some way contains the word “freedom.” Whether it’s “freedom of speech,” “freedom of expression,” “freedom of religion,” “freedom to own any and all weapons you desire because that’s what being truly free means,” or any of the other many “freedoms” Americans enjoy, Republicans are all about protecting them for all Americans. All of them of course, except the freedom to marry another adult you choose to marry if they happen to have the same genitalia as you.
In well over half the states now, gay marriage is an accepted paradigm. Whether by way of Federal courts striking down gay marriage bans in the states, or by way of citizens themselves voting in favor of legalizing it, same-sex marriage is on a collision course for nationwide legality, and the Supreme Court of the United States of America will rule this summer on a handful of cases that many expect to finally and completely remove the barriers in the way of the LGBT community enjoying the freedom to marry.
Some Republican politicians however, are not taking the threat of expanded freedom, liberty, and justice for all sitting down. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Senator Rand Paul — both presumed candidates for the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nomination — have agreed to appear in an anti-gay documentary produced by social conservative activist Janet Porter, extolling the virtues of “traditional” marriage and decrying the LGBT equality movement as being an assault on Christianity. Republican members of the House of Representatives Trent Franks (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) and Steve King (R-IA) have also agreed to lend support to the movie.
Titled “Light Wins: How To Overcome The Criminalization Of Christianity,” the trailer features Huckabee – perhaps the 2016 field’s most strident evangelical representative of the past — asking the prospective audience, “What kind of freedom of speech do we have if a person who expresses a biblical viewpoint about marriage is told they can’t open their businesses in a location?”
We placed a call to the Huckabee 2016 campaign and Tom Thompaulsen, Republican State Representative and Huckabee campaign adviser, made himself available to answer our questions. We asked Thompaulsen just how “traditional” Huckabee feels marriage should stay. “Governor Huckabee is a firm believer in the tenets of the Christian Holy Bible,” Thompaulsen said, “and as such he favors Biblical definitions of marriage. Which is why he supports an amendment to the Constitution forcing men to marry their rape victims and why he believes the minimum dowry should be two chickens, a goat and at least six sheep.”
When asked where in the country it was actually illegal to be a practicing Christian, as the title of the documentary implies, Thompaulsen said, “Oh sure, you liberal lamestream media types will point to things like ‘facts’ and ‘truth’ as evidence that literally nowhere in this country is it even remotely illegal to express traditional, Christian beliefs.” He said however that, “clearly in the example the governor gave of the Christian business owner, it’s a case where religious freedoms are being trampled on.”
We asked why anti-discrimination laws infringe on religious freedom when they are about actions taken and not “thoughts” or “opinions” expressed. “Asking a Christian baker to make a cake for a gay couple is no different than asking a Jewish person to burn their other Jewish friend in an oven,” said Thompaulsen. “It’s literally the same thing. Gay marriages are the holocaust is what I’m trying to say.”
Our reporter asked Thompaulsen if Huckabee thinks it’s fair to say that Christians are under persecution when it’s the LGBT community that is currently still barred from partaking in marriage ceremonies in almost twenty states, and when it’s LGBT Americans who could be thrown in jail for violating those states’ marriage laws. “Everyone knows that when Republicans talk about ‘freedoms’ we mean those that only apply to people who fit our narrow and specific vision of what ‘true’ Americans are,” said Thompaulsen.
A source close to the Rand Paul 2016 campaign speaking on the condition of anonymity told us Paul is “only appearing in this thing” because “he wants to get the nomination of the party, and he knows the only way he can do that is to pander to the most backwards and antiquated members of the base during primary season.” The Paul campaign source told us “the Senator will do the traditional Romney Pivot once the primaries are over.”
“Senator Rand Paul believes in the freedom of all Americans to be who they are meant to be,” our source tells us. “He’s a libertarian for goodness’ sake. That means he favors personal freedoms. Like the personal freedom to be horribly repressive and homophobic.”
We asked Thompaulsen if Huckabee believes there is a difference between actions and words, and that once business owners start acting on their prejudices, they stop becoming “beliefs” and start becoming concrete actions with demonstrable effects. “Uh, it’s Adam and Eve,” said Thompaulsen, “Not ‘Adam and a discussion of whether or not beliefs in theologies and mythologies entitle us to make someone feel less than human because we find their sexual activities icky.’ Know what I’m saying?”