Here’s Mike Huckabee, quoted in The New Yorker:
If somebody asked me, How do I get to Heaven, I would tell them that the only way I personally am aware of is faith in Christ, because I believe the New Testament. That’s the only map I got. Somebody says, Well, I got a different map. O.K.! You know what? If it works, I’m not going to argue with you.
Well, that makes sense. If somebody asked me, How do I get to Mount Rushmore, I would tell them that the only way I personally am aware of is Route 90, because I believe in Google Maps. Somebody says, Well, I got a different map. O.K.! You know what, if it works, I’m not going to argue with you. Unless, of course, I actually care whether you make it to Mount Rushmore or not, in which case I might take the trouble to defend my map.
Or maybe I don’t argue because I know Google Maps is sometimes wrong. (Ask me sometime about how it directed me across a field of boulders in Vermont last year.) But the analogue in Huckabee’s case would be knowing that the New Testament is sometimes wrong, and I don’t think he wants to go there. That leaves us to infer that he really doesn’t care whether you get to Heaven or not. That’s certainly his privilege, callous as it may be. But then, a little farther down in the same New Yorker piece, we get this (on why we should subsidize education in poor districts):
To be truly pro-life means that we should be just as much concerned about the child who is eight years old and living under a bridge or in the back seat of a car.
So there we have it. The governor, who surely considers himself truly pro-life, cares passionately about how things turn out for you at age eight (and, we may infer, at eighteen and at eighty) but pretty much not at all about how things turn out for you in the infinitely many years thereafter.
This sounds so implausible that I am forced to conclude he can’t mean a word of what he’s saying. (And as readers of The Big Questions are aware, similar implausiblities convince me that the same is true of very many ostentatiously religious people.)
Is there any way to spin this that makes any sense at all? Let’s do this as a flow chart (click to enlarge):
All paths, it seems to me, end in questions to which the only possible answer is “He doesn’t really mean it.” Is there a path I’m not seeing?