Yeah, it’s a joke. No, I don’t think Mike Huckabee really wants to put a gun to everybody’s head. But you know the old adage: Jokes are funny because they are connected to truth.
Mike Huckabee’s attitude represents a real frustration coming from the far religious right. I remember seeing it quite a lot during my Christian days, so it’s not new — but it is a lot more prominent today than it was three decades ago.
Many of these folks are true believers. They think that if you died today, you’d wake up in torment that wouldn’t end. Ever. The thing is, some of these folks also have human compassion. And when you combine compassion with the belief in an eternal hell, you get the twisted notion that saving souls at any cost is the most important thing you can do for your fellow man.
Unfortunately, that means that indoctrination at gunpoint is an acceptable option. If it gets souls into heaven, then it’s a mild indignity.
It’s a logical and rational conclusion. If I believed in an eternal hell (I once did), I would believe that people’s “freedoms” should only extend as far as the security of their eternal soul. (I did.) That’s what’s so awful about hell. It takes genuinely kind people and twists empathy until it’s dictatorial. “I love you so much that I’m going to hurt you for your own good!”
Mike Huckabee is apparently a true believer. I don’t doubt that he and his true believer cronies believe deep down that forced indoctrination is a good thing at some level. They know they can’t really do that, but in the world of their fantasies, they imagine a place where they did have magic wands, and could turn America into a gigantic indoctrination camp for Jesus.