COMMENTARY | Tuesday, Fox News host Mike Huckabee went on record with perhaps the most unlikely claim ever to hit the realm of wholly imagined potential martyrdom.
Now, he warns, the Obama administration, which he claims isn't "just indifferent to people of faith, it's hostile," could really let religion have it, according to Raw Story. Says Huckabee, in reference to the mythical imposition of the government on the Catholic church:
"… the next time the government may say that Baptists can't -- maybe the Baptist won't be able to immerse because the EPA will determine that's using too much water," reports Raw Story.
First of all, this right-wing cry of imposition from the so-called "government mandate" for birth control is a completely made-up pretend issue. Health insurers -- which the Catholic Church, as far as I know, is not -- are now required to include birth control in the services covered by premiums. Period. That's it. It simply says that private health plans cannot make women pay extra for birth control on top of what they are already paying for insurance, as reported by NBC News 33.
Churches, meaning all churches, meaning including the Catholic Church, are exempted from making health plans available to their employees that cover birth control. This point was never at issue.
But no, you tell me, they were so upset! Obviously the sex-mongering anti-religious government told them they had to hand out birth control out at Mass.
Nope. The big fuss that led to a congressional panel of men discussing lady business and -- if you'll forgive the irony, or enjoy it, whichever you prefer -- supposed oppression by the government, was actually in response to the requirement that separate businesses, like schools or hospitals, merely affiliated with the church, often staffed by non-Christians, provide comprehensive health insurance.
Not the church.
Entirely separate businesses merely affiliated with the church.
And then the Obama administration exempted them from in any way contributing to the payment for birth control for employees who may not even subscribe to their religion, so everything was just fine and dandy. Oh wait, it wasn't, because they rejected that compromise, too.
And here we are again talking about this fictional religious persecution.
Now, I am not familiar with the water-to-human ratio required to make a baptism sufficiently holy, but attempting to compare utterly fantastical EPA water limits to regulating what health insurance premiums cover is so illogical, so disjointed, I cannot find a simile that even makes sense.
I welcome you to attempt to construct your own, but I am not responsible for any injury that may occur.
This right-wing religious paranoia would be laughable if it wasn't so damaging. There is no war on religion. There is no danger of the majority religion in this country becoming oppressed by the less-than quarter of the U.S. population that does not identify as Christian. With 78.4 percent of Americans calling themselves "Christian," according to Pew, it's really hard to figure out who, exactly, you think is persecuting you.
In other words, there are no lions in sight.
Religion is not somehow instantly more important than anything else, and it's not a magic shield that entitles you to get your way. In fact, when it comes to matters of the government, religion is supposed to have absolutely no effect on policy.
A government mindful of the separation of church and state is not hostile to religion. It is embracing the Constitution.
So what it boils down to, Mick Huckabee: When it comes to the likelihood of the EPA shutting down your baptismal pool, don't hold your breath.