Mike Huckabee reveals the 'ironic' problem he sees in today's culture - and warns about pending California religious liberty battle

Posted July 16

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is sounding the alarm on an “ironic” problem that he believes is raging in the current culture, saying that the push for tolerance is actually breeding a society in which the exact opposite is unfolding.

“The most ironic thing about what we’re seeing in our culture is that, in the name of diversity, we’re really demanding uniformity,” Huckabee recently told The Church Boys podcast. “And in the name of tolerance, we are pushing for a level of intolerance that is far more consistent with something one would see in the old Soviet Union or even in communist China.”

At the center of Huckabee’s most recent concern is Senate Bill 1146 — a proposal that is working its way through the California Legislature. It's a provision that he believes Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, might actually end up signing into law.

As previously reported, the bill is aimed at religiously affiliated universities, requiring that faith-based colleges that accept state funding — some of which are known to apply for exemptions from government mandates surrounding sexuality and gender identity — disclose those exemptions.

The bill also says that religious colleges and universities that receive federal aid or admit students who receive any state assistance are subject to prohibitions against discrimination and that "a private right of action" is permitted.

The fear, according to Life Site News, is that students who end up being punished with expulsion or who are denied housing due to sexual behavior — or even those who do not wish to attend compulsory chapel or take required religious courses — will sue faith-based institutions.

Listen to Huckabee discuss the bill and his religious-freedom concerns at the 56:30-mark here.

“I think a lot of us recognize that legislation like this is really designed to totally squelch the First Amendment rights of religious people,” he said. “When the government begins to tell you that you can’t hold to a view that is consistent with your faith … with your historic biblical teachings — doctrines that have existed for more than 2,000 years — then the government has grossly overstepped its bounds.”

Huckabee continued, “The Founding Fathers would not recognize this kind of misapplication of government authority and power.”

The politician and former Fox News commentator — who ran for president in 2008 and 2016 — said that the passage of the law would mean that religious colleges would have unfair constraints placed upon them, specifically when it came to the rights of those institutions to live out their faith.

“You have to subjugate [views on sexual ethics] or else you’re in violation of the rights of people who differ with you,” he said of what the law would force upon faith-based institutions. “There really is no tolerance.”

But supporters of Senate Bill 1146 insist that the legislation would benefit college students. Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California, a gay rights group, said that students have a right to know schools' stances on LGBT issues.

"This bill would let any school seeking to skirt federal anti-discrimination protections know that its policies would be public, and that anyone discriminated against would have legal recourse," Zbur recently told Religion News Service.

During his interview with The Church Boys, Huckabee also spoke about President Barack Obama’s support for same-sex nuptials — a reversal of opinion that many critics believe had a profound impact on the nation’s willingness to embrace gay marriage.

“We have a president whose bully pulpit has been given wholly and solely to pushing a far-leftist agenda when it comes to such cultural issues,” Huckabee said.

He went on to express surprise over Obama’s staunch opposition to gay marriage over the years in contrast to the president’s rousing proclamation of support in the months leading up to the 2012 election. It’s a paradigm that Huckabee said led Obama to become “the leading national cheerleader for the idea.”

As for the state of American culture, Huckabee said that he’s confident that God can turn anything around, no matter how dire the situation appears.

“I never quit believing that a big God can do big things even when we don’t see any way in which it could happen,” he said. “It’s not my job to be successful. It’s my job to be faithful.”

Huckabee encouraged his fellow faithful to abide by “God’s word” and “not to the cultural norms” — a decision that he said requires boldness.

And when it comes to the 2016 presidential cycle, he’s encouraging people to support Republican candidate Donald Trump, saying that the future of the U.S. Supreme Court is of prime importance.

While he said that Trump isn’t the most devout or well-versed leader on Christian issues, Huckabee believes that the presidential contender is willing to “valiantly fight for religious liberty” and said that Trump respects people of faith.

“I’m convinced Donald Trump, so he’s not a Sunday School teacher, I doubt he can quote two verses of scripture verbatim,” Huckabee said. “He’s probably not the guy I would call him at 3 o’clock in the morning and say, ‘I really need your prayers.’”

But Huckabee said that those aren’t the prime issues of importance this election cycle.

“I don’t have to have somebody who shares my views,” he said. “I just want someone who won’t trample all over them."

Huckabee recently teamed up with legendary singer and songwriter Pat Boone to pen a letter to Brown, expressing profound concern over Senate Bill 1146.

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