Mau Mau Mike and Southern Baptist Bigotry

Mike Huckabee once said this about Barack Obama:

mau mau mike

Which prompted the following response by Stephen Colbert:

The important thing isn’t where the Mau Mau Revolution happened. The important thing is for people to start associating Barack Obama with the words “Mau Mau.” After all, wherever not in the United States the President grew up, he had a different childhood.
[ … ]
And you know what? You know what, sir? You know what, if it makes you a little more comfortable, feel free to throw in a Kenya here, a Kenya there, here a Kenya, there a Kenya, everywhere a Mau Mau.

President Obama, during his recent National Prayer Breakfast address, said this: “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” As commentator Ta-Nehisi Coates pointed out in an article about the outcry over Obama’s remarks, “There were a fair number of pretexts given for slavery and Jim Crow, but Christianity provided the moral justification.”

I was raised in the Southern Baptist church, a church that in 1845 split with the Baptists over the issue of slavery (you can guess which side the Southern Baptists were on). Until I was twelve or so, I went to church every week. By then I had learned to associate bigotry with Christianity, and specifically with the Southern Baptist church.

I know, I know: my feelings about Southern Baptists won’t stand up in court. There’s bigotry in every faith. Rick (“I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money”) Santorum is a practicing Catholic. So is Mel (“You look like a fucking pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of niggers, it will be your fault”) Gibson.

But I grew up with Southern Baptists. When I heard words like “nigger” and “nigger lover” being spat out, it was Southern Baptists spitting them.

Southern Baptists preach that only born-again Christians, people who make up the congregations of conservative evangelical Protestant churches, can go to heaven. For people of other faiths, including fellow Christians who are Catholic or who belong to non-conservative Protestant denominations (never mind Jews, Muslims, etc), the default destination is hell. Period. If the basic tenet of your religious faith is intolerant bigotry, other forms of intolerance and bigotry are bound to follow.

I don’t apologize for my antipathy toward Southern Baptists. It’s one of the few childhood prejudices I haven’t been able to overcome … and I admit I haven’t tried very hard. Southern Baptists, regardless of whatever good they do, regardless of how they say they’ve changed, are close to the heart of intolerance and bigotry in this country.

I started this rant with the statement that turned me into a lifelong enemy of Mike Huckabee. For some reason the media still seems to think of Mike Huckabee (a Southern Baptist, by the way) as a nice guy. Maybe that’s because he smiles as he utters his hate-filled lies. He’s the Ronald McDonald of bigotry. And a most dangerous man.

© 2015, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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One thought on “Mau Mau Mike and Southern Baptist Bigotry

  • I set out to explain why I think Mike Huckabee is a snake in the grass, which is why I focused on my personal antipathy to Southern Baptists. I realize my argument could be easily expanded to include Christians as a whole; expanded a bit more to encompass religion in general. I further realize that pig-headed bigotry toward anyone who looks or behaves differently is probably a hard-wired human trait, and that religion merely gives us a respectable excuse to indulge in it. Clearly, I can never run for public office.

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