February 19, 2005

"The religion of health," part 2.

Yesterday, I wrote about what Vatican officials called "the religion of health." And not too long ago, I criticized Arkansas Governor Huckabee for participating in a covenant marriage rally. Some of my readers thought I was being too hard on Huckabee, and perhaps now you will suspect me of having an unfair focus on the man from Hope, but Huckabee keeps walking right into the net of Althouse blog-topics. This is from yesterday's Daily Citizen:
Striving towards fitness is part of a person's covenant with God, said Gov. Mike Huckabee to Harding University students Thursday morning during Harding's daily chapel.

First, thanks for reminding us that "covenant" is a word with deep religious connotations. It helps shed some light on the problems with those state-sanctioned "covenant marriages" you just rallied about. Either keep the religion out of marriage or keep government out of marriage. Just choose, and be consistent.
Huckabee has lost about 110 pounds since he was diagnosed two years ago with type two diabetes. He had been told then that the next decade of his life would be his last if he did not change his eating habits and begin exercising, recounted Huckabee, who was hosted by Harding's wellness committee.

"If my body belonged to the Lord, I was not following the design of the Designer," said the governor.

It is a matter of the divine ownership of the body, said Huckabee.

Whatever helps you lose weight is fine with me, and tying God into every aspect of your life that you can think of, if that's what you want to do, is fine with me. But do you really mean to say everyone who's fat is sinning?
"I was living in a way that made my body unfit as a temple where He might live. It was not only unhealthy. It was sinful," said Huckabee.

I guess he hasn't heard that making a religion out of health might be a sin. But quite aside from whether dieting is the stuff of religion, is it the concern of government? Huckabee surely thinks so:
Huckabee has used his governorship to enourage state-wide weight-loss. Huckabee's legislative package last year included a law now in effect requiring public schools to weigh their students, and send home each child's body-mass-index, said Huckabee spokesman Jim Harris.

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