During the Republican primary of 2007, shortly before Christmas, candidate Mike Huckabee released what on the surface appeared to be a campaign ad.
Actually, it was more of a Christmas greeting and a call to remember what was really important: not political squabbles, but Jesus. The ad contained no overt political message. It was quite possibly the least controversial thing to be disseminated on television by a politician ever in history.
Predictably, some saw controversy in it. In the background was a bookshelf that, as the camera panned over it, briefly resembled a cross. It was claimed that Mr. Huckabee included this deliberately to subliminally associate himself with Jesus, or perhaps Christianity. It was claimed that something sneaky and underhanded had occurred.
I have a hard time understanding this. Since Huckabee was talking openly in the ad about Christmas and Jesus, why would he need to “sneak” anything in? Based on the content of the ad, a cross in the background would have made perfect sense. After all, he already had a Christmas tree. No one seemed perturbed by that.
Furthermore, when I saw the ad, I realized that the appearance of the cross was most likely pure chance. Perpendicular lines are common things in our post-industrial world and the proportions were only briefly within the range of a traditional cross.
It would be far too easy to dismiss this non-issue as a creation of the media for ratings, but I know many gullible people believe everything they hear in the media. One man I know – while still being open-minded about it – fully believed the accusations. Then again, maybe I missed something. Maybe I’m the one who’s gullible (although in this case I would be falling for my own ideas, and not those of another). Does any of this ring true for you?
Hi, I'm Dan. I like chocolate, hiking, and politics.