Huckabee on Cancer

And while we’re perusing the Hardball transcript, here’s Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee commenting on the causes of cancer. Huckabee, recall, was one of three Republican candidates to raise his hand to affirm his rejection of evolution. Take it away Guv’ner:

I believe God created these wonderful bodies of ours. And they are a masterpiece, but they were designed to be used in a way that were fueled properly and then were exercised properly. And, when we don’t fuel them properly or exercise them properly, it is like having a car in which you pour mud into the tank and never run it. Well, guess what? The car is not going anywhere.

It’s nice that God created these wonderful bodies of ours. But if he had clear intentions for their proper use one wonders why the Bible says nothing at all about proper nutrition or the benefits of exercise (or basic sanitation for that matter, but that’s a different post). I guess notions of eating right and exercising, like the idea that God created the world through evolution, were just too complex for the people of that time.

Comments

  1. #1 matthew
    August 29, 2007

    Now Jason, the Bible does too mention sanitation: http://www.thebricktestament.com/the_law/camp_defecation/dt23_09p12-13.html

  2. #2 matthew
    August 29, 2007

    Now Jason, the Bible does too mention sanitation: http://www.thebricktestament.com/the_law/camp_defecation/dt23_09p12-13.html

  3. #3 skyotter
    August 29, 2007

    also see Ezekiel 4:12 for benefits of a diet high in human dung

  4. #4 Yummy the Tasty God
    August 29, 2007

    Now, just a minute! Jews got Kosher! Muslims got Hallal. It’s just, what’s good for you is a big sandwich of fat corned beef but no milk! And, plenty no pig. My friend the unspeakable god-name tells me, your nutritionists got it wrong. And then there’s the Christians, with no meat on Friday! A clear reduction in cholesterol once a week! A truly modern diet. Okay, yes, they gave it up, but you tell me how faddish these health-diets are. But, anyway, you can always believe in me! My commandment is, eat what’s good, and good for you! So, there is a god, see, and she is Yummy!

  5. #5 Joshua Zelinsky
    August 29, 2007

    There’s another issue about Huckabee’s comment that needs to be discussed: The comment implies that if you have cancer then you deserve it because you mistreated your body. I don’t know how to describe that sentiment other than as offensive.

  6. #6 Susan
    August 29, 2007

    So if you get cancer it’s your fault! Of course, it’s so simple. Wow, think of all the money it will save on cancer research.

  7. #7 decrepitoldfool
    August 29, 2007

    I took many classes on the Bible in college (during a pre-atheist time when I thought I wanted to be a minister). Having studied the book very closely with considerable scholarly context, I’m quite certain it contains no mention of dioxin exposure, HPV, or anything about tobacco (though in ’76-’80 the churches in Tennessee where I went to college were full of tobacco farmers. I think even Al Gore was growing tobacco back then.)

    Maybe God was planning a sequel: Bible II: This time, it’s epidemiological

  8. #8 Greta Christina
    August 29, 2007

    What Susan and Joshua said. My reaction is pretty much: Did he really say that? Did he really say that people get cancer because they don’t eat right and exercise? Not just sometimes, but always?

    Really?

    Ya got any words about pediatric cancer, bub?

    If there’s any justice in the world, the American Cancer Society and every cancer survivor’s group will be all over this, and he’ll be eating crow in two days.

  9. #9 J-Dog
    August 30, 2007

    Please raise your hand if you agree that Huckabee is quite the idiot. Hard to believe that anyone would vote for this moron even as a dog-catcher.

  10. #10 Steven Novella
    August 30, 2007

    FYI – I blogged on this issue today, responding to this blog entry and some of the comments.

    http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/default.asp?Display=157

  11. #11 Jason Rosenhouse
    August 30, 2007

    In fairness to Huckabee, he didn’t say that all cancers are caused by unhealthy living. Here’s the full quote:

    But you ask about cancer. Specifically, we know that a third of the

    cancer deaths in this country could be eliminated with nutrition and

    exercise alone, because bad nutrition and the lack of exercise breaks down

    a body‘s capacity to throw off bad cells, bad internal workings, that our -

    our bodies are a masterfully created and designed piece of work.

    I believe God created these wonderful bodies of ours. And they are a masterpiece, but they were designed to be used in a way that were fueled properly and then were exercised properly. And, when we don‘t fuel them properly or exercise them properly, it is like having a car in which you pour mud into the tank and never run it. Well, guess what? The car is not going anywhere.

    And we wonder why our bodies break down. The truth is, if we don‘t use these bodies in the manner in which they were intended to be properly fueled, with the foods that are a natural part of our world, and with the exercise for which we were created—we were created to be active and—and energetic, not sloughing about—it will eliminate a third of the cancers in this country.

    I was just making a snarky point about religious simple-mindedness. I wasn’t commenting on what does and does not cause cancer.

  12. #12 realpc
    September 3, 2007

    “if he had clear intentions for their proper use one wonders why the Bible says nothing at all about proper nutrition or the benefits of exercise”

    The bible was written for a very different culture. They didn’t have to worry about unnatural chemicals, junk food, or lack of exercise. The bible was written by human beings, who could not have known about the future evolution of technology.

    Most religious people, outside of elementary school, understand that the bible was not written directly by God. Parts of it were written by prophets, who were considered to be inspired by God. But they were still human.

    If you expect the bible to cover all future problems, then it should not merely cover our present civilization — it should extend infinitely into the future. Why aren’t you complaining that the bible doesn’t address problems that will be faced in the year 5000?

    Huckabee’s statement about cancer is perfectly reasonable. Cancer probably results mostly from the unnatural modern lifestyle. Our body’s are extremely well designed for fighting disease and coping with a wide range of difficulties, but there are limits. Our bodies were never meant to last forever anyway.

  13. #13 söve
    February 8, 2010

    I agree realpc.Thanks.