chuckystud saidHuckabee actually makes an intellectual argument, if you listened to the whole thing. That argument being that if you allow one thing, then you allow another, and another, and another, and that lowers all sense of standards and allows moral decay.
And in fact that type of argument is what others have mentioned, the logical fallacy of the slippery slope
. So, it merits some assessment.
I think if we examine the issue pragmatically the fallacious reasoning does not appear to work very well as a predictor of future public policy. We're imagining a hypothetical future society in which moral decay on the issue of homosexuality has lead to a cultural view that accepts incest and polygamy. While these things may seem to be related in a Christian mindset due to all ostensibly being forbidden by the same religious traditions, we don't have to look very far to other societies to see that they aren't related all the time.
Incest for one is unlikely to ever become very popular because it's virtually a universal taboo across cultures. The reasons for this are not vaguely religious, but because incest is problematic for a number of reasons as part of any society. We don't need to reject incest on a basis of religious traditions; we already have ample reason otherwise. Homosexuality differs because the reason for opposing it is at least predominately religious in nature (arguably given our modern technologies the practical concerns are no longer relevant).
It's unclear whether being more permissive about homosexuality will result in permissiveness about polygamy. This is a possible outcome
, but I do not believe the evidence very strongly supports the prediction. That said, condemnations of homosexuality and polygamy are more similar in nature (more to do with cultural norms than practical issues) than is the case with incest.
If we look at historical evidence, polygamy would be more likely to adopted by our culture if certain social pressures such as a population gender disparity appeared. Anthropologically speaking, this is usually the reason why other cultures adopt polygamous models of marriage. There aren't really examples of societies adopting polygamy for other reasons (e.g., the liberalization of moral ideals) in a pervasive and long-term way. In that way the causes behind polygamous behavior are more or less fundamentally different than the causes behind homosexual behavior. It would be more likely that a situation promoting polygamous traditions would also promote homosexual behavior (by more straight people than average if that's relevant) than vice versa.
Periods of 'excess' by the aristocratic class resulting in such trends, by contrast, are often more short lived and not widespread as social inequality dictates who is able to participate. So, there does not appear to be much reason to think a shift in attitudes about homosexuality would result in a shift in attitudes about polygamous relationships, at least not to as significant a degree.
Huckabee's real argument in essence is in defense of fundamentalist Christian morality, which having professed infallibility, may be problematic if society becomes inconsistent with a particular tenant. We can see that in many ways society is already inconsistent with Christian teachings, though, and so far hasn't caused a moral collapse. Legalizing divorce has so far not resulted in murder becoming legal, for example. Bringing up comparisons of things society at large currently considers distasteful to homosexuality seems to be more aimed at creating an emotional response than actual concern about a causal relationship.
In any case, Huckabee's concern that Christian values themselves may be weakened by changing cultural attitudes may be correct. It's just not very plausible that the rejection of those values would result in a completely amoral society, even societies considered to be 'amoral' by the Christian standard still abide by their own set of values.