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The famous nursery rhyme goes:

Rub-a-dub-dub, Three men in a tub, And who do you think they be? The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, And all of them out to sea.

It has become a rhyme that is much about nonsense, with no meaning, and a silly song for children, but that hasn’t always been the case. Take the 1842 version, for example:

Rub a dub dub, Three fools in a tub, And who do you think they be? The butcher, the baker, The candlestick maker. Turn them out, knaves all three.

In this rendition of the classic children’s rhyme, we see that the three characters are made out to be fools. While the reason these three men were fools may be left up to speculation, it is clear that it was designed as a warning for the children who would hear this simple tale. When you hear this version, you can’t help but not want to be a butcher, baker, or candlestick maker, or at least get called a fool or a knave.

While this rhyme may seem silly and insignificant, I believe that it actually portrays three types of political figures that you will inevitably run into as conservatives. All three of these characters are foolish in their endeavors and were given as a warning to any who would hear such a rhyme. In politics, I believe it is important that everyone knows who fits into these three categories of foolish butchers, knave bakers, and candlestick makers.

Before we take a look at these three categories, I do want you to understand why I am bringing any of this up and asking the question of what category Rep. Holt fits into. For those who are conservative in Iowa, we had the best bill presented, hands down, in at least the past decade, if not dating back further, in HF2256. This bill would give the preborn equal protection under the law and would abolish abortion in Iowa if it passed. When I say it is the best bill that has been presented in the past decade, I don’t say that with hyperbole — I truly believe this bill would do more good for Iowa than any other bill in recent memory.

When you hear that, you are probably thinking to yourself, “That’s great! Iowa has near supermajorities in the legislature, a red trifecta, and a republican-appointed supreme court. Surely we are going to outlaw abortion and recognize the preborn equally under the law!” Unfortunately, the circumstances we find ourselves in are not quite as favorable as you would think. While we certainly don’t lack for Republicans in office in Iowa, we are on the verge of seeing HF2256 not make it past funnel week, because Rep. Holt wouldn’t give it a subcommittee, let alone a full committee.

Why would this happen? Haven’t we been told for years that we can end abortion once Roe is overturned and if we vote Republicans into power? Haven’t you heard the stump speech a thousand times about how so and so is pro-life and life begins at conception and we must protect the most innocent among us? All of this has been said — in fact, Rep. Holt has said he is pro-life more times this week than I imagine he has said it in any other week of his life — yet here we are about to go past funnel week with no protection for the preborn in Iowa with an incredible bill filed and waiting to be given a fair hearing.

This bill is most likely going to die, but not because Rep. Holt wasn’t contacted enough and not because the grassroots didn’t raise their voice, but because in politics there are butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers. Let’s look at who these three characters represent.

The foolish butchers are pretty easy to spot; they are the ones who literally want to butcher the children. They shout their abortions, they love drag queen story hour, and they want children to be mutilated behind their parents’ backs. These are the most wicked people in politics, but they are easy to spot because they tell you exactly who they are.

I know for a fact that Rep. Steve Holt disdains these politicians. In fact, Rep. Holt has often taken heat from these foolish butchers. The foolish butchers have often decried how terrible Rep. Holt is. While there is no doubt that there are butchers in Iowa politics, no one can say that Steve Holt is one of them, and it holds water. Holt doesn’t want to see children mutilated or be murdered in the womb; he doesn’t fit into this category at all.

The next category is the knave bakers. Now, the bakers are not nearly as overt as the butchers; they stay back and prepare food for the people to eat, but their cooking is generally out of sight and out of mind for the masses. The bakers certainly take what the butchers give them, and they spice it up a bit to make it more palatable for the masses to consume. Remember, I didn’t call them bakers but knave bakers. That word, knave, carries the idea of being a scoundrel or being dishonest. The bakers are those who are often in leadership; they are really good at politics and branding, but they simply do not have the character to back it up. They often rise in position because they are ambitious, but they always let their constituents down because they were merely empty suits who were all too ready to compromise with the butchers.

I also do not believe Rep. Holt fits into this category. If you have ever met the man, you would know he is a man of conviction. Sometimes I agree with Holt’s convictions, other times I don’t, but I know he believes in his actions. Bakers are the politicians who know better than the people, never listen, but certainly know how to kiss babies and wave in parades. Rep. Holt entered politics after serving nobly as a United States Marine; he isn’t here to kiss babies and wave in parades, but to get business done.

The third category is where I believe Rep. Holt can rightly be placed — the candlestick maker. A candlestick maker has very little to do with the food that is being served, but his actions enable the meal to be eaten as it sheds the necessary dim lighting to stick your fork in and fill your face. The political candlestick makers are not overtly nefarious like the butchers, nor are they subtly conniving like the bakers, but they do play a significant role in the swamp; they are the enablers of all that is wrong in politics today. Every unjust law that gets passed needs a candlestick maker, and every just law that dies needs a candlestick maker as well.

Candlestick makers are often wowed by the bakers’ knowledge of “how politics work,” and they rarely realize that they are enabling unjust laws and holding back justice from being established. While there are a plethora of different reasons a candlestick maker might enable the butchers and bakers — cowardice, party loyalty, a desire to be a team player, misplaced trust — the fix is quite simple. All Rep. Holt has to do is the right thing.

Throughout this political season, I have had a few ideas that have been impressed upon my mind, and I believe Rep. Holt would do good to hear them. The first is that God is not impressed with our unjust laws. Therefore, we need to establish Biblical justice, which is exactly what HF2256 does as it would stop the killing of the preborn in our state. The second idea is obedience is simple, and disobedience is complicated. It is pretty simple to do the right thing and give the bill a subcommittee and full committee. If the votes aren’t there, let the pro-baby murder Republicans out themselves. If the votes are there, let Baker Grassley, I mean Speaker Grassley, handle his own agenda and decide if he wants to be known as pro-life or pro-baby murder. It really is simple, but so far, Rep. Holt has decided he would rather endure hundreds of emails and phone calls and have to change his auto-reply towards the bill from it won’t advance for “duplicative bills” to “it’s not strategic to move a life bill forward before the heartbeat bill is decided in court.”

The final idea that Rep. Holt needs to hear is that disobedience to God is never a winning strategy. If Holt decides not to give HF2256 a subcommittee, he is making the claim that his strategies are better than God’s. God didn’t mince words when He said, “Thou shalt not kill.” Murder is wrong and should be treated as a crime, no matter how small or young the person may be. If he chooses to advance a different life bill in place of HF2256, he is choosing a strategy of rejecting the better to take on the worse. While he should have learned this lesson from the heartbeat bill being caught up in the court system for the second time, the simple solution is to just obey God.

So what should you do, and how should you encourage Rep. Holt? You should contact him and tell him to stop enabling those who are seeking to murder babies and tell him all he needs to do is seek God’s approval, remind him that obedience to God is simple and a winning strategy. We need Rep. Holt to get out of the tub and stop being a candlestick maker. The babies of Iowa are depending on it.

Author: Sam Jones

Pastor Sam completed an intense pastoral internship at Hagerman Baptist Church and served as a chaplain at Heritage Care Center in Iowa Falls, Iowa before accepting the call to pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Hudson, Iowa. He loves people and his goal is to make disciples of Christ by personally, prayerfully, and persistently investing the Word of God into others.



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