Mike Huckabee Wants to Indoctrinate You at Gunpoint

David Barton is the Evangelical Christian who tries to spread a warped version of American history where our founding is based entirely on Christian values, Thurgood Marshall is de-emphasized in our high school history curriculums because he’s apparently not very notable, and separation of church and state doesn’t exist.

Recently, at a “Rediscover God In America” conference, possible presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was introduced by Barton before giving a speech.

As a “thank-you” to him, Huckabee praised him… while scaring the shit out of every non-Christian out there (see the 0:56 mark):

… I just wish that every single young person in America would be able to be under his tutelage and understand something about who we really are as a nation.

I almost wish that there would be, like, a simultaneous telecast, and all Americans would be forced — forced at gunpoint no less — to listen to every David Barton message, and I think our country would be better for it. I wish it’d happen.

What the fuck…?

But there’s more! Chris Rodda watched the webcast of the event the next day and didn’t hear any of that. It seems the “gunpoint” statement was edited out by organizers United in Purpose…

I had watched Huckabee’s speech. How on earth could I have missed a statement like that? Well, I didn’t. It had been edited out of the webcast that I had watched.

Kyle Mantyla over at PFAW’s Right Wing Watch had recorded Huckabee’s speech when it was streamed live on Thursday, and posted the ‘forced at gunpoint’ clip on Friday. By Saturday, when I watched the webcast on the United in Purpose website, that part of Huckabee’s speech had been edited out.

The webcast that I saw showed Barton leaving the stage as he ended his presentation, then the screen going black for a moment, and then what appeared to be the beginning of Huckabee’s speech. What was edited out was Barton returning to the stage to introduce Huckabee, and the first two minutes and forty-five seconds of Huckabee’s speech, during which Huckabee made his ‘gunpoint’ comment and praised David Lane, the man behind all of the American “Renewal” and “Restoration” projects that have popped up across the country during the past few elections.

So if you were watching the webcast like Chris Rodda, you would’ve seen this:

It’s not like Mike Huckabee was a good candidate for president before all this… but after making a statement like that?! (What’s sad is that his Republican base won’t care at all and keep promoting his candidacy…)

Even without the whole “gunpoint” comment, this is still crazytalk. Listening to Barton at all means hearing about a fictional version of American that never existed. Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State rips Barton apart in this fantastic piece:

Barton makes a lucrative living traveling the right wing’s lecture circuit where he offers up a cut-and-paste version of U.S. history liberally sprinkled with gross distortions and, in some cases, outright factual errors. Crowds of fundamentalist Christians from coast to coast can’t get enough of it.


  • Defiantnonbeliever

    Holyshit on the rack! This guy got votes? Is this the 11th century?

  • Stroodle

    Are you seriously posting a serious article about this? He was joking.

    First O’Reilly’s tides comment and now this? Come on man.

  • ckitching

    How convenient. And if at the end of the speeches at gunpoint, they still do not fall down in submission to this god, they have the means to exterminate the potential troublemakers. After all, if you don’t submit to their god, you’ve clearly forfeited the right to exist. Plenty of ways to justify this in the Bible, too.

    I hope that this video is played every single time this guy is seriously considered for any position of power. May it haunt him for the rest of his political career. It is not the “taking the high road” in avoiding showing people this stuff.

  • http://www.mycultlife.com Lisa

    This is insane. I’ve never cared for Huckabee, anyway.

  • Sarah

    So what’s terrible about this is that he made a joke about how Americans should be forced at gunpoint to listen to a guy he likes? Definitely a comment that wasn’t a wise decision for a politician to make, but does he honestly want to “indoctrinate you at gunpoint”? I don’t think so. What worries me is the introductory comment that Huckabee is the kind of guy who wants to apply the Bible to every aspect of culture. And that Huckabee seems to be a huge fan of the guy who made that statement. I would focus on the fact that they want to impose their religion on America, not the dumb joke Huckabee made on the side.

  • Dan W

    You know, I knew Huckabee was a fundie already, but I didn’t realize he was this bad. Yikes.

    And I’m also a history major, so I’m pretty irritated about people like Barton, who keep pushing for this bullshit version of American history. It’s as bad as all those creationists pushing for their creation myth to be taught as science.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant Mehta

    I said this in the post, but I’ll say it again: Even if you want to say Huckabee’s “gunpoint” line was a joke (which I’ll grant you), it’s an extremely irresponsible thing to say.

    And even if he didn’t say it, the fact that he’s promoting Barton should be troubling enough. Barton’s version of history goes against what respectable history scholars believe to be true. And he perpetuates it with no credible evidence. There’s no reason to throw a bone his way, even if you’re Huckabee.

  • Steve

    The problem with these clowns is that you can’t tell whether they are joking anymore. They are so insane that there is nothing they aren’t capable of doing. Something like this fits perfectly into their world view.

  • Richard Wade

    This is the true Mike Huckabee, the scariest person in politics. This is the would-be Holy Dictator who, in his primary campaign in 2008 infamously said,

    “But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.”

    I hope that quote and this recent lunacy is recorded and used by his opponents, any opponents, to beat him over the head until he’s nothing but a puddle of toxic ambition.

  • selfification

    This is a bit silly. The man was clearly being facetious and the audience response was a clear indicator of this. Yes, he was being serious about his respect for Barton, but I see it as no more “serious” than if Hitchens or Harris said “creationists don’t deserve the air they breathe”. If I heard someone say that, I wouldn’t complain about atheist wanting to suffocate creationists. That would be disingenuous. Likewise, I feel like your characterization is fundamentally dishonest. You can disagree with the man on numerous things. He lets religion instead of reason guide him. He is clearly dangerous if given political power because he has and will wield it in a manner that is inconsistent with the constitution due to reasoning that is inconsistent with reality. But this is a cheap shot. You can do better than this Hemant. I have been reading your blog for 4 years to know that you didn’t mean to deliberately misrepresent him or anything of that sort but you must admit that you are over-reacting here. Call the man an idiot, but do it for better reasons.

  • http://www.correntewire.com chicago dyke

    i love republicans. they’re so predictable, i hardly have to engage more than a few brain cells to process their latest behaviors. said something outrageous and fascist? oh, he’s just ‘joking.’ suggest the slaughter of those different than you? never mind, that was not the context. etc. they’re always backtracking and editing out their embarrassing little moments when they reveal their true faces. the videos are usually the best, but i’ve heard some great uncut thug audio as well over these last years. the nixon years won’t have anything on the past decade when all the transcripts finally come out.

    but seriously: see? they really do want to kill us. just like they really do want to murder homosexuals just for existing. he’s “joking” like men are “joking” when they compare attractive women to cars. no, they don’t really think a woman is made of machine parts, but yes, they really do want to fuck her.

  • http://brickwindow.wordpress.com Brick Window

    I hope this gets broadcast around the entire web and run on every newscast. (I know, I know…wishful thinking.) Joking or not, Huckabee is frightening, and America needs to see him for what he really is, a Dominionist.

  • http://www.zazzle.com/atheist_tees The Godless Monster

    Joking…not joking, it doesn’t matter. He’s a public figure with influence over an uneducated, hysteria prone and gullible demographic.
    I don’t see violence or the threat of violence as something to take lightly, regardless of the context.
    This incident, combined with the violent anti liberal rhetoric of the last few years should be enough to convince anyone that there is a real problem in the ranks of the Republican right.
    There’s no doubt in my mind that in the long term things will get better in this country, but I also believe that it will get much worse in the short term.
    If these fascist lunatics come knocking on your door are you ready for them? I am.

  • OverlapingMagisteria

    The endorsement of Barton is definitely scary, but I gotta disagree, the “gunpoint” comment was clearly meant as a joke and that alone doesn’t bother me. He just meant it as a way of glowingly praising Barton and showing that he believes its very important (that fact is frightening!)
    Will the “gunpoint” comment hurt his campaign? Of course! We live in a climate where every word out of a politicians mouth is hyper-analyzed. Remember the big fuss over Obama’s “pig with lipstick” comment? This will surely haunt him in the future, though probably for the wrong reasons: his endorsement of Barton will, unfortunately be welcomed by many.

  • Jeff

    Listening to Barton at all means hearing about a fictional version of American that never existed… Crowds of fundamentalist Christians from coast to coast can’t get enough of it.

    Michelle Goldberg painted a frightening picture of this not long ago in her excellent book, Kingdom Coming. They’re creating a parallel reality, complete with its own revisionist history and doctored science. Megachurches have their own libraries and bookstores with shelves upon shelves of books and DVD’s proclaiming this garbage. Fundies eat it up; they immerse themselves in it 24/7. This is the reason I keep saying that peaceful coexistence and mutual respect are impossible. Apart from the Emergent and Sojourners people (who could have their meetings in the corner booth at Denny’s), there does not exist the evangelical who isn’t, to one degree or another, a Dominionist.

    Meanwhile, the almost funny thing about Huckabee is that he strode onto the national political scene saying, “I’m a conservative, but I’m not mad at anyone about it.”

    I guess he’s had the past several years to become that way.

  • Miko

    In the United States, primary education is compulsory. If a kid doesn’t attend school, truant officers will come to drag them away. If they resist, guns will come out at some point. This is a simple fact about law: all government actions are ultimately enforced through violence and the threat of violence. Explicitly mentioning the gun is perhaps considered tactless, but it’s just a change of rhetoric; the tactic has been there all along.

  • Slider33

    That just goes to show the arrogance of their beliefs, and how the religious right thinks they have the monopoly on “truth”.

  • Guest

    Hemant says here:

    “I said this in the post, but I’ll say it again: Even if you want to say Huckabee’s “gunpoint” line was a joke (which I’ll grant you), it’s an extremely irresponsible thing to say.”

    Alexa says in the post with Kari’s picture:

    “Still, why play into that sexist trope when you don’t have to? You could have said, “Kari is awesome. I love a woman who is sexy and intelligent!” That’s a line that acknowledges both her mind and her looks; it doesn’t dismiss her thoughts and opinions. I know you probably didn’t mean it like it came off, but that line definitely made me ( a woman) feel uncomfortable”

    Hemant’s response to Alexa:

    “Because in my head, it’s funny and not sexist. In your mind, it’s not funny and it is sexist. Oh well.”

    I detect some hypocrisy.

  • http://hoverFrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    If we can’t have Sam Brownback for President then Huckabee will have to do.

  • Eric

    If this was such a harmless joke in a facetious style, then Huckabee should defend it as such – not redact the entire scene out of the webcast.

    The fact that they removed it indicates at the very least that they regret it being said, knowing full well the implications it brings.

    Bring on the implications

  • http://mydvmvacation.blogspot.com/ Julie

    Hemant’s response to Alexa:

    “Because in my head, it’s funny and not sexist. In your mind, it’s not funny and it is sexist. Oh well.”

    I detect some hypocrisy.

    Seriously? Between this and posting a video of halal slaughter as though it is representative of the majority of food animal slaughter ala prolifers using graphic images of late term abortions, I think it’s becoming clear that Hemant only selectively applies certain principles when they are convenient to him.

  • WordsHaveMeaning

    For those who think that this asshole Huckabee was “just joking” should understand that the Dominion Theocratic mindset IS NOT joking about what they want to shove down our throats. I live in Whidaho where I hear stupid shit like this alot about many issues, and many of these Darwin rejects are NOT kidding. I believe that Huckabee betrays his innermost intentions with his “joke” about how he would run this country.

  • http://brickwindow.wordpress.com Brick Window

    Joking about how hot a woman is and joking about murder are two different things.

    Crosshairs, anyone?

  • J

    Are you seriously posting a serious article about this? He was joking.

    It’s clear that his audience found the line funny, but it’s a little like telling racist, off-color, or sexist jokes.

    Despite being at a private conference, he is still speaking to the world. – And as such we are not amused.

  • Demonhype

    WordsHaveMeaning Says:
    April 1st, 2011 at 10:29 am
    For those who think that this asshole Huckabee was “just joking” should understand that the Dominion Theocratic mindset IS NOT joking about what they want to shove down our throats. I live in Whidaho where I hear stupid shit like this alot about many issues, and many of these Darwin rejects are NOT kidding. I believe that Huckabee betrays his innermost intentions with his “joke” about how he would run this country.

    Richard Wade Says:
    April 1st, 2011 at 1:29 am

    This is the true Mike Huckabee, the scariest person in politics. This is the would-be Holy Dictator who, in his primary campaign in 2008 infamously said,

    “But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.”

    I hope that quote and this recent lunacy is recorded and used by his opponents, any opponents, to beat him over the head until he’s nothing but a puddle of toxic ambition.

    These. Both of these.

    Is someone seriously saying that this is the same as Dawkins or Harris saying “creationists don’t deserve the air they breathe”? Really?

    First of all, there is no “order” in that language–they are expressing a simple opinion, as opposed to “creationists don’t deserve the air they breathe, and it is our job [as atheists?] to prevent them from breathing in any way possible”.

    Second, Dawkins, Harris, and…well, hell, no atheist or liberal has the kind of violent recent history that the Right Wing has or the “my gun is an extension of my penis” doctrines either, so the context used for Huckabee is not the same as for, say, Dawkins.

    Finally, the Right Wing has been demonstrated to have a lot of loons who will hear this sort of thing and feel themselves called upon to make it happen (Giffords and Tiller spring instantly to mind). Neither atheists nor liberals have that to contend with either–not that there aren’t liberal or atheist loons, just that they aren’t inclined to pick up a gun and blow someone’s head off because Richard Dawkins or Barack Obama said something absurd, whereas the Right Wing seems pretty well-populated with that sort of crazy.

    There is no reason not to believe, given Huckabee’s political party and personal history, that he did not mean precisely what he said there. And there is no reason to read that as a joke either. (Replace the Constitution and all the rights of the citizen with Biblical Law–and you really want to believe this was a harmless comment?) When you know damn well that there are many people in your political group who will take your words to heart and may well murder someone over them, then saying something like this goes far beyond “joking” or “irresponsible”. It becomes a criminal act, the same as if I started feeding ideas into my own crazy uncle’s head that his neighbor is a part of the evil aliens or mafia that he believes has been after him for the last ten years, and they’re plans are almost complete and soon they will come for him. When that crazy fucker goes and murders everyone in his neighbor’s house one fine day, don’t try to tell me that what I did was “just a joke”. BTW, we actually had to get on my other uncle’s case about it, because he thought it was a “funny joke” to agitate the situation and tell his brother about seeing some Man in Black duck behind a tree or telephone pole or something. He was not intelligent enough to understand the potential consequences of his “funny joke”.

    I do not believe that Huckabee or any of the rest of the Religious Right fascists are that stupid though. This is the best thing that could happen for them. Whip up the indignation of armed crazies and use them as a weapon of suppression and fear for your own agenda, all the while enjoying yourself in the No-Man’s-Land of “plausible deniability”. You can just say later that that guy was crazy and totally had nothing to do with your joke about “forcing people at gunpoint” or your adorable “lock n load” ad with the gun-sites on your political opponents, or your comments about how someone ought to kill this or that abortion doctor, and it’s not your fault that those who oppose you must live in fear. It’s not a coincidence that the shooters have been on the Right and the victims have been on the Left. The liberal side isn’t employing their less mentally-balanced members as a preliminary brute squad.

    I agree with WordsHaveMeaning–this was a Freudian slip. These people are actively trying to turn this country into a Dominionist Christian Theocracy, and for the time being it is still necessary for them to seem nice on the surface–we just saw the veneer crack a little, as we do from time to time with most if not all of the Right Wing. That will not last.

  • Rufus

    Huckster would turn America into Jesusland and bring on a new edition of the Crusades.

  • http://ifpeakoilwerenoobject.blogspot.com/ Ed-M

    If these people were to gain control over the US central government, may Divine Providence help us all! For if these people are insane enough to force us to swallow theiur garbage at gunpoint, they are insane enough to start World War 3 to prove a point (and bring on the Rapture!… which would never happen). And don’t think anybody on this planet will be able to rebuild after the war, either. They WILL use nukes and so will the other side in retaliation!

    And no, I don’t think Huckabee said it as a joke. His subsequent remark showed he’s dead serious.

  • Michael

    I’ll listen….. but he has to let me bring my pet Dinosaur!!! Damn-it!

  • Angel

    As I said on the FB post….Huckabee is kidding on the square. And the audience response to his statement sure wasn’t “Ha Ha! That guy is HILARIOUS”. The group he was speaking to ARE the people who want Christianity forced onto people. The little bit of laughter you hear? That’s “Yeah, if only…” followed by testify clapping and people murmuring their amen’s. Amens? Amens’? No clue. Anyway.

    I’ve heard pastors say the exact same thing, that religion should be shoved down the throats of non-believers until they swallow or choke on it, and we should be as disgusted now as we are when those pastors say it. Why Huckabee gets a “he’s totally joking, get a grip” pass from the slice of people who KNOW he is a religious fanatic who has said equally insane things in the past is utterly beyond me.

  • Anna

    There have always been fringe groups on both sides of politics but actual politiicans stayed clear of them. These days you have a presidential candidate embracing the fringe freak-show conservatives such as Barton, Glen Beck’s historian. It really goes to show how radical the actual GOP has become and it is scary.

  • Katherine

    Joking about how hot a woman is and joking about murder are two different things.

    Crosshairs, anyone?

    I take it that’s a reference to the Sarah Palin map. Clever, except that was thoroughly debunked not five minutes after the first report. Loughner wasn’t a Palin follower. The crosshairs map didn’t incite him to do anything. If you disagree with Palin and her fellow neo-cons, by all means disagree away. I certainly do. But by trundling out these inane slurs despite the abundance of information that the accusations of incitement to violence were false, you’re damaging the valid arguments against the things Palin says. Rightly or wrongly, plenty of people (both left and right) consider discredit-by-association to be a valid form of argument rather than a logical fallacy.

    The same goes for this Huckabee thing. I find it difficult to believe that anyone sincerely thinks he wants to indoctrinate the American population at gunpoint. This whole issue stinks of being nothing more than an overblown attempt to make people frightened of the big, scary Christian. It’s no different to priests telling their parishioners that atheists want to abolish their religion and doom them all to hell.

  • PhiloKGB

    “Creationists should be forced, at gunpoint no less, to read the collected works of Richard Dawkins.”

    “Anti-abortionists should be forced, at gunpoint no less, to sit through these Planned Parenthood videos.”

    “Windows users should be forced, at gunpoint, no less, to research the life and times of Linus Torvalds.”

    Yeah, them jokes sure is funny. I’m certain, certain that the casual reader would be equally as dismissive of any of the above hypotheticals.


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