Mike Huckabee: The Shooting is the Fault of Church/State Separation Advocates… and Gay Rights Supporters… and Obamacare

Not long after the Newtown shootings, Mike Huckabee went on FOX News Channel to claim that he wasn’t surprised by the carnage because “we have systematically removed God from our schools.”

“We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools,” Huckabee said on Fox News, discussing the murder spree that took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults in Newtown, CT that morning. “Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?”

He said those suffering from a crisis from faith should look to God in the community’s response to the violence. But he added that “Maybe we ought to let [God] in on the front end and we wouldn’t have to call him to show up when it’s all said and done at the back end.”

Last night, Huckabee made another statement on his own show, explaining the first statement. OnKneesForJesus4 has juxtaposed the two commentaries. The more recent one begins at the 1:37 mark:

Did you catch all that? Huckabee says that he *never* said we needed to force Christian prayers into public schools. How could anyone take his statements to mean that? No, no, no… the shooting happened for a variety of reasons, all of which still make no sense:

… it’s far more than just taking prayer or Bible reading out of the schools. It’s the fact that people sue a city so we aren’t confronted with a manger scene or a Christmas Carol. That lawsuits are filed to remove a cross that’s a memorial to fallen soldiers. Churches and Christian-owned businesses are told to surrender their values under the edict of government orders to provide tax-funded abortion pills. We carefully and intentionally stop saying things are sinful and we call them disorders. Sometimes, he even say they’re normal. And to get to where… we have to abandon bedrock moral truths, then [we] ask, “Well, where was God?” And I respond that, as I see it, we’ve escorted Him right out of our culture and we’ve marched Him off the public square, and then we express our surprise that a culture without Hm actually reflects what it’s become.

See? It’s not just about getting prayer back in public schools. That’s just a *part* of it.

The shooting is really the fault of groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation for advocating church/state separation… and President Obama for making public business owners pay for the health coverage of their employees regardless of their personal religious beliefs… and anyone who thinks homosexuality is normal instead of a sin.

(Not only do churches receive an exemption to the Obamacare law, no business owner is required to provide employees with abortion pills, as Huckabee suggests. Simply put, certain employers will have to provide employees with comprehensive coverage and employees will be free to use their insurance as they see fit, including using it on contraception. In other words, your boss wouldn’t be able to stop you from getting birth control just because s/he was Catholic.)

It’s really the worst sort of apology. First, blame the viewers for quoting your words verbatim and not taking them out of context as you intended. Then explain yourself fully, digging the hole even deeper in the process.

This isn’t just some random guy. Huckabee is a talk show host on a top-rated cable channel, a popular conservative Christian leader, and a man who could have been President (if we lost our senses). He represents what millions of Americans think and feel. It’s horrifying.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Does he listen to the words coming out of his mouth as he speaks?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1351473675 Matthew Baker

       Most likely not once in his whole adult life.

    • jdm8

      He’s a political commentator. I think the job description requires them to open their mouths and see what comes out.

    • C Peterson

      His words appear to emanate from another orifice…

    • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

      Why would he? His fans don’t really listen to the words, they just suck up the steady undercurrent of outrage, sanctimony and pious fury that goes along with them. The words are not significant, neither to Shucksabee nor his sheep.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

        That is brilliant.

    • Miss_Beara

      It doesn’t matter. He says the customary buzzwords such as gays, abortion, persecution of christians in america, war on christmas , secularism, not allowing god in classrooms thereby blaming victims of shootings, and that will rile up his fan base. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

    “So we aren’t confronted with a manger” – where? The location matters. Have as many mangers as you like. Just keep them where they belong. 

    • Coyotenose

       In stables?

  • Bob Loblaw

    Yeah, because god has done such a good job of keeping those kids safe from molesting priests in church. Or is god sneaking in the back door there too? Seems like some of his minions are.

    • SeekerLancer

      Yeah but according to Huckabee’s form of Christianity, Catholics aren’t Christians unless we have to count them when stating how large the Christian majority is.

  • Wskivett

    When is some psycho gonna load up and go on a spree at Fox News? Might actually make the world a better place. It’s shameful that evangelicals are trying to exploit this tragedy to further their own agenda. They see it as an opportunity to indoctrinate millions of children at public schools.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      Not cool, not cool at all.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=706781030 Barry St. Denis

      This is not the answer to anything.  Kill one idiot and there are a dozen to take their place.  Education and opposition are the only answers.

    • nakedanthropologist

      That is so not okay.  Really, I understand the need to vent, but what you wrote was completely out of line.  I’ll be the first one to admit that I don’t like the Fox News fundie slant but violence only begets more violence and vitriol.  These issues, important as they are, need to be solved through dialogue and social justice advocacy.  Sure, what they’re doing and saying right now is horrible, but we should never sink to their level or worse.

    • se habla espol

       That’s right christian of you, Wskivett.  Howsomeever, just like most christian ideas (and ideals), it’s just too much of a standard religious approach for moral and ethical people to consider.

      It wouldn’t work, either:  Faux News originates from multiple, scattered studios.

    • Coyotenose

       No. That’s awful from a moral, ethical, and even practical standpoint.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=706781030 Barry St. Denis

    Huckabee is just another social/political whore who will say anything to get the attention he needs to advance his agenda.  His ilk prey on the stupid and gullible, saying whatever they want to hear.

  • LesterBallard

    I could rant and rave and curse and fill this comment with invective, but that is almost as useless as reasoning with these people. Just fight them legally and politically. 

  • C Peterson

    Huckabee is a walking, talking demonstration of what’s wrong with the world today. I’d go so far as to say that his belief system is a big part of why the shooting happened, because it discourages any real effort to deal with social problems.

    It is truly frightening that this man was a serious candidate for President of the United States, and a lot of people would have gladly seen him elected- and still would.

    • http://www.facebook.com/shawnleeknudsen Shawn Knudsen

      I could not agree more with your statement. Even if I had made it myself.

  • Good and Godless

    No god, not in schools, and not even in churches….

    A man calmly walked into a prayer service Wednesday morning at the College Park megachurch founded by televangelist Creflo Dollar and opened fire as 20 to 25 people watched in horror, police said.
    At least seven people are dead and several injured after a shooting at a Sikh temple outside of Milwaukee today, theMilwaukee Journal Sentinel reports

    Members of a Florida church leapt into action yesterday, when a former member walked in during prayers and started shooting. The pastor and the associate pastor were both shot from behind before Jeremiah Fogle was wrestled to the ground by two men. 

    Illinois state police say a man shot a pastor to death and injured others at a church during a service in Maryville. Master Trooper Ralph Timmins says the man walked down the aisle during the early Sunday service at First Baptist Church in Maryville, 

    Though Colorado church gunman Matthew Murray was shot by a security guard, the wound that killed him was self-inflicted, reports the Los Angeles Times. Murray shot himself after he was wounded by the volunteer guard who opened fire when Murray burst into the church with three guns 

    An unidentified gunman killed 3 and wounded several in a church in southwest Missouri today. The AP reports that he briefly held 25 to 50 churchgoers hostage at the First Congregational Church in Neosho, Missouri before being arrested. 

    • Jim Hudlow

      Apparently they were not worshipping Huckabee’s god….that must be it…

      • Good and Godless

        god not found in Baptist churches either… Huckabee is part of the problem?On Sept. 15, 1999, Larry Gene Ashbrook walked into Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas as youth were gathered for a “Saw You at the Pole” rally and fired over 100 rounds from two different handguns before taking his own life.

      • Miss_Beara

         It isn’t that. It was God’s Will ™. He wanted those people to be with the Jesus faster.

        It absolutely sickening that people are saying that 20 children dying is a good thing, especially so close to Christmas, so they can celebrate with Jesus. Sickening.

        Humanity. There isn’t any.

  • Baby_Raptor

    It’s astoundingly easy to see who is the better group of people here. The Christianists use the tragedy as a platform for ripping on everyone who doesn’t agree with them and forcing their unconstitutional agenda. 

    At least all the Atheists I’ve seen are trying to help, offering sympathy and decidedly NOT screaming about how we have all the answers, and if we’d have just been listened to this wouldn’t have happened. 

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    This is the demagogic would-be priest-king of a theocratic tyranny who as a Presidential candidate said that the Constitution should be rewritten to fit the Bible. http://atheism.about.com/od/mikehuckabeechristianity/a/ConstitutionGod.htm Even though he has retreated to the periphery as a commentator, I still consider him to be the single most dangerous person in politics.

    Whenever he rants about “taking God out of schools,” he portrays The Almighty Creator of the Universe, Mover of Every Galaxy and Quark as more easily removed than an unconscious drunk from a bar, a fly from a bowl of soup, or a booger from a nose.

    He cannot bring himself to honestly describe his desired goal as forced Christian prayer in public schools. No, he mischaracterizes the prohibition of public school-led prayer as a prohibition of all personal religious expression everywhere. He thinks this and similar popular lies are his ticket to power.

  • Jillholdstock

    If they believe god is omnipotent and merciful, couldn’t he have just busted down a door and DO something? Surely, his itty bitty feelings weren’t hurt by lack of prayer in school. God must be a real a$$hole. I don’t want what they are selling. 

    • Coyotenose

       *pictures God as Kool-Aid Man*

      *is entertained for the rest of the day*

  • http://civil-conversations.blogspot.com/ Samantha Bishop-Strand

    Just when I start to see hope … when I start thinking Christians are coming out of the dark ages and embracing a more realistic worldview, some high profile idiot speaks for the batshit crazies out there. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Chester/682538320 Adrian Chester

    In Australia, we also don’t have prayer in public schools, yet we don’t have 1% of the school shootings America has. How does Huckabee explain that? 

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      See, it’s like the tides… and as we all know: Can’t explain it.

    • Randomfactor

       Everything’s upside-down in Australia.  Put god back in the schools and bullets will start flying.

    • Coyotenose

       Fucking MAGNETS.

    • Perri

       No we don’t have prayer, but we do have state sanctioned religious education in school hours(at least in NSW. And WA a few years ago). If you object to this, you can ask that your child not receive it, but you must also provide them with an alternative activity.
      The Australian constitution states that the government cannot legislate to require a religion or to prohibit a religion. It does not require the same degree of technical separation of church and state that the US constitution does. The state and federal governments always offer a prayer prior to the commencement of proceedings: http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/senguide/e02
      Australian society is much more officially Christian than US society and so much less practically Christian than US society.

  • DougI

    If he honestly believes what he says then he’ll stand in a religious school and let someone shoot him.  He believes, after all, that prayer magically stops bullets.  Let him put his faith where his mouth is.

  • ortcutt

    In other words, our harvest failed because Zeus is angry because we haven’t made the proper burnt offerings.   What century is this again?

  • http://occupyequality.wordpress.com/ OccupyEquality

    HuKKKabee prayed that he would win the RepubliThug nomination & he is still angry at how his prayers were answered. He also prayed that TrickyMitty would win and now he is taking his anger at how that prayer was answered on 20 children who were murdered. He needs to shove his KILL GAYS bible down his own tyrannical theocRAT throat & choke on it with his Jesus Freak koolaid

  • bernardaB

    Huckabee’s book describes his god as jealous and vengeful. So I guess his god was pissed that 6-year-olds  weren’t praying to him and singing his praises. Thus Huckabee’s god armed a young man to the teeth to go and teach them a lesson. As to the people at the churches, next week things will return to normal with the churches mostly empty.

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      People have heard me say this before. I think believers are attracted to characterizations of God that resemble their own inner character. So jealous and vengeful is what Huckabee would be like if he had the power of life and death over people.

      • JohnnieCanuck

        It’s because of their personal relationship with Jesus. He agrees with them and hates everything they hate.

      • bernardaB

        The other form of Huckabee’s god, Jesus, says in Revelation that he doesn’t like Jezebel because she sleeps around(maybe a harlot). So Jesus says that he will kill her children to teach her a lesson. So did Jesus have the man do this to teach the children’s parents a lesson? Strange since Newtown doesn’t seem to be a place so filled with evil.

  • CelticWhisper

    Wow, CSS supporters, gay-rights advocates, AND Obamacare?  Throw in the kitchen sink while you’re at it, Huckster.

    “Also the fault of printed styrofoam coffee cups, horn-rimmed eyeglasses, colored paperclips, capacitive tablet stylus-laser pointer-ballpoint pen combo devices, fog-resistant shower mirrors, and WOMBATS!”

    • Coyotenose

       And… mmmBEARS!

      /Colbert

  • Sarupe33

    So Huckie, please explain the 2006 shooting of 10 Amish girls in PA…did they not pray enough?  not have enough religion in their faith?  They are probably the most peaceful, religious people and look what happened…You are a moron!

  • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

    Comparing the map of gun fatalities from “The Geography of Gun
    Deaths” in the Atlantic to the map of the percentage of each state’s
    population that says religion in their life is “very important” from the
    Pew Forum Religious Landscape Survey, it would appear that the
    empirical correlation is religion being associated to more gun deaths.
    Of course, correlation isn’t causation, but it’s hard to claim causation without even correlation.

     
    Huckabee is (unsurprisingly) out of touch with reality.

  • Baal

    “That lawsuits are filed to remove a cross that’s a memorial to fallen soldiers.”

    I would be more impressed with that statement if Huckabee and his compatriots didn’t also constantly vote to limit benefits for veterans.  Honoring their deaths is fine but I’m more interested in honoring the ones that are still alive.   They have lingering fall out from serving and have earned support.

  • BenFromCA

    And this is precisely why M. Huckabee is astonishingly unqualified to hold the office Of POTUS.

  • Aspieguy

    I listened to this drivel in conservative churches constantly. I quit trying to reason with such people. They are generally incapable of logic and reason. Can anyone imagine if these wingnuts actually controlled our society and government? Heretic burnings, anyone?

  • http://www.facebook.com/theo.cyrene Theo Cyrene

    Has Huckabee said anything about the church shootings in Pennsylvania this week? Will he claim we have removed God from churches, too?