David Niose picked up on something Mike Huckabee said in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre that many people ignored.
First, here’s what Huckabee said:
“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.”
A lot of his critics — many Christians included — cringed at those statements because they suggested that church/state separation and not forcing God down everybody’s throats were to blame for the crime. There’s obviously no evidence suggesting that.
What Niose noticed was something very different: Huckabee’s comments directly attacked people who don’t believe in God and who fought to remove mandatory prayer from public school:
Imagine if Huckabee had publicly suggested that the rejection of Jesus, rather than the more general God, was the reason for the Connecticut school violence. In little time, he would be sharply criticized for even indirectly suggesting that Hindus, Jews, and Muslims were somehow responsible for the rampage. Yet when the circle is drawn to exclude only atheists and humanists, the prejudice is seen as acceptable. (Huckabee was widely criticized for insensitivity, but not for prejudice toward nonbelievers.)
It’s great that many Americans, even those who are religious, find the statements of Huckabee and company objectionable, but it’s unfortunate that the objections focus on the wrong issue. Rather than argue about whether God is jealous and vindictive or loving and compassionate (or at least in addition to that argument), Americans should be calling out fundamentalists for depicting nonbelievers as agents of evil.
He’s absolutely right. God isn’t “loving” any more than God is “evil” because God isn’t there, period. So when progressive Christians chastise Huckabee and James Dobson and Bryan Fischer for forgetting that God is really loving, they’re saying the wrong thing for the right reason. They, like us, should be going after those people for blaming atheists (and liberals and anyone who fights for First Amendment rights) for such a horrific crime.
(Thanks to Paula for the link)