In Response to Huckabee

Open mouth, insert foot.
Open mouth, insert foot.

…We’ve escorted [god] right out of our culture and we’ve marched him off the public square, and then we express our surprise that a culture without him actually reflects what it’s become.

Former Presidential candidate and Fox News personality Mike Huckabee, speaking to a national audience on Fox News from his new show, Huckabee, spoke those words in response to the question “where was god?” in reference to the shooting in Newtown, CT; I find his point a little unnerving. (The video can be watched here.)

When we take a look at what is really being said here, on the surface it may seem that Huckabee is intending exactly what is read, that the culture of the United States has systematically eliminated religion and the increase in gun-related violence is the result of some sort of decay of the moral fabric of the country — a point that could be debated ad infinitum, but not the point I’m trying to make. What needs to be seen is the message lying just underneath the surface, and the key to this is the second half of that quote, “…a culture without him (god) actually reflects what it’s become”. What Mike Huckabee is really saying here is that in his mind a culture without god is a lawless, chaotic, anarchic society where anything goes. It now very plain to see that Mike, like most American Christians, believes that not only are Christians the only people capable of maintaining proper law and order and morals, but that anyone who doesn’t believe in god (interestingly enough, however, not exclusively the Christian god, but any form of religion) is an amoral degenerate. Mike goes on to assert that the way to stop these shootings is to teach the Ten Commandments to children, especially the commandment “Thou shall not kill” (in fact, Exodus 20 states “Thou shall not murder” [NASB, NIV], a wholly different commandment with different implications from the command “Thou shall not kill”). It’s flabbergasting that Huckabee thinks that all of this “crazed carnage” could be averted through religious education for the simple fact that Adam Lanza, the perpetrator of the shooting, was brought up in a religious environment and even attended catholic school, a point either unknown to Huckabee or simply ignored for the sake of his point (either way, a gross oversight or transgression on his part). In fact, a quick Google search reveals exactly one school shooting that was done by a self-proclaimed “godlike atheist” (whatever that means) — atheism, or the lack of religion, is not the cause.

As an atheist, and as a citizen of the United Sates, not only do I find statements like Huckabee’s to be offensive but incredibly damaging. Being offensive is something that I and my fellow atheists can live with, being backhandedly slandered on national television (even if it is Fox News) is not.

5 thoughts on “In Response to Huckabee

  1. As far as teaching the commandment “Thou shall not kill” is concerned, maybe God should have gone to school to learn that one himself. Instead, what we have is do as I say, not as I do.

  2. Statistically speaking, since about 70% of Americans self identify as Christians, 70% of guns in American households belong to Christians. If all Christians just turned their guns into the police would that mean that 70% of the problem would go away? Clearly, after the Newton shootings, we need to keep religious folk away from guns… right? 😉

    Yeah, I know that’s not right. I think I do remember a study that stated more guns per 1000 for conservatives than for liberals. That would place more guns in the hands of self identified Christians in the USA.

    It’s just a thought.

    1. The issue, and the focus of the Newtown and other shootings, is not (and should not be) the guns themselves, but the people that wield them. Not counting the dozens of shootings that happened before 1999, but starting with the Columbine HS shooting that year, we should have been taking steps to secure our public schools. Whether those steps are stricter access controls, armed private security or police, both, or some other measure is still to be determined, but the very fact that we’ve let our schools and our children become the easiest targets, and therefore the most common targets, is appalling. It’s not about Christians having guns — most Christians are peaceful, liberty-loving Americans like the rest of us — its about making stupid statements like saying that putting the 10 Commandments back in school would stop people from killing each other and implying that somehow atheists are less moral than theists.

      1. Ooops, I thought I’d done enough to show I was joking. I agree that making schools gun free zones has made them easy targets. It’s a complex issue but the gun free zones seem to be attracting all the action. Correlation and all that.

        I’m fairly pissed off that ‘famous’ believers are asked to parade around on television claiming that non-belief is immoral and the source of such tragedies as this one in Newton. It is something that I’m having trouble processing that such people as Huckabee is allowed to say such things in public. Your average person can’t get on television and call Huckabee and ignorant ass-hat but he is allowed to call non-believers amoral and the kind of people that kill children. He’s working hard to take top spot in the Christo-fascist hierarchy… and candidate for math class failure mascot.

  3. Pingback: PARIAH | TRAITOR

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