It didn’t take long for religious-righters to use the horrifying tragedy in Connecticut last week as another opportunity to bash America for supposedly ignoring God. Today, for example, a Texas-based group with too many names — Liberty Institute presently, formerly Free Market Foundation, and now with a special offshoot called Texas Values — proclaimed its agreement with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee’s assessment of the murder of 20 young children and a half-dozen educators in a Connecticut school. Speaking on his Fox News show this weekend, Huckabee suggested that the shooting happened because America has been too busy “escorting” God “out of our culture” and the public square. Liberty Institute’s Facebook post today:
“Where was God during the Connecticut shooting? Liberty Institute agrees with Mike Huckabee, and we will continue to stand up for those who believe this should still be one nation under God.”
The group’s Facebook post then links to a video clip (see below) from Huckabee’s December 15 show. Here’s an extended excerpt from what Huckabee said (emphasis added):
“For 50 years we’ve systematically attempted to have God removed from our schools, our public activities, but then at the moment we have a calamity, we wonder where he was…. It’s far more than taking prayer or Bible reading out of the schools. It’s the fact that people sue a city so that we’re not 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 we even say they’re normal. And to get to where we have to abandon bedrock moral truths, then we’re asked, well, ‘where was God?’ And I responded 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 him actually reflects what’s it’s become…. Somebody’s going to suggest that we pass a law to stop all this kind of thing. I might want point out that we don’t have to pass a new law. There’s one that works if we teach it and observe it: ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ Oh, there are about nine others, but to tell you about them would require bringing God back, and we know how unacceptable that might be.”
So Huckabee thinks deranged people are gunning down innocent children and adults — in a Connecticut school, a Colorado theater, an Arizona congressional town hall meeting and so many other places — because government can’t dictate what prayers students should recite in school but requires that people have access to health care.
Remember when Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson blamed the 9/11 terrorist attacks on those who were “throwing God out of the public square”? Here was Falwell, speaking to Robertson at the time:
“I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.'”
Mike Huckabee and Liberty Institute are making essentially the same outrageously cynical and offensive argument again. Moreover, they say, we don’t need any new laws to help stop these massacres of innocents. We need only obey God’s commandments, but government, the courts and those evil civil libertarians won’t let our schools and civil authorities lead the way to that truth.
Really? The gunmen who have committed these horrific acts never learned at home, in church or anywhere else about God’s commandment not to kill other human beings? Please. The problem here isn’t an attack on God in the public square. The vigils and religious services across the country after these and other tragedies, the millions of people who fill our houses of worship every week, the religious displays and decorations on just about every street in America at Christmas and during other holiday seasons — they all speak to the power of faith in the lives of most Americans.
No, most people see the real theme tying so many of these shootings together: the intersection of mental illness and easy access to assault weapons that can be used to kill so many people in mere minutes. Should we change our gun laws? Should we do more as a society to intervene and treat people with mental illness? The answers to these questions are complex, requiring a balance between rights and freedoms on one side and public safety on the other. If Americans should turn their backs on anything, it’s the simplistic argument made by Huckabee and others like him that our communities are under siege because we have somehow turned our backs on God. In fact, it’s worse than a simplistic argument. It’s a self-serving lie intended to obscure reality and promote a political agenda.
5 thoughts on “Huckabee, Liberty Institute: Ignoring God Leads to Mass Shootings Like in Connecticut”
Adam Lanza killed those people because he was a deranged lunatic who had access to assault weapons. Wether he did or did not believe in God is irrelevant. BTW I believe the 911 hijackers were devout believers in God, and they murdered 3,000 people. But according to the Huckster, they probably didn’t believe in the “right God.”
Huckabee’s crazed and radical statements will convince no one expect individuals equally crazed and radical as him. Huckabee’s statements are shameful. The secular school and school system did nothing wrong. The killer came to the school from outside it. It is illogical to blame the school for what happened. I love Tom Dougherty’s comment. Yes, true God believers have murdered many more people than secularists–because their religion/god/priest/mullah/etc. tells them to and says their god justifies such acts.
The problem is simple: semiautomatic weapons with large magazines too easily-available to deranged/psychotic/mentally ill individuals. Adam Lanza’s mother is at fault: she should have kept her many weapons in a gun safe. The school–all schools–should have had an armed security officer on the premises during the school day.
The taking-God-out-of-schools thing just doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. First of all any student can pray in school anytime they like, the Supreme Court simply said it can’t be in an organized manner. So the religious right chooses to lie about this issue. Gosh would such a devout bunch of “Christians” actually lie? No, except every time the open their big fat mouths.
At any rate organized prayer in public schools was banned in 1961. So perhaps we should assume there were no violent incidents in schools prior to that court action? Hmm, gee. How ’bout May 18th, 1927 at Bath elementary school in Bath Township, Michigan. That was the day some dipstick set off 3 bombs at the school. 38 children (ages 7 to 14) and 6 adults were killed. Another 58 people were injured. And that was 34 years before God was “kicked out” of the public schools.
My state has come up with a creative answer to the Newtown problem, an answer that just happens to demonstrate what I have been telling you all your about the Tennessee legislature going just plain nuts:
Charles, I think it is a good idea to have a person in every school who knows guns and has a concealed carry permit, and who has been given some special training to respond to emergencies that involve guns, to be designated the person who responds to incidents of gun-shooting deranged individuals who are killing children.
This country now has hundreds of millions of guns in circulation. It would be impossible to get rid of them. Other countries reduced the numbers of guns within their borders long ago, but the U.S. doesn’t have that option anymore. Our only hope now is to stop crazy individuals from getting and using guns, or stopping them (by shooting them) before they use guns they already have obtained. I believe all the gun-related mass tragedies we have experienced in the last several years were caused by deranged persons who were able to obtain high-capacity semiautomatic weapons.
Today, half of all guns are purchased without a background check, either at gun shows or on the Internet. It would be wise to end these policies for a start. Banning high-capacity magazines sales to the public would be another solution. I oppose gun restrictions for truly law-abiding citizens. Perhaps they could be required to keep their weapons in gun safes if they have psychotic or sociopathic relatives living in their homes.