NASHVILLE (ABP)—Former presidential candidate turned talk-show host Mike Huckabee stood by controversial comments blaming the deadly Dec. 14 shootings in Connecticut on the lack of religion in public schools.
The day 27 people, including 20 children, died in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Fox News host Neil Cavuto asked the former Arkansas governor, an ordained Southern Baptist minister and former pastor, to respond to the inevitable question, “How could God let this happen?”
“Well, you know, it’s an interesting thing,” Huckabee said. “We ask why there’s violence in our schools, but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?”
“We’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability; that we’re not just going to have to be accountable to the police if they catch us, but one day we stand before a Holy God in judgment,” said Huckabee, a past president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. “If we don’t believe that, then we don’t fear that.”
Criticized for attributing the mass murder/suicide to the removal of prayer and Bible reading from public schools, Huckabee opened his own Fox News program Dec. 15 with a rejoinder to “the predictable left.”
“It’s far more than just taking prayer or Bible reading out of the schools,” Huckabee said. “It’s the fact that people sue a city so that we aren’t confronted with a manger scene or a Christmas carol, that lawsuits are filed to remove a cross that is 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,” he continued. “Sometimes we even say they’re normal. And to get to where that we have to abandon bedrock moral truths, then we are asked, well, where was God?
“And I respond, that as I see it, we have 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 it’s become.”
Huckabee further addressed the controversy in a monologue that he posted on his website and Facebook.
“I would never say that simply taking prayer and Bible reading from our institutions or silencing Christmas carols is the direct cause of a mass murder,” Huckabee said. “That would be ludicrous and simplistic.”
“But the cause and effect we see in the dramatic changes of what our children are capable of is a part of a cultural shift from a God-centered culture to a self-centered culture,” he continued. “We have glorified uninhibited self-expression and individualism and are shocked that we have a generation of loners.
“We have insisted on a society where everyone gets a trophy and no one loses and act surprised that so many kids lack self-esteem and feel like losers.
“We dismiss the notion of natural law and the notion that there are moral absolutes and seem amazed when some kids make it their own morality to kill innocent children.
“We diminish and even hold in contempt the natural family of a father and mother creating and then responsibly raising the next generation and then express dismay that kids feel no real connection to their families or even the concept of a family.
“We scoff at the need for mothers and fathers to make it their priority to train their children to be strong in spirit and soul and responsible for right and wrong and exalt instead the virtue of having things and providing expensive toys, games, and electronics that substitute for parenting and then don’t understand why our kids would rather have ear buds dangling from their ears, fingers attaching to a smart phone and face attached to a computer screen than to have an extended conversation with their family at dinner.
“And we don’t teach them there is a Creator God who sets immutable rules, a God who is knowable, and to whom we are ultimately responsible. Instead we teach that God was not involved in our origins, that our very lives are biological happenstances and in fact are disposable should they be inconvenient to us, and that any outrageous behaviors are not sin, but disorders for which we should be excused and accommodated.”