Mike Huckabee has never been what you might call my favorite person. But it’s always depressing to see folks with influence plumb new depths. By now, I’m sure you’ve heard he had to say about the Sandy Hook School shootings:
“We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools,” Huckabee said on Fox News.”Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?”
In other words: Twenty-eight deaths, including the murder of twenty kids, was the fault not of the shooter, nor of a gun lobby that portrays military weapons as household tools. Rather, said Huckabee, it was your fault and mine for having failed to appease his angry god by public worship in school.
Saying so is to implicate not just America at large in the crime. It also adds up to a claim that those involved in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in particular were complicit in this massacre, for the banishment of one deity or another occured in that particular school too. Lost a kid? Too bad. Shoulda prayed harder; shoulda held up a cross; shoulda, coulda, sorry old chum.
I can’t begin to write the rage and disgust I feel for that sanctimonious shit. (Whether the word “shit” in that sentence applies to the man or the thought I’ll leave it to the reader to decide.) I want to say that it seems to me that there is a special place in hell Mike Huckabee.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I can say that any more eloquently than a howl and a “with a rusty pitchfork too!” kind of remark. Fortunately, there are others who could and did describe exactly the appropriate fate for Mr. Huckabee — from one of whom, with your permission, I will now borrow.
Here’s one possibility that would satisfy my sense of justice:
The sides were crusted over with a mould/Plastered upon them by foul mists that rise,/And both with eyes and nose a contest hold./The bottom is so deep, in vain our eyes/Searched it till further up the bridge we went,/To where the arch o’erhangs what under lies./Ascended there, our eyes we downward bent,/And I saw people in such ordure drowned,/A very cesspool ’twas of excrement./And while I from above am searching round,/One with a head so filth-smeared I picked out,/I knew not if ’twas lay, or tonsure-crowned./‘Why then so eager,’ asked he with a shout, ‘To stare at me of all the filthy crew?’/And I to him: ‘Because I scarce can doubt/That formerly thee dry of hair I knew…
But perhaps that’s not miserable enough. How’s this?
Then we descended from the bridge’s head,/Where with the eighth bank is its junction wrought/And full beneath me was the Bolgia spread,/And I perceived that hideously ’twas fraught/With serpents; and such monstrous forms they bore,/Even now my blood is curdled at the thought./Henceforth let sandy Libya boast no more!/Though she breed hydra, snake that crawls or flies,/Twy-headed, or fine-speckled, no such store/Of plagues, nor near so cruel, she supplies,/ Though joined to all the land of Ethiop,/And that which by the Red Sea waters lies./’Midst this fell throng and dismal, without hope/A naked people ran, aghast with fear—/No covert for them and no heliotrope/Their hands were bound by serpents at their rear,/Which in their reins for head and tail did get/A holding-place: in front they knotted were./And lo! to one who on our side was set/A serpent darted forward, him to bite/At where the neck is by the shoulders met./Nor O nor I did any ever write/More quickly than he kindled, burst in flame,/And crumbled all to ashes./And when quite He on the earth a wasted heap became/He on the earth a wasted heap became,/The ashes of themselves together rolled,/Resuming suddenly their former frame.
(Dante, Inferno, Canto XVIII, lines 106-121 and Canto XXIV, lines 79-106)
The translation’s a little old-fashioned, I know — but that’s what Gutenberg.org had on hand.
In any event, if I were a believer, I’d be hoping that Dante’s description of the torments of the damned is spot on. And if it were then I would suggest to Mike Huckabee that he be afraid. Very, very afraid.
Image: Pieter Huys, The Last Judgement, between 1555 and c. 1560
can’t we just prevent future massacres by making a golden calf?
Not any different from what maclaren says here every day.
Huckabee is almost right. This massacre didn’t occur because of school prayer, it happened because of the War on Christmas.
As they said in “It’s a Wonderful Life”, every time a multinational retail employee is instructed to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” a massacre happens.
Just Some Fuckhead
Wonder how Huckabee accounts for the shootings in Christian schools, Christian universities, Christian churches, temples and religious day care centers? Someone should ask him.
Villago Delenda Est
Huckabee has, according to Media Matters, “walked back” this statement a bit, but frankly, I’m sick and tired of the devotees of the asshole invisible sky buddy of a band of barbarous sheep herders blaming our failure to be as delusional as they are and imagine that this invisible sky buddy is real.
Huckabee can sit on a chainsaw and spin.
Mr Stagger Lee
So Huckabee what about those countries in Europe where church attendance is low, atheism is the norm, I guess those schools look like Beruit in the 70’s and 80’s eh? Being in Washington where we have the lowest church attendance, I should be doing low crawls when I walk in the door at the local PS#120. I bet the gun death rate inn Washington is lower than Huckabee’s Arkansas. According to Kaiser Arkansas death rate is 16.2 per 1000 vs Washington’s 9.1 per 1000 yep God has abandoned us Washington.
Maurice Clemmons spent a lot of his time praying. Should we ask Huckabee how much good that did for the 4 cops Clemmons murdered?
Villago Delenda Est
Unfortunately, you need Edward G. Robinson to make that trick work, and he’s been gone for what, 40 years? So, basically, we’re screwed.
Not to worry, the world ends in a week.
Well, if you parse Mike’s thinking closely, what you get is that God is a petty, small minded fellow who happily allows the murder of 20 true innocents because his fee-fees are hurt.
It’s hard to be a church-going Christian (which I am) when folks purporting to be “leaders” of the ” Christian” “right” are so damned wrong and ugly. May God forgive them (He probably will, but sometimes I wonder) because I can’t.
Nice god you got there Mike.. This is actually good news because if he runs for President, only twenty seven percent of the voters will support him.
Seriously and honestly, what kind of God do these assholes worship who would, in their minds, allow a person to shoot innocent children because prayer and crosses and ancient Hebrew commandments are regulated so as not to infringe upon other religions (most of which worship a monotheistic God)?
You think God is up there giving us all the silent treatment and collecting souls because there isn’t a statue on the fucking lawn?
I’d worship a God that would make Mike Huckabee pay for saying that kind of shit.
@Villago Delenda Est:
Two people posted the same sentiment on Facebook. I asked one, a co-worker, what it meant just to see what he’d reply. Haven’t heard anything back yet.
J. Michael Neal
@Villago Delenda Est: Meh. Rather than getting mad at the idea of religion in general, it’s worth pointing out that Huckabee is engaged in blasphemy. His implication that it is possible for human beings to remove God from anywhere should seriously offend all Christians.
@Just Some Fuckhead: That’s easy. When that happens, it’s Obamas fault for instituting super-secret Sharia law.
Look on the bright side Tom, with that idiotic and biblical inaccurate statement Mike Huckabee has guaranteed us he’ll never be elected President, or for that matter dog catcher going forward.
Huckabee was an affable jackass. Now Huckabee is just another wingnut with a microphone.
I guess the 4 cops murdered by a man Huckabee pardoned was the result of Huckabee’s ineffectual prayer.
This really is a fight between Amendment One and Amendment Two. Maybe we should lock the two of them into a closed room for a while and see what happens.
@David Koch: They were in a union so he probably figured it wasn’t that big of a deal.
Personally, I blame the Jooos.
“Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, what if the number of the innocent is five less than fifty? Will you let the community of Sandy Hook be destroyed for lack of five people?”
“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not let it be it destroyed.”
Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty innocents are found there?”
He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”
Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”
He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not let it be destroyed.”
Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”
He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not let it be destroyed.”
Huckabee apparently thinks the god of the Old Testament was a softy.
Mike in NC
The Huckster needs to spend eternity being buggered by Jerry Falwell.
Why do we waste our time with these charlatans who wrap themselves in the bible? Are they relevant to our lives? The only people who pay any attention to them are the ignorant and the insecure! Who cares about their nonsensical utterances!
Huckabee personally released two (2) separate convicts from prison who then went on to murder multiple people.
There is no way in hell he ever would have been president. Not even our press can keep that covered over.
Ah yes, Huckabee — the guy whose son tortured and hung a dog. I’m real interested on what he has to say about anything pertaining to children.
So Huckabee is blaming God for this. Evidently Huckabee’s all-loving omnipotent god allowed the death of 20 children and 7 adults and the unspeakable pain of their parents and friends because of his ego. In effect, god was a strong well-armed man standing by the door of the school who watched Adam Lanza walk in and murder children and their caretakers and neglected to take any action to stop him, because the victims were not sufficiently deferential to him. If there is a god I’m sure he’s less than pleased by Huckabee’s less than flattering concept of Him.
If violence happens in schools because God’s not allowed in them, why does molestation happen in Churches?
I can’t tell you how dark this thing has been to me. We can have fun with the fat-fucks like Huckabee and the Falwell xristo-fascists, but we really need to hunker down and get this fucking outrage fixed. We all need to find a single point to work through and make this shit count. I don’t know if its Kos, or MoveOn or who as focal point, but a concentrated and relentless effort needs to get started. Enough is fucking enough.
@Villago Delenda Est, the walkback is at least as offensive and ridiculous:
Can Huckabee actually point to any significant voices in our society saying that murder is not wrong, that everything’s relative and saying that shooting up a kindergarten is not a good thing is just your opinion, man? Of course not. If anyone is lacking basic decency, it’s Huckabee.
The commandment to not take the Lord’s name in vain is aimed squarely at people like Huckabee. It has nothing to do with 4 letter words, rather it is about people presuming to know the mind of God. It is about people who claim to speak for God when they are only speaking for their own self interest.
What kind of a petty god do these people worship? Huckabee and his ilk are sick and a major liability on our society.
“We don’t want to say that some things are always right, some things are always wrong” actually means “if we’re not going to execute gay people, then we’re not really moral.”
Oh, Huckabee will try to deny it, but that’s what it really means — a society that allows gays and lesbians to lead normal lives is by definition so corrupt that it can’t convince its citizens that murdering children is wrong.
@BGinCHI: This is the same god who is an NRA member and who steadfastly supports a literal interpretation of the second amendment, obvs.
It is truly a strain of creepy Christianity whose followers fail to see the irony in worshiping a pacifist whose supernatural powers are said to protect the faithful from evil (but only when it’s His will), but who still feel compelled to ‘conceal and carry’ firepower into church. Not much faith, if you ask me.
Then again, even traditional Christianity has long venerated violent death and its symbolism, even making the instrument of their lord’s torture the primary symbol of their worship. Revering instruments of pain and death are just part and parcel of the belief system.
God can’t run for president. He can’t produce His birth certificate.
Oh wait…lower case ‘h’. Never mind.
If there had only been prayer in school the Japanese would never have bombed Pearl Harbor.
On the plus side I have always thought Huckebee was the most dangerous of the potential Pres candidates from the right. With this he just handed any Dem the greatest of negative ads to run against him.
Re the second paragraph, I hope you’re right.
Re the first paragraph:
IIRC, Huckabee’s rationale was that these two men had “found the Lord” while in prison. No further comment needed about that.
When I was a kid, we had a book with Biblical stories, written to be read by children. It was full of stories about the Hebrews, Israelites, Jews (according to what point in history), falling away from God and worshipping idols and fornicating or sin of your choice. The moral of all these stories was the same: that God punished them for their refusal to acknowledge him as the almighty one, and their refusal to obey rules which he supposedly laid down. For this, their punishment was dire, like Sodom and Gomorrah. Then their fortunes were restored again upon their coming back to and knuckling under God.
Huckabee and his fellow travellers seem to be still stuck in this primitive way of thinking. I’ve noticed that the RW Repubs in general, seem to have never progressed beyond early adolescence in terms of emotional maturity.
I just reread Altmeyer’s online book on authoritarians. I highly recommend it for everyone to read. It sheds a lot of light on their behavior and beliefs.
Well, that is pretty much the god of the Old Testament. And I guess the god of the New Testament, since seeing his son (which is also him) get tortured and killed saved us all from eternal damnation. It makes sense if you sniff enough paint.
Fuck Mike Huckabee with a rusty Garden Weasel.
Let me tell you something about Mike Huckabee. Mike Huckabee was governor of Arkansas when the Westside Middle School shootings happened in Jonesboro in the mid-90s.
Here’s what Mike did: less than a year after the kids and teachers killed in that shooting spree had been buried, Mike Huckabee came out with a book called “When Kids Kill,” which prominently mentioned on the cover that he was Governor of Arkansas.
He wrote this book, capitalizing on a tragedy that happened while he was supposed to be a public servant, for personal profit. At the time, when he was asked if he was going to donate proceeds from sales of the book to the victims’ fund, he got all huffy about it. Not only did he not donate the proceeds to the victims fund, he didn’t even donate a PORTION of the proceeds to the fund. His response was that he was being politically attacked just by being asked the question, and that he NEEDED the money because he had kids about to start college. As such, he had every right to pimp his position in order to profit from the deaths of children and teachers killed in a horrific tragedy, and anyone who questioned the optics of that was a bad person just out to get him politically.
THAT is what Mike Huckabee did in the face of a tragedy just like this one. I’ll just further note that having a sanctimonious former Baptist minister serving as governor at the time did nothing to ward off the crime.
As I said, fuck that fat fuck with a rusty Garden Weasel.
@JCT: Yeah, about that…at the time, the sick joke making the rounds here in state was that Huckabee’s book profiting from school murder should have been called “When Kids Kill Dogs” to remind everyone that his eldest son got kicked out of Boy Scouts for torturing and killing a dog.
And when I read this-I get ads for Christian singles. If I date any-will they all think this way. I would hope not.
@KCinDC: sure, when the victim was a black teenager going to a convenience store, when the act was done by a brave patriot ‘standing his ground’, when the victims are swarthy heathens somewhere that Huckabee and his consituents would have trouble finding on a map–in sum when it’s one of ‘them’–I think there are a lot of people in this country who ‘don’t have a problem’ with murder.
CW in LA
@David Koch: A Golden Calf, pfft. I think it’s worth pointing out that abominations such as yesterday’s did not occur when people worshiped Zeus, Poseidon, Athena, and company.
Satan must love guns, I think. God, not so much.
What a coincidence that Huckabee’s God is a rage-filled asshole, just like Huckabee. Funny how that always works out.
Smedley the Uncertain
Guns don’t kill people, people don’t kill people, god kills people!!
And who is Huckabee’s God, whom we have so wickedly cast out of our schools, and before whom we need to kneel in trembling obedience and laud with great honor? Here is this God.
Thanks for saying this, because it’s really been bugging me.
As a dirty ferriner I could obviously be missing the point, but doesn’t a literal interpretation of the 2nd amendment say that, while the right to bear arms is an absolute, the Government (state and federal) has a constitutional duty to regulate it?
Yeah, I know, that’s the super-secret part of the 2nd Amendment that the NRA has spent an awful lot of money and as many years as I’ve been alive obfuscating, but wouldn’t it be a good idea for opponents of lax gun-laws to start framing their arguments around a push to actually enforce the 2nd Amendment as it exists, not the We Gotz Gunz Sukka! version popularised by the Wingnutoshpere?
The U.S. Constitution says that the Government has to regulate the bearing of arms by the People.
They should do so.
@J. Michael Neal: it’s worth pointing out that Huckabee is engaged in blasphemy.
Precisely correct. So instead of being in the eighth Circle second bolgia of flatterers – the first of Tom’s quotes – or in the eighth Circle seventh bolgia of thieves – the second quote – he is in the seventh Circle, third subdivision, the place for those who have done violence against God and Nature.
(Laurence Binyon translation)
At least Huckabee will have plenty of company – that part of the Inferno holds those who lend money at interest, as well as the blasphemers. And, as an ironic touch, homosexuals.
Rather, said Huckabee, it was your fault and mine for having failed to appease his angry god by public worship in school.
Eh, that’s not quite what he’s saying, I don’t think. When he says “we” he’s talking about the secular PC police bullies who’ve forced his favored religion from public institutions. They’re the ones who did this. Huckabee just doesn’t have the guts to name names the way Bryan Fischer does.
I think it’s really quaint how so many of us still think that Huckabee is actually religious and/or an actual practicing Christian. Cute.
@BGinCHI: Yes. Hell, yes.
An interesting blog posting I found through Slacktivist.
These are the thoughts of a funeral director who knows how small towns react to such tragedies. Apparently, from the posting, there are enough people and non-profit groups who work to help families pay for funerals, that the projected costs have already been covered.
I submit former minister Huckabee should keep his gob shut. (But he’s a grifter who only thinks of himself.)
I ceased to listen to faux Christians like Huckabee, those in Congress, and some of the fundamentalist assh*les a long, long time ago because they have transformed Jesus, the Prince of Peace, into a gun-toting, hate-filled, racist, misogynistic, bigoted, violent, vindictive entity who bears no resemblance to the one in the New Testament. These are the same people who get “upset” at the news that more and more Americans are turning away from organized religion, but they shouldn’t, because, bottom line, who in his/her right mind aspires to be a soulless assh*le like many of them have become? They’re some of Christianity’s own worst enemies and don’t even realize it.
Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason
@David Koch: If there had only been prayer in school the
JapaneseGermans would never have bombed Pearl Harbor.
H/T Senator Blutarsky
2006 – Five Amish girls shot to death in their school – where memorizing the Lord’s Prayer is required. Wrong prayer, not real Christians? What gives, Huck?
@Ken: I think you’re right. I was looking swiftly through the Inferno for “physical” descriptions of what seemed to me appropriate torment for Huckabee — but blasphemy is certainly a better specific indictment. A friend of mine also suggested sanctimony, 8th circle, 6th bolgia, (I think).
James E. Powell
Slightly off the main topic, but I continue to be amazed that so many people admire, follow, and give money to random oddballs who claim not only that there is an invisible being who rules the universe, but that they know the mind and desires of said invisible ruler.
Is this a flaw in how the human brain works? Can anything be done to remedy or counter it?
And the Amish to this day refuse to carry weapons.
Are there no lefty Preachers with any kind of pulpit to speak against the Huckabees and the rest of the hucksters? Strange that I know of none.
I don’t know. I’m with those who blame the War on Xmas.
If you’re not going through life worried about an eternity of nothing but coal in your stocking, what’s to stop you from blowing away 20 kindergartners at a moment’s notice?
That’s Santa’s job–to keep us nice. Without him, the Mike Huckabees of the world would be nothing more than amoral psychopaths. And as goes the Huckabee so goes the nation, apparently.
What kind of person would murder little children?
The first thing that comes to mind in response to that question is someone who is severely mentally ill. Close behind is someone who is a religious fanatic. (Think Islamic terrorist.)
What kind of person would blame the murders of twenty children on the absence of prayer in public schools?
The first thing that comes to mind in this case is a religious fanatic. The second, someone who is severely mentally ill.
Which is Huckabee? Or is he both?
@Mike in NC:
“The Huckster needs to spend eternity being buggered by Jerry Falwell.”
Naaaah! Too much fun…
Actually, as Garry Wills points out, we are worshiping a god:
@Zelma: This Huckabee shit-talking is another reason I’m an atheist.
Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him..” Or maybe it was the other way around.
This shit for brains Huckabee hasn’t accounted for the fact that the kids in my godless state primary school here in London don’t pray (although they do a Nativity play, as well as celebrate Eid), and they have zero percent chance of this shit happening to them here. No correlation/causation.
I don’t seeing this crapbag being invited back to The Daily Show anytime soon
Let us imagine, for it is not that difficult, that a gunman armed with an assault weapon enters a fundamentalist church during a service and kills a couple of dozen people before taking his own life.
Let us further imagine that many hours before the bodies of the victims could even be removed from the scene of the crime, Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann went on the air and said that the shootings were God’s judgment for the bigotry of the church.
Now, someone tell me why Mike Huckabee still has a fucking job.
Mike Huckabee is not a nice guy.