Commentary Magazine


Governor Huckabee’s Clarification

Having said some critical things about former Governor Mike Huckabee in the context of his comments about the Newtown massacre, it’s only fair, I think, to point out that Huckabee’s tone was much more reasonable and less offensive yesterday morning. It’s worth pointing out that Huckabee, perhaps aware of some of the criticisms he has received, went out of his way to say, “I’m not suggesting by any stretch that if we had prayer in schools regularly as we once did that this wouldn’t have happened.” 

That is, of course, exactly what Huckabee suggested in his comments on Friday. There’s simply no other way to interpret these comments on the day of the killings:

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? Because we’ve made it a place where we do not 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 we stand one day before a holy God in judgment…  Maybe we ought to let [God] in on the front end and we would not have to call him to show up when it’s all said and done at the back end.

The fact that Huckabee made a similar comment in the aftermath of the killings in Aurora, Colorado doesn’t help his “I’m not suggesting by any stretch” assurance.

I would have preferred if Governor Huckabee had simply said that his initial comments were badly wide of the mark and after careful consideration, he wanted to revise them. But that may be asking too much.

In any case, Governor Huckabee certainly seems to have changed his tune–and even his theology–since Friday. That is all to the good, I think, and it’s only right to point it out.