Following criticism for a comment last week regarding an absence of God in public schools and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee clarified his remark on Monday.
"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, because you can't have that kind of cause and effect. But we've created an atmosphere in this country where the only time you want to invoke God's name is after the tragedy," said Huckabee on Fox News.
The flap started after a Friday afternoon interview with Fox News' Neil Cavuto, when Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, was asked "How could God let this happen?"
"We ask why there's violence in our schools, but we've systematically removed God from our schools," Huckabee responded. "Should we be so surprised that schools become a place of carnage, because 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 and judgment. If we don't believe that, then we don't fear that."
"And so I sometimes, when people say 'why did God let it happen,' you know God wasn't armed, he didn't go to the school," Huckabee continued. "God will be there in the form of a lot of people with hugs and with therapy and in a whole lot of ways in which I think he will be involved in the aftermath. Maybe we ought to let him in on the front end and we wouldn't have to call him when it's all said and done on the back end."
Following the interview, the left pounced. Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill, via a Huffington Post blog video, called Huckabee's comment "ridiculous."
"I usually like Mike Huckabee," said Hill. "Actually, he's usually the sensible guy on Fox News. He's warm, he's fuzzy, he's chubby, he makes me happy, but this time he really put his foot in his mouth."
No middle-grounder, Hill in October published a blog on Huffington in October titled, "The 15 most overrated white people," which included Ronald Reagan, William Shakespeare, and Elvis Presley.
Among similar sentiments on Huckabee's comment was one expressed by BJ Bernstein, an attorney and civil rights activist, who said the remarks "vilify" those who, "follow the constitution, because we understand and chosen as a people the separation of church and state. That's a different concept than saying there's no God in our lives."
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