Huckabee: Lack of religion in classroom leads to violence in schools
December 16th, 2012
09:56 AM ET

Huckabee: Lack of religion in classroom leads to violence in schools

(CNN) - Responding to the deadly mass shooting Friday in Newtown, Connecticut, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said new laws regulating guns won't deter such shootings, linking a lack of religious discussion in the classroom to increased violence in schools.

"We ask why there's violence in our school but we've systematically removed God from our schools," Huckabee said on Fox News. "Should we be so surprised that schools have become such 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 gonna have to be accountable to the police if they catch us but one day we stand before a holy God in judgment. If we don't believe that, then we don't fear that," he said.

"People are going to want to pass new laws," Huckabee continued. "This is a heart issue ... laws don't change this kind of thing."

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Mike Huckabee • Politics • Schools

soundoff (805 Responses)
  1. EX catholic

    Huckabee probably owns guns, Shares and Stocks in the Weapons Industry. So his opinions maybe clouded and bias. I suspect that he will kiss the Pope's ring many times over and over.

    Now, seriously, that laws don't change the heart? Well really, even human laws with Time, Education and Effort can help people to mind their ways, change Behavior and eventually have a change of Mind and Heart. And that is only Human laws. Rights without Accountability, Liabilities and Responsibilities are not Rights but Wrongs with a License. Rights are NOT Absolute! Rabid Idolaters need not apply! Go kiss the Pope's ring.

    Mr. Huckabee presumes or has presumed of being a Minister of God. Well, if that is true, he should know then what the Scripture says about the Law, the Law of God that is.

    December 17, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  2. hawaiiguest

    Dear Mike Huckabee,

    Fuck off you divisive prick.

    December 17, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
  3. dk1911

    This is concerning – The fact that there is so much hatred for a person who gave their opinion. Who cares what Mike Huckabee thinks?! After reading these posts, you would think that he might have magical powers and can influence you to think like him. He is just a man. He gave an opinion. So what?! Just because someone thinks differently than you doesn't make that person an idiot. I may not agree with Huckabee, or Sue, or {!}, or Brian, or a number of other posters here, but that doesn't mean they are stupid. We were all born uniquely with the ability to think for ourselves. So what, if you disagree?

    Until we can all (and by looking at these posts, I mean ALL) set aside our hatred and overlook our differences, we will continue to have major problems here in the US.

    December 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • sam

      The problem is that his ignorance is indicative of a subset of our culture that continues to spread this kind of nonsense. It's not just one person's opinion – it's someone in our govenment, with a lot of backing.

      December 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • the AnViL

      what sam said

      December 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • JJ

      The problem is when people like you call it hatred when people disagree and voice that disagreement. You're a hypocrite as you demonize others for reacting strongly to the continued attempt by Pastor/Governor/Presidential candidate Huckabee to make the US an Evangelical Christian theocracy and his use of such a monstrous tragedy to do so. If it's not also repugnant to you then you should examine youorself.

      December 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • derp

      This delusional myth believer was a step away from the Republican nomination. Now he is proposing that we force his delusional myth beliefs into my children's secular schools.

      The day that happens will be the day I exercise my second amendment right to fend off government tyranny. This jack off is just another religiofascist who wants to stuff his ridiculous faith down my family's collective throats.

      If you want to have religion in schools, move to Pakistan.

      December 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  4. donner

    You realize of course that the Huckster is literally on the payroll for the National Rifle Association. Nothing like pimpin' for the Lord. Disgraceful.

    December 17, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  5. Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

    Joseph Linka

    Shame on Mike Huckabee for using this tragedy to push his religious agenda
    Bingo.....Huckabee is nothing more than a religo wh ore using the death of the kids to prop up his vomit

    December 17, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  6. chuckie

    When filth like Mike Huckabee goes the way of the dinosaur, it will truly be morning in America.

    December 17, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  7. felix navidad

    Mike is 100% accurate on this one !

    December 17, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • midwest rail

      Not even close.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • felix navidad

      Beyond "close", even to prophetic utterance, common decency is ALL with Mike on this thing.

      December 17, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • midwest rail

      Nonsense. When he says "religion", he leaves unspoken (wink, wink) that it is solely HIS religion that he wishes to see returned to the classroom. He could not possibly be more disingenuous in his opinion. Prophetic utterance, my keister.

      December 17, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • sam stone

      felix: i wonder how mikey would feel if it was a religion other than his that gets pushed in the classroom

      December 17, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, they aren't, felix. This has NOTHING to do with "common decency," and Huckabee is a vile opportunist using this tragedy to promote HIS favored religion–not all religion.

      There is not a single shred of evidence that prayer does anything anywhere. Pretending that any child is prevented from praying in a school is nothing short of a bald-faced lie on your part and his.

      December 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      There was another incident yesterday at a hospital and people were killed there also, hospital's have chapels-so why then did your imaginary friend not step in?
      This tragedy had nothing to do with the fact that school official's are not allowed to lead a christian prayer (the kids can still pray). Using that is a pathetic scape goat...innocent lives were lost at the hands of a mad men...should we not be focusing on why he went mad and potentially what changes need to be put in place to prevent this, instead of arguing over who has the bigger god?
      This isn't showing any respect for the deceased and their loved ones...there were people of multiple faiths shot....people who regardless of belief in no way deserved to die.
      Compassion should be the first thought in people's minds here.

      December 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Roger that

      Ok. Fine let's do it Huckabee's way, as long as god is Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire, wind, lighting, and volcanoes. She sounds way cooler than the other gods.

      December 17, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Richard

      @Roger that

      Nope, sorry we are all going to start following Bacchus. The roman god of wine, drunkenness, madness, and ecstasy.

      December 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  8. Joseph Linka

    Shame on Mike Huckabee for using this tragedy to push his religious agenda. More people are dead in the name of religion than anything else. Shut up Huckabee, you are nothing but an opportunist.

    December 17, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  9. David

    Ok, I have a solution turn off all TV's, ban all video games especially the violent ones, and turn off the internet. Violence is everywhere. Then we will all walk around chanting, happy, happy, joy, joy with love and we will cure the human race. We can make our own religion of righteousness! Who's with me? LOL!

    December 17, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  10. Woody

    Huckabee claims this tragedy occurred because of a "lack of religious discussion in the classroom". Fred Phelps would probably say (if he hasn't already) these murders are somehow the fault of the tolerance of hom-ose-xuals. Whenever a tragedy like this takes place, the religious kooks crawl out of the woodwork, whining about the lack of prayer in public schools. Murders occurred when the state of the art technology was flintlock firearms. Modern technology allows the number of victims of these crimes to reach new levels. There were and always will be unstable people in this world. If prayer or "religious discussion" were the answer, there would be no such tragedies. Some parents pray everyday for the safety of their children. Sometimes children die in auto accidents, playground accidents, and sometimes they are kidnapped and/or murdered. Obviously prayer, while it make some people feel warm and fuzzy inside, is ineffective in preventing situations like Newtown or Columbine from happening. If a person wants "religious discussions" in their children's school, send your children to a religious school. Huckabee ran for the office of the person who affirms he/she will "preserve, protect and defend the Consti-tution of the United States", now he wants to use it as toilet paper.

    December 17, 2012 at 10:23 am |
  11. Annette

    Mr. Hucabee should be ashamed of himself for saying taking God out of schools has caused more violence. God does not live in buildings He lives in the hearts of people. Iam sure the innocent adults and children killed by this deranged monster were not killed because God was angry that He has been taken out of schools. Ifind Mr. Huckabees statement Infuriating and totally irresponsible. He should be ashamed of himself.

    December 17, 2012 at 10:22 am |
  12. myweightinwords

    This incident had nothing whatsoever to do with religion, and Huckabee using it to get his name in the news again, to push his ridiculous ideas is disgusting at best.

    The issues here are mental health care and gun control. Trying to make it about something else serves no one and dishonors those who lost their lives.

    December 17, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  13. { ! }

    @HuH? "Religious people find it very annoying that people don't need God to be good, as science has now incontestably proved." Incontestably? Really? Suppose we get rid of all religions, preachers, churches. You will then notice something: all the prisons, lethal injections, police forces, courts, judicial systems are all maintened by SECULAR society. If you want a test of man's goodness, get rid of those things. My guess is that "CAN man be good" will no longer be a relevant question. THe new question will be "WILL" man be good. You can contemplate this question while hiding in a closet. CHristianity takes a direct look into the human heart and asks "Man seems to be broken. Why?" Secular society hasn't begun to tackle that question.

    December 17, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Matt

      " CHristianity takes a direct look into the human heart and asks "Man seems to be broken. Why?""

      More negativity by the Christians trying to convert others to their religion. Man is not broken, brainwashed cult members are, if you got professional help it would really help with your negative outlook on life.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:10 am |
    • { ! }

      @ Matt My negative views? I don't need any kind of professional hope. Mass shootings in schools tend to make a person negative. If you are happy under these conditions , YOU need help.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Matt

      " I don't need any kind of professional hope. Mass shootings in schools tend to make a person negative. If you are happy under these conditions , YOU need help."

      More proof you need professional help, I said no such thing but the fact you had to twist into that dumb statement shows how delusional you are. Get help.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  14. { ! }

    The social decay in this country is appalling. Prisons are full, drug addiction is ruining us, child and woman abuse is a disgrace. This country is about 17th in the world in quality of education. Yet a very noisy section of the population (call them "humanists") has been litigating and agitating to get religious symbols and prayers removed from the public sight. This is very much like a person standing chest deep in schitt while worrying about a gnat circling his head.

    December 17, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Brian

      "Prisons are full, drug addiction is ruining us, child and woman abuse is a disgrace"

      80% of people in this country believe in a God and claim to be Christian, guess your religion isn't working.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:01 am |
    • Al

      Gnats can be very annoying.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Primewonk

      I just love it when folks who don't understand cause and effect pull this load of crap. I could just as easily state that everything started going to hell after the mid 50's – when we stuck "under god" into our pledge, and changed our motto to "in god we trust". Go ahead and prove me wrong.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • catholic engineer

      @ Brian My brother-in-law used to be a guard on death row in a maximum security prison. He explained that people are not Christians when they get into prinson. Once inside, many come face to face with their need for redemption and reach conversion.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Sue

      {!}, for comparison, other countries such as Canada are far less religious and have stricter gun controls than the US. They have far less violence and far less gun crime especially, than the US. Better think about that. While you are at it, think about why it is that a disproportionately large fraction of the US prison population is Christian, compared to the general population.

      Religion is not the answer. It is part of the problem. Religion is a cancer, a scourge on our society, and we need to get away from it.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Brian

      "He explained that people are not Christians when they get into prinson. Once inside, many come face to face with their need for redemption and reach conversion."

      You can make excuses but the original poster is claiming our country is in moral decay and since member of your religion are the majority then you need to look at your religion as the cause. Now wait for it folks, CE will come up with more excuses.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • { ! }

      @Primewonk So in your mind the mere words "In God We Trust" could be responsible for the american failure in Vietnam, the Cold War fear engineered by the scientists and secular governments, the AIDS pandemic which began about the time of the secksual revolution and ensuing mass phuck-fest?

      December 17, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Catholic Engineer' is an instance of the anecdotal evidence fallacy.


      December 17, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • sam stone

      catholic engineer: that doesn't really speak to the need for this redemption

      December 17, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • { ! }

      @ Sue You say we need to get away from religion. To where? The twentieth century was the most godless and bloody century in human history. It showed what man can to when left to his own devices.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • TrollAlert

      " could be responsible for the american failure in Vietnam, the Cold War fear engineered by the scientists and secular governments, the AIDS pandemic which began about the time of the secksual revolution and ensuing mass phuck-fest?"

      This is a troll on this site.

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Thinker23" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      December 17, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Sue

      Again, { ! }, read what I wrote and think it through. Less religious country with more gun control, less vlolence. High fraction of crime committing population belongs to a particular religion that sloughs off personal responsibility to a sky fairy. Go figure, stupid.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Sue

      Furthermore, the Golden Rule supplies the basis for much of the morality that we need. No sky fairy tales required. Pre-dates Christianity too. So my answer to your question is, to a commonly agreed upon moral code, and gun control that takes away rapid killing machines from ready access in society.

      No sky fairies required.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • derp

      What a funny little doosh you are.

      The entire basis of Christianity IS moral decay.

      Your own stupid religion is based on the assumption that we are all going to behave immorally. Then you wonder why people act immorally. Maybe when you stop "forgiving the sinner" we can start expecting people to stop sinning. Your silly little myth is the basis for most of the immoral behavior ever acted out in American society.

      The blue (read more secular) states have lower crime rates, lower murder rates, lower divorce rates, lower teen pregnancy tares, lower STD rates and lower out of wedlock birth rates.

      Maybe if we banned your silly myth permanently we could turn this county's moral compass around.

      December 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Communism is just another bloody religion

      { ! }"@ Sue You say we need to get away from religion. To where? The twentieth century was the most godless and bloody century in human history. It showed what man can to when left to his own devices."

      Hitler killed in the name of christianity. Stalin and Mau killed in the name of communism. All 3 killed in the name of religion (yes communism is just another bloody religion). It showed what man can do in the name of religion

      December 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  15. Sane Person

    If you believe the recent shooting was caused by lack of religion in schools you are ignoring the real issues. The shooter was using his mother's legally owned guns, one of which was a semi-automatic assault rifle. Tell me why a mother needs a military grade weapon or let's her son have access to it? And tell me why she didn't realize her son was deranged in the first place? Poor mental health care, poor gun control and poor parenting are the REAL issues, and they shouldn't be ignored by placing the blame on lack of religion.

    December 17, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • No, I'm a sane person

      I'm going to have to disagree with you Sane Person. It appears Adam had some mental health issues or as they used to call it in the old days, he was involved in witchcraft. If we put religion back into government then maybe these types of events won't happen. With the help of informers, the government could have been notified about Adams high level of witchery and the government could have taken action by burning Adam at the stake and prevented this tragedy. Don't you agree with Huckabee and admit that this country needs more religion? Religion is the answer to all of our problems.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  16. Huebert

    The reason that this was such a massacre was that the killer had access to very efficient killing tools. Had the killer had less efficient tools he most likely would not have been able to kill as many children. To blame this on a "lack of religion" is absolutely ridiculous.

    December 17, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • JJ

      I agree. The mother must carry a lot of the blame. She knew her son was not "normal" and was mentally unstable yet she has this large arsenal in her home. The NRA is largely made up of Talibangelical Christians so they will ignore the obvious and blame the victims and the entire country for not allowing them their theocracy.

      December 17, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Sue

      What JJ and Huebert said: I agree, and I agree with labelling of fundamentalist Christians such as we have in our country as Taliban-like. Same mentality (and mental health issues), just a different set ot myths about a sky fairy.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:19 am |
  17. growingold

    Ethics and Fear of who??

    December 17, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  18. Thoth

    If God is omni-present then how can he/she/it be removed from anywhere? I'm tired of this bs argument that god was somehow removed from schools and that's the reason for all the violence and teen pregnancies, etc.... as if none of that existed prior. And while violence can't really be linked to lack of god (since most all the recent tragedies have been commited by kids/adults who allegedly believed in god), there is plenty of history linking god TO violence...starting with your bible.

    December 17, 2012 at 9:21 am |
  19. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    So, former Governor and current Fox News Commentator, who's version of God should we be teaching? The wrathful version of the Old Testament so favored by many fundamentalist Christian denominations? The loving version taught by Jesus and ignored by many Christian denominations? The teachings of the misogynist converted pharisee Paul of Tarsus, who co-opted Jesus? The contradictory teachings of Muhammed from the Qu'ran? The teachings of Buddah? The teachings of the Krishna Consciousness folks? Who's version of God should we be teaching?

    December 17, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • catholic engineer

      There isn't as much contradiction among various religions as you might think. St. Augustine of Hippo once said "You have made us for yourself, oh Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You." So an awareness of God seems to be imbedded deep in the human psyche. But that awareness demands to be expressed. By what means is it expressed? We use whatever means we have at our disposal: our culture, our vaying degrees of intelligence, our artistic or scientific ability, our individual temperaments, our societal self concept. With so much diversity among humans, its no surprise that religious/spiritual expression manifests in different forms. But its the same impulse that produces the varying expressions. Instead dismissing religions as confusing, maybe we should say "genuine religious expression allows people and peoples to be true to themselves." Religious expressions that are force-fit are useless.

      December 17, 2012 at 9:33 am |
    • Huh?

      "God seems to be imbedded deep in the human psyche"

      No, it's not. Religious people find it very annoying that people don't need God to be good, as science has now incontestably proved.

      For millennia, we've been brainwashed into believing that we needed the Almighty to redeem us from an essentially corrupt nature. Left to our own devices, people would quickly devolve into beasts, more violent, tactless, aggressive, and selfish, than we already are.

      Today, we know that this isn't true. With the discovery of mirror neurons by Italian neuroscientist Giaccomo Rizzolatti in the 1990s, we now have physiological proof of why - and how - our species became hard-wired for goodness. Mirror neurons are miraculous cells in the brain whose sole purpose is to harmonize us with our environments. By reflecting the outside world inward, we actually become each other - a little bit; neurologically changed by what is happening around us. Mirror neurons are the reason that we have empathy and can feel each other's pain. It is because of mirror neurons that you blush when you see someone else humiliated, flinch when someone else is struck, and can't resist the urge to laugh when seeing a group struck with the giggles. (Indeed, people who test for "contagious yawning" tend to be more empathic.) These tiny mirrors are the key to most things noble and good inside us.

      It is through mirror neurons - not God - that we redeem ourselves, achieve salvation, and are "reborn" in virtuous ways once co-opted by religions. Evolution knew what she was doing. A group of successful cooperators has a much higher chance of thriving than a population of selfish liars. In spite of what we read in the headlines, the ratio of bad to good deeds done on any given day across our planet holds at close to zero any day of the year. Although we are ethical works-in-progress, the vast majority of us are naturally positive creatures - meaning not harmful to our environments - most of the time in most of the ways that matter. And God has nothing to do with it.

      Spirituality does but God doesn't. Evolutionary psychologists tell us that our brains are hard-wired with a five-toned moral organ that focuses on a quintet of ethical values - one of which is purity, or sacredness. In a world that can sometimes be disgusting, we evolved an upper tier of emotional longing - the aspiration for purity - to keep us balanced in this satyricon of carnal delights (where animality beckons and frequently wins). Our need for sacredness is part of our ancient survival apparatus, and manifests in what we call faith, the need to connect with that sacred dimension. This has been the primary purpose of religion, of course - to congregate people for the Greater Good - but God has been, in fact, the divine carrot. The important part was communion, a context in which to transcend ourselves, if only for an hour on Sundays. Without this ability "to turn off the Me and turn on the We," moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt tells us, our species would still be wandering around as groups of nomads, unable to create a civilization.

      Aside from mirror neurons, there's oxytocin, the molecule of connection (also known as the molecule of love). It's fascinating to learn that the vagus nerve produces more oxytocin when we witness virtuous behavior in others that makes us want to be better people ourselves. We are wired by nature to be elevated at the sight of other people's goodness, mirror neurons and oxytocin conspiring to improve the species. Miraculous though it is, this natural human phenomenon has nothing to do with theology.

      December 17, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • Primewonk

      catholic engineer wrote, " There isn't as much contradiction among various religions as you might think."

      So you will have no problem having the fundiot Muslims running our schools? We can start each week with the stoning of all kids we think might be gay. Recess will be for training how to properly stone women who commit adultery. And of course, anyone who tries to get the kids to worship your god must be killed. We'll have the Hindus and orthodox Jews run the lunch rooms. No more burgers. No more cheese on your ham.

      December 17, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • the AnViL

      catholic engineer is a shining example of the myopia inherent in religiosity.

      December 17, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  20. Lisa

    Recently, I attended the Teachings of Tibet's Dalai Lama in India. In one of the gatherings for the foreigners, He
    talked about the wisdom of "Secular Ethics" for this world for peace. I was so absorbed in his messages and now
    when I heared the news of this tradegy, I think "Secular Ehics" is the only solution. There are many religions and many believers and non-believers in this world. The only thing which is common and appreciated by all is the "Secular Ehics".
    In the old time, people are un-educated and by making fear of God, it worked. But now the reality is different. There are many questions and less answere from the Religious organisations. Spiritualism will bring peace not religion. Religion wihout Spiritualism is like a food without nourishments.

    December 17, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • JJ

      Secular ethics? Sounds like all atheists I know. I think the below quote applies.

      Morality is doing what's right no matter what you're told...
      Religion is doing what you're told, no matter what's right

      December 17, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • Sue

      Thanks,. JJ. One of my favorite quotes. Always happy to see that one.

      December 17, 2012 at 10:27 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.