Mike Huckabee’s response to a reporter’s question about the Newtown massacre has been reviled by the liberal media, the religious left, and atheist bloggers. However, Jerry Walls, on Facebook, does a good job of putting Huckabee’s statement in context.
I just heard the tragic news out of Connecticut and turned on the TV to hear Mike Huckabee make an astute, but sad observation. The reporter asked him where God was in all this. Huckabee noted that is an odd question given that we have removed God from our schools and want nothing to do with Him and the notion of ultimate accountability for acts like this one.Jerry Walls Well, of course, God cannot be literally removed, but students can be, and are, educated as if He does not exist. I do not want to draw any simplistic connections here, but in the long run, you cannot deny or ignore the ultimate foundation of morality, and indeed meaning, without this having profound and far reaching consequences.Jerry Walls Thomas Senor, I'd say that is unfair to Huckabee. His point, I take it, is that there is something profoundly inconsistent in wondering where God is in times like this, yet utterly ignoring him, if not outright denying him otherwise. If there is serious intent to the question, God cannot be rationally ignored and trivialized the rest of the time.Jerry Walls Well Joshua Toepper and Thomas Senor and Jeremy James, in fairness to Huckabee, he went on to say that God would be there in the form of lots of people showing love, in the form of counselors who would try to make sense of this for the children and so on. So I only cited part of his quote. So perhaps you should be upset more with me than with him!Jerry Walls No, I think he made a valid point that it is odd to wonder where God is in moments like this while assuming otherwise He either does not exist or is utterly irrelevant.Jerry Walls Noting incoherence is not merely chastisement. He went on to make the positive point in addition to noting the implicit incoherence.Jerry Walls Zach, I think his point was just there is a profound inconsistency in invoking God in matters like this, but utterly denying and ignoring him the rest of the time.Jerry Walls Just got back from the gym, and while there, I recalled another important point Huckabee made, namely, that what we are dealing with here is ultimately a matter of the human heart, and that no legal or political measure can remedy that.Jerry Walls Well, I'm sure he did not mean to imply that laws are futile, in fact, I am sure he believes not only in law, but in God as the ultimate foundation of law. But his point was just that there is something deeply irrational about such behavior that no legal measures can eliminate.Jerry Walls Zach, I think it may have been a bit of both. And if he meant it in the latter way, the general point that I would argue is correct is that if we take God seriously, we do have both grounds to make sense of morality as well as motivation to be moral that is utterly lacking when God is left out of the picture. That hardly means of course, that all problems are solved by invoking God.Jerry Walls Certainly it is reasonable to wonder where God is in a tragedy even if you think no religion should be favored. But historically speaking, education in America was not functionally atheistic, indeed, it was based implicitly if not explicitly on a Christian worldview. Now, education is not merely neutral religiously, it is functionally atheistic. It means little to nothing to say students can pray if they want to, while God is never mentioned in history class, or chemistry, or biology class. When the whole education proceeds as if God either does not exist, or is irrelevant, that is the overwhelming message that is being sent. Even considering the possibility that biology might be studied in a way that includes the option, among others, that the world was designed by God is resisted with ferocious intensity. God MUST NOT be discussed as a serious reality in contemporary education. So in that sense, God is excluded. We cannot of course make God small, but we can act like he is, and proceed as if he is and make a small to vanishing place for him in how we think and live. And when we do, yes, there is something odd about suddenly asking where he is.Jerry Walls My experience was similar to yours Tom, but I think secularism is far more aggressive today and our culture at large is much more post-Christian. Secular education is more deliberately non-religious and resistant to any consideration of God. I agree that the issue is not one of protection by God, but a culture that lacks any coherent vision of moral education and the meaning of life is ill equipped to form its students in the ways of virtue and character. And that is bound to have consequences eventually.Jerry Walls And Brian, my guess is that if Huckabee were on the scene with those grieving people, he would be hugging them, praying with them and comforting them. But his role on a national TV show offering commentary is a different role than that of pastor, though he did include some pastoral points in his remarks.
Jerry Walls Yes, our President gets choked up about this, but supports partial birth abortion.