Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Huckabee Said WHAT??

Mike Huckabee (R-AR), former governor of Arkansas, defeated candidate for the Republican presidential nomination this year, and ordained Southern Baptist minister, was in Louisville, KY yesterday for the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association (NRA). (For international readers, the NRA began as a club for hunters and target shooters, but has become the gun lobby in the U.S.  This evolved from being concerned to protect individual rights to own firearms–a popular, but dubious, interpretation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which ignores the controlling clause about a “well-regulated militia–to an incredible Right-Wing collection of ideologues which views any and all restrictions on firearms ownership–including owning automatic weapons, armor piercing “cop-killer” ammunition, school zone or other zoning restrictions, background checks at gun shows, etc. as violations of the 2nd Amendment. They regularly endorse the GOP presidential candidate.) The NRA and the obsession of Americans with guns is a topic for another day.

I was horrified to find out that, during his speech before the NRA, something clattered behind Huckabee. He immediately told this tasteless joke–that the noise was Barack Obama diving for cover because someone waved a gun at him! See the video here.  Not only was the joke tasteless (Ann Coulter told a similar one on the air weeks ago.), it may be a violation of “terrorist speech” law passed in the wake of 9/11. 

This is a country in which African-Americans were regularly lynched (killed without trial) for generations. It is also a country with a history of political assassinations, including presidents and presidential candidates. Obama began receiving death threats from racists almost immediately as soon as he entered the race for the presidency.  Huckabee knows all this. It took him five hours to apologize.

Between Bush and McCain accusing Obama of being friendly to terrorists and Huckabee making these kinds of “jokes,” no one will need to worry about whether Democrats will be united after our long primary process and the bruising campaign between Senators Clinton and Obama.  The Republicans are uniting and energizing us all just fine!

These kind of remarks have no place among would be political leaders–and that they would be made by a minister of the gospel is disgusting!

Even though I am opposed to Christians owning handguns (hunting rifles are different) and the gun culture of much of the U.S., I think the NRA members should have been outraged, too.  They are always contrasting “responsible gun owners” with criminals who use guns–and here Huckabee thinks they would find a joke about political assassination funny.

John McCain also addressed the NRA yesterday–and ignored the remark. Is that the kind of candidate the NRA wants for president?

God help us all.


May 17, 2008 - Posted by | U.S. politics


  1. Horrified to hear this kind of comment from an “ordained southern baptist minister”, but only mildly surprised.

    Comment by BjarturtheBaptist | May 17, 2008

  2. Gomer knew he had done a bad thing before the last words were out of his mouth.

    And the NRA audience seemed muted and stunned, to me.

    Be glad they didn’t erupt into guffaws and a standing ovation.

    At least, it didn’t seem as if they did.

    Comment by gaius sempronius gracchus | May 18, 2008

  3. I don’t know… I heard many more laughs than I’m comfortable with. But, of course, one laugh would have been more than I’m comfortable with.

    Comment by Sandalstraps | May 18, 2008

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