Governors Acting Brilliantly


Does Mike Huckabee qualify? I mean, he’s no longer governor of Arkansas. But he once was. I’m going to say that’s good enough.

So what’s Governor Huckabee been up to lately? I’m glad you asked:

During a speech earlier this month at televangelist Morris Cerullo’s annual conference, Mike Huckabee said that school shootings wouldn’t take place if public schools organized daily prayers, religious assemblies, Bible readings and “chapel services.”

There’s a video.

That’s some strong stuff. We wouldn’t have any school shootings in this country if we had prayers and Bible readings. And more. Who would have thought it would be such an easy problem to solve. The governor has a good memory about these things. He tells us how it used to be:

As a kid I remember we would have people come to our school and do assemblies and chapel services in a public school. And they would talk to us about Jesus. The Gideons would give us Bibles. And nobody got arrested. Nobody got sued, by the way. Nobody got hurt, either. Because we were bringing Bibles to school, people weren’t bringing guns to school except for the deer hunters, who left them in their trucks.

Well, that is impressive. Obviously it was a wonderful world that Governor Huckabee lived in and went to school in, so many years ago. I wonder where that was. I wonder when it was. I doubt it was over two hundred years ago in what is now Franklin County, Pennsylvania:

The earliest known United States shooting to happen on school property was the Pontiac’s Rebellion school massacre on July 26, 1764, where three men entered the schoolhouse near present-day Greencastle, Pennsylvania, shot and killed schoolmaster Enoch Brown, and killed ten children (reports vary). Only one child survived.

Of course, that was an exceptional situation. That was hostile act by some Lenape warriors. How about a more real-to-life situation. How about 1850, again in Pennsylvania:

West Chester, Pennsylvania, At the Rocky Hill schoolhouse, students found their young teacher (aged about 18), Rachael Sharpless shot dead in the doorway of the school. George Pharoah, 19 years old, shot her while hiding behind a tree as she was unlocking the door.

How about 1853:

Louisville, Kentucky, The student Matthew Ward bought a pistol in the morning, went to school and killed the schoolmaster Mr. Butler, as revenge for what Ward thought was excessive punishment of his brother the day before.

Or 1858:

Baltimore, Maryland, the 15 year old son of Col. John T. Farlow (Baltimore’s Marshal of Police 1867-70), was shot to death during a Sabbath School gathering.


Oakland, California, Edward Carpenter accidentally shot himself dead while hunting on campus; he was one of the few students permitted to have a firearm at school.


Todd County, Kentucky, A son of Col. Elijah Sebree was shot dead by another student. Young Sebree was threatening the other boy and intended to kill him.

Enough of that 19th century stuff. How about modern times. 1900:

Danbury, Connecticut, After being repeatedly refused by Teacher Lillian Owen, Herbert Horton went to the schoolhouse and pleaded one last time. He then pulled out a revolver and demanded entry or he would kill himself. Miss Owen and pupils barricaded the door. Horton then shot himself in the chest.

Camargo, Illinois, Teacher Fletcher R. Barnett shot and killed another teacher, Eva C. Wiseman, in front of her class at a school.

Enough of that, as well. How about (nearly) modern times. Let’s just stick to 1952, three years before Governor Huckabee was born:

New York City, A 15-year-old boarding school student shot a dean rather than relinquish pin-up pictures of girls in bathing suits.

New York City, Bayard Peakes walked into the offices of the American Physical Society (APS) at Columbia University and shot and killed secretary Eileen Fahey with a .22 caliber pistol.

Lawrenceville, Illinois, After Georgine Lyon, 25, ended her engagement with Charles Petrach, Petrach shot and killed Lyon in a classroom at Lawrenceville High School where she worked as a librarian.

New York City, Rear Admiral E. E. Herrmann, 56, superintendent of the Naval Postgraduate School, was found dead in his office with a bullet in his head. A service revolver was found by his side.

All this time I’m wondering at what point in his public school career did Governor Huckabee enjoy a Bible-rich, gun-free life. Madeline Murray filed her suit against the public schools in Baltimore in 1960, and in 1963 the Supreme court handed down its decision banning religious proselytizing in public schools. Governor Huckabee would have been about eight years old at that time. Supposedly he lived a Bible-free existence throughout most of his public school experience.

Supposing my presumption is wrong. Suppose that, despite the Supreme Court ruling, Governor Huckabee’s schools continued to violate the law and to hold prayers and Bible readings and such. What a gun-free time that should have been. I count about 19 school shootings in the United States between 1963 and 1973, about the time the governor should have gotten out of high school.

There are two possibilities:

  • Governor Huckabee has a short (or selective) memory.
  • He tends to neglect one of the Ten Commandments.

Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

One thought on “Governors Acting Brilliantly

  1. Pingback: Governors Acting Brilliantly | Skeptical Analysis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.