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June 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Former Arkansas Gov. and GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee has slammed left-wing activist Shaun King for his call to destroy representations of Jesus Christ and Our Lady, following the destruction of statues, including statues of saints, all across America.
“To somehow hate Jesus is to hate the one person in the entire history of the planet who lived the perfection of God, because he was God in human flesh,” said Huckabee on Fox News yesterday.
Shaun King, a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, best known for claiming to be half-black despite both parents on his birth certificate being listed as white, declared Monday that statues, murals, and stained-glass windows depicting Jesus as white should be taken down for being “form[s] of white supremacy,” meant to be “tools of oppression” and “racist propaganda.”
Huckabee, who has also been a Protestant pastor, countered, “To say that in any way Jesus is a symbol of white anything is absurd. In part because Jesus wasn’t a white guy, he was a Middle Easterner, and probably had more olive skin than he did white skin.”
“It has to be one of the most unbelievable things I’ve ever heard,” he continued. “First of all, if someone would study Jesus, they would find that he was the ultimate person who loved the unlovable, who cared for the ones that no one else cared for.”
“He cared about people who were slaves. He cared about people who were prostitutes. He stepped in the path of those who were ready to stone to death the woman caught in adultery. And he was the one who intervened,” he explained.
The former governor of Arkansas predicted that “we’re going to see people who say, ‘We’ve got to get rid of all these images of Jesus, because we don’t want to have any religion.’”
“But here’s the good news for those of us who embrace Jesus,” Huckabee said. “You can take down the images and the art of depicting Jesus, but you can never take the true spirit of Jesus Christ out of the lives of his followers.”
He talked about potential oppression and persecution, but pointed out that historically, “the true faith begins to show even more dramatically” in those times.
“It’s because in the midst of darkness, light becomes more obvious. So a little bit of light, the darker it gets, will have a profound effect,” he said.
“I think historically there’s always been a level of hate toward Christianity, because it calls for people to live a life that is different,” Huckabee added.
A life lived based on the principles of the Bible would be “a life of servanthood. That’s not natural. We are naturally, as the Bible would call us, sinners. That doesn’t mean we’re all serial killers.” However, according to Huckabee, the “fundamental thing Jesus taught” was, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
You want to have your home broken into and your stuff stolen? Then don’t do that to somebody else. You want your business burned down? Then don’t burn somebody else’s business down. Do you want to be raped? Don’t rape anybody. That’s how it works. And that’s the Christianity that a lot of people are missing.
Huckabee reminded his viewers of the “Judeo-Christian foundation of our country.”
“Our fundamental rights don’t come from the government,” he emphasized, “because if government gives them, government can take them. They come from God, and we created a government unlike any that’s ever been, whose sole purpose was to protect those God-given rights so that we could live in our personal, individual liberty.”
Apart from the former governor of Arkansas, Bishop Donald J. Hying of Madison, Wisconsin, has also said he “cannot remain silent” in the face of King's call to destroy representations of Jesus Christ. “I need to denounce such a call to violence and destruction,” he wrote in a letter dated June 23.
“Our statues, pictures, stained-glass windows, churches, icons, and devotions are holy to us,” Bishop Hying explained. “They are sacramentals, blessed and sacred, visible expressions of the love of God, poured out in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and made manifest in the Saints. They remind us of God, His love for us in Christ, and the nearness of the divine.”
The bishop of Madison condemned the “secular iconoclasm of the current moment,” as it “will not bring reconciliation, peace, and healing. Such violence will only perpetuate the prejudice and hatred it ostensibly seeks to end.”
In response to King’s claim of a white representation of Jesus Christ indicating “white supremacy,” Bishop Hying pointed out that among Catholics, “every culture, country, ethnicity, and race has claimed Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary as their own. Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Saint Juan Diego as a mestiza, African art depicts Jesus as Black, Asian depictions of the Blessed Mother, too, take on similarities of both bodily appearance and, often, cultural garb.”
Additionally, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco on June 20 condemned the tearing down of statues of St. Junipero Serra, who was canonized by Pope Francis in 2016. Cordileone called it “mob rule, a troubling phenomenon that seems to be repeating itself throughout the country.”
“Our dear city bears the name of one of history’s most iconic figures of peace and goodwill: St. Francis of Assisi,” Cordileone explained. “For the past 800 years, the various Franciscan orders of brothers, sisters and priests that trace their inspiration back to him have been exemplary of not only serving, but identifying with, the poor and downtrodden and giving them their rightful dignity as children of God. St. Junipero Serra is no exception.”
The archbishop of San Francisco also briefly recounted the saint’s achievements in his life.
“St. Serra made heroic sacrifices to protect the indigenous people of California from their Spanish conquerors, especially the soldiers,” Cordileone wrote. “Even with his infirmed leg which caused him such pain, he walked all the way to Mexico City to obtain special faculties of governance from the Viceroy of Spain in order to discipline the military who were abusing the Indians. And then he walked back to California.”
“And lest there be any doubt, we have a physical reminder to this day: everywhere there is a presidio (soldiers’ barracks) associated with a mission in the chain of 21 missions that he founded, the presidio is miles away from the mission itself and the school,” he pointed out.
“St. Junipero Serra also offered them the best thing he had: the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ, which he and his fellow Franciscan friars did through education, health care, and training in the agrarian arts.”
In St. Louis, Missouri, Catholics have been gathering and praying at a statue of the city’s namesake, Saint Louis IX, as a small group of leftists campaigns to tear it down. St. Louis IX, the only king of France to be canonized a Catholic saint, is famous for ending the practice of trial by combat and replacing it with trial by jury.