Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is attracting withering criticism today for linking recent mass shootings to homosexuality and the rapid rise in American shellfish consumption.
On his eponymous radio show today the ordained Babtist minister said that "pro-homosexual" and "pro-crustacean" sentiments in America's culture were eroding the country's Judeo-Christian moral values, leading to increasingly disturbing mass violence.
Huckabee's bizarre comments come just days after he said school shootings are the result of "systematically removing God from our schools", a reference to the fact that since a 1962 Supreme Court ruling it has been illegal to force children in public schools to pray.
God Hates Shrimp
Most Americans are familiar with Christian prejudice against gays. However, Huckabee's comments regarding crustaceans reveal another disturbing facet of Biblical fundamentalism. Although the Christian bible does not once mention abortion, contraception, or gay marriage - it does expressly forbid the consumption of shellfish in Deuteronomy 14:9-10:
"These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat: whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you."
To an increasing number of American evangelicals, the widespread acceptance of shrimp, lobster, crab, crayfish, and other forbidden foods is a sign of a deeply ungodly moral culture gone badly awry.
On air today Huckabee rejected several reasonable action plans - including calls for more gun control, increased mental health care spending, and better security at schools - and argued that only a blanket ban on homosexuality and shrimp has any hope of preventing more tragedies:
"Sure we can ban assault rifles, force our psychotic students to take anti-psychotics, and ask our schools to lock their windows. And sure, that might prevent more mass shootings. But we wouldn't be getting to the root cause of the violence - America's declining moral culture."
"The bible expressly forbids homosexuality and the consumption of shellfish. And yet we thumb our noses at God with gay bars like Sizzlers and Long Lohn Silvers, and seafood restaurants like Red Lobster and Bubba Gump Shrimp."
"Is it any surprise our children learn from our ungodly example? Its kinda hard to ask them to obey God's maxim of 'thou shalt not kill' when we can't even obey his simple wish to keep these filthy scaleless sea creatures off our plates."
Out of His Shell
Huckabee then called for a complete ban on eating shellfish, and suggested that the government offer gays free conversion therapy in an effort to change their ways:
"Of course the worst thing in the world is the gay shrimp eater. These people are dirtiest sinners among us, and their presence in society makes it very difficult to build a culture based on Christ's love and peace."
"I think its relatively easy to ban shrimp and other shellfish. We could do that in an afternoon. But homosexuality will be more difficult to cure. I think we need to seriously think about offering gays free conversion therapy, so that even the poorest among them can afford to commit to God."
A spokesperson for gay rights group Human Rights Campaign said Huckabee's remarks were "bigoted, out-of-date, and frankly just stupid."
A spokesperson for Bubba Gump Shrimp called Hukabee's statements "ridiculous" and suggested some Americans should actually be eating more seafood:
"Mr. Huckabee could use more shrimp in his diet. Its low in saturated fat, and high in Omega-3's - which are supposed to make you smarter."