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God's Not Dead 2's Mike Huckabee: 'Be outspoken, don't take no for an answer'

Chris Carpenter


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Former Arkansas governor and recent presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is a firm advocate that our nation must protect and preserve the right for people to live out their faith without government intervention.  Gov. Huckabee believes this so strongly that he made the preservation of religious liberty a central tenet of his recently concluded presidential campaign.

The simple fact is that the name of Jesus is welcomed less and less in the public square with each passing day.  One needs to look no further than today’s headlines to see the slow decline of various moral precepts that previously had long been accepted in our culture.

I recently sat down with Gov. Huckabee to discuss his involvement with the new movie, God’s Not Dead 2 (opening April 1st), why current civil court cases hold merit, and what people of faith can do to safeguard their religious liberties.   

In the movie God’s Not Dead 2 (GND2) you play yourself, a news talk show host.  Tell me about how you got involved in the movie?

The producers had asked me if I would be interested in doing a little cameo role and frankly I was thrilled to death.  It fulfilled a bucket list hope for me and that is to be in a movie at some point.  The second thing is that I loved the original God's Not Dead movie.  I thought it was a terrific film and when I heard there was going to be a sequel and it was being filmed in Little Rock, Arkansas, I thought how terrific.  I thought the script was brilliantly written.  The acting was excellent.  I think what really makes the film powerful, though, is that little cameo role of Mike Huckabee in the news scene.  And I’m pretty sure that it has Oscar written all over it.  I’m expecting the Academy to give me a call any day.  (laughs)

You know, as soon as you came on screen I thought to myself, Best Supporting actor, right there!  It was some of the finest cameo work I have ever seen. 

Indeed. (Laughs)

I have seen GND 2 and what troubles me the most about the movie is that the main character, Grace Wesley, is being punished for talking about Jesus in a historical context.  Even atheists admit that Jesus existed as a historical figure.  With that said, why can’t Jesus be discussed in this context in the classroom?

It really is denying students an authentic education.  If you deny the existence of certain historical figures, whether it’s because they are controversial or because they are religious, I wonder if a school would shut down with equal vengeance a teacher who mentions Muhammad?  I thought one of the great analogies that was presented in the film was Dr. Martin Luther King.  When I was a seminary student I studied his sermons and listened to hours of tape of him preaching these sermons.  The thing that I was stunned by was that these were not political speeches.  These weren’t civil rights speeches.  These were Biblical sermons from the (Scriptural) text with full-blown Biblical basis.  If you are going to say that a teacher can’t mention Jesus then please don’t bring up Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because to do so you can’t read one of his speeches and not be confronted by the Gospel.  It’s just remarkable to me how that we have become so blind to the historical impact of Jesus Christ.

Why do these types of cases even hold any merit?

I think it is because Christians have surrendered.  We have waved the white flag of surrender.  Churches don’t want to be involved.  In many cases, people grow up without even understanding what the Bill of Rights guarantees them.  Most people think the Bill of Rights tells them to shut up.  What they don’t understand is that every one of the Bill of Rights is a prohibition against the government, not a prohibition against the individual.  Not one of the Bill of Rights tells an individual what he or she can’t do.  It tells the government what it can’t do in taking away one of the rights  -- whether it’s the right of speech, the right of worship, the right of assembly, the right of owning a firearm, the right of due process – everything was guaranteed to protect the liberty and freedom of the individual.  And it was government that was prohibited from doing anything to block that. 

What is the most important thing the faith community can do to safeguard their religious liberties?

I feel like the single most important thing is that they have to be outspoken and not take no for an answer.  Let me explain what I mean by that.  There is a tendency when Christians meet any resistance they just fold.  ‘You don’t want me to mention Jesus? Good.  I won’t do it ever again.  I promise.’  What we need to do is say, ‘No, I’m not going to do that.’  I may pay a price for it but I will not violate my conscience.  And I will push back with everything in me.  I will do it politically.  I will do it with a sense of public awareness.  And I will do it legally.  In other words, I will not only try to beat you in the next election, I will take you to court and I will try to beat you there.  I will try to beat you in the public marketplace by presenting my argument and making you present yours in the same forum.  And I will be smart enough to beat you when we debate it.  Then, I think we need to beat them spiritually.  We need to say, ‘You know what?  You call on your god and I will call on mine. I will meet you at Mount Carmel. You bring your offering.  I will bring mine.  I will wet my down with a lot of water and we will just see where the fire falls.’

This movie will certainly have great appeal within the faith community.  But what about non-believers, or general audiences not necessarily associated with the church?

Chris, I think it will.  And let me tell you one of things that impressed me most.  The film was not based on an emotional appeal.  How you feel.  What you think.  What you believe.  It was really based on a historical premise – that there really was a guy named Jesus.  You may not like Him.  You may not agree with Him.  You may think He was a fraud.  You may even believe that He died and has been dead ever since.  Whatever you think about that, can you deny His existence?  That, to me, was a very powerful point.  This was a logical and thoughtful film that presented this whole issue of religious liberty and the context of truth, of indisputable truth.  And they didn’t try to force you to believe who Jesus was.  They simply said you would have to deny knowledge itself to pretend that He did not exist and had no impact on the world. 

For me, message of this movie is really about the freedom to believe how you want to believe and to not allow yourself to be controlled by other people.  What is your greatest hope for GND2?

The two things I hope people come out with is one, they realize that they are going to be soon put to the test of whether or not they are going to follow their faith or surrender it.  And that’s where it is going.  I think there are going to be a lot of people who say, ‘I’m not fighting.’  And they will surrender.  That is going to leave a remnant.  And that remnant will be strong.  I think the Church will be stronger because what is left will be a church of true believers, not a church of people who simply join the club.  The second thing I believe is that it will remind people that to follow Christ does not mean to take the easy way.  It really does mean that it is taking the hard way.  It is not that it will let you off the hook; it will put you on the hook.  If you are not prepared for suffering, you are not prepared to follow.

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About The Author


Chris Carpenter is the program director for, the official website of the Christian Broadcasting Network. He also serves as executive producer for myCBN Weekend, an Internet exclusive webcast show seen on In addition to his regular duties, Chris writes extensively for the website. Over the years, he has interviewed many notable entertainers, athletes, and politicians including Oscar winners Matthew McConaughy and Reese Witherspoon, evangelist Franklin Graham, author Max Lucado, Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy and former presidential hopefuls Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Mike