Huckabee on Indiana Law: 'This Is a Manufactured Crisis by the Left'

Susan Jones | April 2, 2015 | 8:09am EDT
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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee  (AP File Photo)

( - The furor over Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act "is a manufactured crisis by the Left," former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) told Fox News's Megyn Kelly Wednesday night.

"If they manufactured as many products as they do crises like this one, which is an utterly phony attempt to create some kind of division, 92 million Americans who are jobless would have jobs.

"I've never seen anything so utterly off the mark in my life as trying to pretend that the RFRA law is actually discrimination. It is most certainly not. It simply gives you access to the court. And there's no guarantee that you're going to win when you go."

Huckabee spoke one day after Arkansas, the state he once governed, also passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which the current governor wants to change. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) wants the state law to precisely mirror the federal RFRA signed in 1993 by then-President Bill Clinton.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) also has asked the Indiana State Legislature to make changes, following an "avalanche" of criticism that the Indiana law is a license to discriminate against homosexuals.

"There's nothing in the RFRA that in anyway says a thing about homosexuality, gay marriage," Huckabee told "The Kelly File" on Wednesday.

He said it's important to differentiate between discrimination and discretion: "Discrimination is if when someone comes into the pizza place, they're turned away because they're black or because they're female or because they're gay, although I don't honestly know how you would know someone is gay just because they walked in and ordered a pepperoni pizza.

"But discretion is something that every American should have the right to exercise. Which is that if you come to my place and order cupcakes or a donut, I'll serve you. If you want me to show up and deliver a cake with two men on top of it, because I'm a Christian, because I believe the biblical definition of marriage, then I'm not going to be able to do that. That's not discrimination. That's discretion. And there's a difference."

Huckabee said "of course" he believes that there is intolerance against Christians who believe in biblical teachings.

"And I think that this movement on the Left to try to push this -- and I'm watching these major corporations fold up like a cheap tents in a wind storm. And it breaks my heart to see it because ultimately there are a lot of Christians that have been very quiet. They just sort of live and let live.

"But there may come a time when the vast numbers of people in this country, some of them aren't even Christians, who will say this is going too far, when you start trying to shut businesses down.

"And, Megyn, let's just be very blunt here. I was in China last year. I was governor of Arkansas ten and a half years. The people, including the CEO of Walmart who said that Arkansas shouldn't pass this law, I'm wondering, I know Arkansas very well. And I know China a little bit. Walmart does a lot of business in China. And there's a lot more discrimination going on in China than there is in Arkansas."

Huckabee said he believes that religious liberty "really is at risk."

"And I hope that Christians will do more than just say, 'Gee whiz, this is unfortunate.' If Christians wanted to rise up and vote, they could make a difference, we could make a change in this country. Not to discriminate against anyone, but because in America more voices are better than fewer, more ideas are better than fewer ideas, more speech is better than less speech. And the Left is pushing a restriction on people's basic fundamental liberties. That's not what we need.

Homosexual activists are using the RFRA to push for the addition of non-discrimination protections for LGBT people in state civil rights laws. Indiana law does not include such protections.

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