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God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy

God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy

3.9 25
by Mike Huckabee

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The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestseller from a presidential candidate for the 2016 election!

In God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy, Mike Huckabee asks, "Have I been taken to a different planet than the one on which I grew up?" The New York Times bestselling author explores


The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestseller from a presidential candidate for the 2016 election!

In God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy, Mike Huckabee asks, "Have I been taken to a different planet than the one on which I grew up?" The New York Times bestselling author explores today's fractious American culture, where divisions of class, race, politics, religion, gender, age, and other fault lines make polite conversation dicey, if not downright dangerous. As Huckabee notes, the differences of opinion between the "Bubble-villes" of the big power centers and the "Bubba-villes" where most people live are profound, provocative, and sometimes pretty funny. Where else but in Washington, D.C. could two presidential golf outings cost the American taxpayers $2.9 million in travel expenses? Government bailouts, politician pig-outs, and popular culture provocations from Jay-Z and Beyoncé to Honey Boo-Boo to the Duck Dynasty's Robertson family. Gun rights, gay marriage, the decline of patriotism, and the mainstream media's contempt for those who cherish a faith-based life. The trouble with Democrats, the even bigger trouble with Republicans, our national security complex, and how our Constitution is eroding under our noses. Reflections on our way of life as it once was, as it is, and as it might become...these subjects and many more are covered with Mike Huckabee's signature wit, insight, and honesty.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Anyone who has enjoyed any of the previous books by Huckabee--former governor, one-time presidential candidate, and Fox News host--will be more than satisfied with this examination of the differences between "Bubbleville" (New York, L.A., and D.C.) and "Bubbaville" (the rest of America)…Huckabee's leavens his musings on the state of the union with a sense of humor ("I prefer boots over Birkenstocks. Does that make me weird?") that makes him enjoyable to read.” —Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly
Anyone who has enjoyed any of the previous books by Huckabee—former governor, one-time presidential candidate, and Fox News host—will be more than satisfied with this examination of the differences between “Bubbleville” (New York, L.A., and D.C.) and “Bubbaville” (the rest of America). In clichéd prose, he describes New York as “not completely Sodom and Gomorrah” and himself as “a catfish and corn bread kind of guy, not a caviar and crab salad connoisseur.” Huckabee offers a laundry list of grievances and discusses his stances on guns, religion, gay marriage, Obama, and Hollywood: he believes that American Christians are “cultural lepers,” marriage “is not merely a secular institution,” the IRS “is a criminal enterprise,” reality TV’s Duck Dynasty and Jim Bob Duggar “reflect all that is good and decent about family,” and poverty relief is “about perpetuating government programs.” Huckabee’s leavens his musings on the state of the union with a sense of humor (“I prefer boots over Birkenstocks. Does that make me weird?”) that makes him enjoyable to read. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Huckabee, former Arkansas governor, Republican presidential candidate, and Fox News talk show host, explains his conservative faith-based values—and those of other good ol' folks who live in "fly-over" country. Taking jabs at liberal elites, he defends hardworking and humble people from America's heartland whom he portrays as sensible, resourceful, compassionate, and self-reliant. With folksy, straightforward, pointed sarcasm, Huckabee objects to bureaucratic overreach, wasteful and irrational regulations, intrusive government, and contradictory politically correct speak. He defends Southern gun culture; supports traditional marriage and family, personal liberty, and the sanctity of life; expresses his dismay over government bailouts and environmentalist hypocrisy; and decries what he sees as the increasing dehumanization, crudeness, and salacity of American culture. Huckabee steadfastly defends the free-speech rights of those on all sides of these and other issues. He includes some criticism of the Republican Party which, he says, has failed "to respect and reach out to" industrious Americans. VERDICT Huckabee might be preparing for a 2016 Republican presidential run. In this precampaign work, he strives to encourage his heartland base and to introduce those folks to those who regard them with disdain. His own derisive style, however, might not win over many Manhattan, L.A., or DC liberals. For general readers. [See Prepub Alert, 7/28/14.]—Margaret Kappanadze, Elmira Coll. Lib., NY
Kirkus Reviews
More chuckly preaching from the former Arkansas governor and Fox News weekly show host.Having run for president in 2008 and lost the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney, Huckabee (Dear Chandler, Dear Scarlett: A Grandfather's Thoughts on Faith, Family, and the Things that Matter Most, 2012, etc.) sounds like he is going to try again, and he presents his clear delineation in ideology between the views of "Bubble-ville" (the "nerve centers" of New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles) and "Bubba-ville"—the rest of the country. While residents of the former are among his best friends, of course, even if they hate guns, eat kale and embrace gay marriage, the latter group includes his homegrown buddies, those who cherish their guns for hunting and self-defense, attend church and find Miley Cyrus' contortions shocking. In the name of "decency," Huckabee sees the country going down the tubes with the politically correct thought police stifling free expression (e.g., "illegal aliens" have become nonoffensive "dreamers"), former New York City Mayor Michael Blumberg trying to take away the Big Gulp, National Security Agency revelations that demonstrate how we are becoming more like China in terms of surveillance and rights' suppression (while China is becoming more like us in terms of capitalist acquisition), TSA officials patting down toddlers in airports, and the general Democrat-driven overloading of regulation and taxation that is, for example, sending California's small-business owners to Texas. While the author is fond of declaring that people just want to be left alone, he has to admit that certain members of his own party are ruining it for the rest of them—e.g., conservatives attacking other conservatives for not being conservative enough. Huckabee also skewers the Republicans who supported the TARP bailout of banks and offers a populist, bottom-up economic approach to empowering the regular, God-centered folk. More of the same from the outspoken Southerner.

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God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy

By Mike Huckabee

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2014 Mike Huckabee
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-6671-3


The New American Outcasts


It all started over a simple chicken sandwich.

On a Saturday in July 2012, Truett Cathy, the ninety-one-year-old founder of the family-owned Chick-fil-A restaurant chain, was a guest on my Fox News Channel television show to talk about his book, Wealth: Is It Worth It? I had been trying to schedule him for months, ever since appearing with him on the speaking roster for a couple of events and finding his personal background to be one of the great American success stories. I'd read his book and found quite compelling its admonition to use wealth as a means to be generous and not just as an end in itself. Finally, the July date worked out for him to be in New York on a Saturday afternoon when we were taping my show.

But between our booking of Mr. Cathy and his appearance on the show, his son Dan Cathy, chief operating officer of the company at that time and now the CEO, gave an interview to the Ken Coleman radio show on June 16, 2012, and another on July 2 to the Biblical Recorder newspaper, which is published weekly for and about Baptists in North Carolina. Dan's comments in support of traditional Christian teachings that marriage is between one man and one woman were blunt, but not unusual or outrageous. He said, "We are very much supportive of the family—the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.... We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that." Cathy continued: "We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."

Wow! That was really outrageous of him! The very idea that someone would publicly spout the view that a family has value to our society! Dan even had the audacity to talk of a family that included a father, mother, and children all living in the same household and husbands and wives who married and stayed that way. Scandalous!

And that's when the chicken hit the fan! By the time Truett was in New York for my show, the controversy over Dan's remarks had fired up the same-sex marriage advocates—even big-city mayors like Rahm Emanuel of Chicago and Thomas Menino of Boston, who publicly vowed to run the Chick-fil-A businesses out of "their" towns because they disagreed with personal comments made by an executive of the company! [The Ken Coleman Show on WDUN, June 16, 2012] There would have been less controversy had Dan Cathy slaughtered live chickens on the steps of Chicago City Hall at lunch hour. But what we witnessed instead was the slaughter of the basic American principles of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and free enterprise. I was shocked that elected officials in America actually believed they could goose-step on top of the Constitution and use the power of government to squelch a viewpoint that they personally didn't like (but one that, incidentally, was consistent with the will of the electorate in thirty-four states that had voted on the issue of same-sex marriage). It was especially hypocritical in Emanuel's case, in that same-sex marriage was illegal at the time in his own state. But facts and the First Amendment didn't seem to get in the way of the bigotry and intolerance directed toward Dan Cathy.

In fact, the viewpoint expressed by Dan Cathy was the very position held by none other than candidate Barack Obama in 2008. At California's Saddleback Forum in August 2008, when Pastor Rick Warren asked Obama's position on same-sex marriage, the then-candidate expressly said he was opposed to it because, as a Christian, he found it not in keeping with his biblical view of marriage. After he was elected President, Barack Obama not only changed his view but went on to become the cheerleader-in-chief for all things gay. (One might even say his opinion was "fundamentally transformed." Who knew that the "change" in "hope and change" would actually come to describe Obama's own views?) It's a reflection of how sloppy and biased "journalism" has become that I cannot find evidence of any reporter asking the simple question, "Mr. President, if your reason for opposing same-sex marriage in 2008 was because of your Christian belief that the biblical definition of marriage meant one man and one woman, has there been an update or revision to the Bible since then, or did you base your decision to change your position on political expediency? If so, were you being dishonest in 2008 ... or now?" Still waiting on that one!

Truett had been scheduled to speak about his book, not the controversy over his son's remarks, and I wanted to be faithful to that purpose. Besides, it really wasn't his controversy, and it was obvious that the book's publicist, who was with him that day, was nervous that the interview would ignore the book and focus on same-sex marriage. But it has never been my practice to ambush guests on my show. I was raised in the old-fashioned traditions of the South—a guest is to be treated with gracious hospitality. The role of a host is to meet the needs of the guest, not to use that guest to serve one's own interests. The host offers food, beverage, and the most comfortable chair in the house. When I was growing up, even poor people in the South would dig up something for their guest in the way of refreshments, but criticism and confrontation were never on the menu. If a host had unkind words to say, they would be held until after the guest had gone. Then the first thing said would be, "Bless his heart ..."

Of course, that signaled that someone was about to get filleted like a cheap fish. But while the guest was present, you treated him or her with great kindness and deference. I always assume that's the way it should be on TV, just as it is in my home. I believe this is why I've been able to get some guests on my show who most certainly didn't share my political views. They were comfortable on my show because if they were there to talk about their movie or book or television special, I didn't try to force them into an unwanted debate on some hot political topic. Yes, surprising a guest with confrontational questions for which the guest is not prepared might make for "great TV," but my dear late mother would find a way to come out of her grave and yank me by the ears if she ever thought I was acting like the south end of a northbound mule.

Truett Cathy passed away in September 2014 at the age of ninety-three. He was a delightful guest and spoke of his humble beginnings, his commitment to treating every customer with respect and kindness, and his resolve to stay true to his convictions, such as keeping his stores closed on Sunday so his employees could go to church if they wanted to. In his nineties, Truett was sharper and quicker than most men half his age. As the interview came to a close, I simply mentioned I was appalled that Dan's comments were being portrayed as hate speech, and expressed my dismay that a person speaking for himself and not for the company was coming under attack and being threatened with economic retribution and censorship by government officials like Emanuel and Menino. These two mayors somehow thought that they had been elected to be dictators who could use the power of their offices to punish businesses whose executives expressed a personal opinion that didn't reflect theirs. As I closed the interview, I suggested that people around the country who thought that free speech ought to be protected—not threatened—by the government should join me on Wednesday, August 1, for what I spontaneously labeled "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day."

Importantly, this was intended not as a protest against same-sex marriage but as an affirmation for a chicken sandwich company's executives to enjoy the same rights of free speech as have been afforded to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple; Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks; Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon; and others who've been as outspoken for same-sex marriage as Dan Cathy has been against it. To emphasize the double standard even more, it might be noted that Apple, Starbucks, and Amazon are all publicly held companies, while Chick-fil-A is a private company.

With the date of August 1 just a couple of weeks away, I shared the plan with several other key political and faith leaders, requesting that they ask their constituents to simply show up at a nearby Chick-fil-A on August 1 and buy a sandwich in appreciation for their food and service and to quietly take a stand for their executives to have the same right of free speech as Cook, Schultz, Bezos, and others. We urged "don't carry signs, don't scream or argue. Just enjoy a sandwich and say thanks."

What happened on August 1 was nothing short of historic. We knew something was surely brewing because my Facebook page "blowed up," as we say in the South. It must have spooked the Facebook censors, because they blocked my Facebook event page for over twenty-four hours, leaving people unable to "sign up" and indicate they were "going." Not one dime was spent promoting the day. No high-dollar New York PR firm guided the process or advised it. There was no budget, no staff, and no formal organization. The entire effort was completely organic and self-igniting. I talked about it on my daily radio show and mentioned it briefly the next two Saturdays on my Fox News Channel show. I shared it on social media like Facebook and Twitter and urged others to do the same, and they did. Not a bit of coordination or even communication of any kind occurred with the people at Chick-fil-A. There must have been people who assumed the executives at CFA had suggested it, helped promote it, or encouraged it. None of the above. I'm not even sure the corporate office approved it or wanted me to do it. I never asked them. (For the record, I didn't hear from them or have any contact with them before, during, or after the event. To those who might surmise that I got a "free Chick-fil-A for life" card, you would be quite wrong!)

At this point, for me, it was not about what Dan Cathy said. It was about whether America was now going to have two completely different sets of rules: one for those who would be free to speak with ridicule and contempt toward those with a Christian worldview, and then a very different standard for people of faith, who could be told, "Sit down, shut up, and go away—or else!" I felt that if such hatred for religious liberty and the people who believed in it and practiced it went unchallenged, then people of faith would have no one to blame but themselves for losing every last vestige of freedom. The left seems intent on shutting down any viewpoint that differs from theirs. Ironically, this is done in the name of "tolerance" and "diversity" when the left has zero tolerance for a different point of view. With the left, "diversity" means "uniformity." (I'll cover this more fully in Chapter 3.)

Facebook apparently was inundated with screams from the left when the event page went viral. Their initial explanation for blocking the page was that someone had complained about the content. When we pointed out that the content related only to people eating chicken sandwiches, they must have realized they could hardly classify that as "offensive" (except to chickens), so then they claimed there had been some mistake and it would be back up soon. This apparent attempt to quash the momentum probably stirred it up even more, fueling the outrage from people in "flyover land" who were up to their necks in disgust and were ready to do something.

I had already decided to take an early-morning drive on Wednesday, August 1, to the Chick-fil-A restaurant closest to my house, about twenty miles away. I got there at 7 a.m. and people were already getting in line. Cars had started coming and never let up. Even though the stores had reportedly stocked more food than normal and expected an uptick in business, no one could have predicted the groundswell nationwide as millions of Americans waited patiently in line, in their cars, and on foot, simply to buy a sandwich to show support for a fellow American who had dared to voice his own opinion. Every national news network was forced to cover the event, as it blocked traffic around the stores in most cities. Most fascinating was that the response in Rahm Emanuel's Chicago and other major urban areas was equal to that of the communities in the Bible Belt. Skeptics had predicted a barely appreciable increase in the consumption of chicken sandwiches that day—an embarrassment not just for the Chick-fil-A stores but especially for the people like me who had urged our fellow citizens to take a stand.

The results were quite different. Many of the local restaurants completely ran out of food by mid-to-late afternoon, but people continued to arrive, some purchasing whatever the store had left or even buying gift certificates to come back on another day. There were hundreds of heartwarming stories flowing to my Web site and Facebook page of customers showing their kindness and courtesy despite long lines. In Des Moines, Iowa, a police officer on his lunch break was passed through the line to the front so he would be able to get his food within his limited lunch break time. Others sang hymns, visited with those around them, and made new friends. Some, as an act of "paying it forward," purchased the food for the customer behind them. There was no violence, no screaming or profanity, and no reports of "sandwich rage" from people having to wait up to three hours in line to get a piece of chicken on a bun. Some churches (including my own) bought a large number of sandwiches and took them to a local homeless shelter.

There were almost 19 million visits to my Facebook page during the process, and over 600,000 signed up to "attend" just on my event page alone—not to mention the hundreds if not thousands of other similar pages created by churches, organizations, and individuals. For just that one day, sales at many Chick-fil-A locations increased by 200 percent or more beyond their best-ever performance, and the 2012 sales increased by over 12 percent for the year, with most analysts attributing the dramatic sales jump to the August 1 "Appreciation Day." When I visited their communities in the months following the event, many local franchisees told me that not only did they have record sales that day beyond anything they'd ever had, but that overall sales had gone up and stayed up from that day forward.

I would be asked numerous times in the following weeks why there was such a strong outpouring of response. My answer would always be the same: Frustration for many people in the heartland of America had reached a tipping point. Those who lived their lives quietly and without a lot of confrontation had been pushed to the limit by those who angrily shouted them down as "haters" simply because they held to biblical standards on issues like marriage and the sanctity of life. Their values were mocked, sneered at, and distorted by the entertainment elites from Hollywood and New York and from the political ruling class in Washington.

These are not the kind of people who burn tires in the street, paint graffiti on bridges or buildings, camp out to protest in front of businesses, throw paint on people, walk naked down Main Street (Thank God!), or chain themselves to furniture in government office buildings. They're people who get up early most days and make a lunch for their kids before they catch the bus for school; they come home tired at the end of the day from a hard day's work; they mow their own lawns, watch their kids perform in music recitals and church pageants, and attend their children's baseball and soccer games. They pay their taxes on time and typically give generously to their church and to charities. They are believers—in God, or at the very least the sacred concept of religious freedom. They really don't want much from the government other than to be left alone. When they do want something from the government, it's simple stuff: getting the trash picked up on time, having a policeman show up promptly if their house is being broken into, seeing the potholes fixed, and little things like keeping terrorists from walking right over the borders and into the country. And for that, they're treated as if they're uninformed and unscientific backwater buffoons, lacking in the "hipness" factor and living in a world that ended with the last episode of Leave It to Beaver. (Why, I'll bet some of them even wash their hands before dinner and think Russia is still a threat! What rubes.)

And on August 1, 2012, they decided to show up and eat a chicken sandwich.

One missed opportunity on that day was the public position of Mitt Romney, who by then was the Republican nominee for President. He apparently took the advice of his Boston-based campaign brain trust and declined to weigh in on the issue at all. When asked about the huge turnout around the nation, he simply said, "Those are not things [...] that's not part of my campaign" [Washington Examiner, Romney: "Chick-fil-A Controversy Not Part of My Campaign," August 3, 2012]. And I believe that across America, many who would have been enthusiastic Romney voters were saying, "Then his campaign is not my campaign." I continued to support Mitt and vigorously campaign for him right up until Election Day, because I think he would have been a great President who'd have made major corrections to the direction we'd been going for four years. Though we were opponents in 2008, I believe him to be a good man with impeccable integrity in his personal and business life. There is no finer model of kindness and commitment than Mitt and his family. But I heard repeatedly from voters that it would have been nice for someone in the Romney campaign to simply say, "It's always good to see Americans stand for free speech." For many voters looking for someone to take a stand for them and speak a word of affirmation, it was curtains down and lights out.


Excerpted from God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy by Mike Huckabee. Copyright © 2014 Mike Huckabee. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Mike Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas and a 2016 presidential candidate. He is the author of eleven books, including New York Times bestsellers A Simple Christmas and Do the Right Thing. He and his wife, Janet, live in Florida and still spend time in Arkansas. They have three grown children and four grandchildren.

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God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
PositiveMojo More than 1 year ago
Those who actually take the time to read this book will discover how Governor Huckabee differentiates himself from the rest of the pack. He was the only conservative voice that spoke out against TARP. He has been the primary champion of the FairTax and elimination of the corrupt and too powerful IRS. He has supported enforcement of immigration laws and securing the border, and has rejected amnesty for illegal immigrants. When America was a new nation, it didn't have a huge army. It wasn't an economic powerhouse. And it didn't exert great influence around the world. What made America great was it's values. Rights given by God, not man. Governor Huckabee is often the lone voice in that respect and understands the source of America's strength which is reflected in this terrific book.
PagesPagesPages More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this latest book by Mike.  Here's a great American leader who shoots straight with us and tells us that some of the great virtues and values that many of us grew up with are either disappearing or have disappeared.  If you'll read this book as an American who grew up in the last half of the 20th century, you'll know EXACTLY what he's talking about.  I'm glad I bought this book and would recommend you do the same.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Governor Huckabee is able to provide a unique perspective of the American experience in his book God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy. The Governor outlines his vision for a better and brighter country in the future, looking back at America's recent history, and warning against her unsustainable current path. I am very glad that I read this book. Regardless of weather you think Mike would be a great president, he is too conservative, or not conservative enough, it is worth the read for all people who have an interest in American politics.  
VoteforTruth More than 1 year ago
I live in fly over country and really enjoyed Governor Huckabee's book. He is not afraid to discuss controversial issues and I appreciate that so much. Everybody should read this very enjoyable book.
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GaPatriot More than 1 year ago
An easy and entertaining read.  Mike Huckabee has some common sense ideas on gun control and the role and function of government. 
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Mike is a dilusional man. He is so confused about what it means to be a decent human being, even Jesus couldn't forgive him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A total piece of trash
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For someone running for president, this book could'nt br more disgusting.
lori96FL More than 1 year ago
I am not a big reader but this book is great and he hits right on it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Informative, easy, fun read. Keep 'em coming!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mike Huckabee provides commen sense answers to many questions.
RockyWinds More than 1 year ago
Mike Huckabee is one of my favorite writers. God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy is yet another masterpiece from Huckabee. The book ranges from funny to brutally dramatic and honest. I couldn’t put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am admittedly not an expert on Mike Huckabee and knew little about him before picking up this read. What a bunch of hooey. Huckabee pontificates with the authority and lack of humility afforded to only the most arrogant and egotistical politicians. He is astonishingly judgmental and dismissive of those with whom he has nothing in common - those he knows nothing about - those who live beyond insular middle-America. Save yourself the time and money to read this book and simply flip on your local conservative radio station.
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JimmyNOLA2 More than 1 year ago
This book is vapid and banal, containing no substance or depth on the issues it raises. One would expect more from someone who has held high public office and wants to hold higher public office.