Mike Huckabee on How America Can Do the Right Thing
- Thursday, December 04, 2008
CW: On page 31, when you're talking about that government in the chapter "The Best Government of All," you write that "having a moral code that is objective and consistent is necessary for a system" such as our government to work. "Should each person have ability to define his or her own 'code,' order completely falls apart." We see that dilemma of post-modernism every day - people and groups defining their own morality. Is there a solution, and if so, does it involve more looking to the past, or moving forward?
MH: Well it's moving forward, but our moving forward is also rooted in understanding that the strength of America comes from people who live within a moral center of some things being right and some things being wrong. The chapter in my book that's called "The Best Government of All" really does remind us that all the government in the world can never substitute for self-government, governing myself, doing the right thing. Which is: to do unto others as I would wish for others to do unto me. And if we all live by that, we wouldn't really need any other laws; the legislature could go home, they wouldn't meet, they wouldn't create a bunch of government, and they wouldn't have to tax us very much because there just wouldn't be a lot of cost associated with things if we properly governed ourselves.
CW: And yet, how do we create a society wherein people again begin to govern themselves?
MH: It starts at home. This is not something we can elect people to do for us. Mothers and fathers raise kids, and they need to be able to raise them more than having governments raise them. But mothers and fathers have to be committed to universal and permanent, everlasting truth. All roads don't lead to the same place. I think that's a great fallacy. It sounds awfully warm and fuzzy, but it's just not true. Some roads lead to disaster. For example, we start re-defining things like Life and Family, Marriage, it may sound like we're just accommodating people's desires and being awfully kind about it, but it has disastrous consequences. Words have meanings, and institutions have meanings. And we need to respect and keep them.
CW: One of the things I really appreciated in your book was the clear way you explained the right to life Americans are guaranteed by the Constitution and how, in your words, that "culture of life is much broader than the simple notion that abortions are immoral." So, how broad is it, and do you believe Christians are overly concerned with just the abortion part of it?
MH: I think there has been, maybe, an emphasis on the unborn, and that's maybe obvious, but we have to make sure that people understand that a committment to pro-life is not just during the gestation period; that the 80-year-old woman in hospice care is just as deserving and frankly just as in need of our respect of the sanctity of her life as we would be of an 8-month-old unborn child in the mother's womb. It's critically important that we realize that the heart of the pro-life movement - and I talk about this in my chapter called "What is it about 'Created Equal' You Don't Understand?" - that the real issue of being pro-life is accepting the intrinsic worth and value of each human life, whether that life is in the womb, whether it's an 8-year-old child, an 80-year-old grandmother, every life has worth and value. Nobody has a right to diminish or to destroy that precious life.
CW: Governor, you admit on page 55 that other issues outside of life and traditional marriage have become of concern among evangelicals, even if our beliefs have brought us to a condition of what you call being "politically homeless." You note that issues like poverty, AIDS, disease, and hunger have, for the better, come to the fore. Here at Crosswalk, we receive a lot of feedback suggesting the opposite - commenters often blame leaders like Rick Warren or certain social-minded conservatives for splintering our united interests on "more important" hardline issues, and perhaps even costing us the White House. How would you respond to that claim, sir?
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