This country cannot have a strong government if it doesn’t have strong families. And it can’t have strong families if it doesn’t have respect for each human life as having intrinsic worth and value.
Those are things that are fundamental. These aren’t peripheral political issues. They are really foundational issues upon which we build the rest of our culture.
Source: CNN Late Edition: 2008 presidential series with John King
Feb 24, 2008
Understand the totality of the American family
If you talk to the people at the bottom of the economy, the people who are handling the bags, the people who are serving the food, you get a very different picture, because their health care costs are up dramatically. The cost to educate their children
are up. The cost of their fuel has way outstripped any wage increase they’ve had. Now, often we hear people talk about trickle-down economics, that if you have a wonderful surge in the economy that it eventually works it way down to all sectors.
But there’s another issue, too: there is a trickle-up impact when the economy begins to go sour. And if you pay attention to the people who are the single moms and the working people who barely get from paycheck to paycheck, you’d find out
months in advance that this economy was headed for a downward turn. What people need in the president, is somebody who understands the totality of the American family and not just the folks at the top.
Marriage relationship between one man, one woman, for life
Q: Will you support a federal marriage amendment, and what else will you do to protect the institution of marriage?
A: I would try to do the same things that I did as governor of Arkansas, where I led a constitutional amendment that was passed
overwhelmingly by our voters that affirmed what marriage is. Marriage is a relationship between one man, one woman, for life. I also believe that we need to do other things.
I declared a state of marital emergency in our state, called pastors and other clergy together to commit to community marriage policies, to not engage in carrying on marriages unless they had counseled with the couple beforehand.
We were one of the few states that passed a covenant marriage bill in Arkansas. I would support strongly and lead--not just support, but lead--an effort to have a constitutional amendment to affirm marriage as between one man, one woman, for life.
I’m convinced that the reason the homosexual movement has become so strong is because the traditional family has become weak. When over half the marriages in this country end in divorce, it’s hard for a lot of kids to grow up seeing the role models that
kids need in order to become the replacements for those of use who are parents now.
The basic purpose of a parent is to train his replacement. Where are kids going to learn what a family looks like, what a marriage looks like, if most the marriages
in this country end in divorce?
I want us to be very careful that we don’t come across as having some type of animosity or hatred toward people, even those whose lifestyles are inexplicable to us. But by the same token, as a
Christian, we are obligated to stand for that institution that is the only institution from which there really is the definition of family, and that’s mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, people related by blood, marriage, or adoption.
Supports convenant marriage; adopted it in Arkansas
As Governor of Arkansas, I led the successful effort to make our state only the third to adopt “covenant” marriage. While Massachusetts was allowing homosexuals to marry,I got Arkansas to become only the third state to adopt “covenant” marriage.
My wife Janet and I upgraded our vows on Valentine’s Day, 2005. Today, many churches in Arkansas will perform only covenant marriages, so I’m hoping we’ll see a decline in our divorce rates.
It is not just a matter of saying characters counts and leaving it at that. Character does count. Integrity does county. But if integrity and character are divorced from God, they don’t make sense. If you try to set your own moral thermostat, chances are
that a lot of people will be uncomfortable. Integrity, left to define itself, becomes evil because everyone ends up choosing his own standards.
We tell our kids, “It does not matter what you believe as long as you are sincere,” and “Do your best.”
We want to say, “You have a disorder or disability,” or any of the scores of euphemisms people use. Yet all we are doing is struggling to cover up immoral, improper, illegal, or boorish behavior.
We refuse to direct our children and then
run around moaning, “What is wrong with our kids today? Look at the violence! Look at the decadence! Look at the drug addiction and alcohol addiction and lack of respect.!” Why are we moaning? We trained them to be this way.
We’ll propose initiatives in the area of divorce reform, hoping to see that people will have the option in this state of a covenant marriage where they can have more information.
Back to school, if you will, making a deeper commitment. It will be their option. Shouldn’t we give people the option of making that marriage vow even stronger?
Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Arkansas legislature
Jan 9, 2001
Purpose of marriage is loving relationship, not happiness
Our culture is failing in its understanding of the proper role of marriage. About half the marriages performed in the US end up in divorce. Why does it matter? Divorce dramatically increases the likelihood of poverty; drug use; premarital sex; juvenile
delinquency; and academic failure. The cost to society of failed marriages is too high to calculate. In most instances, only the lawyers come out winners.
One of the reasons so many marriages fail is that couples have accepted the myth that the purpose
of marriage is to be happy. If the expectations for a marriage arise from a sentimental love story filled with constant excitement, adventure, and romance, the couple is headed for disappointment.
By saying the purpose of marriage is not to be happy,
I’m not suggesting the primary goal of marriage is misery. The purpose of marriage is to establish a relationship in which we learn to love another person in the sacrificial and unselfish manner that God loves us.
If we are to leave a legacy for the next generation, we need to understand what kind of legacy we are losing as a result of confusing lust with love.
There is something tragic about a culture that loses the capacity to express sacrificial love for another. We have abandoned that idea in exchange for ego-centered love that uses other people as vehicles for our personal satisfaction.
Defenders of pornography point to the Constitution. Indeed, the First Amendment protects material that is offensive. But repeated Supreme Court decisions have affirmed that obscenity is not protected free speech.
Even if the Constitution did allow child pornography, bestiality, and female mutilation, for people of faith there is a document more binding than the Constitution. We trade a legacy of love for a legacy of lust in this sensuality-saturated society.
Encourage fathers' participation in child-raising.
Huckabee adopted the National Governors Association position paper:
Growing evidence suggests that children from families in which fathers do not contribute their time and support endure a number of risk factors. Children with absent fathers are more likely to drop out of school, become teenage parents, develop drug or alcohol problems, or become involved in violent criminal behavior. Congress and the administration have recently proposed a number of federal programs to support state and local fatherhood initiatives.
Governors believe that government at all levels can and should take immediate action to help reduce the number of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and encourage active participation by fathers of all ages in raising their children. Governors have played a leadership role at both the national and state level in developing and implementing comprehensive strategies to strengthen the role of fathers in their childrens’ lives. While many Governors are using Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other federal program funds to support state-specific fatherhood initiatives, additional investment in fatherhood would broaden the population of fathers that can be served. Governors believe that there should be support of and coordination between existing programs and any new federal funding stream designated for fatherhood initiatives and that these new initiatives should not be funded at the expense of another vital human service program.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA12 on Sep 7, 2001
Federal funds & state involvement in fatherhood initiatives.
Huckabee adopted the National Governors Association policy:
The nation’s Governors recognize that governments at all levels can and should take immediate action including:
providing additional education and information about the importance of fathers participating in raising their children;
establishing a nongovernmental national clearinghouse to collect and disseminate information regarding responsible fatherhood;
expanding efforts to prevent unintended and out-of-wedlock teen pregnancies;
providing children with appropriate adult male role models, such as mentors, in the absence of a caring father;
ensuring that young men are given opportunities to feel successful and valued, which will lead to the development of self-confidence and preparation for fatherhood;
encouraging the involvement of the community, including the religious community, civic community, business community, and mentors in addressing the importance of father involvement;
developing strategies that include both parents in activities focused on their children, such as training service providers and educators to include both parents in their service delivery;
working with private employers and the education community to provide education and job training opportunities to unemployed, underemployed, and low-skilled fathers; and
paternity establishment and child support enforcement efforts.
Any new federal funding stream designated for fatherhood initiatives should:
support programs in states, at the discretion of each Governor, that encourage appropriate involvement of both parents in the life of a child, with priority given to programs that specifically address the issue of fatherhood;
be coordinated with existing fatherhood programs, as well as with other federal funds that can be used for fatherhood initiatives, such as TANF; and
not be funded at the expense of another vital human service program.
Source: NGA policy HR-28. Fatherhood Policy 01-NGA6 on Aug 15, 2001