Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee
Recently, ChristiaNet.com President and CEO, Bill Cooper spent time with Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee in a candid interview. Huckabee discussed everything from politics to religion - neither subject is taboo for Huckabee. A man of faith and convictions, Huckabee has found what seems to be the perfect balance of state affairs and faith affairs, finding that his faith is seemingly the springboard for his service in public office. While he makes it look easy, Huckabee revealed that it is a constant challenge to keep the faith and work balance on a daily basis.
Governor Huckabee & William Cooper
"Maintaining balance between my personal faith and the many pressures that one experiences in the political arena is the biggest challenge I face," He told ChristiaNet. "I have to make sure that I stay fresh with my personal walk with God. At the same time, I don't use the law or my position to impose faith. I certainly feel the freedom to share my faith and use it as a point of influence, but I have to stop just short of ever coercing people into a point of view because I have a position of authority."
Being a man of Biblical values makes Huckabee a man of family values. Huckabee told ChristiaNet about his involvement with various legislations that support the family. "Building a safety net of health and education under children first comes to mind. There have been a number of things in our administration that have been a landmark in this area." Huckabee responded to a question about his offices' greatest family-friendly accomplishments. And Huckabee has championed several family endeavors. The only Arkansas Governor to move forward on pro-life legislation, there has been positive results for informed consent and the Fetal Protection Act that provides protection if someone commits a crime that injures or kills an unborn child.
Huckabee is also a champion for the original definition of marriage and for that marriage to stay as far away from divorce as possible. He shared what he and his office are doing to promote marriage in the traditional sense. "The Covenant Marriage Act was passed in 2001. There are a number of reasons for the covenant marriage. Let me give you a couple of specific examples. The University of Utah did a study in which they found that in Arkansas alone the cost of divorce in state and federal dollars was 537 million dollars. That's the cost in our state in one year, but if you add up all the associated costs for divorce, it' a huge amount of money-money that can be used far better on building roads and paying teacher salaries or scholarships for college kids. Instead, we're paying for the break-up of marriages and families and all the costs associated with it."
The marriage covenant act calls for premarital counseling and a cooling off period for couples considering divorce. Arkansas is also a pioneer in passing a constitutional amendment that legally defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman as life partners. Huckabee shared how important this amendment was to him. "I think that it is important to do that. I regret that it has to be important. It should be that the definition of marriage is an understood given based on 5,000 years of recorded human history. Judges who have been willing, in essence, to overthrow the definition of marriage have forced states like Arkansas to amend their constitutions. In this way the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman as life partners, becomes clear and unequivocal."
Bringing his faith into the political maneuvers is a no-brainer for Huckabee. He believes that all law was and is originally based on Christ's commandments. He explains, "It is appropriate that we define things when society gets cloudy; that's why we have laws. The only reason we have as many laws as we do is because, as people try to find ways to break and bend them, we have to more clearly define them. In fact, Jesus said that all the laws rest on two commandments: "Love the Lord you God with all your heart, mind and soul," and, "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you think about it, everything about human behavior is defined in those commandments. There's nothing that's not covered except when people start making exceptions. Then you have to go in and define very carefully: What does loving your neighbor mean? It means you can't shoot him; you can't steal from him; you can't lie to him and defraud him; you can't spit on him; you can't run over him with a car. So, if you think about it, the number of laws that we have is directly proportionate to the moral confusion of our society. The less confused we are morally, the fewer laws are necessary. We could suspend all laws and live under the basic concept, "love your neighbor as yourself," but the depravity and sin of man necessitate that we constantly define and redefine what sin means."
So how does Huckabee continually balance his politics and his faith? Huckabee knows where the truth of where his tomorrows lie, in the light of eternity. And, Huckabee keeps the eternal perspective. "As I've told people, being a governor is a temporary assignment; being a believer is an eternal assignment. I'm not going to check-out or clock-out or find a termination to my faith. It's something that 100 years from now is still going to be alive and well. Because of that, I think it's easier in many ways to be a believer and to be in public office. I have some real, deep, core convictions that drive me. I'm also cognizant that my life is going to be judged not by editorial writers, not by legislators, not by critics and people that write letters to the editor and talk on talk radio, but by the Creator of the Universe who knows me best and still loves me most."