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Mike Huckabee on Families & Children

Former Republican AR Governor; possible draft candidate


In AR, issued Family Protection Policy Directive

Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p.124-126 , Nov 18, 2008

Supports traditional marriage and covenant marriage

I can proudly say that no one in the race supported traditional marriage more strongly than I did.. While Massachusetts was allowing homosexuals to marry, I was working to help pass a constitutional amendment I Arkansas in 2004 affirming marriage as uniquely between a man and a woman. I led Arkansas to become only the third state to adopt "covenant marriage." My wife, Janet, and I renewed our vows on Valentine's Day 2005 and converted our own marriage to a covenant marriage. I support the Federal Marriage Amendment, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman, ending the ambiguity caused by crazy court decisions like those in Massachusetts and California.
Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p. 19 , Nov 18, 2008

Strong government relies on strong families

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.
Source: 2008 GOP debate in Boca Raton Florida , Jan 24, 2008

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.

Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

High divorce rate fails at presenting role model

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.

Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

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.
Source: 2008 Presidential campaign website mikehuckabee.com “Issues” , Sep 1, 2007

Teach kids immovable standards of right & wrong

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.

Source: Character Makes a Difference, by Mike Huckabee, p. 98-101 , Jun 1, 2007

Supports “covenant marriage”

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.

Source: Living Beyond Your Lifetime, by Mike Huckabee, p. 37-41 , Oct 1, 2000

Sensuality-saturated society trades love for lust

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.

Source: Living Beyond Your Lifetime, by Mike Huckabee, p. 49-50 , Oct 1, 2000

Porn industries make billions; but damage America morally

Pornography has become a frighteningly powerful multibillion-dollar-a-year industry. It has, in fact, become the fastest growing segment of the American "entertainment" industry. All of the various manifestations of pornography--soft porn, hard porn, child porn, video porn--promote a damaged outlook on sexuality by encouraging an appetite for lust, not love, and consequently invite incursions on the security and liberty of us all. Prostitution, like pornography, is becoming an increasingly dominant factor in the economic ecology of our nation.

The "sexual revolution" has come and gone, leaving in its wake innumerable casualties as all revolutions are wont do to. Americans are damaged morally: only 31% of American women wait until marriage before engaging in sexual relations, while only 20% of men do. Perhaps we should not be surprised that more than half of all marriages in America today fail within the first 7 years since they are on shaky ground before they even begin.

Source: Kids Who Kill, by Gov. Mike Huckabee, p. 28-29 , Jun 1, 1998

Yes, we legislate morality; including "victimless" crimes

In a politically correct society, many of the evils of our culture fall into the hazy domain of "victimless crimes"--in other words, no one is harmed except "consenting adults." Supposedly these victimless crimes fall beyond the pale of justice. Any attempts to do so is instantly labeled "intolerance," "bigotry," or "the excesses of religious fundamentalism."

"And besides," we carefully reason, "you can't legislate morality in a modern pluralistic society."

On the contrary, that's what legislation is. It is the codification in law of some particular moral concern, composed and enforced so that the immorality of a few is not inflicted on the many. Legislating morality is the very cornerstone of justice.

Thus, the question is not, "Should we legislate morality?" Rather, it is, "What moral standard should we use when we legislate?" Will it be the unwavering, unerring prescription for justice of the Judeo-Christian tradition or will it be the ever-changing notions of society?

Source: Kids Who Kill, by Gov. Mike Huckabee, p. 30-32 , Jun 1, 1998

Sexual "revolution" causes illegitimacy & family dysfunction

The experts were instrumental in ushering in a sexual revolution in our time. Sloganeering for "free love," "sex without commitment," "recreational sex," "alternative lifestyle sex," and "casual sex," the utopian social engineers helped create a new sexual ecology that has fundamentally altered American society. As a result, sex outside of the sacred confines of marriage is now considered "normal."

There have been innumerable unexpected, unintended, and unwanted results. Teen pregnancies. Family disintegration. Women-headed homes. Illegitimacy. Male irresponsibility.

The sexual revolution spawned a situation where men freely accepted the pleasures and privileges of intimacy without having to accept any of its responsibilities. Women were left holding the baby. Literally.

Source: Kids Who Kill, by Gov. Mike Huckabee, p. 98-99 , Jun 1, 1998

Government can't replace family as building block of society

The family is the basic building block of society. When the family begins to break down, the rest of society begins to disintegrate. There is no replacement for the family. The government can't substitute services for it. Social workers can't substitute kindness and understanding for it. Educators can't substitute knowledge, skills, or understanding for it. We all need family to maintain a balanced equilibrium in this hustle-bustle world. We need fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters. Why is the family so important?
  1. Family life provides us with a proper sense of identity.
  2. Family life provides us with a genuine social security.
  3. Family life provides the accountability and discipline we need.
We need healthy families to pass on the Creator's gifts of virtue, accountability, love, and discipline. We must protect the family to encourage goodness and morality in our culture. Thus, we must aim to strengthen marriages, equip parents, encourage intimacy, and heal brokenness.
Source: Kids Who Kill, by Gov. Mike Huckabee, p.149-151 , Jun 1, 1998

Family breakdown is symptom; disease is lack of character

We're forming the Governor's Working Group on Juvenile Justice. Its goal will be not only to find out how we can punish juveniles who commit crimes but also determine how to prevent them from committing crimes in the first place.

One of the most important tasks of the working group will be finding ways to counteract the barrage of violence children encounter in today's culture.

We'll study if new laws are needed and old laws need changing. But we shouldn't kid ourselves. The best way to change a child's heart isn't by changing the law. The best way to mold a child's character isn't to create more legislation. And the best people to teach children right from wrong aren't politicians in Little Rock or Washington. Parents must love their kids, and society must support parents. Anything else is doomed to failure.

Any time children kill children, you know there's a problem. However, it's important that we don't let the murderous actions of a few blind us to the goodness of the many.

Source: Kids Who Kill, by Gov. Mike Huckabee, p.162-163 , Jun 1, 1998

Encourage fathers' participation in child-raising.

Huckabee adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

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.

NGA’s Position

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:


Source: NGA policy HR-28. Fatherhood Policy 01-NGA6 on Aug 15, 2001

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Page last updated: Mar 14, 2014