EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Governor Huckabee Speaks with Catholic Online
In the midst of campaigning for the Republican Presidential nomination, the former Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, whose rise in the polls has been the story of the hour, took time out of his busy campaign schedule to speak with Catholic Online on issues of concern to Catholics.
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Republican Presidential hopeful, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, joined by wife Janet, left, greets supporters after speaking Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007, at the New Hampshire Community Technical College in Berlin, N.H.
Deacon Keith Fournier: “Governor Huckabee, we thank you for taking this time to speak with Catholic Online. We want the millions of people who view our network to have access to your positions on the vital issues of our day.
As you know, American Catholics are deeply concerned about this upcoming Presidential election.
We were recently instructed by our Bishops to inform our conscience with the truths presented to us in Catholic social teaching and then to exercise our citizenship accordingly.
This Social teaching is not “left” or “right”, “liberal”, “conservative” or “neo-conservative.” It is also not only for Catholics, other Christians or even just “religious people”. It is for all people, offered by the Church to all who seek to build a truly just society. It is called “social” because it speaks to human society and to the formation, role and rightful place of social institutions.
Catholic Social teaching maintains that there are some unchangeable truths, such as the dignity of every human person, and the right to life, from conception to natural death; the primacy of authentic marriage and the family founded upon it; and our obligation in solidarity to one another, and, most especially, to the poor and needy in our midst.
The Catholic position is that these truths can be known by all men and women because they are revealed in the Natural law and expounded upon in Revelation.
It also presents an understanding of human freedom as being properly exercised only with reference to the truth and at the service of our obligations to one another. Any authentic understanding of human freedom must also promote religious freedom because it is a good of the human person and a fundamental human right.
Finally, the compass that is to guide us all as we seek to be both faithful citizens and faithful Catholic Christians is our commitment to the Common Good.
Catholics do not accept the notion that these truths, such as the fundamental right to life, are “religious” positions, in the sense that only religious people need assent to them. Rather, they are human positions. They obligate us all.
Also, we do not accept the notion that our commitment to respect every human life from conception to natural death is a “single issue” approach. Rather, it presents a framework through which we must evaluate every other issue. Children in the womb are our first neighbors. They are also, in the words of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, the ‘poorest of the poor’.
Catholic Social teaching also offers principles for good governance. Because they are “principles”, they leave room for the application of prudential judgment. Included among these principles is the principle of subsidiarity which, simply stated, says that government is best when it is closest to those being governed and that it should begin with, and defer to, the smallest governing unit, which is the family.
Governor, we have followed your campaign with great interest. As your numbers have begun to rise in the polls, there appears to be an effort underway to ‘marginalize’ you by saying that you appeal only to ‘Evangelical Protestants’, or to call you the candidate of the so called ‘religious right’.
As a Catholic, I know that a growing number of people like me, who consider ourselves to be whole life/pro-life, pro-marriage and family, pro-poor, pro-freedom and pro-peace, (and therefore do not like the prevailing labels), are greatly interested in your positions.
Please accept these questions as the beginning of what I hope can be the beginning of further discussions between you and Catholic Online.
QUESTION: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing America today?
Governor Huckabee: “We are, right now, a very polarized country, and that polarized country has led to a paralyzed government. I think the first priority of the next president is to be a president of all the United States. We've got to be the united people of the United States. And a president has got to somehow remind us that we are a great, resilient nation that has to stick together to solve our problems.
I think people in this country are looking for leadership. They're looking for change. They're looking for the people who would be elected to be not so much a ruling class but a servant class.
We've forgotten that. Our Founding Fathers had a brilliant, really revolutionary idea, that the people elected would not represent the elite, but would represent the ordinary people.
Our Founding Fathers had the idea that when we are elected, we're not elected as a part to be elevated up, but to truly remember who it is we work for.”
QUESTION: What is your position on the dignity of every human life from conception to natural ...
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