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Huckabee: Sanctity for human life eroding

LAKE OZARK, Mo. (BP)–“It’s important to take God seriously and not take yourself too seriously,” said Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and recent candidate for president, when asked how his faith affects his politics.

“Most people don’t include the Lord in their life. All the world was in business before I showed up and will still be functioning long after I’m gone.”

He continued, “I think it makes it easier. I don’t have to wake up every morning and wonder what I’m going to believe today. It releases you from tension and struggle.”

Huckabee’s answer was in response to a series of interviews with reporters prior to his speaking at a fund-raiser for the Vitae Caring Foundation at Lake Ozark, Mo., Aug. 14. Vitae is a non-profit organization that uses mass media advertising to bring about a reduction in abortions and to encourage a greater respect for human life.

“The most important issue facing America is how we treat each other and our respect for the sanctity of life,” Huckabee, a former Southern Baptist minister, told Vitae supporters.

The founding fathers, he said, were unique in their thinking when they included the phrase that “all men are created equal” in the U.S. Constitution. But all persons were not all considered equal in 1776, he said, noting that some were deemed to be worth more than others, based on where they were born, their blood lines, their skin color and other factors.

“It took women 150 years to get the right to vote. It took people of color 200 years to come to a place of acceptance,” Huckabee said. “I am convinced with all my heart that God Almighty gave us this land and capacity to survive because we had elevated human life. What a magnificent elevation and celebration of the human spirit.

“Every human life has intrinsic worth and value.”

The United States historically has been a culture that values life, Huckabee said.

“We believe in ‘no soldier left behind.’ We risk able-bodied men and thousands of dollars of equipment to rescue a wounded soldier. His value is not in his function but in his person.”

But over the years, that concept has been forgotten, he said, noting that it is now legal for a mother to end the life of her child for any reason.

Pro-lifers, he said, must recondition the minds of the public by helping them to think through the issue of abortion themselves. He told how public attitudes had changed over the years regarding matters such as littering, the wearing of seat belts, smoking and drunk driving.

Huckabee referred to Vitae’s advertising campaigns, which use billboards, bus benches, Internet videos, and other methods with its pro-life messages.

“It’s not causing people to be angry,” he said. “It’s causing people to think. It is this type of approach that is reducing the number of abortions in cities where Vitae is advertising. It is saving human life. It is elevating human life.”

In the press conference prior to the event, Huckabee referred to Vitae as one of the most innovative approaches to bringing the pro-life message to America.

“If you believe that your own life has value, how can you devalue another person?” he asked.

Referencing his own unsuccessful campaign for president, Huckabee said he had experienced two surprises. The first, he said, was “how wonderful people are. I came away encouraged by what I saw in people.”

Secondly, he said, “Running for president wasn’t nearly as brutal or savage as anything I ran for in Arkansas.” He likened politics in Arkansas to “a full contact sport, played without pads.”

“You run an election to win,” he said, “but not if it comes at the expense of your own soul.”
Barbara Shoun is a contributing writer for The Pathway, newsjournal of the Missouri Baptist Convention, on the Web at www.mbcpathway.com.

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