While issues such as tax reform and preserving constitutional rights are at the forefront of many conservatives’ minds as important elections approach, likely 2016 presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee warned voters not to forget about social issues that can likewise have a major impact on the nation.
The former Arkansas governor said that, while focusing on “liberty and low taxes” is “delicious,” it is imperative to remember that liberty “cannot function unless there are people who are willing to live with integrity.”
Huckabee, who is currently leading the Republican field of candidates in Iowa, was in the state for a number of public appearances and made his comments in an interview with the Des Moines Register.
He denied that his position was in any way a shot at Sen. Rand Paul, another early favorite among Iowans whose supporters are often associated with a growing ‘liberty movement,’ the Register reported.
“No, not at all,” he said, saying he is concerned with “the bigger picture” and that the word is one he “would use regularly anyway.”
The ordained pastor elaborated on statements he made during a private function in Cedar Rapids, during which he touched on an issue close to his heart.
“Freedom can never function apart from a moral society,” he said during the event. “And where is that going to come from? It had better come from the churches; and it had better come from pulpits and the people who are grounded in the word of God.”
His half-hour speech was closed to all press except one Register reporter, who provided some insight into the topics he explored.
Huckabee concluded that faith leaders are needed in the political realm, even though many are reluctant to enter what they feel is a “dirty business.”
He explained that “it’s dirty because the clean people have decided to leave it to the people who don’t care whether it’s dirty or not.”
While he discouraged pastors from openly endorsing specific candidates, he urged them to champion individual ideals that bolster biblical values.
“Endorse the principles of God’s words,” he said. “Endorse the value of human life. Endorse the institution of marriage. Endorse those which are eternal and holy things.”
Huckabee, endorsing a proposition that seems to be growing in popularity among conservatives, said he believes the IRS should be abolished.
“One of the reasons I suggest we repeal the 16th Amendment and implement the Fair Tax,” he said, “is because we need to rid ourselves of this criminal enterprise known as the IRS.”
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom