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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee channeled the energy of the Convocation crowd in Liberty University’s Vines Center Monday, issuing a rallying cry to young evangelicals to plant their feet and take a stand for individual rights.
“I hope you understand that there has never been a time in our nation and in our world where we need people who recognize their responsibility, not simply to get an education so they can make more money or become somebody, but that the education is their preparation to change a very troubled world. And if you don’t do it, it’s not going to get done,” he began.
Huckabee hosts a No. 1-rated weekend television program on Fox News Channel and a rapidly growing syndicated radio show. Before beginning his political career, Huckabee served as a pastor for 12 years and became the youngest-ever president of the Arkansas Southern Baptist Convention. He served as the governor of Arkansas from 1996-2007, where he was nationally recognized for his leadership. Time Magazine hailed him as one of the five best governors in America. In 2008, Huckabee finished second to John McCain in the race for the GOP bid for presidency. His popularity in the race soared shortly after his November 2007 visit to Liberty. Huckabee last visited Liberty in 2009 when he spoke in Convocation.
Huckabee has authored nine books and is an avid musician, having performed at some of the largest venues in the country and at large political rallies, including a presidential inauguration and the Republican National Convention.
Students got a taste of Huckabee’s musical talents on Monday, as he plugged in his bass guitar and joined Liberty’s Campus Praise Band in a special performance of “Victory in Jesus.”
After his message on Monday, Huckabee aired a live broadcast of his radio show from the Williams Stadium tower.
As Huckabee addressed the Convocation crowd, he didn’t mince words, criticizing the direction society is headed and calling for believers to recognize their moral responsibility. He said it is easy to say “yes”, and often more enjoyable, but Christians also need to know when to be tough and say “no”. He reminded the audience of Biblical heroes Daniel, David, and Jeremiah, who were committed to going against the norm and didn’t settle for what was easy because they knew God was calling them to fight for what was right.
“Throughout history, God’s kingdom and its greatness always depended upon people saying ‘no’ to things that might sometimes even seem pretty harmless,” Huckabee said. “The reason in many ways that America and our world is in trouble is not because the ungodly people have said ‘yes’ to ungodly things, it is that godly people have failed to say ‘no’ to the ungodly things.”
He said taking a stand like this is not an easy path and challenged those willing to endure the criticism and adversity to be intellectually prepared to defend their beliefs. He shared his passion to defend the rights of all individuals and the life of every person, including the unborn.
“All men are created equal … and they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among these, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Huckabee said, quoting America’s founding fathers. “One person is not better than another, one person is not less than another. That is a powerful recognition of the intrinsic worth and value of every human being.”
That, he said, is the essence of faith and freedom, and without it America would not exist. This country was built on the backs of men who strongly believed in this truth, that every person is uniquely created by God, holds value, and has the right to freedom.
Today that freedom is in jeopardy, Huckabee warned. He explained how companies like Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby are under fire because their owners stand up for their beliefs, even though they are not popular.
“The day that we say ‘yes’ to a government that limits the dictates of our conscience, that puts a parameter on the realm of our faith, and tells us that we can believe up to a point but not over the line of what the government deems is acceptable, we have not just lost our country, we have lost our basic fundamental freedom,” Huckabee declared. “You must come to the place in your life where you are not just going to say ‘yes’ to a government that tells you that it will limit you to what you can believe and how you can believe.”
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