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Sharing Social Values in a Secular World

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

This past week, I was honored to be asked to speak at Heritage Action’s Conservative Policy Summit in Washington, DC. As the only House Member besides Speaker Paul Ryan, I was humbled to help cast a vision for decision-makers and thought-leaders on finding solutions for some of our nation’s greatest social problems.

The evidence over the past 50 years makes it indisputable: the federal government hijacked the American Dream and the family has been decimated. We see this plainly in our everyday lives.

The American Dream is social at its very nature. It begins with life. Common sense tells us any organization, any business, and most importantly life, is the beginning of any opportunity. It is our most foundational right. If we will not fight for the most basic human rights, then what else are we trusted to fight for? This may be the greatest human rights issue of our day.

If, as Americans, we truly believe in such noble things like freedom and opportunity, then we must push forward, hand-in-heart, to eliminate every taxpayer dollar that goes into Planned Parenthood. There is no other freedom-robbing, opportunity-destroying, and life- killer that is more intentional than Planned Parenthood.

You see, as things stand currently, our freedom to live and work in accordance to what we believe has been placed in the crosshairs by an Administration that mocks those who dare cling to their guns and Bible. This is unacceptable.

The American Dream has a very clear point of growth: the community. The building block of the community is, of course, the family. Until we rise to the important call to address these issues, the American people will continue to hunger for hope.

Let me tell you folks today, in my opinion, it’s OK to be angry. It’s OK to talk about what needs to be done. Instead of teaching our children from kindergarten through post- graduate work to view the world through the eyes of truth, we are teaching them to operate under the lenses of political correctness and tolerance. We are doing them a horrific disservice. We need the next generation to speak truth, not feel-good fluff that leads to the same old policies that create the same old unintended consequences.

In order to find solutions for these problems, we have to do three things; be discerning, be compassionate, and stay engaged.

We must be discerning in our tone, our message, our context, and with our audience. We must be compassionate and see the person in front of us over the policy of the day. And we must not give up the fight. We need to hold the line and stay engaged for the long-haul. It’s okay to be a loud voice, as long as you’re doing more than just making noise.

We have to talk about these issues. Why wouldn’t we want to? One of the greatest privileges that I have had in my life is to go into places that have never heard of individual liberty, that have never heard about hope or opportunity. The only thing they know to be true is that the federal government will always take care of them: physically, financially, emotionally and even spiritually. We have an opportunity to show each American and North Carolinian their great inherent worth. They are special and capable of doing great things. What an opportunity!

I walked away from a ministry career, taking no salary for a year as I ran for office to share and fight for these foundational truths that I believe can make a difference. We have to continue to talk about these issues. But we will only be able to persuade others of their grave importance by being discerning, showing compassion and staying engaged.

However, the fertile soil is not in Washington, DC. The fertile soil is found in your families, your neighborhood. If the wind is going to unfurl the sails of this great nation once again, it must be led through our local citizens, our homes, our towns, our churches— not by the federal government. I am convinced that if we discover just a fraction of that indomitable spirit, our great nation can once again sail majestically. The time is now, may God provide the path and may we have the courage to follow.

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