Opinion

A Conversation with Ret. Lt. Col. Allen West

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Posted: Jul 29, 2020 12:01 AM
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A Conversation with Ret. Lt. Col. Allen West

Source: (AP Photo/John Minchillo, Pool)

Recently, we caught up with our friend and new national spokesperson, Lt. Colonel Allen West. He is retired from the U.S. Army and served as a congressman representing the 22nd Congressional District in Florida from 2011-2013. He's an author, a political commentator, a husband and a father. He loves God and his country. 

We discussed his recovery from his recent motorcycle accident, civil unrest in America and how faith informs voting. 

This interview has been edited for clarity and length. 

Just a few weeks ago, you were in a really horrific motorcycle accident. It’s a miracle that you are joining us. How are you doing? 

I'm doing very well. And you're right. I'm a walking miracle, because no one survives a motorcycle crash at 75 miles per hour on an interstate highway. And I was hit from behind on May 23. ... I'm back to running. ...And that's why I tell people that God is so good. And out of him, all things work to the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose, because, for whatever reason, he decided he wasn't finished with me yet.

We asked for people to submit questions for you because we wanted to get your opinion on various topics. 

Here are some of the questions we received:

Why are the vocal few destroying monuments and burning our flag being allowed to do so?

History is not there for us to like it or dislike it. History is there for us to learn from. But there has been a dedicated effort in the United States of America to undermine us and who we are fundamentally, and our foundations and our bedrock. We cannot allow people to coerce, threat, intimidate, instill fear and even use violence in order to advance their ideological agenda. But that's exactly what is happening. 

Having been in Selma, Alabama, in 1963, I observed real unrestrained racism. I thought America was making real progress. What happened?

When we saw that video of what happened to George Floyd, there was no doubt about it--the fact that someone put the full bodyweight in their left knee on someone's carotid artery and basically murdered an individual. I don't care that he was being arrested. He still had dignity as a human being. But again, we saw people that used that as a means by which they could divide us and promote their own ideological agenda. And so the real question should have been, why was this officer, who had 19 complaints against him, still a police officer? And how can we get more young men and young women in these urban centers to grow up and become police officers and truly be community police officers in their own community? 

When my older brother got back from Vietnam as a Marine Corps infantryman, he wanted to be an Atlanta police officer. He wanted to continue to serve his community. He did. And so I think that those are the rational solutions that we need to be looking at. But for whatever reason, we continue to allow certain people to manipulate us. And the media has an incredible part of this. They have dragged us once again down this rabbit hole of hate and divisiveness.

I'm a Christian, but I feel like there is no one to vote for in the upcoming elections. Is it better not to vote than vote for someone I don't agree with?

Ronald Reagan always talked about the 75 percent rule. He would rather be with someone [whom he agrees with] 75 percent of the time and be against someone 25 percent. So I think it's very important that you understand those issues that are critical to you and you support those candidates. But to sit this out, that means that you're allowing, you know, something completely different and antithetical to possibly come into power to control the United States of America. 

What is a unifying message moving forward, which we as a nation and those of us who have platforms of impact and influence that we should be lifting up and sharing?

I think 2 Corinthians 3:17: “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Our earthly liberty starts with spiritual liberty. And I think that that's a great message. So I would say stay focused, stay positive. Understand that you're the light. I want to see a stand for something, as my mother said, so that we don't fall for anything. 

I want you to put on the full armor of God, because too often Christians go out in this battlefield, this principled ideological battlefield, and we're not prepared. So have the Bible study groups, have issue study groups. Iron sharpens iron. 

My Faith Votes offers a number of resources to help Christians think through the issues from a biblical perspective and be equipped to vote — such as prayer guides and weekly devotionals, commentary on current events and cultural topics and information for registering to vote and election guides. 

Watch the full interview on My Faith Votes’ YouTube channel

Allen West is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and a former representative of Florida’s 22nd District. In 2020, he joined My Faith Votes as a spokesperson to mobilize Christians to participate in elections. His newest book is We Can Overcome: An American Black Conservative Manifesto.

My Faith Votes is a nonpartisan movement that motivates, equips and activates Christians in America to vote in every election, transforming our communities and influencing our nation with biblical truth. By partnering with national faith leaders, My Faith Votes provides resources to help Christians pray, think and act to create an America where God is honored in the public square. 

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