Visit to the Floor of the House: 4:45 PM Representative Frank Wolf from Virginia, went to visit the Aucca Indians in Ecuador. The group that killed five missionaries including the famous pilot Nate Saint. He is married with five children. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1980. He graduated from Georgetown Law School. He has had a lifetime stutter, but has seen it as a profitable impairment throughout his life. He spoke highly of Ex-Representative Dan Coates who visited the Berlin Wall in the 1960's before it was destroyed. He spoke of the Declaration of Independence and the heavy price paid by everyone who signed the Declaration of Independence. He mentioned William Wilburforce, who desired to abolish slavery. Representative Wolf said, "Extend yourself, Go the Distance, Make a Difference." He added, "Have a passion for ideas." He exhorted that we should start a group at our college to pray and fast for the persecutions of Christians worldwide.
In closing he said, "God has blessed our nation for being fundamentally faithful." He then proceeded to quote the Gospel of Luke, where it says, "To whom much is given, much is required," In Conclusion, it was great to see and hear a person who has a similar faith as mine, operating in government and making a difference not just in his actions, but in his prayers. Before this session I didn't see how the two could possibly interface.
Next, to our surprise, the New Speaker of the House, Denny Haster, came in to speak to us. He was a 1964 Graduate of Wheaton, and was a teacher and coach for 5 years. After being elected to congress in 1986, he graduated to chief deputy whip in 1994. In 1998, he was instrumental in the development of the Contract with America. He told us his job (as the new speaker) is going to be huge, but he realizes the root of the much of the problem. He said, "Bitterness over the impeachment has divided the house." He made it clear that he has to first try to amend and heal the hearts of congress and not add to the hurt. Until the house is unified it will do nothing. I learned that government is often about compromising things to accomplish the greater goals, without violating your own personal testimony or ideals. The speaker adequately displayed his wisdom, and I trust that he will be able to do his job well. In closing he said, "So many people depend on what you do!" His attempt was to encourage us to get involved. An important thing for all of us.
Monday Night Dinner: 7:00PM The first dinner session seemed like a recruiting mission for the School of Government of Regent University. With the exception of the Book which Mrs. Kay James wrote, she seems to lack anything other than recruiting skills. She seemed to be making an appeal to a gallery which didn't exist, or wasn't cheering. The only really good thing I found in what she said dealt with her being black and a conservative, and the struggle she has endured because of it. I think that speaks a lot about her character and ability to realize her own personal responsibility in life no matter of the circumstances. I didn't learn anything new about government from her, but she reiterated some good points. For example, she spoke of the rot from within, and the fact that the problem is really not the issues, but the moral fiber of the nation behind it. Her thoughts on the National Gambling Impact Association were shallow and nonspecific. In closing she said, "You need to know 'Who I am, and Whose I am.'" She was referring to the call that God has given us as Christians.
Tuesday Breakfast Session 8:00 AM The first man, Bill Gribin, told a lot of bad jokes, although he was introduced as "The epistemology of the Senate." He gave us some nice quotes. He said, "Keep your eye on the ball" as he exhorted us to narrow our sights, and pick one thing and go for it. If you try to do to much in Washington, you will get nowhere. He also said, "individuals make a difference," and he encouraged us to get involved. He also said, "Don't expect any gratitude." He was referring to his speech writing, which has not been very profitable for him financially. He seemed to think that it is important to have a large staff if you are going to be effective in Washington. This is the opposite of what the Republicans who he has worked for don't want. The second man was Jim Jatras a Greek orthodox man who taught me nothing special, except to study. This will provide a way for you to be able to influence your peer group to realize the truth about false claims of religiosity in politics. His main purpose in Washington DC is to develop foreign policy. The third man said nothing that was new to me or that wasn't said by the other speakers.
Pentagon Briefing 2:45 PM Chaplain Colonel Dave Cyr was a graduate of Valley Forge Christian College. He went to Bangor Theological Seminary, and performs typical functions as well as chaplain responsibilities. Then Ken Bacon spoke about his responsibilities. The most impressive speaker at the Pentagon briefing was Colonel Mike Rochelle. He spoke of his children representing the future of America. He spoke of integrity and sound moral courage, but his main points dealt with having a servant's heart. He said, "be contrite," and aware of self depravity. He exhorted us to be considerate of others, humble and long suffering. He said to keep responsibilities to both the family and the country. He was really cool.
Dinner In Clark Room 6:30 PM Our speaker was a Jewish man. He had many interesting points. He spoke of the fact that Americans have fought and helped to liberate the Jews. He said, "It was 'the moral force' that drove the Americans to help the Jews." He spoke of general morality regardless of religion which he feels is necessary in any nation. He said, "The barometer of the morality of a nation, could be defined by how the Jews were treated." He asked us the question, "What will shape the 21st century." He gave an agenda of three points: 1. Conference of scholars to re-correct the bashing of Christianity about the Holocaust.
2. Show interfaith movement as 'New Force' to abolish slavery.
3. A campaign of conscience for the Sudanese evil regime.
He closed by saying, "Evil operates as the church grows weaker".
Wednesday Breakfast 8:30 Our breakfast session was a recruiting mission for interns to work in Washington DC. I saw no meat in his presentation, only opportunities as interns.
Christian Citizen Roundtable 10:00 AM Because as I was preparing for a speech in front of everyone I didn't hear much of what he said. I did hear him say, " Send your best into politics." He also said, " Smart Jerk over Dumb Christian." He seemed to be referring to the need to have wisdom in all that you do, especially as a chaplain of the House. The next activity was the roundtable presentation. The only woman on the panel extolled, " rebuild the moral culture." That was a good summary of what was said by the panel. There were a lot of specific issues brought up. They were supposed to respond to our debate, but seemed in their own world as far as the issue went. They looked reluctant to say anything incriminating, except for the man from Kenya. He talked about what was going on with the impeachment trial as an issue of punishment. I didn't get much out of this session, until the house briefing. However, I had a great time talking with the man from Kenya, after the session was over.
House Briefing 12:00 PM Our speaker was Mike Schwartz. His biggest contribution was giving a list of bills that need to be continued. They are bills that are given time limits, instead of being permanent. These bills were: 1. A re-authorization of the elementary education act. A "Dollars to the classrooms principle," where dollars are apportioned by the quality of education being received.
2. The Ryan White Bill. Financial assistance to HIV virus victims. He suggested that this bill be redirected to everyone, and not just homosexuals. He continued to suggest that we move the funding to where the virus is moving now. The suburbs and small towns.
3. Social Security. He implied creating 'Individual' Social Security accounts.
4. Abortion Crisis. A daily Holocaust (A New Bill) A. Financial support for the real pro-choice movement. Crisis and pregnancy centers and other similar organizations who help support pro-life causes.
B. Promote abstinence and encourage the delay of childbirth to reduce the social consequence. Encourage virginity at every opportunity.
Dinner 6:30 PM Our speaker was Paul Marshall. Most of what he said had been said in previous sessions. His best contributions to my understanding dealt with the definition of the term "rights." He said, "If everyone and everything have rights, then rights become meaningless." He added that Christianity has demanded certain rights and has been instrumental in achieving certain inalienable rights, but that modern culture has expanded the meaning of rights to a level that it becomes a meaningless word.
Thursday at the Supreme Court 10:30 AM Justice Scalia reiterated the instruction we had learned in class about the constitution. He confirmed what we learned from our reading about the constitution's foundational principle of conflict. He spoke of how the constitution is being interpreted as a living document, instead of what it is: a historical document. He said, " A constitution that says whatever you want it to say, says nothing." He emphasized the importance of the original meaning, instead of what we think it means today. He also talked of why the individual states have lost power. It is because they no longer appoint senators to congress, therefore taking away their power in the National Government.
The State Department Briefing I learned nothing new, although I listened intently.
White House Briefing One of the speakers gave some fine points on the war on drugs. They were: 1. Continue a Media Campaign 2. Hollywood's cooperation in airing shows that deal against the use of drugs 3. Community coalitions to fight drugs locally 4. Middle School Drug Coordinators 5. Drug-free workplaces for small businesses by helping them pay for drug tests.
Dinner at Pier 7 Restaurant David Aikman was a great speaker, but I lost my notes on what he said. However I was very impressed with his research on Billy Graham, and Mother Theresa. I wish I could have bought his book.