Copeland: How to stop wrecking our country

By Dr. Tom Copeland | Guest Columnist

President George Washington, wearing a keffiyeh with a Palestinian flag across his shoulders? That’s what anti-Israel agitators recently did to the statue of our founding President, at the university named after him. 

Protests at universities across the country are being organized and funded by anti-Israel groups. Many administrators have shown no backbone in dealing with them. But let’s add the boards of trustees, faculty, staff and parents of the agitators. Where are they? They are either completely absent, or in the case of faculty at places like Columbia, actively encouraging and supporting the protests.

Yet we cannot absolve the students themselves of responsibility. They are adults, although they have often been coddled. They believe they are fully capable of making their own decisions, but do not want to face the consequences. Leaders are not helping them grow up to become responsible citizens by allowing and thereby encouraging illegal, violent, anti-Semitic behavior. We are a nation of laws, and we cannot exist as a society without enforcement of the law.

Let’s be realistic. Undoing the malign influence of Marxist ideology and anti-Semitism in our schools is going to take a very long time. Our elementary age children are being educated to be activists for progressive causes. It will take a massive effort to build a whole generation of teachers in K-12 and universities who will teach the truth and America’s founding principles.

We also need a new generation of young Christian conservative leaders to reform our cultural and political institutions from the inside. Universities have silenced the voices of conservative student leaders on many campuses. Young conservatives need encouragement and training to prepare for the battles they will face in advancing the truth when they move from the dorm room to the board room and the committee room.

This is why the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University partners with Patriot Academy to organize the Rocky Mountain Leadership Congress each year. Students from across the country come to Denver to learn about Constitutional principles and the application of a Biblical worldview to politics. 

We prepare them to be leaders on campus and in their communities. We teach effective communication skills to share their beliefs winsomely. And we teach them how to press forward their conservative values via the legislative process. 

Good politics must start with an understanding that not only are all men created equal, but we are created in the image of our Creator. Thus, each person has reason, freedom, dignity, and a moral conscience. Government actions too often deny or limit these defining human qualities. Good policy should promote this understanding of the human person, while recognizing that we are also fallen – that big programs will often be ineffective, and people will not always respond to rules or incentives.

We prepare students to advance those human qualities using the legislative process. Each student is “sworn in” as a student legislator, presenting bills and attempting to persuade fellow legislators in committees and on the floor. With the expert guidance of Patriot Academy, founded by former Texas state legislator Rick Green, students quickly become well-versed in the intricacies of parliamentary procedure that enable them to pass their bills.

When students graduate, they sign a copy of the Declaration of Independence, joining with the Founders in their promise to pledge their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to defend their country. This is the point where many students fully feel the weight of what they are being called and trained to do – serve God, country, and their fellow man. Even at substantial cost.

Rocky Mountain Leadership Congress graduates are the next generation of Christian conservative leaders that we need both now and in our nation’s future. 

Dr. Tom Copeland is the Director of Research at the Centennial Institute of Colorado Christian University. He writes regularly on public policy and the intersection of politics, culture, and religion. The views expressed by the author are his own and do not represent the views of Centennial Institute or Colorado Christian University.

Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in commentary pieces are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the management of the Rocky Mountain Voice, but even so we support the constitutional right of the author to express those opinions.