By Congressman Roger Williams
Recent events have made clear that we are failing our younger generations. In this season, we must not divert our eyes from the hemorrhaging of pain and anguish in our streets, but rather find empathy in the stories of our countrymen and encourage understanding of one another to propel our drive to affect change.
The schism within our ranks requires an urgent response: not in the form of legislation filled with ambitious partisan promises, but rather a whole of America movement committed to rebuilding our communities upon a foundation of faith, family, and service — one where we are held accountable to our fellow man, leaving no one behind, and empowering us all to unlock our greatest human potential.
Our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian values, ones that seem all but lost in modern days. In my lifetime, Texan families shared a common routine. Weekdays were left to our education, Saturdays were for baseball, and on Sundays our families worshiped the Lord. The church was a place of refuge for people from all walks of life. In these times of unrest and unease, we must provide our children and grandchildren with the proper direction, allowing them to walk by faith and not by fear.
Families serve a pivotal role in shaping our culture, beliefs, and understanding of right and wrong. Of all the titles I’ve been blessed to have in my life, there’s perhaps none greater than being called a father and grandfather. But with these titles comes great responsibility, and a charge to instill in our children the values and lessons that will allow them to navigate a life of uncertain challenges. If we are to truly create change in our communities, it must begin with parents stepping up to meet the moment and raising their children to be better versions of themselves, ready to contribute their God-given gifts to a world desperately in need of their offerings.
Our public servants are the best among us. In Texas’s 25th Congressional District, I have the greatest privilege to represent soldiers, law enforcement officers, and first responders, all of whom selflessly put their lives on the line so that we may live better. Not only do I support our men and women who choose a life of service, but I also believe in well-trained and accountable professionals invested in the common good. Those whose intentions are poisoned with bias and vitriol for their fellow man have no place within these ranks, just as those officers who have made headlines for their egregious actions must be held fully accountable. However, for the overwhelming and uncategorical majority of those who serve, there is no higher honor. I applaud those who have and will choose a life of service, putting community and country above self so all might live in peace.
While communities banded together to deter and defeat an invisible enemy in COVID-19, another longstanding and pervasive threat lurked in the shadows, prepared to once again show its face in the streets of Minneapolis. George Floyd should be alive today, and those responsible for Floyd’s death must be held to full account, both before God and in front of a jury.
Politicians who advocate for the role of the government in fixing these systemic problems within our society are simply virtue signaling. Government has never been and never will be the solution to our problems — we need only reference centuries of new laws and regulations that still leave us at similar crossroads of generations’ past.
Simply opining about the past will do little to bring about real change, but this moment demands of us to reflect upon a time when the church was a cornerstone in our neighborhoods. It behooves us to reflect on a time when the family unit was a source of discipline, sharpening the God-given traits of children and equipping them to soar. And it must remind us of a greater generation where a life of service is a charge accepted by the few shepherds among us and not a scarlet letter.
Although America has seen dark days before, I pray we see no more. I am confident that by modeling truth, responsibility, and affirmation for our younger generations, our brightest days truly lie ahead.