Tall, in a crowded room, a Lincolnesque man, with oil-stained coat and hands, stands alone. He is surrounded by the finer dressed; citizens who respectfully listen, even as they disagree.
This scene, immortalized in one of my favorite Norman Rockwell paintings, was published as a series of 4, as WW2 raged across the globe. It was Rockwell’s way of reminding his generation of the great American ideals they were sacrificing their sons and daughters to protect.
That painting, entitled, “Freedom of Speech,” was based upon a true event Rockwell had witnessed as a young man and yet it resonates with us today because of the unmistakable point it was trying to make. The right to stand and respectfully speak, no matter your education, age, race, wealth or faith is a historic right for which so many Americans have died to secure for ourselves and others.
That right has rarely been acknowledged in the long history of the world. Most people simply lived under the inherited political model into which they had been born. Whether it was a monarchy, principality or oligarchy, most Christians in the past never had to think about their government much because they had very little voice in it.
The image, so ably depicted by Rockwell, could have never happened in 17th century England, or anywhere else in the world for that matter. If an oil-stained laborer would have attempted to speak out in a public forum back then, he would have been shouted down with, “Know your place,” or “mind your betters!”
In America, where we acknowledge “that all men are created equal,” we have the opportunity to participate in the governing of our lives. Yet, as Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
We must speak up, ask questions, and hold accountable the men and women whom we select from among ourselves to represent our values in government at the state and federal level. As a Christian, this is vital because we recognize our biblical responsibility to be faithful to our calling in Christ. Every generation has to engage in the great struggle for themselves. We must lift our link in the great chain of history.
The challenge for the Christian is often, “How do we find the candidate that best represents our biblical values when there are so many to consider?”
At Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming® we have worked to provide answers for you. This year, for the first time, we have had the opportunity to send questionnaires to every candidate for the Wyoming Legislature. We asked each candidate where they stood on the Sanctity of Human Life, the Value of Religious Freedom, and the importance of the Family in education.
We have compiled our scores for the Wyoming House of Representatives here.
We have also compiled our scores for the Wyoming Senate here.