What is a Statesman?

July 29

In 1861, after a long career as a soldier, General, President of Texas, and Senator from Texas, Sam Houston faced a choice that could bolster his popularity with constituents or end his political career. Houston had fiercely opposed any attempt to divide the nation which he knew would plunge the Union into a Civil War. On February 1, 1861, a special convention had been called in Texas to vote on whether the state would secede from the Union or remain. Houston was willing to return to an independent Republic but refused to swear an oath of loyalty to the newly declared Confederacy. So, on March 15, 1861, the legislature of the State of Texas declared the Governorship to be vacant and Houston was removed from office. Houston, having stood by his principles, regardless of the personal consequences, left office never to return and died within two years.

A decade before this happened, a minister wrote a statement that resonated across the country, “A politician thinks of the next election, a statesman of the next generation. A politician looks for the success of his party; a statesman for that of the country. The statesman wishes to steer, while the politician is satisfied to drift.” -James Freeman Clarke (I do not ascribe to his theology).

Last week, Christian leaders from across the country came together in Washington, D.C. at the Statesman Academy™, a project of Family Policy Foundation. We heard from US House of Representatives Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), US Senator James Lankford (R-OK), Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN), as well as 14 other members of Congress as they shared their hearts and experiences with men and women who serve in elective office.

Often stated at this gathering is our definition of a statesman, “A statesman stands for what is right, regardless of the personal consequences.” Starting next year, Family Policy Foundation of Wyoming will have the privilege of sending future leaders from our state to the Statesmen Academy where they will learn to stand for a bedrock set of principles that will not be compromised for personal or political gain.

In October, Family Policy Foundation of Wyoming will also be teaming up with Alliance Defending Freedom with training for Christian men and women who have been elected to public office.

Would you consider a gift to Family Policy Foundation of Wyoming to assist us as we equip Christian Statesmen for Wyoming?

Your gift – of $25, $50, $100, $250 or $500 or more – will help cover the expenses associated with training these elected officials so they don’t have any barriers to attending. You’ll provide the training venue, hotel rooms and all the meals during the training.


Nathan Winters
Executive Director