CPAC 2014 – An Once In a Lifetime Experience

By Sam Hill, Class of 2016

March 6th-8th came around last month, and for myself instead of spending the week here at Taylor University in class and in the normal routine of the week, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). CPAC is an annual conference held in our Nation’s Capital, which brings speakers from all over the country and all walks of life together to address the current political atmosphere of the country. All three days of the conference were filled with speakers and events to attend; all of these opportunities stretched my beliefs and opinions on politics, religion, and morals.

This year was the 50th anniversary of CPAC, so they pulled every string they could to make it a memorable event. This years speakers included Dr. Ben Carson, Eric Metaxas (Author of Bonheoffer), Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Paul Ryan, Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Chris Christie, Gov. Rick Perry and so many more! If you can think of a Conservative politician chances were that they were in attendance. The opportunity to hear all of these men and women of such respect and success was completely eye opening. Being one interested in holding public office someday, who’s ultimate goal is to bring honor and glory to the Lord through practicing Christian politics in whatever level of government God blesses me with the opportunity to serve in, hearing these leaders speak about their faith, families, and work helped me to get an even greater sense of vocation and calling for my life.

Meeting so many of these great speakers and having the opportunity to talk to them about my career goals and dreams was really a God-given gift. From meeting Eric Metaxas and getting to talk to him for a good fifteen minutes just about his life and what I want to do someday was exhilarating. Attending a private premiere of former U.S. Senator Rick Sanctorum’s new film and getting to get talk to Senator about his faith and motivation in politics based off of his biblically based views was an experience I will never forget. The opportunities to shake the hands and say hello to Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Ben Carson, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Rand Paul, Rick Sanctorum, and Eric Metaxas proved to be an once-in-a-lifetime meeting that will have an impact on my life for years to come.

Regardless of your political views and positions on issues facing this country, it is important to note the amazing direction that the Lord gives to each one of us when it comes to our calling and vocation. A few years ago I would never have said that I was even remotely interested in politics, but through my life experiences that has completely changed and had you asked me three years ago if I even cared about government and politics my response would be a definite no! God does some crazy things in each one of our lives to show us what he has designed us to do with our vocation and careers. CPAC gave me opportunities to network and connect with some many who share my passion for Christ-centered politics. God is good all the time and He used CPAC this year to lead me even closer to my career path and to see what God has in store for my calling and vocation someday soon.

The F-Word: Defined

By David Chiu, Class of 2014

When I came to the F word defined, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that the subject was feminism but I didn’t know to what extent the panel was going to discuss feminism. I was pleasantly surprised to see who was on the panel and I was glad that I attended the event. There was nothing really new that was discussed at the event that I had not heard before but I think it was a good start to beginning a conversation about feminism on campus. Personally, I grew up in a household and attended a high school where there were plenty of strong women. So, if you acted in a condescending manner toward a woman in a conversation, you would get destroyed because they wouldn’t take any of that kind of attitude. So, the idea that women should have be by and large on an equal playing field as men does not bother me. The only area in particular that there is tension is in the realm of the church and gender roles. I am a Catholic and go to mass on Sundays. I am not exactly sure what I think about women not being able to be priests. I am not bothered that women preach in other faith institutions, but I am also not particularly concerned that women cannot be priests. So, there is some level of tension in my life in that area.

There were a couple of things that really stood out to me. First, I appreciated that defined feminism on the most basic level. The panel, particularly Amy Peterson defined feminism as the belief in the political, social, and economic equality of the sexes. Also, the panel clarified that there is not a singular feminism and there are actually many feminisms. I think that this idea of multiple feminisms was an important framework with which to view Feminism with a capital f. Not every person who calls themselves a feminist believes in the same brand of feminism and it is unfair to attach certain labels to a person that calls themselves a feminist. Another idea there has really stuck in mind is the idea of males and feminism. Dr. Moeschberger said that we, as males, should have a call to activism. In other words, if you, as a male, are aware of issues regarding gender issues, then you have an obligation to do something about it. I’m not totally sure if I’m at that point yet, but I think it is important to view activism as an ultimate goal. While gender roles and feminism may not be the sexiest topic, it is a prevalent problem in this country and throughout the entire world. Lastly, one statistic from the panel discussion will stick in my mind for a while. The statistic reveals that 1 in 4 women on college campuses are raped. I knew the percentage was not negligible, but that number is astounding. If this statistic is not a call to action, I don’t know what is. I hope that this event gets people talking on campus because this is an important issue.