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Focus on the Family VP Talks "Values Cliff"

By Amanda Morad | January 23, 2013

Tim Goeglein, vice president for external affairs, Focus on the Family

It is a challenging time to be a Christian in America, but Regent University's Robertson School of Government (RSG) invited Tim Goeglein, vice president of external affairs at Focus on the Family, to offer a bit of optimism for students as part of RSG's 30th anniversary celebration series.

At the Tuesday, Jan. 22 luncheon, Goeglein spoke honestly about the outlook for America's next four years. "In light of yesterday's inaugural address, it's fair to say that we as Christians are in for a wild ride," Goeglein said, citing a cocktail of multiculturalism, political correctness and moral relativism as the source of the nation's divisive social identity. "E pluribus unum might as well be taken to the Smithsonian."

"But I remain hopeful," he assured. "When it comes to fiscal questions, I truly believe good days are ahead for Americans. However, the cliff that's more of a threat to this country than any fiscal issue is a values cliff."

"We are living in a time that is hollowing out marriage from the top to the bottom," Goeglein said. "The values cliff is animated every day in the state of the family."

Goeglein advised students that the deterioration of the family structure would most likely be the largest issue of their generation. Stating that more than 40 percent of Americans are born out of wedlock today, Goeglein then asked the group, "What is the cost of broken families?"

According to the Heritage Foundation, he said, about $112 billion a year in support programs. Goeglein gave several examples, like Detroit, Mich., where there are more liquor stores than grocery stores; and the Anacostia neighborhood in Washington, D.C., where 3 percent of the population is HIV positive, more than what the Center for Disease Control considers an epidemic.

"In the absence of families, we will continue to suffer economic and social chaos," he said. "When you unmoor sexuality from marriage, you get chaos."

According to Goeglein, fatherlessness is the greatest plague in the United States, as it perpetuates cycles of poverty, delinquency among minors, the increase of single mothers, abortion, drug use, and dependence on government handouts.

"Arnold Toynbee said that great civilizations die of suicide, not of murder," he said. "Here in America, we are testing that proposition."

Turning back to the roots of the nation, Goeglein looked to the makers of the Constitution for unity. "The one thing all the Founding Fathers agreed on was that if you wanted to have freedom for a long time, you had to have virtue," Goeglein explained.

The Founding Fathers defined virtue as moral excellence welled up from the Holy Bible, he said. Religion nourished liberty. "The Judeo-Christian tradition gave Americans the capacity to sustain freedom," Goeglein concluded.

He wrapped up his remarks by encouraging students to be diligent to their callings and to their faith. "Our call is not to be successful; it's to be faithful and obedient," he said.

"Yes, we need more Christians in Washington than ever before, but show me the producers of Hollywood films, the screenwriters, the lyricists and music artists, the headmasters and principles of schools, the copywriters for the Washington Post or New York Times. Those are the true legislators of the day," Goeglein expressed. "Where we need Christians even more is in culture ... Christians must remain engaged in the public arena. Our values are important to these controversial issues, but so is our presence."

Learn more about the Robertson School of Government.


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