Convocation 9/21/17: Trey Gowdy, Tim Scott, and Mac Powell?

Well, today’s lineup was one of the oddest ones yet. We had two politicians from South Carolina, a state famous for beaches, tourism and poor education systems, and a Christian rock/country singer. I am not complaining, Mac Powell was pretty good, I just want to know the process that led to them booking all of these people on the same day.

Today’s convocation marked the end of constitution week and the first time most students had ever heard about Constitution week (I have never seen a liberty event so poorly advertised). Today’s speakers were Trey Gowdy, a U.S. representative, and Tim Scott, a U.S. Senator. I will look at each of them in turn.

Lets start by talking about Trey Gowdy. Gowdy’s message was all about the law, which is unsurprising considering he was a prosecutor for 6 years. He argued that the law was essential and that America’s dedication to the law was one of the things that set it apart (Despite the fact, that other countries do have laws). In his speech, he described the law as being unifying, equalizing, majestic and powerful, using a quote by John Adams to further his point. He concluded by saying that although the law can prevent negative actions, it is incapable of changing a person’s inner thoughts and beliefs.

Overall, I felt Gowdy has an over-idealized view of the law. There is nothing special or divine about the law, it is simply a set of rules (like the liberty way). It is important to remember that the law is created by people who are sinful, fallible, and biased. They make mistakes. It is dangerous to see the law as something special or absolute because it blinds us to the possibility of injustice or in many cases, stupidity.

As for his use of the John Adam’s quote, “a government of laws, and not of men”, he largely took the quote out of context. The quote comes from the Massachusetts Constitution of 1870, which Adams wrote. The full quote, with context, is “In the government of this commonwealth, the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them: the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them: the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them: to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men.”1 In its original context, it is evident that Adams was not talking about some special principle of the law but rather that there were separate branches of government. In fact, if we look at some of his earlier work, we find what Adams truly meant by this phrase. In his earlier essay, Novanglus Essay no. 7, he describes republics as “a government of laws, and not of men” and contrasts that with monarchies and empires.2 When Adam’s describes the United States in this manner, he is not saying something about the nature of law, but simply saying that the U.S. is a republic, not a monarchy.

Now lets talk about Tim Scott. I was prepared to not like his message, as I can’t stand political convos, however his message was quite amazing. His story of childhood difficulty and his ability to overcome that was absolutely inspiring. Honestly, I wish he had been given a full hour to talk instead of just the last 20 minutes.

Lightning Round

  • Did Jerry say that we should actually do something useful while we are Liberty? I really don’t want to hear that from a guy who only has his job because of his dad. Talk about nepotism.
  • I have never been comfortable with Liberty’s push for students to change their registration to Virginia. The people who live here full-time have their political influence curtailed by students who only live here for a few years. It is kinda awful for Liberty to use its large student body to sway elections in its favor (If you doubt they try, look at who they bring into convo before elections)
  • In case your wondering if there is any truth to South Carolina’s reputation for education, according to U.S. News and World Report, they rank last among all 50 states.3
  • We are 1/4 of the way through the semester! So far, we have had 10 convos, and 21 bible verses quoted. That is an average of 2.1 bible quotes per convo.

 

Bible Verses quoted: 3. Man, I really didn’t expect any Bible quotes from a political convo. Color me surprised.

Total Bible Verses all semester: 21

If you like what I do, consider following me on twitter at @skepticalpyrrho to get notified whenever I post. If you don’t have a twitter, you can follow me on the website and receive an email when I post. I would love to hear what you guys thought about this post, so leave a comment below or send a message through the contact page.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Liberty University leadership or administration in any way. The opinions expressed here are solely my own and should be not be taken as the opinion of the University, its staff, or the student body.

Sources:

  1. https://malegislature.gov/Laws/Constitution

2.https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Novanglus_Essays/No._7

3. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/rankings/education

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