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Rep. Bachmann emboldens students to rise up as leaders

April 16, 2014 : By Drew Menard/Liberty University News Service

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann takes the stage at Liberty University Convocation on April 16, 2014.

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told Liberty University students during her Convocation speech on Wednesday that she is ready to pass the baton of leadership to the next generation. In order to be equipped for this transition, she encouraged them to contend for “the things that truly matter,” to not despise humble beginnings, and to be ready for opportunities.

President Jerry Falwell introduced the congresswoman as a friend of the university and highlighted her impressive political career and busy personal life, working as a federal tax lawyer while raising 23 foster children and five biological children.

“She was the most successful fundraiser in the history of Congress,” Falwell said. “She is a respected national figure, a serious student of foreign policy, national defense, and intelligence. She confers all around the world on a first-name basis with heads of state over the central foreign policy issues of our day.”

He added that she is the only woman Republican in party history to win a presidential primary. (She spoke in Convocation during her bid for the GOP ticket.)

As Bachmann took the stage on Wednesday, she spent a moment lauding the crowd.

“The Liberty college audience is the No. 1, best audience in the United States of America,” she announced. “Nobody’s better.”

She then shifted her focus and shared her experience on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, summarizing the United States’ rise to becoming the world’s economic and military superpower over the last 70 years. America’s support for Israel is waning, she said, recalling that Liberty’s founder Dr. Jerry Falwell had instilled a passion and love for Israel in her heart and those of many others in her generation. Support for Israel is something that matters and should be preserved, she said.

To emphasize the historical and spiritual importance of this support, Bachmann read from Genesis 12, where God shares his promise for Israel with Abram.

“This was a promise God gave to all peoples for all time,” Bachmann said. “That every nation that blesses the Jewish state of Israel will be blessed and every nation that curses the Jewish state of Israel will be cursed. That has been true for all time.”

On May 14, 1948, when Israel was declared a sovereign state, the United States stood behind Israel and recognized its right to exist as a nation.

“We the United States put ourselves on the line for the Jewish state,” Bachmann said.

It was from that moment in history that the U.S. rose to its current prominence as a world superpower, she said, explaining how both Spain and the United Kingdom lost that status after dropping their support for the Jewish people.

But today, Bachmann said, the U.S. has begun to pull its support from Israel, too. In fact, in the last year American leaders, including the president and secretary of state, have called for Israel to give up 40 percent of its land.

“This is a completely different world,” Bachmann declared. “The table is being reset. And don’t think it doesn’t come with consequences … All that I have known, all that you have known in your lifetime, has been America as the economic powerhouse of the world, as the military powerhouse of the world. … What would not feel good is to see the United States lose that status. That impacts you, that impacts your future, that impacts your opportunities.”

She said while the United States has done a good job of maintaining peace and order in the world, other countries are not as committed to freedom and justice. The implications of a superpower without these values could mean widespread oppression and violence.

“I am here to republish in your hearts, the way Jerry Falwell Sr. did in my heart, how important it is for our sakes personally, (and) for our sake as a nation, that we stand with Israel,” Bachmann said. “I now look about and see this rising tide of anti-Semitism … not just around the world but in America, predominantly on college campuses, even Christian college campuses.

“That is why at this Christian university, the largest Christian university in the world … it is imperative that we hold on to that which is true, that we contend for the things that matter.”

Bachmann told Liberty students to be ready for doors of opportunity to open because the world desperately needs leaders who understand essential truths.

She said the greatest truth of all is what God’s promise to Israel has meant to mankind.

“The line of promise ... ultimately (brought) about the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who would take away our sins and allow us to be reunited with a Holy God. That is the blessing, that is the promise. … That is something worth contending for.”

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann interacts with Liberty University students.
After her Convocation message at Liberty University, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann took time to interact with students.

Bachmann said that to be an effective leader, a person should not seek to become somebody important, but to already be somebody because of what they have been through and the wisdom they have as a result of their experience.

“If you want to be a leader, you need to be willing to be a suffering servant first,” Bachmann said. “The crucibles of suffering will be the greatest blessing God will ever bring into your life. You cannot believe what God teaches you in those moments.”

She said planning and preparation are critical in achieving success after opportunity arises.

“It is such a rush to cooperate with how God uses you when that door opens up,” Bachmann said. “It is so beautiful to see how all the cogs work together … when we walk through that door of opportunity by faith, when we all use the talents and the gifts that He has poured into each one of you. That is how a nation changes … it is how a people are saved, when we are ready and we work together, but it does not happen if you are not ready.

“I am ready to hand off the baton and the question is, are you ready to take it? We need you.”