December 4, 2013 : By Drew Menard
In the last Convocation of the fall semester on Wednesday, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told Liberty University: “I have your back, because I know you have my back.”
In a sit-down, conversational interview on stage with President Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Vice President for Communications Johnnie Moore, Palin talked about her motivation to keep standing for “time-tested truths” — the same truths Liberty upholds — when she is attacked by the mainstream media for her conservative views.
“This is what inspires me — you,” she told the arena of more than 10,000 students. “ … What inspires me and allows me to keep going and standing strong is being in a place like this.”
Palin, the first woman and youngest person to be elected governor of Alaska and the country’s first female Republican vice presidential candidate, has visited campus before, but this was the first time she has appeared at a Liberty event.
She said she was amazed at the campus transformation that has taken place since she was here a few years ago.
“You guys are doing an awesome job; it’s amazing, the infrastructure, additions to the amenities, what a wonderful force for good in this part of the nation and for the world,” Palin said.
Coming off a 15-city tour for her new best-seller, “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas,” she talked about the larger message that the Christmas story brings today.
“My book is about protecting the heart of Christmas, which is really about protecting the heart of America,” she said. “Because the message of Christmas is the message of hope and change, not the stuff you hear coming out of Washington. … It’s the Judeo-Christian faith that provided all the foundation in our charters of liberty, our Constitution, our Declaration of Independence. It was a faith–filled people who understood how blessed our land was and the opportunities we have, our wonderful work ethic, all the things that have made America so exceptional.”
|Palin signs copies of her books for Liberty students following Convocation.|
She said the tour is about more than a book; it is about restoring our nation’s principles.
“That’s why I appreciate Liberty University,” she said. “You will be a force for good, understanding the importance of Christian faith and a Christian education. You are the future leaders of this country.”
Students submitted their own questions for Palin, which ranged from who her biggest inspiration is (her youngest son, Trig, who has Down syndrome and has taught her “the world’s standards of perfection are not God’s standards of perfection”) to her family’s favorite Christmas memories (eating moose chili and traveling “over the river and through the woods” by snow machines).
She left students with a lesson she’s learned as a leader:
“Fear not. Again, it’s that message of Christmas; remember the angel came to Mary in a situation with less than ideal circumstances … and that message needs to be received by each one of you here today as you get out there in a pretty rough and tumble world. You’re going to be inundated in the workplace with cultural and societal pressures trying to beat you down … remember that message from that angel. … The greater message was that everybody is made so uniquely, with certain gifts and talents and passions and interests for a reason, to get out there and do good for the world. … When it comes to families, when it comes to jobs, please remember that you do have purpose and you do have destiny — God don’t make no junk. … Success is letting Him shine through you so that others will be attracted to that light — the eternal destiny is really what matters.”
Looking back at where God has taken her, Palin still calls her rise to a position of leadership “bizarre,” but credits it as God’s work.
“Put your life in God’s hands — you never know where you’re going to end up.”