Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor
Volume VIII, Issue XXIIa
Mr. Scott Goes to Washington
Like Jimmy Stewart's Mister Smith [click to view], Tim Scott was originally appointed to his seat by South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, the first ever Indian-American female governor. But in the 2014 election he went on to win the seat as he stood for reelection. The first African-American Senator elected from the South since Reconstruction, Scott has already made history. What most of the media will miss, however, is the fact that like Jefferson Smith in the Frank Capra movie; Scott has a vision for the youth of America!
We caught an Interview [click to listen] that Scott did with Jim Daley of Focus on the Family, and learned that Tim spent the first part of his life growing up on Air Force Bases and was raised by his single mother when his father left. Mom worked a double shift as a nurse and struggled to provide for her family. Young Tim struggled in school, failing at many of his subjects. He might have never risen past his beginnings but he found a friend. He got a job working at Chick-fil-A and the store's operator took young Tim under his wing. John Moniz was the man's name. Scott remembers: "He started teaching me that if you don't like where you are, don't blame your father, if he's not around. Don't blame your mom, because she's working so hard. Look in the mirror and blame yourself. And he started teaching me this notion of individual responsibility at a very core level. He didn't pound it into my head. He simply on a consistent and continuous basis showed me what it meant to be responsible and second, encouraged me that the best was yet to come."
Moniz died at 38 when Scott was only 19, but the seed he had planted took root. Scott went on to apply himself to his studies with renewed purpose. He served in the United States Congress before he was appointed Senator. He now has a vision to bring about an even greater sense of E pluribus unum. He says: "I'm working with Cory Booker, who is a Democrat senator, much more liberal than I am, probably as liberal as I am conservative. We found solid ground on apprenticeship programs. We're going to work together on, I believe, charter schools and educational remedies that will provide solutions. We're looking for ways to look at the justice system and create a better path, help people avoid it." Here is the bipartisanship many long for. Scott and Booker have found common ground in an issue close to Scott's heart, the next generation!
Scott has a unique approach to what it means to him to represent his constituents: "See what the need is. I did something called "The Undercover Senator" for the last several months. I worked at the Goodwill side by side, not as a senator. I put on some jeans and some clothes and just went and worked. I worked at a burrito restaurant. I bagged groceries, so I would have the experience of talking to folks. I rode the public transportation system undercover, so that I could ask the question. "What do you need? What are you lookin' for? What are you expecting out of your life?" Hunger for opportunity, devastating educational experiences. So, too often and I would say 8 out of 10 times, the person barely finished high school or did not. This is a major component to solving poverty from my role in government. It's not how much more can we give. It's how do you prepare the foundation? The foundation besides faith and family is education."
Scott encourages all who will listen: "It you find the root, the tap root to prosperity, you can solve poverty. Fight poverty doesn't seem to work. Creating a path to prosperity I believe will help us solve the problem of poverty."
The friendship extended to him by John Moniz inspires Tim Scott's deepest longing for more people to become mentors, stepping out of their isolation and into their larger communities: "I think we need to "intracountry" mission work. That would be one of the challenges I would submit that would be a life-changing experience for folks. We went around. So, first thing you would do in my opinion is go visit those areas that you're not accustomed to visiting. [1.]
Photos Around Staunton
Good Shepherd Church was designed in the style of a simple country church. Photo by Bob Kirchman
The firm of T. J. Collins incorporated some Celtic elements in the design. Photo by Bob Kirchman
Detail of the original altar carving. Photo by Bob Kirchman
The Forgotten Season
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. -- Isaiah 40:3-5
Isaiah the Prophet writes with great expectation of the coming Messiah. Our December 17th issue will explore the wonder more as we look at the wonder of both nature and her Creator... and His wonderful love for us, His creation.
(to be continued)