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tv   Commencement Speeches Sen. Josh Hawley The Kings College  CSPAN  May 28, 2019 2:08pm-2:27pm EDT

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remarks at and boston university law school. we will look back to may 2009 for tulane university. watch speeches tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. watch online anytime at, and listen on the free c-span radio app. some notable, commencement speeches from around the nation this year. speaking toawley graduates at the kings college, a private christian school in manhattan that has about 500 students. [applause] senator hawley: thank you very much.
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guests, it is a privilege to be here in this great city on this fine day to mark this auspicious occasion. today the college will send into the world and accomplished class of young women and men sitting your before me, trained and ready to serve crisis in our time, and that is reason indeed for celebration. to the parents of the graduates here today, i say to you,. you are surely proud and rightly so. this is a day to give thanks for all the lord has done. to the class of 2019, i say, you make me feel old. right, nevermath my strong suit, when you were born, i was almost finished with college. i am 39 years old this year and that is about the time of laugh -- like when you start looking for things to make you feel
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young, and that is what you know i ran for the senate. [laughter] senator hawley: where the average age is dead. [laughter] senator hawley: when i got sworn into the senate, they gave me a lapel pin, and it doubles as a life alert button. [laughter] senator hawley: just present -- all that the say can it is generous of you read reading senior readers to be listening to this freshman on this graduation day. you.t to commend you have successfully completed a rigorous course of study at a historic institution, and your efforts and excellence have made your families proud. congratulations. your work is only just beginning. for the wider world now beckons to you, and it is a world in need. i remind you the words of paul, fan into the flame the gift that god has given you come up it
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before god has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and discipline, and you will need all three to meet the challenges of our present age. we stand at one of the great turning point in our national of theen the scarier public philosophy and the crisis of our public life can no longer be ignored. and what we do about these needs will define the era that is to come. our politics and culture have been dominated i particular philosophy of freedom. it is a philosophy of liberation, from family and tradition, of escape from god and community, a philosophy of self creation and unrestricted free choice. it is a philosophy that has defined our age, though it is far from it. influential proponent lived 1700 years ago, a british
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monk who eventually settled in -- so thoroughly had his teachings informed our recent past and precipitated our present crisis that we might refer to this as the age of pallagius, and here's the irony though the vision celebrates the individual, it leads to hierarchy. though it preaches merit, it produces elitism, though it proclaims liberty, and destroys life that makes liberty possible. and repairing the harm it has caused is one of the challenges of our day. it is the challenge that awaits you. your test before you leave the halls of learning. gius?as pela does anybody know? this anybody remember? it is not any monk who has his own heresy.
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pelagius was formed between 350 and 360 in britain, possibly wales, a scholar of latin and greek. he went to italy and the jerome where he became famous for teachings on paul's letters. pelagius held that the individual possessed a powerful capacity for achievements. pelagius believed individuals could achieve their own salvation. he said it was just a matter of individuals living up to the perfection of which we are all inherently capable. --e's how he put himself since perfection is possible for man, it is obligatory. since perfection is possible for man, it is obligatory. the key he said was will an effort. if individuals worked hard enough and deploy their talents wisely enough, then they could be perfect.
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this idea famously drew the ire of augusta, better known as sink that we, who responded humans are not achievement machines. we are fragile. we are fallible. we have weaknesses. we suffer need. and all of us stand deeply in need of god's grace. pelagius was not satisfied. he took his stand on the idf human treatment. individualsgave free choice and insisted that was more powerful than any limitation augustine had identified. augustine said nature was permanent. pelagius did not think so. he said they could use their own free choices to adopt their own purposes, to create themselves. that is why a later follower of
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pelagius said freedom of choice is that by which man is emancipated from god. expect withmight followers who say things like that, pelagius was condemned by a council in 431. this philosophy h lived on in latea 20ths century and early 21st century america, and if you listen closely, you can hear it almost everywhere, in our fiction and film and school bookcula and self-help books. it features prominently in our law. the most eloquent contemporary statement of pelagianism drum has come from an opinion by the supreme court in a passage written by former justice anthony kennedy. in 1992, in a case called casey v. pennsylvania, he worked this -- at the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own
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concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mysteries of human life. --is the pelagianism vision liberty is the right to choose your own meaning, define your own values, emancipate yourself from god by creating your own self. this notion of freedom says you can emancipate yourself not just from god, but also from society, from family, from tradition. the view says the individual is most free when he or she is most alone, able to choose his or her own way without interference. family and tradition, neighbors and church, these things get in the way of uninhibited free choice. and as i dim of freedom is one of our cultural leaders have embraced for decades now. here's the paradox -- for all
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the big talk about individual freedom, this philosophy has made american society more hierarchical and made it more elitist. this is no accident. pelagius was most popular with the old senatorial families of road, the wealthy, well educated, the well connected, very aristocratic. those were his patrons come and why? because he validated their position and their power, because if freedom means choice among options, then the people with the most choices are the most free, and it means the wealthy. if salvation is about achievement, than those with the most accolades are the most righteous, and that means the elite and the strong. a pelagian society is one that -- theates the well- wealthy, rewards the privileged. class of 2019, for too long
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describedas modern america. welou are wealthy or educated --l, and yes, graduates, this includes you -- your prospects are bright. college graduates and those with advanced degrees enjoyed wages, rarelyr divorced him have higher life expectancy, have better access to health care, their children score better on achievement tests, they have more opportunities for civic involvement and participation. but if you do not have family wealth and if you do not have a four-year degree -- and that is 70% of america -- the future is far less glowing. these americans have not seen a real wage increase in 30 years. these americans are fighting to hold their families together. these americans, health care is
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unaffordable. drug addiction is growing. and too many local communities, especially rural ones can haven't got it as industry consolidates and jobs she go away. a society that is divided by class where one class has all the advantages is a society gripped by hierarchy. it is a society defined by elitism. our elites do not use that word. they say their privileged position comes from merit. they point to their sats horse and prestigious degrees. they talk about economic efficiency. how pelagian of them. the people at the top of our society had a culture and an economy that work mainly for themselves. our cultural elites look down on the virtues of patriotism and self-sacrifice, things like humility and faithfulness. they celebrate self-promotion,
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self-discovery, self-aggrandizement, self, self, self. when industry ships jobs overseas, they say workers find another trait. capital should be allocated to its most efficient use. . they should have gone to college i would rather suspect that if globalization threatened sector, weanking would hear a different to. we would hear how these industries are the lifeblood of the american economy and must be defended, and that is my point. heelys assumed that their interests are vital while everyone else's can be done without. they assumed their value preferences should prevail while denigrating the loves and loyalties of the great middle of america. that is the nature of elitism. thist the end of the day, hierarchy and this lead is an
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threaten our common liberty. for the steady erosion of working-class jobs and working-class life, for millions of americans, means losing respect. it means losing their voice. it means losing their standings as citizens in the station. our pelagian public philosophy says liberty is about choosing their own ends. that turns to be a philosophy for the privileged and if you. for everybody else, for those who cannot build an identity based on what they buy, whose life is anchored in family and home and nation, for those who want to participate in our ismocracy, today's pelagian robs them, and we cannot afford to let them happen any longer. the play -- the day of pelagius must end. do you know what the council condemned pelagius as a heretic? it was not because he
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misunderstood augustine. it was because he misunderstood across. pelagius had not learned the meaning of paul's word two corinthians, when he says not many of you were wise according to world's standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth, but god cholo's what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, he chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, he chose what is low and despise in the world so that no man might boast in the presence of god. weakness announces the and need of every person, that means it excludes the boasting and the pride of the few. the crosses the talented, well-worn, well educated do not deserve special privileges. they are not more viable than everybody else. the call of god comes to every person, power of god can work through each, and is poured out
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on all who believe. -- paulntion to this says it is the humble, the everyday, those without social status through whom god chooses to exercise his power. think about that. it is not the privileged, but the common man and woman. is not the lead, but the everyday person who moves the destinies of the world. that burning inside was once the animating principle of american life, and we must make it so again. we must rebuild a culture that affirms the dignity of the working man and woman, that protects their way of life and honors their central role in the life of the country. thatst rebuild an economy will offer opportunity to every american worker, whatever degree she might have, wherever she may live, in an economy that rewards hard productive work, the work that built this country.
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a democracy run not by a democracy run not by elites, by the great middle of america, a democracy that allows the working man and woman to realize their god-given ability to govern themselves and help manage the life of this nation. that is the great task of this hour, and, graduates, what about you? graduates, god has given you much and to whom much is given, much is expected. now you face the signal choice -- will you retreat into the enclave of the elite to pursue your private pleasures and make your own life comfortable? will you join the society of those who believe that they have a right to rule others? will you use your elite education, your excellent education, your training, gifts to serve others? will you affirm the dignity of every life? will you celebrate the
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contributions of those who do not live on a coast or boast a fancy degree? will you work for the prosperity of all and not just the few? will you hear the voice of the forgotten? will you embrace the way of the cross? that is the question you must answer, and isolate you that on that question depends the future of this country. but i have great confidence in you, class of 2019, and even more, i have confidence in the lord who calls you, and because i do, i believe that nunn is foregone, the age of pelagius is ending. bill that future, class of 2019. build it for us all. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> the complete guide to congress is available. it has details about the house and senate for the current session. bio information about every senator and representative. information about congressional committees, state governors, and the cabinet. the 2019 congressional directory is a handy spiral-bound guide. c-spanour copy from the online store for $18.95. the next address is from freshman congresswoman lauren underwood, a democrat and defeated a republican in illinois, making her the youngest black women to serve it -- woman to serve in


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