From The Wichita Eagle, Feb. 16, 2007:
Stay true to yourself and your faith
BY REP. TODD TIAHRT
“My wife, Vicki, and I recently previewed the new film "Amazing Grace," which recounts the heroic story of William Wilberforce and his successful quest as a member of Parliament to abolish the transatlantic slave trade in 1807. This great man was a statesman, an avowed and practicing Christian, and a champion on behalf of the underprivileged.
Early on, Wilberforce wrestled with whether he should pursue a calling from God or serve as a driving force in the House of Commons. He successfully accomplished both.
The story of Wilberforce sends a powerful message of staying true to yourself and to your faith. Wilberforce was an example of faith in action, modeling that we do not have to abandon our values to be effective in our jobs -- whether as a business owner, nurse, mechanic, working mom or member of Congress.
We must stand up for our beliefs and fight passionately for our causes. We must not betray our values or our faith, and never cease to help those in need.
This film is well-timed with the 200th anniversary of the 1807 abolition of the U.K. and U.S. slave trade. Our country needs to capture the potential for a movement, as one poet described Wilberforce's efforts to lead his nation into "the better hour."
The John Templeton Foundation funded a forthcoming television documentary called "The Better Hour: William Wilberforce, a Man of Character Who Changed the World," and will offer cash prizes for a new Better Hour national essay contest for youths -- encouraging each to engage in solving a problem he identifies. These efforts can build momentum and engage communities to find new ways to influence our culture.
In addition, millions of people around the world will lift their voices together to sing "Amazing Grace." The movie's organizers are asking church congregations to sing the timeless hymn this Sunday, before the film's wide release on Feb. 23.
I am honored each day to be your voice in the U.S. House of Representatives and will work to stand faithfully for what is right. Wilberforce championed his cause against the slave trade for 20 years before Parliament voted to abolish the trade. Wilberforce is an inspiration for us to seek the will of God and not flag in doing what is right. Together, we can work to bring "the better hour" to our nation and future generations.”
By the Way Mr. Tiahrt, slavery is already abolished and no one is planning to bring it back (except a few kooks as in the KKK). “Amazing Grace" may be a good movie, but watching it won’t make you a good representative.