LAURINBURG — During Monday’s meeting of the Scotland County Republican Women, the interim youth director of First Baptist Church told the crowd of about 15 baby boomers that as a part of the “greatest generation,” they have an important role in shaping today’s youth — and leading the country back to its Christian beliefs.
“The older you are, the greater resource you are for today’s youth,” said Zak Willis, who admonished would-be role models for abandoning their duty to today’s youth by embracing a laissez-faire attitude towards moral issues.
Lamenting high rates of youth suicide, teen pregnancy and the proliferation of violence and gay “propaganda” through media outlets, Willis said the United States was doomed to failure if it did not once again embrace the values that those seated in the county’s Republican headquarters had grown up with — values that included strong faith in God, putting family first, “taking care of unborn children” and enjoying open prayer in schools.
“The values you possess are the ones that made our country great, and if you look where our country is going, those are the values we need today,” Willis said. “… The truth is still the truth. The truth hasn’t changed in 50 years. The truths that made our country great have not changed. Right is right and wrong is wrong, and always will be.”
Monday marked the first time that Willis, a native of McColl and longtime college football coach, had spoken in a political setting. Peppered with personal anecdotes about growing up in a single parent Christian home, most of his talk centered on the values that today’s leaders are lacking.
“Every time I turn on the TV, I see a huge leadership gap in our society,” he said, calling legislators who refuse to own up to their own mistakes “cowardly” and saying they have a habit of exempting themselves from their own laws.
Willis also said technology has facilitated the roller-coaster atmosphere of the stock market and enabled the media to further “poison” youth by allowing half-truths to circulate, adding that “journalistic integrity is in the toilet.” He encouraged those in attendance, many of whom are grandparents, to encourage the end of activities which serve no purpose but to distract children from church.
“Involve yourself in their lives,” he said. “You still know best. Look at your generation’s accomplishments and those of other generations after you — they pale in comparison.
“When our country put God first, we were successful,” he said. “When we took these things away, we started having problems. … When our country honors him, he will honor our country.”
Bonnie Schenck, president of the Scotland County Federated Women, praised Willis for his remarks, as did others in attendance, saying he was “right on the money.”
“I think we have the answers, whether these kids know it or not,” she said.
Also at the meeting, Schenck announced that the party’s annual Lincoln-Reagan Banquet would be held at Deercroft on March 1, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The speaker will be Zan Bunn, president of the North Carolina Federated Republican Women. Tickets are $35 each and dinner will be served by Rick’s Catering.
The Scotland County Republican Convention will be held at the county Republican headquarters on March 22, starting at 12:15 p.m. A hot dog lunch will be served.
Abbi Overfelt can be reached at 910-276-2311, ext. 12. Follow her on Twitter @aoinscotco.