Conservative strategist Ralph Reed drew on his storied career in politics, his doctorate in American history, and his deep-dyed Christian convictions, seasoned with an impish self-deprecating wit, to deliver the first Centennial Institute lecture of the fall season, October 12 at the CCU Music Center, on “Faith and Politics in a Secular Age: What Citizenship Requires of Us, Beyond 2010 and 2012.”
John Andrews, director of the Centennial Institute, set the scene for a full house of students, faculty, and guests from the community, by noting that the Founders’ understanding of America as a nation under God has lost its unifying force for citizens amid the materialism and multiculturalism of today. Yet there is the danger that a faithless society cannot long remain a free society. The question for today, he said, is how can we “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” acting individually and together?
Centennial Intern Matt Lenell, a junior communications major, gave the introduction for Reed, whom he called one of the most acclaimed political strategists of our time. He currently directs the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a national voter mobilization effort he founded to help conservatives rebound after 2008. Reed also heads the consulting firm Century Strategies and has just published his first novel, The Confirmation. As executive director of the Christian Coalition while barely in his thirties (see Time cover below), Reed helped sustain the Reagan Revolution, and later chaired the Republican Party in his native Georgia.