The Colorado Family Institute is truly on the frontline of the battle for our values and principles and we thank you so much for your work. Today, I wanted to share two things with you: my narrative and how this narrative relates to our work at the Centennial Institute.
Editor: How can conservative groups in Colorado help each other? What is the unifying vision for their efforts? Centennial Institute director John Andrews asked staffer Karthik Venkatraj to address those questions on Pastors’ Day at the State Capitol, April 29, sponsored by the Colorado Family Institute. This is what he said.
My mother and father are my inspiration. My father dreamt of coming to America and conferred with his family about his desire. His sister agreed to sell her gold to purchase a ticket for the young couple to come to America in addition to some spending money—one hundred dollars. They started their life in the mire of poverty in one room of an apartment in Brooklyn, New York City, where I was born.
Eventually, my father found a job in the subways of New York City ferrying x–rays between hospitals and my mother found a job as a nurse’s aid in a busy Manhattan hospital. Ten years later, my father would be graduating from New York University with a PhD in Molecular Biology and my mother would be finishing her MD. This position was a far cry from their struggle to make ends meet each month as well as raise a child. Indeed, I can distinctly remember the culmination of a month’s paycheck in a splurge of eight dollars at a run–down Chinese buffet in Brooklyn.
Once again, this narrative would be possible in no other country, within the context of any other ideals than that of our nation. Indeed, these values and ideals that propelled my narrative and that of my parents hearkens to those ideals and values that informed the Declaration of Independence as well as our Constitution.
And that is why I am here at Centennial institute, because I want a better nation for my children and their children, a nation with values and a solid moral compass. I am here because I am convicted that it is the duty of all Americans to preserve our republic and I am very concerned that we are losing that duty. I, like most Americans, do not want to see an America of 2076 as an irrelevant nation that has passed the torch of global leadership to another country, but as a nation renewed and convicted in its role as a global leader.
Let us not be naïve to the great challenges our nation faces. Our nation is hurting and her people are shouldering the hurt. Families are having to make tough choices, cut out any expenses that are not completely essential, hold on to their jobs, or begin the most arduous task of finding a job. Worst of all, our nation’s children and their children are already mired in debt after years of government spending.
Some may ask: “Where is the Spirit of 1776? Where is our nation going?” I would answer that the Spirit of 1776 is here: it’s in the coffee shops and diners, it’s in the dinnertime conversations of families, it’s in the ranches and farms of rural America, in our servicemen and women, and in the pastors writing their sermon for their Sunday service.
In short, it’s in all Americans who love and care for our republic. The way this spirit will manifest and direct our people will determine 2076. Let us not forget the absolute providence that has guided our nation since its conception. Let us take solace in the fact that this spirit in conjunction with providence has and will always lead to miraculous events and glorious beginnings. It is why I am convinced that even though my generation will face the greatest challenges we have witnessed since World War II; we will also see our greatest triumphs.
But let’s face it. In the end, we as an Institute can only do so much. To be clear, we live in a fallen world and in a nation in the context of this fallenness. The only salvific and redemptive element of our society is the church. That is why I exhort each and everyone of you to keep doing what you’re doing. Without it, our efforts lose meaning. God Bless you and let us pray that God continues to bless our great nation.