ROCKSPRINGS — United States Congressman Bill Johnson gave the keynote address during Thursday evening’s Meigs County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner.
Johnson spoke about a subject which he said was heavy on his heart.
“We as a a society, as a nation are not raising fathers up the way we used to, and consequently, we are not producing leaders with a father’s heart like we once did,” said Johnson.
The congressman compared the values of President Lincoln toward the country as that of a father toward his children.
“Our 16th President put the nation’s survival before his own political survival,” said Johnson of Lincoln, the father of the Republican party.
Johnson said statistics indicate one out of three children live in homes without their natural father. Fifty years ago, that statistic was one out of every 10, according to Johnson.
He then noted that these children are nearly three times as likely to start a life of crime as their peers.
“One thing all these problems have in common is that the government ends up intervening and trying to fix them,” Johnson said.
He noted that this means more tax dollars trying to fix something that is “widening like a sinkhole.”
“Mothers and fathers alike make the difference in the lives of children, but the absence of fathers in our nation’s families deserves a national conversation and national attention in my view,” said Johnson. “It takes a father’s heart to fix this.”
Johnson told of how he learned of the problem first hand as a child with a father who was “infrequently home and frequently drunk.”
Johnson credited his mother, along with the help of teachers, friends and leaders in the Air Force, for helping him to find the opportunities that have been give to him. He noted that too many kids are still in a dark place without having found those opportunities.
It is not the job of the government to help them, according to Johnson, but the job of churches, neighbors, scout troops and people of good will to make a difference.
“It is our job to help mothers, help fathers and help children,” Johnson added.
“My new inspiration is to be a stronger voice and a clearer voice to help our nation raise up godly, responsible fathers,” added Johnson.
“There aren’t many problems in the life of a child that a strong family unit can’t fix,” he said. “Having a responsible, participating father is a very important part of getting that family unit up and running.”
Johnson encouraged those who agree to contact him at www.billjohnsonleads.com, by email, or on Facebook, to let him know what they think can be done to raise fathers and mothers that can be responsible leaders.
“No people have ever had a stronger spirit for doing good then the people of the United States of America,” said Johnson in his remarks. “We can do this. We can lift this nation; together. I know we can lift this nation.”
Johnson also spoke about Congressional acts he and others have proposed with regard to the Senate’s lack of passing a budget. He stated that the legislation — such as the ‘No Budget, No Pay Act’ — would stop pay for senators if a budget was not passed by the April 15 deadline. Johnson stated that the Democrats in the Senate had not passed a budget since 2009.
“When you think about the Democrats, particularly in the Senate, a whole lot gets said, but not a whole lot gets done,” he said.
Meigs County Republican Party Chairperson Sandy Iannarelli introduced state and local office holders in attendance at the dinner, along with Johnson.
Door prizes were give to some of those in attendance during the officer holder gift giveaway.
Prior to the dinner, Tammy Matson sang God Bless America, and Bill Spaun lead the Pledge of Allegiance.