By Alaina Stellwagen
Concordia was given the honor to host Congressman Marlin Stutzman on Friday,
November 18. His visit was requested and made possible by Mr. Reinking for his Government classes, but the convention was made available to all Concordia students and staff.
Government teacher Mr. Reinking finagled his way through the political food chain in order to make it possible for Stutzman to speak at Concordia.
“I started with a phone call to the local political office, and they put me in touch with another person, who put me in contact with another person; I was aggressive in my determination for this to work. But it wasn’t difficult; you
could probably find the information right now online.”
Reinking tries to expand his students’ horizons by hosting several speakers a semester.
“It’s good for them to hear the information from someone with experience in the specific field. It gives my lessons more credibility, and gives the students a glimpse into government-related positions. Ultimately, I aim to get someone who had expertise on politics and government issues, so the kids can hear it from an expert. Yes, I’m the Government teacher and I know my stuff, but not to the extent that Mr. Stutzman does.”
Stutzman, a self-spoken Christian and Republican, held a Q-and-A discussion, where he gave students the opportunity to ask political and personal questions.
When asked what drew him to politics, Stutzman was more than ready to share an
answer which many Concordia students may be able to relate to.
When Stutzman was 18 years old, he decided to go on a mission trip to Russia lead by well-known Christian author Josh McDowell. His group was visiting a school when Stutzman was struck by the realization which prompted him to look into politics.
“The United States is a very unique place. Most of the world doesn’t have what we have. It opens your eyes to God’s world. So I highly encourage you to get
out there and see God’s amazing world.”
Congressman Stutzman started off as a local farm boy from Lagrange county. With hard work and dedication, he made his way into politics, where he has experienced much success.
However, he does acknowledge the negatives aspects of politics.
“It’s not easy to put yourself out there and be ridiculed; it’s not a lot of fun. I definitely won’t miss the media in Washington. The media is so powerful because they have the microphone. It’s hard to break through the noise. Most of the time, the people who are talking don’t know, and the people who know aren’t talking. Don’t believe everything you read or hear via the media.”
Stutzman spoke on several philosophical and moral matters, which served as the basis for his participation as a Congressman.
“If you’re willing to stick to your principles, you can do Washington in a way that works for everyone. I’ve not found it to be hard. Sure, sometimes you are out there by yourself, but don’t apologize for your beliefs. Just do your homework and know your stuff about your beliefs.”
Concordia thanks Congressman Stutzman for his visit, and Mr. Reinking promises to keep the door open for future government employees to visit.
“This is a great opportunity, so it’s a big deal. I probably won’t be able to get the Congressman to come back to Concordia again in at least five years. But we’ll see who else we can convince to come here.”