Trey Gowdy & Tim Scott – Liberty University Convocation
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Trey Gowdy & Tim Scott – Liberty University Convocation

November 19, 2019


>>TREY GOWDY: Good morning. I want to say how good it is to be back at
Liberty. It’s especially good to be with my favorite
person in all of elected office, which is Tim Scott. And we’re here because our former colleague
and present friend, Rob Hurt, who came in the freshmen class with us in 2010, said we’re
going to celebrate the constitution and celebrate the law this week at Liberty.  Will you come speak?  So, last night we spoke on the constitution,
and the law,  and that’s what I wanted to share with you
this morning. If you’re going to celebrate the law, I think
it’s appropriate to say, okay, what aspects of the law are worthy of celebration? What is it about the law that made John Adams
saying we’re a nation of laws and not of men?  What is it about this thing we call law that
is simultaneously more consequential than an individual? But yet, individuals are willing to sacrifice
their careers, their lives for the making of it, the execution of it, and the defending
of it. Despite the challenges, which I do not minimize
in our culture— despite the challenges, and the conflict,
and this sense of angst and uncertainty that is pervasive in our culture—we remain in
large measure a nation of laws. And that is because, in my judgement, the
law is the most unifying and equalizing force that we have in our culture. The law is what makes the richest person in
this country drive the same speed limit as the poorest person in this country.  The law is what enables the most disenfranchised
among us to have his or her day in court against the largest corporation we have. Our law is so unique, an individual citizen
can challenge the United States of America in court and win.  The law is our best effort at incenting good
and punishing bad. It is our collective effort at monitoring
the nature of mankind. And whether or not you think mankind is not
so good like I do, or whether you think mankind is really good like Tim does,
the law blends together those two views. And it codifies it.  The law is simultaneously a shield and a sword.  You may need it today to protect you against
someone else or something else. And tomorrow you may need it to gain access
to a right that you have. As majestic as the law is, it is not self-sustaining. It must be cherished. It must be amended and improved, 
but above all else, the law must be followed. It takes no courage to follow a law that you
agree with, none. What takes courage is to follow a law that
you do not agree with, and then work to change it, or amend it. Or if you feel that passionately about, and
our history is littered with instances of people who felt passionately about a law being
unjust, that they wouldn’t. They would not obey it. But what did they accept?  They accepted the consequences of their disobeying
the law.  The law has the power to bind together 300
million people from diverse backgrounds with diverse beliefs. But the law is also fragile, and if you’re
a group that advocates for the noncompliance of the law today, 
there will come a day, perhaps tomorrow, where you will cry out for the enforcement of a
separate law.  But the nature of the law is such that once
it is weakened, it is weakened forever.  So, the law is powerful. The law is majestic. The law is unifying.  The law is equalizing. It is worthy of our celebration. It is worthy of being faithfully executed. It is worthy of being followed. But the law alone cannot give you the society,
the culture, the community that you want to live in.  The law can provide us with order, but it
cannot give us peace.  The law can prevent us from discriminating
against others. The law cannot compel you to love others. The law can prevent me from striking someone. The law cannot compel me to help or comfort
someone. I am with my favorite person in politics today
in Tim Scott. He is more than a friend. He is more than a colleague. The law put us in the freshmen class of Congress
together; it was something else that made us friends. The law allows us now to eat at the same restaurant. It is something else that makes us want to
do that. the law now allows us to attend the same schools;
It is something else that makes us sign up together to teach a class at a college in
South Carolina. The law is powerful. The law is majestic. The law is lonely. It is lonely. It has to intersect with humanity for you
to have the community that you want to live in. And when I say the law has to intersect with
humanity, I want you to watch for it. I want you to watch for the judge, that even
when passing judgement offers a word of encouragement to both the victim and the perpetrator.  I want you to look for a drug court where
you are held to give an account for your actions, but we are going to help you break the cycle
of addiction. I want you to look for that victim of a crime
that forgives the perpetrator and says each one of us needs a second chance. For you to live in the community that we all
aspire to, the law has to intersect with humanity. And once you’ve seen it, you’ll recognize
it. I saw it when I was a prosecutor in South
Carolina. I saw it when a Sheriff’s deputy named Kevin
Carper responded to a domestic violence call.  Some people call those routine domestic violence
calls. There is nothing routine about responding
to a domestic violence call. But when Kevin Carper arrived on the scene,
William Seich had a handgun pointed at his wife, Judy Seich, in the front yard of their
house. And William Seich is on the front porch of
a mobile home, and his wife is hiding behind a tree trying to protect her life. And Kevin Carper—this Sheriff’s deputy who
is not a detective. He is not a major. He’s not a lieutenant.  He’s just your average everyday police officer
like you see all across whatever town you’re from. So, Kevin shows up, and you have a man on
the front porch pointing a gun at his wife. And in a split-second, you have to decide,
is the gun real? Is it loaded? Is he going to pull the trigger?  Is there something behind the wall of this
mobile home? William Seich is alternating between pointing
the gun at his wife Judy and finally he points the gun at his wife and pulls the trigger. And Kevin Carper returns fire, which he is
legally entitled to do.  And he strikes William Seich, and as he’s
going up to the front porch to handcuff him, he hears the cries of children. Behind the wall of that mobile home were two
girls, one of whom was struck by one of Kevin Carper’s bullets.  Judy Seich was killed. The little girl was terribly injured, but
she survived. And I met Kevin as we were preparing for trial. And I had to prepare him for what would be
a grueling cross-examination where the defense attorney second guesses every single decision
that the police officer made, even though he had a split second at which to make it. So, as I’m going through with Kevin the legality
of what he did, I see tears streaming down his face. This is a big, broad-shouldered police officer
in full uniform with his firearm at his side, and he has tears streaming down his face. And I said, Kevin, what you did was the only
thing you could have done.  You may have saved other lives because you
fired your weapon.  He said, “I know Mr. Gowdy, but I shot that
little girl.” I know Mr. Gowdy, but I shot that little girl.” We got to trial, and the Kevin Carper that
I saw in my office is the one that the jury saw.  This beautiful intersection of the right to
do something with understanding the consequences of your right to do something hurt someone. That intersection of the law and humanity
was on full display for our fellow citizens in that jury trial.  And this big, broad-shouldered Sheriff’s deputy
in full uniform breaks down in front of the jury, 
because that legal act that resulted in harm to an innocent person. And the jury came back with a guilty verdict
for William Seich, and I made a note to myself;  you’ve got to find Kevin Carper. As an old cynical prosecutor whose lost faith
in humanity, you’ve got to go thank this police officer for showing the compassion and the
humanity and not being afraid to weep over the consequences of his legal decision. You’ve got to go tell him, Trey. Don’t think it;
go tell him. But in South Carolina, the sentencing takes
place right after the verdict. So, I had paperwork to fill out, and I had
to talk to Judy Seich’s family members and prepare them for the sentencing hearing. I had to get ready to speak in front of the
judge and advocate for the maximum sentence. So, Kevin slipped out, but I knew I’d see
him again. I knew I’d see him again, and I knew I’d be
able to tell him you did such a beautiful job of combining compassion and the law.  I knew I’d see him again. A sheriff’s deputy like Kevin Carper that’s
that good, I was bound to see him again as a district
attorney somewhere down the road. And when I saw him again, I would tell him
thank you. Thank you for proving, even to a cynic, that
people can grieve even over their lawful decision. And I’d tell him again when I saw him. The next time I saw him, he was laying on
the roadside shot to death by a man he was trying to stop for a traffic violation. And his fellow officers returned fire, and
they struck this man who had 30 prior arrests and convictions. And then, not ten feet from Kevin Carper’s
body, they performed CPR on the man that had just killed their partner. The finality of a law enforcement officer’s
death hits you the hardest at the end of the funeral where a dispatcher comes and says,
“Deputy Kevin Carper, this is dispatch.  Do you copy? Deputy Kevin Carper, this is dispatch. Do you copy?” And then, “Deputy Kevin Carper, this is dispatch. You are cleared to go home.” I love the word home. It’s a beautiful word. It conjures good memories for almost all of
us. John Adams was right, we’re a good country,
because we’re a nation of laws.  It is something else that makes us a good
people, and that is compassion, and humanity, and our faith.  And we need both now in this country more
than ever.  As Tim Scott comes up, he and I want to say
something to you all together.  We have been blessed in our seven years of
public service to have been influenced by people whose names many of you would know.>>TIM SCOTT: Like Marco Rubio.>>GOWDY: Marco Rubio, I think his name has
already come up once this morning, but yes, Marco Rubio. Senator James Lankford, who I believe has
a daughter in the senior class.  Kevin McCarthy who’s the majority leader in
the House of Representatives.>>SCOTT: Many others.>>GOWDY: There are a lot of names you would
recognize if we were to call them and say these people have been influences on our lives
in both a personal and a professional way.  But I want to tell you this. It’s important to both of us that we tell
you this. There are lots of names of people you’ve never
heard before in your life who have had just as much impact and influence on us. One of whom was sitting exactly where you
are sitting 15 years ago.  There aren’t three people who know her name.  So, I guess what we’re trying to say is you
can live a life based on your faith. You can be in the highest echelons of government,
and never change a single solitary thing about your core convictions and beliefs, and still
be a powerful influence— even on someone in the United States Senate. So, if you’re sitting out there today, and
you’re wondering, can I live a virtuous life? Can I do things the right way?  Can I be successful still doing it the way
I think is right?  There’s a young lady named Sheria Clark that
is living testament that the answer is yes.  >>SCOTT: Amen. How many of you all just love Trey Gowdy?  I tell you, I have seen some amazing things
in my life.  I’ve heard some amazing things in my life.  Last night, as a matter of fact, one of the
most amazing things I heard was that a Liberty University student, lovely little young lady,
named her fish “Gowdy” after Trey Gowdy. And this dude, turn around so everybody can
see your shirt. Or don’t turn around, and everybody can see
your shirt. Whatever works, brother. That’s what I’m talking about. I’m not worthy. I’m not worthy. I tell you what, Trey is my best friend in
Congress, and I will tell you that if you think of the
Scripture, Proverbs 27:17— “As iron sharpens iron, so one man does the
other.”  One of the reasons why I thank God almighty
that I came to Congress in 2010 was because I met Trey Gowdy. Trey Gowdy has been the man that has kept
me moving in the right direction. And Trey will tell you that’s hard work for
him. But I am so blessed that God, in His infinite
wisdom, knew that I needed some help before I knew how much help I needed. And He sent me Trey. And I’m blessed to have dinner with Trey every
night we’re in Congress. So that’s Monday night, Tuesday night, and
Wednesday night. Now, if you look at Trey, you’ll notice that
he is a slight fellow. He’s thin. Last night we went by Chick-fil-A.
He had two waffle fries. I had the grilled chicken. What’s up with that? I don’t understand! When I get to Heaven, that’s one of the questions
I’m going to ask God, because I don’t understand. Can a brother get an amen in the house? I know this is Liberty. You guys didn’t raise your hands very much
during the wonderful singing. Now, I grew up Baptist, but I graduated.  I graduated from a Baptist college, but I
like being able to move around a little bit. I like being able to raise my hand and say
“Thank You, Jesus!” I also like to hear a little amen in the house.  I see these folks here are from the deep South. Thank you very much. My northern brethren over there are quiet
as a church mouse. Trey talked a little bit about the importance
of the intersection of law and humanity. I want to talk about the most powerful above
all laws. Someone once asked Jesus—it’s recorded in
Matthew 22 around 34, 35—what’s the greatest commandment of them all?  And He was very clear with His answer.  He said in Matthew 22:37-39, “Love God with
all your heart, with all your soul, and all your mind.” And the second is like unto it, to love your
neighbor as yourself.  You see—thank you brother. I’m going to talk to you a little while right
now, okay? You see, the importance of loving our neighbors
as ourselves cannot be overestimated. Somebody get her a napkin, a Kleenex, or a
tissue.  That was the loudest “achoo” in the history
of Liberty University. Wow! I’m looking for a tissue, sweetheart. I can’t find one, but that was amazing. Oh, Lord! Nevertheless, we will move on. So, when you think about the foundation of
all that matters, we find ourselves in God’s amazing Word. And I want to share with you how the loving
your neighbor as yourself changed my life and my destiny. You see, has anyone had a bad day? Anyone had a bad year?  I’m here to talk to you all! Because as I was growing up as a kid, my parents,
at age 7, got divorced. And I remember sitting on the edge of a couch
in Michigan… My dad was in the Air Force. Go, Michigan!  May they lose if they ever play Clemson, amen. Okay! I was sitting on the edge of the couch, trying
to find the words to keep my family together.  I wanted my dad to be with us.  I wanted to grow up with my dad in the house,
and it just wasn’t to be. And from 7 until 14 years old, I started drifting.  How many of you know that all drifting leads
in the wrong direction?  And so, as a freshman in high school, I was
lost—so lost that I flunked out of high school as a freshman. I failed World Geography. I think I’m the first United States Senator
to ever fail civics. Lord, have mercy. Then I went to the US Senate.  I realized that a lot of those guys did not
do very well in government. You’ll get that. I also, I also failed Spanish and English. Now, when you fail Spanish and English, no
one calls you bilingual. They call you “bi-ignant”, because you can’t
speak any language! That’s where I found my unhappy self.  But I had two major blessings in my life. One was a powerful, strong mother who prayed
me through some very difficult times. I love my momma. I love my momma. She took me through. And then I met a mentor who was a Chick-fil-A
operator.  Anyone love Chick-fil-A? I met a Chick-fil-A operator, a guy named
John Moniz. John was an amazing guy, and he became my
mentor. And he started teaching me lessons I never
knew. He started teaching me that you can think
your way out of poverty. I thought the only way out of poverty for
a young kid in the inner city was either football or entertainment. He said, no;
you can think your way out of poverty. Not to suggest that those in poverty aren’t
thinking, but to suggest that the kid who almost flunked out of high school was not
thinking. He taught me some valuable lessons along the
way. One of the most important lessons John taught
me was if you do not like where you are, look in the mirror and take responsibility. So important! And my mother, at the same time, started teaching
me a new form of love. After I flunked out of high school as a freshman,
my mother introduced me to this new concept called a switch. Now, if you are unfamiliar with a switch,
a switch is a Southern apparatus of encouragement often times applied from your belt to your
ankle. And she loved me a lot! It worked out just fine! But the combination between the mentor and
my mother started to change my heart. And at the same time, God sent me an amazing
friend, a guy named Roger Young who was working with me at the movie theater at the time. And Roger started telling me about Jesus,
and he started reminding me of the power that is in the love of Jesus. And I would always ask Roger, why are you
so happy? And he’d say, because Jesus Christ is the
Lord of my life. And I would ask him, well, why else are you
happy?  Because there had to be more than just that. He said, no. It’s that simple.  So, over a three-year period of time, my friends
started talking to me. My mentor’s starting to guide me, and my mother
is praying and encouraging me through. And then something happened. At 38-year-old, John Moniz suddenly died,
38 years young. And I set my life’s mission statement—I
was 19-years-old—to positively impact the lives of a billion people with the message
of hope and opportunity.  Hoping by faith in Christ Jesus, and opportunity
being the financial lessons that John Moniz had taught me. And I started to change my direction, my trajectory. And as a freshman in college on a very small
football scholarship at Presbyterian college—go Blue Hose! There you go!  My sister, go, Blue Hose! Nevertheless, I was at an FCA meeting, fellowship
of Christian athletes.  There you go!  I was at an FCA meeting.  A guy named John Rickenbacker invited some
of us if we wanted to know our heavenly Father, come meet Jesus. And on September 22nd, today, 34 years ago
I finally was introduced to my Heavenly Father and started to understand and appreciate who
I am according to His Word. And that has been the most amazing journey
of all time. And I will tell you that without Jesus, everything
else doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. But with Jesus, we all know that all things
are possible.  You see, say again?>>CROWD: Amen, Amen!>>SCOTT: Get your sisters and brothers to
join you!  Amen, she says! I want to share one verse with you:
Ephesians 3 verse 20 and 21. I said one; 
I can’t count. I’m in Congress, right? That’s two verses. Ephesians 3:20 and 21, that God is able to
do exceedingly, abundantly above all that you ask or imagine. Let me ask you one parting question.  Do you know Jesus?  Do you start your day off in His presence?  Do you construct where you’re going based
on His word?  Because we’re living in a culture that will
challenge our faith, and if we are to live up to the opportunity
that God has given us to be born, and raised, and alive in this time, 
we’re going to have to be not only knowledgeable about the Word of God, but anchored in God’s
Word. If you would stand up and join me in a prayer,
I would appreciate that. How many of you believe that America and our
best days are still ahead of us?  How many really believe that God is not finished
with us yet? How many of you believe that God has you right
where He needs you to make America great again?  Well, let’s pray.  Let’s believe when we pray that the God of
the universe is hearing our prayers.  And as we pray in agreement, according to
Matthew 18, touching and agreeing, something magnificent is going to happen. Let’s pray. Dear heavenly Father, I thank You for this
amazing privilege to be in the presence of so many wonderful, amazing, talented, gifted
parts of Your body.  I thank You, God, that you have gifts and
abilities all over this auditorium imbedded in the hearts and the souls of these students. I pray, God, that the germination process
would start in their hearts, that they would sense Your presence. That as you create a root system for Your
Word, and for Your will, and for Your way, that they will have ears to hear, 
that they will be sensitive to the call that you have on their lives.  And that in response to Your goodness, and
Your mercy, and Your grace, that they will use their root system, and the fruit that
comes off of the branches in their lives, to bless other people—
that they will be living witnesses of the Gospel of Jesus Christ without having to utter
a simple word. That their lives will be so magnetic that
it will attract other people to know you, Lord. I pray that you would do the miraculous. I pray that You would heal and restore, that
You would protect and direct. And we thank You, and we thank You in the
powerful name of Jesus, the risen Savior. And we all said amen.>>NASSER: Thank you, Senator.

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