HORSESHOE BAY, Texas (Christian Examiner) -- In order to return America to the religious principles on which the country was founded, Christians must unite "as a hedge against the forces of evil," Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared at a April 27 dinner with members of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Executive Board.
America is in a crisis at this time," he said, describing the challenges to religious liberty, traditional marriage and the sanctity of life. "Texas must help lead America down the right pathway," he insisted.
"From my very first year in office as attorney general back in 2003, I have been involved in ongoing legal fights defending marriage as a union between one man and one woman," Abbott said. He drew applause from the audience after stating, "I believe God's law cannot be undone by man's law."
Abbott said he used the occasion of his inauguration to the highest state office to assure the people of Texas, "As long as I am the governor of Texas we will remain one state and one nation under God."
He told the audience of Southern Baptists, "Our lives don't have to be defined by challenges but how we respond to challenges," alluding to the experience that put him in the wheelchair from which he spoke.
"After I graduated from law school and had moved to Houston I had charted a pathway toward success based upon manmade goals until I was humbled before God," Abbott shared. "One day while I was out jogging, a huge tree fell on my back, fracturing the vertebrae and my spinal cord, leaving me forever paralyzed, never able to walk again."
As long as I am the governor of Texas we will remain one state and one nation under God.
"There was more than my back that was broken. My life was broken," Abbott said. "For a man like myself who had grown up an athlete, I felt life was absolutely hopeless." He credited his faith in God and the support of his wife as the means of piecing his life back together.
"I committed myself to God, offering every single talent I may ever have to fulfill God's will here on earth," Abbott recalled.
"The only way we are going to return and restore America to her main mission from her beginning is to get this country back on the pathway of the religious principles upon which we were founded," he added, encouraging pastors to be involved in their communities.
"Together we will respond and keep America the freest, strongest, most God-fearing, God-believing nation in the history of the world."
--Tammi Reed Ledbetter is managing editor of the Southern Baptist Texan, the official newspaper of the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention. This article appearedonline and is used with permission.