When I wrote the challenge to the graduating seniors of the Eastern High School class of 2013, I never had any idea that The Today Show, MSNBC, MSN, Yahoo, the Daily Caller, the Huffington Post, and ABC News would care what I said. As it turns out, after perusing their coverage of my speech, I’m pretty convinced I was right – they didn’t care what I said. They did care to sensationalize and distort my words for the sake of creating controversy, and thus getting attention. What high journalistic integrity.
After all, it’s kind of amazing when you explicitly state to the females, "If you choose to have a career, God's blessings upon you" that the headline could be written: "Teacher tells girls don't work, stay at home." Good grief.
So, for the sake of providing full context that our illustrious media is not providing to anyone, here is the transcript of the relevant portion of the speech.
Ladies, I challenge you to a life of rebellion. To recognize that your body is a temple that is deserving of honor, not indiscretion. I challenge you to be women of virtue, finding beauty not in how many unprincipled men you can attract, but rather finding beauty in modesty and self-respect. I challenge you to devote yourself to family, to your children.
If you choose to have a career, God’s blessings upon you, but I challenge you to recognize what the world scoffs at…that your greatest role of your life will be that of wife and mother. That the greatest impact you will ever contribute to our world is a loving and devoted investment into the lives of your precious children. To solve the problems plaguing our society, we don’t need more women as CEOs, we need more women as invested mothers.
Men, I challenge you to a life of rebellion. To recognize that manliness is not defined by who bench presses the most, or who scores with the most women. I challenge you to recognize that the measure of a man is found in his character – his honesty, how well he can control his urges, his temptations, his desires...setting them aside for the good of others. I challenge you to find a woman to love, to commit yourself to her and her alone for the rest of your life.
I challenge you to be man enough that when a provocatively dressed woman comes on the television, turn the channel. Send the message to your wife that she alone captivates you and she is in competition with no one. You want to be a rebel – that’s a rebel. I challenge you to lead your homes in the pathway of righteousness. Provide moral clarity for your children and unyielding hard work for your wife.
So many times I’ve heard others compliment my wife for supporting my ministry, supporting what I do. They have it backwards. I work to support her ministry, what she does in raising our children. And it’s an honor to do so. To solve the problems plaguing our society, we don’t need more men as millionaire entrepreneurs, we need more men acting as fierce defenders of their wives and providers for their children.
Please note the instruction to men that we don't need more men entrepreneurs. Oddly, this was not made the headline. What was fairly self-evident to the open minded members of the audience, apparently eluded our always responsible national media. That, sure we need CEOs and entrepreneurs, but "to solve the problems of our society," we need both men and women to remember their most lasting legacy is what they leave with their children.
I doubt that Meg Whitman would look at her children and tell them that what she's done at work is more significant and important to her than what she did raising and caring for them. That's my point. Home is most important for all of us.
As Micah Clark at the AFA-IN, to date the only news agency I am aware of that has bothered to report this story accurately, stated:
True or False: "You can never invest too much time in your children, but you can spend too much time in the office." If that statement is true, (and it is) what does that reveal . . . other than Peter was right? Besides, all he really said was that the pursuit of career must not crowd out, or overrule, your primary and most important role as a mom or a dad.
Those are comments, those are sentiments that I stand fully behind. God help our culture if others do not.