0 Friday, October 14, 2011

President of Eagle Forum visits campus

by Kaylan Watkins

Oklahoma Christian University welcomes Phyllis Schlafly to campus this evening, to share with students, faculty, staff and community members.

Phyllis Schlafly is known for many things. Not only is she an author, but she is also an attorney licensed in three states and an expert on the U.S. Constitution.

Schlafly was named one of the 100 most important women of the 20th century by the Ladies’ Home Journal, has devoted her entire life to preserving the United States Constitution and is a published author of 20 books on a variety of subjects ranging from family to feminism.

“I think it’s pretty incredible, all of the things she’s done in her life,” Calee Freeman, sophomore, said. “I can’t even imagine balancing half of the career-related things she has accomplished, let alone successfully raising a family while doing so.”

Schlafly has made an impact on people across the U.S. and continues to do so. A monthly newsletter, the Phyllis Schlafly Report, has been in circulation since August of 1967. In addition, Schlafly issues three-minute radio commentaries, which run five days a week on over 100 stations, and hosts a radio talk show every Saturday.

“She is truly inspiring, not only to people in general, but for women who desire to make a difference,” Adrienne Bingham, sophomore at University of Central Oklahoma, said. “She demonstrates someone actively pursuing a passion they are zealous about and accomplishing great things while doing so.” 

According to Oklahoma Christian alumna Emmalee Mattern, who helped coordinate public relations for Schlafly’s visit, the purpose of this event is to raise funds for local students seeking to participate in a conference in Washington, D.C. 

“In the last three years, the OKEF [Oklahoma Eagle Forum] has funded six students from Oklahoma Christian to attend the summit, as well as students from other Oklahoma universities,” Mattern said. “This event was planned with hopes that it would raise funds to send college students to the annual Eagle Forum Collegians Summit in Washington, D.C.”

When Mattern was asked why she is involved with the Eagle Forum, she explained her desire to stay involved with the organization as long as she possibly could.

“The Eagle Forum is an organization founded on family, faith and freedom,” Mattern said. “These are the three most important things in my life. Those principles are not new beacons in this country; they’re what our country was founded on.”

Since the publication of her best-selling book, “A Choice Not an Echo” in 1964, Schlafly has been recognized as a national leader of the conservative movement. In 1972, she started a national volunteer organization, which later became known as the Eagle Forum.

“Mrs. Schlafly is an inspiration to anyone who believes in a cause and has the faith and spitfire determination to see it through,” Mattern said. “She is a strong Christian and an exceptional example on how we can get involved in politics and pursue what is right and true.”

Mike O’Neal, Oklahoma Christian president, made clear Schlafly’s visit is not intended to serve a political agenda. The purpose is to provide students with an opportunity to learn about history, constitutional principles and what it requires to protect them.

“I fear that the education of young people today has not been very good regarding the origins of, and what it takes to sustain, freedom and prosperity,” O’Neal said. “I am confident we will learn much from Mrs. Schlafly.”

Freeman shared her excitement to hear such a knowledgeable source will be speaking about important historical issues from a Christian worldview.

“I think it would be really neat to learn about everything she has accomplished in her life and how she makes a difference while still maintaining a Christian lifestyle,” Freeman said.

Other students indicate hearing how Schlafly has affected the world would serve as a positive influence on how they interact with the world around them.

“Listening to Schlafly would be really interesting because I usually take a step back when it comes to government and their involvement in our life because I don’t understand it,” Kelsey Grant, sophomore, said. “I used to complain, but if I knew more about it, I feel like I could do something about it.”

The Oklahoma Eagle Forum is sponsoring a dinner in the Gaylord Center. Because seating is limited, reservations are required for attendance. Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to sign up as soon as possible. 

For more information on Schlafly’s visit to campus, see the Facebook page for the event: “An Evening with Phyllis Schlafly.”

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