This past weekend Colorado welcomed some of the best-known champions of faith, family and freedom at the 13th annual Western Conservative Summit. The summit is hosted by Colorado Christian University and Centennial Institute – the conservative think tank at the University.
The purpose of the event is to educate and motivate grassroots conservatives on critical issues like “traditional family values, the sanctity of life, compassion for the poor, Biblical view of human nature, limited government, personal freedom, free markets, natural law, the original intent of Constitution, and Western civilization.”
The theme of this year’s summit was “Time to Saddle Up and Ride.”
Speakers at the event included: Matt Walsh, Kayleigh McEnany, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Honorable Betsy DeVos, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Cal Thomas, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, Kristan Hawkins, Benny Johnson, Isabel Brown, and many other conservative leaders.
Coach Kennedy, defending the right to pray by himself on the football field whose case is at the United States Supreme Court, opened the summit with a prayer from the main stage.
Sanctity of life, school choice, religious freedom, parental rights and protecting the innocence of children were some of the many topics addressed by speakers during the two-day event.
Matt Walsh spoke to attendees about the release of his documentary What is a Woman? He said the left is targeting him because he’s exposing their lies by asking simple questions.
He believes the left is deliberately and systematically coming after our children. “We live in a culture that has seemingly lost its mind. Kids are exploited, lied to and chemically altered in the name of gender ideology. It’s a sophisticated and coordinated indoctrination campaign against children.”
Despite the dire prognosis, Walsh thinks the path to winning the war of ideas is clear. “We can win the gender ideology battle because the left crumbles under questions. Force them to explain themselves. They are weak, scared, and vulnerable. Stand up straight and ask questions. If we do, we will win. And we must win.”
Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins called on the pro-life community to step up and get involved in helping women who face unplanned pregnancies. In a post-Roe world, Hawkins told the audience that we must live out our pro-life ethic in tangible ways, starting with supporting local pregnancy resource centers.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt also spoke on the significance of preserving the sanctity of life. Governor Stitt and the pro-life Oklahoma legislature made news this spring as they worked together to enact some of the most pro-life pieces of legislation in the country. In fact, Oklahoma is the only state in the nation that currently protects preborn human life from the moment of conception – even as Roe still stands.
Kayleigh McEnany, former White House Press Secretary for the Trump Administration, shared passionately about her faith journey in the White and her pro-life ethic. “It’s not a woman’s right to choose. It’s a baby’s right to live,” she told those in attendance.
Former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke enthusiastically about school choice and the importance of parent involvement in education. “School choice and education freedom work,” she said. “It’s what parents want, and it’s what students need.”
Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts also communicated a message of support for school choice and parental involvement when he called on politicians to “empower parents” and “enact universal school choice.”
Benny Johnson, a Christian, conservative digital meme creator for Turning Point USA, reiterated the significance of marriage, family and fatherhood. He shared advice he would give to his two young daughters on how to be happy. First, don’t be a liberal. Second, remember that God created you and wants you to have a joy-filled life. Third, become a woman of high value. Fourth, build a strong family because strong families make strong nations. Five, be responsible for your own life. And six, God made you for this moment in time – live bravely.
Sara Huckabee Sanders challenged the audience to stay engaged in the battle over ideas in the public square. “We each have a role to play in preserving this great republic. Help each other. We are at our best when we are in it together.”
Jeff Hunt, Co-Chair of the Western Conservative Summit, also urged civic engagement. “We can no longer wait for good conservative leaders to rise up and guide our nation. At Colorado Christian University, we are training the next generation of men and women of faith to lead with courage and conviction.”
And, of course, they’re both right. America is an exceptional country, but we must all remain on alert to preserve the freedoms we cherish for future generations.
To listen to these and other inspiring speeches from this year’s Western Conservative Summit, visit the Centennial Institute YouTube Channel.