What follows is a condensed excerpt from a fascinating interview I held recently with Becca Keating, an author and Christian political activist from California.
Tell us about your experiences taking Jesus into the Public Square. Where did that begin?
Tell us about your experiences taking Jesus into the Public Square. Where did that begin? I would say it began after living under Sharia law while living in Saudi Arabia. I was married to a professor at the University of Arizona who taught international students. So after returning from a year in the Middle East, I was immensely thankful for religious freedom and every other kind of freedom for women. (By the way, when women in the U.S. start complaining, I would gladly invite them to move to the Middle East. I believe they would become thankful to be American.)
While in Saudi Arabia, I started home-schooling my children and continued after our return to the States. It was then I became aware of laws that were beginning to challenge the rights of parents to teach their children and even discipline their children, just to mention a few. So I started to get involved politically at that point.
I ran for what was called Precinct Committee Person. After collecting signatures on my petition to run for this office, my name was placed on the ballot at the next election. Winning that election gave many opportunities to attend political meetings locally and at our capital in Phoenix. Also at that time, I had the opportunity to speak in the high schools in Tucson for the Crisis Pregnancy Centers supporting life.
I later moved to California when my daughters were nearly finished with college and grad school. At that point, I got involved with the Republican Women which helped me to see more of the policy making process. I helped at the headquarters and began going to a lot of the Central Committee meetings to stay abreast of what was going on in our area and state. At one point I even ran a Congressional campaign for a man, a Gold Star Father, who was running against the incumbent who didn’t seem to be addressing the issues of local constituents.
After that, I was invited back to Arizona to consult a congressional campaign late in the election cycle. At that point, one of the first things to find out is the ratio between registered voters (Rep./Dem.). As it turned out it was 2 Dem. to 1 Rep. which was fatal. The woman running on the Rep. ticket was Hispanic, a legal citizen from Mexico, and beautiful. She was the best candidate ever. My counsel for her was that she must attract the Hispanic/Democrat vote by being pro-family, pro-jobs, pro-life–all of which she was already. But she did not spend adequate time early on registering Republican voters. Those who could have contributed financially to her race chose not to because they knew she would lose. And sadly, she ended up losing.
And now you are writing books. Tell me about this series, titled Impact Your World, particularly the forthcoming book, soon to release.
The Lord laid it on my heart to start writing books. At first, I thought, “You’re kidding me. I don’t know how to write a book.” But, I just started that process, and within six months, my first book was published. Since then I have written 3 more books emphasizing the importance of each person, and the impact one has in their family, their state, their country. My most recent book: Impact Your World: Powerful Communication and the Value of Free Speech is a call to Christian conservatives to practice dialogue. The left has a tendency to shut down any discussion to resolve issues and policies which would benefit our country. It is up to conservatives/Christians to open the dialogue–to not only be good listeners but to communicate effectively.
The book goes into a variety of communication skills with a Biblical emphasis. It also exposes the Free Speech “evolution” from the signing of the Constitutional to our present day dilemma. This book develops the original intent of the Constitution and compares it to today’s, “I need my safe space. You offended me. I’m taking you to court” culture. It’s just out of control. So, we’ve got to wake up. We’ve got to engage. We can’t back down, and we can’t be quiet. We must be salt and light in this dark world.
All of my books are packed full of Scripture. The one on the Constitution has a lot of quotes from our founding fathers–who were amazingly Biblically based. On that note, I attended a Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in Valencia, California where the speaker was Missourian William Federer who talked on U.S. History–and especially on the religious history of our nation. I helped at his book table after the event. We began chatting back and forth, and I told him how I had just written a book on the Constitution.
Bill got the drift that I was in a ministry that was atypical–bridging the gap between the church and the political arena. He told David Lane and the folks at the American Renewal Project to send me an invitation to their next event in Southern California. I wound up attending one in Riverside where Rafael Cruz, Dennis Prager, and Rob McCoy were some of the speakers–a really great event. Even though there are a lot of strong churches here in California, as Rob McCoy talked about, there’s a disconnect between those who profess to be Christian and those we send to Sacramento to represent our values. Why are there all of these radical Democrats up in Sacramento including the Governor?
When speaking on the subjects of my books, my response is to encourage involvement and engagement in our policy-making and representation. California was once “Reagan Red”. With a renewed conservative commitment, we can turn this state back to Reagan red. Being strategic is key.
I’ve been talking to the head of the central committee here in Orange County, who has a committee for registering voters, and I said to him, “Do you know where a lot of people hang out who are pro-life, pro-family, hard working, and business oriented?
He asked, “Where?”
I said, “At the churches. I would like to challenge your committee to reach out to the churches to have at least one time a month to register voters. You don’t have to tell them ‘Register Republican.’ You can just lay out the party platforms.” The more registered voters we have, the better chance we have of electing God-fearing people to political office.