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FUS Alumnus Congressman Jeff Fortenberry Addresses the Importance of Family

The talk was the first in the new Distinguished Speakers Series

Posted: Friday, July 10, 2009

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Hon. Jeff Fortenberry

STEUBENVILLE, OH - Families, churches, and local civic groups are best equipped to fix what ails a broken society, not the federal government. That assessment summarizes the inaugural lecture given by U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry, R-Nebraska, in Franciscan University’s Distinguished Speakers Series this summer in Washington D.C.

“It’s the culture that is broken,” said Fortenberry in his talk, “American Public Life and Culture,” to over 150 Franciscan alumni and invited guests. He cited divorce, abortion, and the fallout from a society “fixated on materialistic, individualistic pursuits” with causing “many of the problems that get dumped on our steps [U.S. Capitol] with demands for more programs to fix more broken people.”

Fortenberry, who received his master’s in theology from Franciscan in 1996, held up the eternal truths he learned while pursuing his classes to fix what ails society.

“We need a return to the ideals that bind the human heart and elevate the spirit—beauty, truth, goodness, justice, and love... The strength of the nation depends on the strength of families, which provides structure, rules, nurturing, respect, love, and expectation.”

As for how to win the culture wars, Fortenberry recommended engagement. “If you don’t like the way a judge rules, then go to law school and become the judge. If you don’t like the way the media report, then become a reporter. If you don’t like the greed on Wall Street, own a business.”

The Distinguished Speaker Series features leaders who have distinguished themselves in service to Church and society. Future presentations will be held at Franciscan University and locations across the country.

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