Thursday, February 3, 2011

Summer Seminars at FEE

When I was 17 (1979) , I attended an academic camp that changed my view of life in a single week. It was hosted by The Heritage Foundation, Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), and The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE).

The following year, I voted for the first time and Ronald Reagan became president. Through YAF, an organization Reagan started, I attended a Rose Garden Tea with Reagan and Sadat. Sadat then returned to Egypt and was assassinated. Mubarak became the new Egyptian president. I then went to the University of Michigan and founded the YAF chapter for the university at the same time I felt the Holy Spirit calling me to our Father. One of my roommates, Leila, was a graduate student from Jordan who was friends with Queen Noor. Queen Noor would call our room to talk with Leila. So, I was aware of Arabic/American relations early on.

So this week, Mubarak of Egypt and Jordan are both back in the news, it is Reagan's 100th birthday, and I attended a lecture by Larry Reed of FEE concerning the whirlwind of change character and freedom inspire. These connections in my life remind me that all is for His good and His purpose.

So, why am I involved with the same organizations 30 years later? Am I being called to do something more with my passion for freedom? What is my response to the cries for Mubarak’s removal? I’m reminded of the Bible story which describes the demon being replaced by seven demons that are worse. If Mubarak leaves the palace today, which demon will step in? Democracy requires a process and a plan. I wonder why the protesters are not calling for immediate free elections? Someone will govern...How can we be sure it will be someone better?

I also attended a legislative event in NC because our new conservative legislature wants to help homeschoolers. They've introduced an odd law in committee that I can't wrap my head around yet as it is social engineering but in a way that definitively dismisses public education. So, while I like the message, I am not foolish enough to believe the underlying message, "We're the government and we're here to help."

I already know the harm of its unintended consequences as do the legislators, but they seem willing to risk it because it sends a powerful message about parental rights. The proposed law revolves around a tax credit; however it contains so many exceptions before leaving committee that it will not accomplish what the legislators intend. I'm praying for a way to offer an alternative that keeps these conservatives moving our way yet doesn't suck me into social engineering.

So whether it is the Middle East or educational tax credits, I can definitely point to a week in my life that empowered me to think about these topics, to be involved and to meet people that are truly free indeed. Do everything you can to get your teens to the FEE teen summit in Estes Park Colorado this summer. It's the same event that changed my life 30 years ago. The deadline is March 31, 2011. The application process is competitive, but the week is free if you can just get your child there.

Love, Leigh


Anonymous said...

Hi Leigh!
I'm intrigued by this summer FEE program! Thanks for sharing about it.
We have a year before my oldest son could apply to attend - do you have any recommendations for activities he could pursue to help him get accepted?
Debbie Burt

1 Smart Mama said...

Hi Debbie,

Just read anything you can from the FEE website and magazines, and the Challenge I Econ in a Box.

Good luck!