Pastor's Corner

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Good Men and Women and Washington D.C.

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There is a man some of you are not old enough to know, and others who are old enough to know the name of, but are not aware of all that he was. When Ronald Reagan entered office, he asked a group of Evangelical leaders if there was anyone with intelligence and integrity they could recommend for public office, Dr. Koop was the first name anyone could think of.

Charles Everett Koop (October 14, 1916 – February 25, 2013) was an American pediatric surgeon and public health administrator. He was a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and served as the 13th Surgeon General of the United States under President Ronald Reagan from 1982 to 1989. According to the Associated Press, "Koop was the only surgeon general to become a household name." Koop was known for his work to prevent tobacco use, AIDS, and abortion, and for his support of the rights of disabled children. – Wikipedia

But this short biography does not do justice to the career and struggles of Dr. Koop while working in Washington DC. Nor does this short introduction tell you about what a good man he was, and that he was a committed Christian.

Dr. Charles Everett Koop had a tremendous career as a pediatric surgeon, saving lives, and making a huge difference in the world of pediatric medicine. It was toward the end of his career that he was contacted by President Ronald Reagan and asked if he would serve as the Surgeon General of the United States. From the day he was invited to consider the office, something that was supposed to be unknown to anyone outside of the office of the president, Dr. Koop began receiving death threats and was warned to not come to Washington. It did not take long for the news to get out and the liberal media began a smear campaign against Koop that has rarely been matched – except for what we are seeing now against Dr. Carson. And this is what has brought Koop to mind.

Like Dr. Benjamin Carson, Koop was a good man who already had a long career doing good for humanity, and had no need to go into public office. But he did because he believed he could make a difference. And make a difference Dr. Koop did. The policy changes he brought to U.S. health will continue to endure – especially the war he took on against big tobacco companies.

Dr. C. Everett Koop is proof that a good man can accomplish good in public office if he labors to maintain his integrity, and refuses to engage in what has become “normal” politics. Koop left office respected as a man with integrity – even the worst of liberal media admitted this as he was leaving office. As I have said before, I do not place my hope in American politics – I place my hope in Christ alone. But in this life, in our nation, I also believe that a good man can make a real difference if he is given a chance to do so. 

 

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