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General John Ashcroft talks Relationships, Public Service and God’s “Greatest Gift” to Man

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft discussed his experience as a leader in government and

politics with Regent University freshmen honors students on Tuesday, September 26.

Students asked him questions about his experience in his positions as U.S. Attorney General, U.S.

Senator and as auditor, attorney general, and governor for the state of Missouri.

Ashcroft discussed why it is vital for Regent to continue to focus on faith and reason as part of its

educational framework. He also emphasized the value of Godly relationships with one another.

“God honors people who are in relationships that honor Him,” said Ashcroft.

He cited the words of Christ in Matthew 18:20, which read, “For where two or three are gathered

together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

“That’s a picture of Regent University — people in relationship discussing life in the context of Godly

values,” said Ashcroft.

He also challenged the students to consider their careers carefully, including politics and government.

“You all have something to contribute … You can each make a big difference,” he said.

And when an honor student asked the General about his faith and his career, the General responded in

the following way:

“Faith is not something to be imposed. It doesn’t come by imposition, it comes by inspiration,” said

Ashcroft. “It’s against my religion to impose my religion … I think it’s the height of arrogance to say to

people, ‘I’m going to make you be a Christian.’”

“We are Christian by inspiration and choice,” he added.

As he concluded his remarks, he emphasized to the students that consequence is something to be


“The greatest gift God ever gives us is consequence,” said Ashcroft. “The absence of consequence is not

the definition of freedom. The absence of consequence is the definition of meaninglessness.”

“You have no meaning if you have no consequence and I believe God has called you to have meaning,”

he said. “You make a difference because of the decisions you make. That is why it’s so important you do

that in the context of a discussion of and a respect for the values of the Creator and His son Jesus.”