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Get ready. It's one of America's most important, influential and respected voices on cultural and political issues. An apologist, Christian political advocate and author, here is the founder and chairman of the Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes.
Welcome to the Christian perspective, where we look in God's Word in order to develop a Christian worldview and modern culture. I'm Chris Hughes and I have one of my dear, dear friends as a special guest today. I'm excited about this show but want to have him on for a long time. Our guest today is Andrew Green and Andrew is the National Youth Engagement Director for Citizens for America and the Executive Director and President of Students for America. This past year, Andrew just fell to God calling on his life to try to find a way to reach the next generation for Jesus and specifically targeting students on college campuses across the nation. And as COVID kind of pulled back for a while and college campuses began to reopen, Andrew started opening what we call chapters, which are really just like clubs, on college campuses around the world for his new organization called Students for America, where students can go meet with like-minded students on Christian campuses and start to develop a biblical worldview in order to change the culture for Jesus. Andrew, I'm so excited to have you with us today. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome Andrew Green. Thank you, my pleasure.
Andrew, it's exciting. So tell us a little bit about your background. You grew up, I believe, in the mountains of North Carolina. Tell us a little bit about you and then we'll start talking about Students for America.
Yeah, of course. Again, it's a pleasure to be on here and thank you for allowing me to come on. But I grew up, like you said, in the mountains of North Carolina, near Boone, North Carolina, Appalachian State University. I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere 30 minutes from the closest red light and I grew up very blessed. I had a large family, four brothers, and a praying mom and a preaching dad. My dad was a Baptist minister, still is, pastor of the same church, Broadway Baptist Church, for over 25 years now. And I've been very blessed with a good family. My older brother is now a pastor in Avery County as well. And so I grew up learning the values of hard work and the Christian work ethic.
And, you know, my dad instilled that in us through, you know, chores every day. And, you know, from there, you know, God really, you know, helped me by, you know, I didn't ever think I was going to go into politics. Nobody in my family ever went into politics. But, you know, it was a rally in Columbia, South Carolina, called a We Stand With God rally, where I heard them talking about how we need more Christian people to get involved in the political arena. And I heard the call and God started doing me then. I didn't really answer the call then.
But, you know, a few months later, in February the next year, I, you know, left my job. And, you know, God showed me an avenue to get in school and then get involved in the political world. And it's just been amazing ever since. And God's just truly blessed every step of the way.
So, I've been extremely blessed. Well, I know God's opened a lot of doors for you and it's so exciting to see someone, because you're a young man in your early 20s, but God has literally had given you the opportunity to be around some of the world's most powerful leaders. And I know, taking your story a little further, I know from as He opened doors and you moved to the D.C. area, that you really began to have a passion for reaching college students across the country. For folks who don't know, there are different organizations on college campuses. You know, there's organizations that support the life movement and some that support conservative and political movements like TPUSA. But I know you share with me, Andrew, there's not really a place where students who want to be involved in the public policy process, maybe even politics, that have a Christian worldview, that believe that abortion is wrong, that the traditional family value is what God intended for man and woman.
There's, even though there are places where they might be able to have a home with one or two of those issues, that you saw that there wasn't really a home for them. So, what prompted you to start Students for America and how did that get going? Yeah, so, you know, I started working on college campuses full-time in 2019, early 2019, and it was there through working through Leadership Institute. When I was working in the role of field representative, I was going to campuses and starting groups for, you know, different organizations, whether it was Turning Point or Young Americans for Freedom, Young Americans for Liberty, Students for Life, all those groups, I was working to start. And the thing that I noticed is, just as you said, there was no groups that really catered towards Christian conservatives. You know, there was groups that, you know, Christians could be a part of, but there was no groups specifically for them. And, you know, so it was through that time that I, you know, started noticing that there was a need and that I saw the youth movement becoming more and more, you know, libertarian and socially liberal on social policies. And so, you know, God started to burn within my heart because I saw all these students who felt like there wasn't really a group exactly for them. And they would join groups and then become discouraged by what they were involved in, the groups that didn't really represent what they believed, whether it was on abortion or, you know, on drug policy or different things, family values, as you mentioned.
And so when I saw that, God started to burn me in my heart to, you know, find a way to reach out to them. And, you know, one of the cool things is, you know, I was just talking to a guy last night, who's getting involved in one of our groups. And, you know, I was told that one of the students that came to our group meeting said, you know, this is such an interesting thing because I can go to, you know, a political group on campus that, you know, she's a part of. And she said, I can't talk about my faith. You know, I can talk about politics, but I can't talk about my faith.
And she's like, the opposite is true. I can go to, you know, a, you know, a Christian group on campus that's just Christian, not political in any way. And she's like, I can talk all I want about my faith, but I can't talk about my politics. And she was like, this group, for me, helps me bridge that gap to where I can, you know, talk about faith and talk about politics.
I know I have to live separate lives on that. And, you know, another thing is, you know, statistics are overwhelming, that the first semester of a young person's career on college campuses are the most influential, because the friends they make, the groups they get involved in, will, you know, statistically, you know, dictate their whole college career, all four years, and maybe even more than that, their friends, you know, where they go, who they hang out with. And so a lot of times we see students that are in church, that go to college campuses, that are conservatives that go to college campuses, and then they get involved with friends who aren't, who are agnostic or atheist, or they are just very liberal, even socialist, and these students start to sway. And then the next thing you know, they're never in church again, or they're never involved in the political sphere. And so, you know, that's what we're hoping to provide is a group to where we can connect students to get them a friend group to make sure that they're staying connected to their church, their community, and involved in the political sphere. That is so important, Andrew, you know, there are just so many statistics out there from multiple groups, that young people who grow up in the church, many, many of them, a huge percentage are leaving the Christian faith, or at least, you know, they don't, they go away to college.
And like you said, they, they start hanging around other people. And there's such a pressure on college students today to turn their back on God, and many of them are. And I believe that part of the reason is there's not been, like you said, a place for them on college campuses. But I want to back up, you were talking about students who could go to one group and not talk about politics or another group and not be able to go to a political meeting and not be able to talk about their faith. Do you think it's important for Christians to be involved in the public policy arena and politics? And if so, why?
Oh, yes, I think it's needed. And I think it's our duty as Christians to do that. You know, the Bible talks about where the salt and light of the the earth and one of the things that salt is, is preserving, and how are we going to preserve what God has given us in this country, if we don't stand up for it, you know, to me, Christians have taken this mentality because the left is constantly preaching a separation of church and state, even though it's not in the Constitution, and it's not in the Bible. They hear that, and they think, oh, you know, I got to keep, you know, my politics and my personal life separately. Well, you know, if you're going to be moral in your governing, if you're going to be moral in your political stance, which you should be, and you have theological views, those theological views have to play out in that. So to separate them, you're separating yourself from your morals, if you're a Christian, you know, so, you know, you have to be able to engage things in the Christian perspective.
And I see too many people that are afraid of doing that. But, you know, it's our country, you know, one of the things that, you know, when I first started getting involved in politics, I saw myself becoming more libertarian. And, you know, I think it was a natural process to become that, because it was just something that I felt different. But I started reading, you know, guys like Burke, and started, you know, studying, you know, conservative thinkers. And one of the things that I noticed in Burke's writings was he constantly, you know, talked about how that he was always thinking about the next generation. And he talked about the the principles of, you know, the Irish people where he's from, and they were always focused on passing on something to the next generation. And we as Christians need to think about, you know, what do we want to be passed on to the next generation? What do we want our kids to grow up in? And I think that we have to do that in governing and in our political sphere, and, you know, be active in that.
Amen. I agree so much with you there, Andrew. You mentioned separation of church and state, and I get so tired of hearing. It's not just the liberals that say that. It's Christians, too, and it's people don't understand what is and is not the Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say separation of church and state. It came from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist, and he wasn't talking about Christians not being involved in politics or in government. He was talking about the state should never mandate a religion on the citizens of that state and of that government. And that has been twisted today, and students don't study history, and so they just say, well, we shouldn't be involved, but we should be involved. You know, we've had approximately 65 million babies since the 1970s brutally murdered through abortion.
And Andrew, I know you agree with me. God is not going to bless a nation that is murdering innocent babies. And really, the only way left to stop that is through the public policy arena, and we have got to engage and elect godly men and women to office. And that's why I'm so glad that you've started your organization, Students for America, in order to reach that generation. I've got a lot more questions for you, but go ahead and share your website if you don't mind for Students for America. This show is brought to you by Generous Joe's, the coffee company with the Christian perspective. This is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for, a coffee company that gives back to causes you care about. Order your coffee today at shopgenerousjoes.org, and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about.
Yes. So, you know, if anyone wants more information, they can check us out at www.studentsforamerica.org. We also have an Instagram up, and you can look us up on Instagram at students4, the number four in America. And then on Facebook, you can look us up at Students for America as well. But we'd love to, if any of your listeners want to go to our website, you know, you can find out more about us and, you know, click a link to get us your contact information. We could use, you know, donors, we could use people that, you know, students that are, you know, hear about this and want chapters. So anyone that, you know, would like to be involved in any way, we'd love for you to go on there. So they can sign up to get like on your email list, or if they want to find out where a chapter is near them, they can do that on at Students for America. Is it.org, you said, or.com? It's.org, and they can, yeah.
Okay, great. So, you know, I, you know that I have two students in college, and just the stories of what I hear on campuses are crazy today. Can you share some of the stories?
They call it the cancel culture. And I know that on a lot of campuses, if a Christian student speaks up, just people kind of swarm on them and try to get them to back down. Have you seen any crazy stories as you travel across the country and speak on college campuses?
Yes, I've seen plenty, I could spend forever talking about the ones that I've seen just myself. But, you know, one of the ones that comes to mind is a young lady that was going to a private university in North Carolina. She was a volleyball player, and, you know, really good, a volleyball player for this university.
And in the height of the BLM riots and everything, she had made a Facebook post saying that she supported her president. And the athletic director basically, you know, tried to pressure her into taking it down. Students kept harassing her when she was walking to and from her classes in the cafeteria. And, you know, it was a constant thing where she was having to be, you know, in fear for, you know, being yelled at, being screamed at, and even physically threatened.
And it got to the point she had reported the athletic director, and she got so tired of it that she ended up leaving and quitting the volleyball team, transferring universities, and found out that the athletic director hadn't even done his duty and passed on the information to, you know, any of the other departments to let them know of the possible security threats and, you know, physical danger that she was in. And, you know, it's stories like that. It's stories, you know, that I've seen students get, you know, screamed at, you know, a table on campus quite a bit, and I've had a lot of things said to me. But, you know, it's amazing what the left gets by with on campus, because they have a culture that's built to, you know, support them. And so, you know, stories like that are very commonplace, and I see them all the time.
And it's sad. I have, you know, friends that work out in the west western part of the United States, and it's especially bad out there, places like Portland and in California. And we've had students that have literally had students try to run over them with their cars, and they think of the prosecutor, and the prosecutor refuses to, you know, bring it up because they work for, you know, this liberal city, Portland, and won't, you know, take it up at all. And so it's a sad state that a lot of our campuses are in, but that's why it's so much more important that we're fighting and standing up for, you know, our students on campus through groups like Students for America. Well, you mentioned tabling, and for those of you listening that don't know, that's a common practice on college campuses where you have a day where maybe people want to learn, students want to learn about clubs, so clubs will have tables, and it's called tabling, and you just promote what your clubs do and try to sign up new members.
And I know that's a big part of how you recruit at Students for America, Andrew. Before I was going to bed last night, late last night, and I think it was in California, but I saw a little news clip that some college campus was tabling yesterday, and this girl, young woman came by and threw their table over and started screaming profanity and vulgar language at them and just tore up papers that they had had that they were handing out, that kind of thing. I know many times tabling can be a place where there is confrontation. Have you seen any of that on campuses?
Oh yes, many times. You know, the thing is, a lot of these students believe just by our ideas being present, it's a threat physically to them, and that any idea that goes against what their belief is of society, that that somehow is the same as a physical threat of violence against them, and so they're willing to do anything when they're confronted with people's different views and different opinions. And so I've had people come up to the table, try to flip the table.
I've had people take all their stuff and go throw it away in the trash can beside where we're tabling, scream at us. One time we were at North Carolina State University and we had members of Antifa that came down and spray painted one of the young men involved, they spray painted him in the eye. And many different things like that have happened through the two and a half years that I've been on college campuses across this country, and so it is commonplace. But thankfully, it really encourages me that there are students who are willing to go out every day with that threat out there and still voice their opinions and be active, and that's what's really encouraging to me. In all of that, there's still students out there who believe so much in it that they're willing to go through all that and still keep going. Yeah, it just amazes me that the liberal and they call themselves progressives now claim to be so tolerant.
They're tolerant of anything except Jesus Christ. And if you have an organization like Students for America that is boldly proclaiming Jesus on campus, then they're going to go after you and attack you. So parents, if you're listening or even college students across the nation, I want to encourage you to go and look up Students for America on Facebook, on Instagram, and especially on their website, and sign up to get more information.
There is nothing like this on any college campus across the country. Again, there are other organizations that might be strictly libertarian or strictly political or might just deal with one issue like life, which is all important, but there's no other home where your college student can go if they want to be politically and public policy engaged, also with a faith in Jesus Christ and the meetings they hold are faith-based. They're learning how to develop a biblical worldview and to carry that to the next generation at studentsforamerica.com. You can check them out.
So Andrew, we've got a few more minutes. If I'm a student on a campus, and I know I can go to your website, but if I want to start a chapter, say I want to be a leader, what process is involved for me to start a chapter on my campus? So, you know, they can either go to our website like you said and go through that avenue, or they can email me at agreen, A-G-R-E-E-N-E, at studentsforamerica.org.
They can do that, and we can try to get them connected. And, you know, we've got people working with partner organizations and through, you know, people that are volunteering of their time with us that can help them, you know, guide them through the process of getting a chapter on their campus. There's many different tools that we can help them with, but they can reach out to us through any of those ways, and we'd be happy to help them out in getting a chapter on their college campus. We've got them now in the Carolinas and in Virginia and soon to be Florida and Texas and looking to expand across the country. And any student, no matter where you are, please reach out to us.
You know, we'd love to just talk to you. So students, if you're listening or parents and you tell your students about this, they've just started, this is a new organization, just started the fall semester of this year to open chapters, which is another word for a club on campuses across the nation. So even if there's not one on your campus right now, we can help get one started. I know Andrew or some of his field routes will come to your campus and help you through the process.
You will not be left alone. I know for sure, because I've seen them in action, that they are very hands-on. They're committed to making sure that you're successful as you start your campus. They teach you how to table and to recruit new students. They teach you how to have your meetings on a regular basis and what should be done in a meeting.
And I know that they're also gearing up. They participate not only with Citizens for America, but Faith and Freedom Coalition and other organizations and have opportunities for students to go to really big conferences and learn a lot, not only about Jesus Christ, but about the political involvement as well. So Andrew, we're gonna have to wrap it up. If you want to take a minute and share what your plans are and what you'd like people to know more about Students for America. Yeah, well thank you again for allowing me to come on.
It's been an absolute pleasure and I appreciate the influence you've been on my life. But I'd love to say we're focusing on getting this chapter started up. We've got them forming at several different college campuses right now and just had different group meetings last night with some of the chapters.
So we're in that process. We're in the process of fundraising as well, so if any of your listeners pray about it, we'd love to have people who are invested in the cause and want to make a difference. And we're getting ready to hopefully do a speaker tour in Texas in the upcoming months.
So there's a lot going on. We're really excited. We're also reaching out to campus ministries across particularly the Carolinas. We're going to be looking to do this in every state, but to partner with them on getting students involved from our clubs, involved with churches, as well.
Because we believe again that it's pertinent and every student that can should be involved with church, whether they're political or not. And so we're trying to partner with them. So we're in that process. There's a lot going on, but if you'd like to help us out, we'd be honored. And again, thank you for allowing me to come on. It's been a pleasure.
Well, Andrew, thank you so much for being with us. Folks, remember, go to studentsforamerica.org. Studentsforamerica.org. Even if you're an adult signed up to get information, let your college students, your children, your grandchildren know about this great organization where they can go and develop friendships with other Christians on campus and help to educate themselves in order to have a biblical worldview to change the culture for Jesus. Folks, thanks for joining me today. I'm Chris Hughes, and this is The Christian Perspective. Please subscribe and like our podcast and please share it with your friends on social media. Now let's go change the culture for Jesus.
Thank you for listening. The Christian Perspective with Chris Hughes. Learn more about impacting the culture for Jesus.
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