On Nov. 22, Buddy Carter was sworn in as the State Senator for District 1 by the Honorable Judge Charles Mikell at Wesley Monumental Methodist Church in Savannah The following is the acceptance speech of Sen. Carter.
One advantage of winning a special election is being able to be sworn in at home. While I am very proud of our State Capitol, a beautiful structure full of history and tradition with an ambience like none other, the opportunity to be sworn in at home, particularly in my church home, is truly special.
Some people have asked me, why would you want to be sworn in at a church? While I have a clear understanding and certainly a healthy respect for the separation of church and state, I think a better question would be “Why wouldn’t you want to be sworn in at a church?”
Often times, politicians, or public servants as we preferred to be called, are accused of forgetting where they come from or, even worse, of abandoning their beliefs once they get into office. While this may or may not be true, it only makes sense that if your views, if your values, if your beliefs have been formed through God’s church that has been a pivotal part of your life, why wouldn’t you want to celebrate a special moment like this in the church?
This is not my first time serving in the state legislature. As you know I have served for the past five years in the House of Representatives. For most, if not all of us, regardless of how many years you’ve served in the legislature, the upcoming legislative session will be one of the most difficult we have ever experienced.
As our state and our country suffers through what is being called “The Great Recession,” we in the legislature find ourselves dealing with record unemployment levels and ever shrinking revenues for our state’s budget. With the challenges of creating a fertile environment in which to grow jobs for our citizens and balancing a budget with the least impact on our citizens, our legislature will be under tremendous pressure having to make difficult decisions.
There’s no question about it, these are tough times. For many of us we’ve never seen anything like what we’re experiencing these days. As we gather here today in this historic church in this historic city in this historic state, we remember the challenges, the hardships, the suffering that our forefathers endured while founding our great country. And just as our forefathers relied on their faith in God, so we should turn to God for strength and wisdom.
All recessions have one thing in common — they end. And this “Great Recession” will end. Just as our forefathers kept the faith, so shall we keep the faith.
As the songwriter wrote “And you can see them there, on Sunday morning, stand up and sing about what it’s like out there. They call it paradise, I don’t know why, call someplace paradise, kiss it goodbye.”
The songwriter was right. In these historic churches, in these historic cities, in this historic state, our forefathers stood up and sang about a better life. Our struggles are nothing compared to what they experienced. Yet they kept the faith and sought strength and guidance from our God.
Let us not be discouraged. Let us not be afraid. Like our forefathers before us, let us look to God for strength and guidance. God bless our leaders,
God bless our great state and God bless America.
Sen. Carter can be reached at Coverdell Legislative Office Building (CLOB) Room 508, Atlanta, GA, 30334. His Capitol office number is (404) 656-0213.