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Cathy McMorris Rodgers: Taking a Stand

Originally published in the fall 2022 Update Magazine.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

As a Christian leader and elected official, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Pre-Law ’90) uses her position to make a difference. For the last 28 years, McMorris Rodgers has embraced a biblical foundation while in elected office, especially when debating issues and drafting legislation. “2 Timothy 2:15 says [to] study to show yourself approved. This first emphasizes the importance of studying and training to be prepared for your work and God’s calling on your life,” McMorris Rodgers explained. “The pre-law [emphasis] at Pensacola Christian College provided me with a deeper understanding of history, writing, English, speech, and debate. The program helped me build an invaluable foundation that I have leaned on and built up over my years in Congress.”

Representing Eastern Washington

McMorris Rodgers has been a representative in the U.S. House for the 5th congressional district of Washington State since 2004. After graduating from PCC, she earned an M.B.A. from the University of Washington in 1994 and began her professional career. Within the year she was appointed as a member of the state legislature for the 7th Legislative District. Her education at PCC gave a valuable foundation for her career. “Studying at a Christian college helped reaffirm what I always believed to be true: every one of us is created with a purpose—and we all have God-given rights that don’t come from the government,” she shared. “It’s the job I undertook when I swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. For the blessings of liberty and faith and equality are the blessings of God.”

At a time when Congress and our country are so deeply divided, I believe faith plays a tremedous role.

From 2002 to 2003, McMorris Rodgers acted as the Washington State House Minority Leader before stepping down to run for Congress. She won the election and, in 2004, became the 200th woman elected to U.S. Congress. From the very start of her career, McMorris Rodgers has taken a stand for issues that coincided with her faith and against those that did not. “At a time when Congress and our country are so deeply divided, I believe faith plays a tremendous role,” she shared. “I lean on my faith daily for strength in times of strife, for patience working with my colleagues, and for compassion for those we are working so hard to represent.”

Standing for Christian Values

A strong foundation in biblical values quickly influenced her advocacy priorities. “Each day, I wake up with the goal of preserving the freedom that is possible and necessary because man is made in the image of God,” McMorris Rodgers said. “That idea is unique to Judeo-Christianity, but it applies to each one of us. I’m grateful to have studied pre-law at a Christian college because I believe Judeo-Christian values and freedom of religion are a bedrock of our nation. My studies at PCC helped prepare me to better defend and promote these values I hold dear and believe are so important for the times in which we are living. They reflect the best of freedom, faith, and equality.”

As a Christian, McMorris Rodgers recognizes a responsibility to care for God’s creation and be a good steward of resources around us. As a congresswoman, she embraces innovation for American-owned energy sources by serving as the Republican Leader on the House Energy and Commerce Committee “to reduce emissions, prioritize energy security, and keep energy costs low.”

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Personal insight and the strong belief in God-given rights and the value of human life emboldened McMorris Rodgers in her other areas of advocacy. Soon after her election to Congress, she met Brian Rodgers, a retired 26-year Navy veteran, and they married in 2006. “[Brian] opened my eyes to some of the unique challenges his brothers and sisters in arms face every day,” she said. “I believe we must do more to ensure [veterans] receive the gold-standard care and benefits they’ve earned in service to our nation. We truly owe them a debt we can never repay, but I will never stop trying.”

Along with veteran aid, McMorris Rodgers advocates aid for families within the disability community, feeling a deep understanding of their needs because of her son, Cole, who was born with Down syndrome. “[Cole has] opened our eyes to the dignity and potential of every life,” she said. “He’s reminded me that just because challenges in life are hard, it doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable.”

As a result of Roe v. Wade’s overturning, McMorris Rodgers looks forward to “a new era to provide care, hope, and support for moms and their children at every stage of their lives,” as she stated in a press release. “Every life has value and dignity,” she explained. “In Congress, my goal is to foster an environment where no woman feels like abortion is her only option, and I will continue doing everything I can to support women at every stage of pregnancy and celebrate life.”

Treat every person with dignity, humility, and respect.

PCC admires the work McMorris Rodgers has done over the years to be an active witness for Christ. “With so much pain in the world today, I encourage others to use their faith as a light in a time of darkness,” McMorris Rodgers said. “Treat every person with dignity, humility, and respect. Listen with a compassionate heart and work hard to find common ground with those you disagree with. And most importantly, listen for God’s voice through the noise. He will never fail to tell you the person you should be.”

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