Senator talks faith and politics at TMU

During chapel on Oct. 27, 2017, Senator Scott Wilk presents The Master's University President Dr. John MacArthur with a plaque while Provost Dr. John Stead looks on to celebrate 90 years since the school was founded. Gina Ender/The Signal
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Encouraging students to use their faith to have an impact in the workforce, Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) visited The Master’s University on Friday to share how his beliefs play into his role as an elected official.

Starting out the morning in chapel, Wilk told students that their time at the university would make them well-equipped for life after graduation.

“You’re going to leave with an education to compete in the global economy and you’ll be armed with the Word of God,” Wilk said.

The senator gave insight into his experience in the legislature working alongside lawmakers from diverse cultural and faith backgrounds, which he said can often be a challenge.

He encouraged the chapel attendees to “love God and love one another” and urged them to live according to what the Bible says.

To celebrate Master’s 90-year anniversary, Wilk also presented a plaque to President John MacArthur and Provost Dr. John Stead on stage.

Senator Scott Wilk discusses the intersection of faith and politics with Provost Dr. John Stead’s government class on Oct. 27, 2017. Gina Ender/The Signal

Q & A

Wilk then headed over to speak in Stead’s government class and answer students’ questions about how he got into politics and how he practices Christianity in this role.

On a trip to Sacramento with his family when he was 13, Wilk recalls standing on a balcony overlooking the state capitol and saying he felt called to work as an elected official.

“I believe God has a purpose and you should pursue it,” Wilk said.

Wilk jumped into politics by interning with his state assemblyman and then worked as a staff member for Representative Buck McKeon.

Later, he started his own public affairs firm before being elected to the state Assembly and eventually the Senate.

For college students looking to get their foot in the door, Wilk encouraged them to start at the bottom by volunteering and interning in political offices in order to build relationships.

His greatest joy in working as a politician is his ability to “plant seeds” in people’s lives, he said.

He said he enjoys doing this by inviting families who are visiting the Capitol to come with him on the Senate floor in hopes it may have a fruitful impact on the children.

Keeping in communication with constituents, Wilk said he loves sending hand-written responses to people who sent him letters and returning phone calls to work through issues.

The senator remembers one woman who sent him an email expressing her frustrations with his view on health care. When he called her back, he explained his reasoning for his view, and while they still disagreed, they were empathetic toward the other’s viewpoint.

His least favorite part of the job is all the photos he takes, he said.

To balance his personal life with his work life, Wilk said he always dedicates Sundays to “faith and family” and then flies back up to Sacramento on Monday mornings.

He also attends Bible studies at the Capitol with other legislators on Wednesday mornings, which he said is comprised of about half Republicans and half Democrats.

Wilk said he would never vote for a bill that went against his beliefs but will vote on bills that establish good will with other legislators, even if they are not the most critical to him.

“The legislature is a reflection of greater society,” Wilk said. “If you want to change the legislature, you have to change society.”

Being an elected official of faith means keeping one’s word, Wilk said.

“It’s about being authentic and pouring into people,” he said.  “It’s part of who you are. You have to balance your faith in the context of the law as well.”

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