Senator Ben Sasse and Os Guinness

Divided Politics and Lonely Americans: A Conversation with Senator Ben Sasse and Dr. Os Guinness to Offer Hope and Healing to an Ailing America

At the 2019 Faith & Law Annual Dinner, Os and Jenny Guinness and Senator Ben Sasse and Melissa Sasse were honored with the Charles Colson Award for Public Service. Following the presentation of the awards, Senator Sasse and Os spoke about Divided Politics and Lonely Americans, moderated by Cherie Harder, President of the Trinity Forum and member of the Faith & Law board.

About the Charles Colson Award for Public Service

Chuck Colson spoke many times during the first three decades of Faith & Law and was a significant supporter of our effort. Faith & Law Founder John Palafoutas says, “I'll never forget the time he spoke to Faith and Law in the Senate Caucus Room, the same room in which the Watergate Hearings were conducted. His testimony eventually led to his criminal conviction and prison sentence, and by the Grace of God, his conversion to Jesus Christ.”

In 2016, Faith & Law awarded its first Charles Colson Award for Public Service. This award is given to those who exemplify what it means to be a Christian working in the public square, integrating a biblical worldview with service to our nation.


Past Colson Awardees:

2016 Former Congressman Joe Pitts, represented PA-16 from 1997-2017

2017 Former Congressman Frank Wolf, represented VA-10 from 1981-2015

2018 Sam Brownback, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom and Michael Cromartie, Vice President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, awarded posthumously for his impact on religion and journalism in the public square

2019 Colson Awardees:

Dr. Os Guinness

Os Guinness is an author and social critic. Great-great-great grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer, he was born in China in World War Two where his parents were medical missionaries. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of London and his D.Phil in the social sciences from Oriel College, Oxford. Os has written or edited more than thirty books, including The Call, Time for Truth, Unspeakable, A Free People’s Suicide, and The Global Public Square. His latest book, Last Call for Liberty: How America’s genius for freedom has become its greatest threat, was published in 2018. Since moving to the United States in 1984, Os has been a Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies, a Guest Scholar and Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Senior Fellow at the Trinity Forum and the EastWest Institute in New York. He lives with his wife Jenny in the Washington DC area.

Jenny Guinnness

Jenny Guinness was born in California and studied at the University of Southern California. She became a photographic fashion model with Eileen Ford, and as a Vogue cover girl had the privilege of working with such legendary photographers as Richard Avedon and Irving Penn. During that time she began a spiritual search and journey toward faith that led to studies at L’Abri in Switzerland where she met and married her husband Os. Their son, Christopher, was born in Oxford, England where Os was engaged in doctoral studies and Jenny worked with a London television production company. Jenny has recently written the story of her search for meaning in the midst of the “vanity fair” of the New York fashion world. The Guinnesses live in Mclean, Virginia.

Senator Ben Sasse

Ben is a U.S. Senator representing the great state of Nebraska. A fifth-generation Nebraskan, Ben grew up walking beans and detasseling corn, experiences that taught him the value of hard work. He came to the Senate having spent the previous five years as a college president. When he was recruited to take over the failing Midland University, Ben was just 37 years old, making him one of the youngest college presidents in the nation. The 130-year-old Lutheran college was on the verge of bankruptcy when he arrived, but became one of the fastest-growing higher education institutions in the country by the time of his departure. Most of Ben’s career has been spent guiding companies and institutions through times of crisis with straight talk about the core issues. He has worked with the Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey and Company, as well as private equity firms and not-for-profit organizations, to tackle failing strategies across a broad array of sectors and nations.

Melissa Sasse

Melissa McLeod Sasse has been married to Ben for 24 years and is currently managing a household that commutes together between rural Nebraska and Washington DC. The commuting family includes three kids, three dogs, and whatever other animals their 8-year-old son has captured any given week. Born on an Air Force base in California, and with degrees from the University of Alabama and George Mason University, Melissa has worked in public and private high schools in multiple states. She has taught biology and chemistry, has served as a guidance counselor, college advisor, and residence hall director, and is currently volunteering at an urban charter school and running the curriculum for her children's hybrid schooling.

Canon Gideon Byamugisha and Dr. Jenny Dyer

The Role of Faith Leaders in Uganda and the U.S. in the Fight against Global AIDS

Canon Gideon Byamugisha of Uganda will share his personal story of living with HIV and about his work and leadership against stigma, shame, denial and discrimination, inaction and mis-action. Further, he will discuss his ministry and theology to uphold the human dignity and rights of people living with and most vulnerable to HIV and AIDS. Then, Dr. Jenny Dyer will will reflect on the critical role of faith leaders to shape policy and funding for Global AIDS since the beginning of the Bush Administration. She will look at the sustained support over the past three Administrations and the success of legislation, in part, thanks to their advocacy.

In 1992, Gideon Byamugisha of Uganda became the first religious leader in Africa to publicly announce that he was HIV positive. Before long, others came forward and Byamugisha founded the African Network of Religious Leaders Living with and Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS (ANERELA+), now an international organization with 10,000 members in 48 countries.

Byamugisha holds a B.A in Education (Honors) from Makerere University, Kampala, a Bachelor of Divinity (First Class) from ATIEA Nairobi, and a Masters in Contextual & Applied Theology (University of Birmingham, United Kingdom). For his pioneering leadership, St Paul's Cathedral, Namirembe Diocese (Kampala, Uganda 2001), and Holy Cross Cathedral, (Lusaka Diocese, Zambia, 2003) conferred upon him the ecclesiastical title of Canon in the Anglican Church.

Canon Gideon, born in 1959, is the eldest of 14 children. In 1991, he lost his wife, Kellen to AIDS. Their daughter, Patience, is now 29. In 1995, Canon Gideon married Pamela (herself HIV positive and widowed by HIV/AIDS at a very young age). Thanks to advances in the prevention on Mother-to-Child Transmission, Pamela and Gideon have two HIV-negative children, Love, 15, and Hope, 13.

Jenny Dyer is the Founder of The 2030 Collaborative. As such, she directs the Faith-Based Coalition for Global Nutrition with support from the Eleanor Crook Foundation.

Dyer teaches Global Health Politics and Policy as a Lecturer in the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt School of Medicine, and she has taught Religion and Global Health as a Lecturer at Vanderbilt School of Divinity.

Dyer formerly served as the Executive Director for Senator Bill Frist, MD’s Hope Through Healing Hands from 2008-2018, and prior to that, she was the National Faith Outreach Director for the DATA Foundation and The ONE Campaign, Bono’s organization, from 2003-2008. In these roles, she has worked with religious leaders, authors, artists, and other faith-based leaders to promote awareness and advocacy for global health and development issues.

Dyer has written several academic articles and opinion pieces on the intersection of religion and global health. She has been published in TIME, Forbes.com, Huffington Post, Roll Call, Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics, Patheos, Relevant Magazine, Christian Post, Dallas Morning News, Washington Post, and The Tennessean, to name a few.

She is a contributor of Why Save Africa: Answers from around the World (2011) and a co-compiler of The Mother & Child Project: Raising Our Voices for Health and Hope (2015) and The aWAKE Project: Uniting Against the African AIDS Crisis (2002). Her forthcoming book as a co-editor, The End of Hunger: Renewed Hope for Feeding the World, will release in October 2019 with InterVarsity Press.

Dyer holds a B.A. in Religion from Samford University (1999), a Master of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt Divinity School (2001), and a Ph.D. in History and Critical Theories of Religion from Vanderbilt University (2007).

She lives in Franklin, Tennessee with her husband, John, and two boys, Rhys and Oliver.

Paul Marshall

Muslim-Christian Conflict: Lessons from History

Paul Marshall is a research professor in the Department of Political Science as well as the Jerry and Susie Wilson Chair in Religious Freedom at the Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR).

Marshall was formerly a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C. He is the author and editor of more than 20 books on religion and politics, particularly religious freedom, including Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians (2013, with Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea), Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes Are Choking Freedom Worldwide (2011, with Nina Shea), Blind Spot: When Journalists Don’t Get Religion (2009), Religious Freedom in the World (2007), Radical Islam’s Rules: The Worldwide Spread of Extreme Sharia Law (2005), The Rise of Hindu Extremism (2003), Islam at the Crossroads (2002), God and the Constitution (2002), The Talibanization of Nigeria (2002), Massacre at the Millennium (2001), Religious Freedom in the World (2000), Egypt’s Endangered Christians (1999), Just Politics (1998), Heaven Is Not My Home (1998), A Kind of Life Imposed on Man (1996) and the best-selling, award-winning survey of religious persecution worldwide Their Blood Cries Out (1997).

Marshall’s current research is focused primarily on understanding how Muslims and Christians are able to live and work together peacefully in Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim country.

Marshall is in frequent demand for lectures and media appearances and has been featured on ABC Nightly News; CNN; PBS; FOX; the British, Australian, Canadian, South African and Japanese Broadcasting Corporations; and Al Jazeera. His work has been published in, or is the subject of, articles in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Times, The Boston Globe, The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor, First Things, New Republic, The Weekly Standard, Reader’s Digest and many other newspapers and magazines.

Marshall also is a Senior Fellow at the Leimena Institute, a Christian public policy think tank in Jakarta, Indonesia, and was previously a Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Sharif Hidayatullah Islamic University (UIN), also in Jakarta.

Paul Miller

Is Nationalism Identity Politics for the Right? An Examination of Tribalism and Identity Politics in America

This Faith & Law Friday Forum will focus on tribalism and identity politics with Georgetown University Professor Paul Miller. Dr. Miller asserts that civilization is fixated on stories about the journey to discover our identity, and how the discovery of our identity is the key to unleashing our inner power and mastering our world. In this lecture, he will address this myth by sharing where it comes from, historically and spiritually. Next, he will tease out its political implications and show how it gives rise to both identity politics and to the current wave of nationalism sweeping much of the world. While demands for identity recognition are understandable, they raise serious social, political, and cultural problems without any corresponding solutions. Then, Dr. Miller will propose answers to the questions of identity, calling for a renewal of classical liberalism, federalism, and devolution as answers to identity politics, nationalism, and the centrifugal forces of tribalism that threaten to tear our polities apart. Finally, he will conclude with a note on the spiritual roots of this problem, suggesting where our need for identity and recognition come from, and what the answer might ultimately be.

Dr. Paul D. Miller is a Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He serves as co-chair of the Global Politics and Security concentration in the MSFS program. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

As a practitioner, Dr. Miller served as Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan on the National Security Council staff; worked as an intelligence analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency; and served as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army.

His most recent book, American Power and Liberal Order: A Conservative Internationalist Grand Strategy, was published by Georgetown University Press in 2016. In his first book, Armed State Building (Cornell University Press, 2013), Miller examined the history and strategy of stability operations. Miller taught at The University of Texas at Austin and the National Defense University and worked at the RAND Corporation prior to his arrival at Georgetown.

Miller blogs on foreign affairs at Elephants in the Room. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Affairs, Survival, Presidential Studies Quarterly, The Journal of Strategic Studies, Orbis, The American Interest, The National Interest, The World Affairs Journal, Small Wars and Insurgencies, and elsewhere. Miller holds a PhD in international relations and a BA in government from Georgetown University, and a master in public policy from Harvard University.

He is a contributing editor of the Texas National Security Review, a contributing editor of Providence: A Journal of Christianity and American Foreign Policy, a co-editor of the Naval Institute Press’s Series on the Future of Global Security, a research fellow at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, a member of the advisory board for the Philos Project, and a member of the Texas Lyceum.

Ambassador Tony Hall

Bringing Jesus into your Workplace: Lessons I learned in Congress and as an Ambassador

Former Congressman and US Ambassador Tony Hall was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is one of the leading advocates for hunger relief programs and improving international human rights conditions in the world. He served the Third District of Ohio for more than 20 years and was sworn in as United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in September 2002, "putting into action America's commitment to alleviate hunger and build hope in the world."

Ambassador Hall was a founding member of the Select Committee on Hunger and served as its chairman from 1989 until it was abolished in 1993. In response to the abolishment of the Hunger Committee, in April 1993, Mr. Hall fasted for 22 days in order to draw attention to the needs of hungry people in the United States and around the world. Ambassador Tony Hall is also founder and was chairman of the Congressional Hunger Center, a non-governmental organization dedicated to fighting hunger by developing leaders.

Fred Beuttler

Finding the North Star: Understanding a Christian Worldview Framework for Working on the Hill

Fred W. Beuttler is the associate dean for Liberal Arts Programs at the University of Chicago’s Graham School. He received his PhD in history from the University of Chicago in 1995. Prior to coming to Graham in June 2015, he was director of general education and taught history at Carroll University in Wisconsin. From 2005 to 2010, he was the deputy historian of the US House of Representatives, in Washington, DC, and from 1998 to 2005, he was the associate university historian of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Os Guinness

Last Call for Liberty

The hour is critical. The American republic is suffering its gravest crisis since the Civil War. 

Conflicts, hostility, and incivility now threaten to tear the country apart. Competing visions have led to a dangerous moment of cultural self-destruction. This is no longer politics as usual, but an era of political warfare where our enemies are not foreign adversaries, but our fellow citizens. Yet the roots of the crisis are deeper than many realize. Os Guinness argues that we face a fundamental crisis of freedom, as America's genius for freedom has become her Achilles' heel. Our society's conflicts are rooted in two rival views of freedom, one embodied in "1776" and the ideals of the American Revolution, and the other in "1789" and the ideals of the French Revolution. Once again America has become a house divided, and Americans must make up their minds as to which freedom to follow. Will the constitutional republic be restored or replaced? This grand treatment of history, civics, and ethics in the Jewish and Christian traditions represents Guinness's definitive exploration of the prospects for human freedom today. He calls for a national conversation on the nature of freedom, and poses key questions for concerned citizens to consider as we face a critical chapter in the American story. In the tradition of Alexis de Tocqueville, Guinness provides a visitor's careful observation of the American experiment.

Os Guinness is an author and social critic. Great-great-great grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer, he was born in China in World War Two where his parents were medical missionaries. A witness to the climax of the Chinese revolution in 1949, he was expelled with many other foreigners in 1951 and returned to Europe where he was educated in England. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of London and his D.Phil in the social sciences from Oriel College, Oxford.  

Os has written or edited more than thirty books, including The Call, Time for Truth, Unspeakable, A Free People’s Suicide, and The Global Public Square. His latest book, Last Call for Liberty: How America’s Genius for Freedom Has Become Its Greatest Threat, was published in 2018. 

Kimberly Kuo

Fighting for Life: Why Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia are Not the Answer

When Kimberly Kuo graduated summa cum laude from Stanford University and studied at the London School of Economics, she never imagined that she would be speaking about assisted suicide and euthanasia. She married the love of her life, David Kuo, who became special assistant to George W. Bush and deputy director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. After David was diagnosed with a large brain tumor, the Kuos began a 10-year battle with cancer. As result of this journey, Kim began advocating for life, both speaking and writing against assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Kimberly Kuo has more than 24 years of Communications and Marketing experience in politics, government, corporations and technology start-ups. Ms. Kuo was a top Press Aide for Senate Majority Leader and then presidential candidate Bob Dole, and vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp. She was primary spokesperson for Internet giant AOL, and then expanded this role to oversee Investor Relations and Marketing at technology start-ups. After acting as primary Spokesperson and Communications lead for a Washington, DC trade association, she launched its advocacy initiative. In less than four years, the organization grew to the third largest advocacy group in the country. As Chief Marketing Officer of the world’s largest book and entertainment distributor, Ms. Kuo transformed her Marketing organization into a profit center, introduced extensive e-Marketing programs, and modernized the company’s brand and market position.

Ms. Kuo is passionate about empowering people, developing talent, building effective teams, and strengthening corporate culture.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University, with a B.A. in Communications with Honors. After working briefly in Normandy, France, she studied Comparative Government & Economics at the London School of Economics.

She enjoys music, theater, creative writing and public speaking. She is actively involved in Forest Hill Church and Charlotte Christian School, and her greatest joy is adventuring with her two children.

DJ Jordan and Panel

The Politics of Race: How the Political World Undermines Racial Unity and What We Can Do to Change that Reality

This panel on “The Politics of Race” will be moderated by D.J. Jordan, Director at the Pinkston Group and former Communications Director for Senator James Lankford. This panel is a part of Faith & Law’s ongoing series on race and racial reconciliation.

Panelists include:

Justin Giboney, President, The And Campaign

Brooke Hempell, Vice President, Barna Group

Michael McAfee, Outreach & Engagement, Museum of the Bible

Adwoa Rey, Faith Link Inc.

Dr. Eric Patterson

Politics in a Religious World: The Relationship Between Religion and U.S. Foreign Policy

Eric Patterson, Regent University professor and author of Just American Wars: Ethical Dilemmas in U.S. Military History and Politics in a Religious World, will discuss the relationship between religion and U.S. foreign policy. Patterson will argue that we live in a highly religious world and, even if we were a totally secular society, because religion matters elsewhere, it must matter to U.S. diplomats, aid workers, and all those in this realm.

The Trials and Tribulations of Living an Ethical Life on Capitol Hill

The Trials and Tribulations of Living an Ethical Life on Capitol Hill

Panel of Former Senior Hill Staff

Moderated by Faith & Law Founder John Palafoutas

Faith & Law will host a panel of Capitol Hill veterans to explore ethical issues encountered by Hill staff, especially as they reach senior leadership positions. Panelists will share their stories of success and failure as they navigated the complicated ethical waters of the Hill.

Panelists include:

Kiki Kless Bradley -- 12 year Hill veteran and advisor to former Speaker of the House

Dan Bryant — former Majority Chief Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and also served on the U.S. Senate Government Affairs Committee, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Andy Laperriere — senior advisor to former Majority Leader

Pam Pryor — chief of staff to former Conference Chairman