In April, I was privileged to spend some memorable time with Michael Reagan, our newest American Hero. (The photo of us above was taken at the National Memorial for the Unborn in Chattanooga, TN.) I witnessed two standing ovations after his remarks at a fund raiser for Bryan College and then, again, at a chapel service for their students the next morning. I could not tell who appreciated him more the seasoned adults or the young college students! In between the events we had some candid conversations regarding his political, cultural and spiritual views. I was captivated by his genuine faith and humble transparency. As I stood and applauded for him after his dinner speech I whispered to a friend beside me, who was also standing, something like, "Michael Reagan is a national treasure" and, indeed, he is.
Michael Reagan, adopted son of Ronald Reagan and Academy Award winning actress, Jane Wyman, is probably the best flag-bearer of his father's legacy, for three important reasons. First, Michael, from the numerous hours of father/son time as a young boy, was able to develop a special personal relationship with his dad. One can find many delightful stories in Michael's book, The New Reagan Revolution. In person, Michael is gifted at delivering them with a unique and animated warmth. Secondly, Michael shares his dad's conservative political beliefs and does a wonderful job giving speeches and presentations about Reaganomics and the Reagan Revolution. Finally, Michael, as expressed so passionately at President Reagan's memorial service, shares his father's heart-felt Christian faith. Both were profoundly affected by their Savior, Jesus Christ. Michael's powerful spiritual journey is retold in his book, Twice Adopted.
Obviously, Michael is a wonderful resource for those of us who loved his dad, but, in my mind, Michael is most heroic, for his courage to risk public embarrassment by candidly revealing, and continuing to tell to multiple audiences, his heartbreaking childhood story. The world did not know, including Ronald and Nancy Reagan, until Michael revealed years later, that he had been molested over an extended period when he was in the third grade. There are not many who would willingly subject themselves to the potential shame and scrutiny of such a revelation. But, in his sincere desire to help children, Michael, without being graphic, very clearly tells what happened and the adverse effects of the "victim mentality" he suffered as a result. Thank goodness he is also able to marvelously articulate the comfort and healing he received as the result of his wife, Colleen, challenging him to take his hurt to Jesus. Here are links to his, disturbing but, ultimately victorious, story. Part One Part Two.
Michael often offers political commentary and does presentations to carry on the Reagan legacy, but his real passion is to be involved with programs and efforts to protect and nurture children who might be vulnerable to abuse. As such, he heads the Michael Reagan Center for Advocacy and Research, which has, as its goal, "to effectively advocate for public policies that benefit the safety, stability and well-being of children and families, particularly those served by public and private child welfare systems." His organization partners with Arrow Ministries which actively equips local churches "to promote Christian responsibility and commitment to strengthen family life".
Michael now travels the country giving speeches and presentations. If he ever comes to your area I suggest you indulge yourself and your family in an evening of inspiration. Or, better yet, schedule him for an event.
Thank you Michael for all you are doing for America, especially our children.