Medina’s Faith and Freedom club hosted noted Texas author Ben English for their July meeting. English, a Big Bend native, stopped by while on a book tour for his new book, Black and White: Tales of the Texas Highway Patrol.
English is a Marine veteran and a career law enforcement officer from the Highway Patrol. He has translated his love of history into a series of highly entertaining books about the land and stories of western Texas, particularly the Big Bend region.
Black and White is a recounting of stories of the true heroes of the Texas Highway Patrol as witnessed by English. His tales touch the heart of any reader fortunate enough to read them or hear them told. His writing is heartfelt for a group of people who served their fellow citizens and sometimes paid the ultimate price for that privilege.
English gave a stirring presentation to the Faith and Freedom Club. He delved into the topic of why faith and freedom go hand in hand in our country. He characterized the concept by saying “two words that balance so well, one can argue that one cannot exist without the other. Neither can be mutually exclusive. How can you truly have freedom without faith? Our nation was built on these two words.”
The friendship of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams was another topic in Engish’s talk. He characterized the two men as opposites but friends who argued their views about the United States. “They fought like cats and dogs,” he stated. Each worried that the United States would not stand past their lifetimes. “They understood the difference between true individual faith and religious mob-like tendencies.”
The main point of English’s talk was about free will. He said “everybody talks about rights, but nobody talks about responsibilities. The free will concept found in the New Testament goes hand in hand with the philosophical teaching of individual rights, freedoms and responsibilities.”
“In our past 250-year history, there is a main body of evidence that points toward a strong Christian influence from the very beginning. Reduce Christianity to the point of being cancelled, what do you have left, what will we be facing. When God is removed from our society, something else moves in. Nature abhors a vacuum. And that thing that moves in is not good.”
English’s comments were stirring as well as thought provoking. He succinctly captured the essence of the controversies that our country currently faces. His logical and well researched views caused the listener to think deeply about the connections between faith and freedom.
Ben English’s books may be found at local merchants like the General Store in Bandera, or on Amazon. He has several books that recount stories of life in the Big Bend region of Texas as well as several works of historical fiction. Black and White: Stories of the Texas Highway Patrol is his newest release.
Group leader Vicki Shroyer closed the meeting with an announcement about August’s meeting. Film producer C.J. Goodwin will speak and talk about why he believes that the Hill Country is a perfect location for the film industry. Goodwin has produced two movies shot in Comfort, Texas.