- (Photo: Reuters / Brendan McDermid)
Former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin encouraged Christian students to influence American culture during Southeastern University's 2013 National Leadership Forum on Friday.
"Today, look around, and don't you wonder sometimes if, as a nation, we have forgotten God altogether? This is a crucial question," said Palin during the seventh annual The Forum event, according to The Ledger.
The 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate told students they should "infiltrate" the nation and influence its culture by becoming involved in the worlds of sports, journalism and film. She also spokes about the problems she sees with Washington.
"The federal government is bloated, corrupt and out-of-control," she said of federal spending. She also called the nation's capital a "hotbed of cronyism," according to The Ledger.
Palin, who was asked by event organizers to discuss the topic of hope and resilience, said it is important to uphold the values on which the United States was founded.
"We can't allow the principles upon which this nation was found to be ignored or compromised," she said, according to SEU's website. She also commended the university for providing a Christ-centered eduction to the next generation of leaders. Christian principles and morals, she said, will help the U.S. to remain the world's greatest nation.
Net proceeds from The Forum go to the Southeastern University Scholarship fund. In the 2012-13 school year, the university will award more than $9.7 million in financial aid to students, according to the event's website.
Palin's faith was recently the target of a billboard campaign in Texas by American Atheists, a national organization for nonbelievers. One of the billboards featured Palin's photograph and misquoted her, saying, "We should create law based on the God of the Bible."
The former Alaskan governor actually said, in reference to America's founding fathers, "We would create law based on the God of the Bible" (emphasis not Palin's) in an interview with Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly.
David Silverman, president of American Atheists, later apologized on behalf of his organization for the miquote. Dave Muscato, the organization's public relations director, told the network that American Atheists would move the quotation marks on the sign to exclude the word "should," though Silverman maintains that "the meaning was correct" all along.