On Saturday, Glenn Youngkin was sworn in as governor of Virginia. With his Republican Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears and Attorney General Jason Miyares at his side – along with their spouses – the first thing he did was lead the state in a prayer (listen here):
Youngkin: "My fellow Virginians. There's no way to embark on what's in front of us without asking for help …. Join us please in a moment, a prayer for the Commonwealth.
"Heavenly Father, we lift our eyes up to the hills. Where does our help come from? Our help comes from you, maker of heaven and earth.
"Father, as we embark on these next four years, we ask you to guide our steps so that they are your steps. We ask you to bless our words so they speak your heart, not ours. Father, we ask you to give us the strength to do the work that needs to be done. We ask you to soften our hearts so that we can see the good in everyone.
"Father, we invite you into the next four years. Bring Virginians together – Virginians of all faiths, of all walks of life, from every corner. From the coal fields of western Virginia, to the beaches of my home, to memorials that represent so many fallen across this Commonwealth. Father, we ask for your help.
"We thank you for today, we thank you for the hope and optimism represented by this movement that has brought us all here together. Finally, Father, we pray all this in your son Jesus Christ's name, Amen. Let's go to work."
Stephen McDowell of the Virginia-based Providence Foundation told American Family Radio that Youngkin and company are the real deal. "They not only have a living faith in God, but from all I can tell they have correct principles, biblical principles of government, that they have said [are] the principles they stand on and how they're going to govern," he shared.
McDowell contends public faith in God was the key to winning in Virginia. He explains that while the part of the state that get most of the media coverage – the areas surrounding Washington, DC – is quite "Blue," the majority of the state is conservative.
"The key, really, to [Youngkin's] victory is a lot of conservative-minded people who said 'Hey, we've got to do something,'" he adds. "Where in the past they may have just sat home and not voted, they turned out."
Just the beginning …
Upon taking office last weekend, Governor Youngkin signed nine executive orders, two of them dealing directly with education: prohibiting the teaching of "inherently divisive concepts," including critical race theory; and stopping enforcement of mask mandates.
In a statement Youngkin said: "The important steps we are taking today begins the work of restoring excellence in education, making our communities safer, opening Virginia for business and reinvigorating job growth, and making government work for the people, and not the other way around."
Robert Knight, a conservative columnist who lives in Virginia, says Youngkin ought to be the model for Republicans all over the country. The new governor's first days in office, he explains, were a striking contrast to Joe Biden's first days in office.
"Biden campaigned as a moderate Democrat who would bring us together. [Yet] in his very first day in office, he signed a number of radical left-wing executive orders," Knight points out. "Glenn Youngkin, running for governor of Virginia, pledged to end critical race theory in schools, pledged to end mask mandates in public schools, and get the government off people's backs – and that's what he did, in contrast to Biden."
Knight believes other states should follow Virginia's lead on CRT as the 2022 election cycle begins.
"That ought to be the model all over the country [because] critical race theory is racist to the core," Knight tells AFN. "It teaches hatred of whites and it teaches that blacks are inferior and can't compete with everybody else. It's poisonous on so many levels – and this wakes parents up all over the country.
"I think what happened in Virginia is just the beginning," the columnist concludes.
Other executive actions by Youngkin included: terminating the Virginia Parole Board; rescinding a vaccine mandate for state employees; and establishing a commission to combat anti-Semitism.