America is not as divided as the media makes us out to be. That is the belief Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) writes in his new book, America, a Redemption Story.
CBN News recently sat down with Scott to discuss why he has great hope for unity in America, and how God led him to where he is today.
"Unity really is the future for this nation," he claimed. "I think unity with the backdrop of redemption is really important as well, having a second chance is really important."
Despite current political divides and tensions, Scott has a lifelong dream of seeing a more united America than ever before.
"The story of redemption is the story of my life and the story of our country," the South Carolina senator continued. "The more we focus on what we have in common, the better off we are. But also, the more we recognize that typically pain comes before opportunity and that failure precedes success, the more we are to understand the journey that we're likely to experience that will confront us in the future."
As the first African American elected to both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, Scott credits prayer with leading him where he is today.
"I find myself living off of the prayer fumes of my grandmother, and the prayer seeds of my mom, so I'm so thankful that I come from a family that understands the power of prayer," he said.
Scott told CBN News how he's leaned on his faith as an elected official.
"One of the most important lessons I've learned is a new level, new devil," he explained. "It's such a truth that you're going to be confronted with situations that are beyond your ability to process everything, but with prayer you find this calm, consistent presence that the Lord is with you."
In his book, Scott describes how he leaned on that presence during the events of Jan. 6, 2021.
"What a miserable day in my life, Jan 6th," he recalled. "The fear that you could lose your life in the Capitol of the United States of America was real."
With rioters within earshot, Scott rolled up his sleeves, loosened his tie, and prepared for a fight.
"Finding an escape route and finding ourselves in a big room with all the senators together, listening to the bickering and the yelling something just hit me – the Holy Spirit really – kind of spoke to my heart that we needed the Chaplain to pray for us," he recalled.
Scott called the room to order and asked Senate Chaplain Barry Black to pray.
"As he prayed, you could literally feel the temperature in the room coming down," he described. "You could hear the chaos finding order, and you could feel conviction rising in our hearts to go out and finish the day."
Scott told CBN News he couldn't be more proud of how the nation's leaders came together to finish their work that day. He also pointed to Chaplain Black's weekly bipartisan Senate prayer breakfast and Bible study as sources of life for him on Capitol Hill.
"There are Republicans and Democrats coming together on a Wednesday morning about 8:00-8:30 am to share how faith is intersecting with our lives and impacting who we are," he explained.
The South Carolina Republican believes America is not as divided as the media portrays.
"I think consistently media tells a side of the story and never the whole story and so that's a problem," said Scott. "Media has figured out that you can monetize conflict, that's bad for the American soul."
In his memoir, the senator acknowledges racism is sadly still a reality in America.
"One of the things I try to say on a consistent basis is to remind our country we are not a racist country," said Scott. "That doesn't mean that we don't struggle with the issue of race."
Still, he sees a path toward meaningful change.
"The first step toward meaningful change is to recognize the progress we have made," said Scott. "The last 50 years, if you look at the state of South Carolina where I'm from, the evolution of the southern heart is palpable."
He pointed to his winning a congressional seat where the Civil War started, defeating the son of Strom Thurmond who held office for 48 years and opposed both the 1957 and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
"Literally to see the evolution of the southern heart is to understand that I am here today because they, all of the constituents in the first congressional district, gave me a chance and judged me by the content of my character and not by the color of my skin," explained Scott. "If we would tell the story of progress in America, I think we would be hopeful"
With a lot of speculation around if Scott will run for president in 2024, he told CBN News if he does run, it will be because the Lord has clearly called him to do so.
"I would say that it would require the Lord to speak to me in an obvious way for me to make that decision," he said. "The thing I've learned in life is the best way to get your next job is to do the best you can in your current job. I don't need a title to do the Lord's work, but whatever he is calling me to do, the biggest platform that I can do it from I am thankful to do it. And if that platform is the United States Senate, I have lived such an amazing life and I thank God for it"
For now, Scott says he remains focused on his 2022 re-election campaign.