Sanders’ faith, commitment is real

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2005

To The Editor:

There are people in our cultural consciousness who are iconic in stature, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, for example.

Up close our icons often reveal their human faults and flaws, just as up close, the actor’s make-up looks clown like and flaws beneath become apparent.

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With Sen. Hank Sanders, the opposite is true.

The closer you get to Sen. Sanders, the more apparent is the depth of his abiding faith in God and his intense spiritual commitment to honor the history, hope and sacrifice of the ancestors on whose shoulders he stands.

Everyday he crosses the bridge where the right to vote was won in a cloud of tear gas, bones breaking under billy clubs, men, women and children, trampled by horses and burned by cattle prods.

Everyday he passes where Viola Liuzza was murdered by klansmen.

Everyday he is reminded of the sacred trust he has inherited – one that he could never and would never ever betray!

To know Hank Sanders is to know that this is true.

Hank Sanders would never betray this sacred trust for some narrow material gain.

He is a giver not a taker.

He does not stand before the church and brag about what he has given, he does good because that is who he is. If greed and personal gain were his motives, then he could use his Harvard Law degree to take those cases that would make him rich, but that is not who he is.

Any attempt to suggest otherwise constitutes politically motivated slander.

I have known Sen. Sanders for over 20 years and have always known him to be a man of scrupulous honesty and integrity.

Recently, since I was forced from my home by Hurricane Katrina, I have really gotten to see the depth of Sen. Sanders’ work ethic, servant leadership and utter commitment and dedication to doing good for the people of Alabama and the victims of disasters like Katrina.

Sen. Sanders made the effort to find and contact me and offer to help me and other evacuees.

He sent me $500 at a time when it was really needed because credit cards machines were not working in South Louisiana and bank accounts were inaccessible.

With his donation I was able to assist 35 evacuees in getting to Selma where they received shelter and assistance at the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement Campsite.

Over 100 people received assistance from this project and many are still being helped with housing, furniture, rental and utility assistance, and employment searches.

With Hank’s help, my wife and I have settled into an apartment above the law firm. I am now able to see that Hank Sanders arrives at work often before 7 a.m. and works there until after 11 p.m. Still, he makes time for his family, makes time to speak to youth, makes time to prepare his weekly Bible study class for Sunday school, while doing the business of the law firm and the work of the Senate.

Sen. Sanders’ faith is real, his integrity unimpeachable, his commitment sincere.

He models in his life the words of the Prophet Micah, “And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

This is what Sen. Sanders does everyday of his life.

Theodore A. Quant

New Orleans, La.