(OPINION) Shortly before announcing his presidential campaign Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis outlined his views on faith, family, and the education of the country’s children at the National Religious Broadcasters Association’s annual media convention.

On Monday, DeSantis spoke at NRB’s opening session for the event, held at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Florida. NRB is a nonpartisan association that equips Christian communicators to share the Gospel and provides them with training and networking opportunities.

According to a statement published by NRB Tuesday, the Republican governor urged those in attendance to “Get ready, put on the full Armor of God, stand firm in the truth, and never ever back down.”


DeSantis spoke on the issue of family during the opening session, drawing attention to his state’s efforts to emphasize the importance of fatherhood and assist children growing up without a dad, Fox News reported.

“My first job as governor, after getting sworn in on the steps of the Capitol, was to go back to the governor’s residence … to get our son Mason baptized,” he said.

He and his wife, Casey DeSantis, had been in Israel “many years before that together,” he said, “and my wife brought back that fresh water from the Sea of Galilee.”

The bottle was later apparently tossed out during house cleaning, he said. As word got out to people the family knew in Israel about the lost holy water, “Within 24 hours there were people in Israel digging into the Sea of Galilee, and they sent me this beautiful glass jar filled with water from the Sea of Galilee,” he said.

DeSantis also spoke of the societal problem of kids growing up without a father — and of what fathers mean in the home. “We’re working with groups that are addressing the needs of the father and trying to get them engaged with their kids,” DeSantis said of his state’s pro-family initiatives.

“Even if you have the kids that are born of a father in prison, we are using these resources to foster mentorship opportunities for kids that do not have that [type of support],” he said.

“And if you look at when kids do well … it’s when somebody is willing to take an interest in them,” he said. “If you have somebody in the community that takes an interest, that child can be so much better in the future.”



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