Ever since Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature tax policy was discarded in favor of reality-based economic principles, he’s been looking for new purpose in his life. His prayers apparently were answered recently in the form of a nomination from President Donald Trump to serve as the ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.
… As for an assessment of his time as governor, Brownback said: “It’s just been a hoot.”
Kansans have a different take, evidenced by consistently low approval numbers making him the most unpopular governor in the nation as well as a super majority of the Legislature willing to flush his trickle-down fantasy.
Nonplussed, Brownback is ready to move on to the State Department position if the U.S. Senate confirms him. We suspicion he’ll don similar blinders for his religious pursuits as he did with the state economy. Instead of improving U.S. efforts to promote actual religious freedom around the world, we would expect Brownback to focus on elevating a rather narrow conservative view of Christianity at the expense of all others.
He wouldn’t come out and say that, of course. Quite the opposite. Brownback said freedom of religion is “for all faiths.”
But even the briefest of glimpses at Brownback’s track record as a politician reveals his mooring. In both Topeka and Washington, D.C., he has attempted to twist the meaning of the First Amendment’s separation of church and state. His public attestations of faith, his eagerness to sign some of the toughest abortion laws based not on the law of the land but upon his belief in biblical teachings, and the faith-based programs he’s foisted upon inmates, foster children and those on welfare all fail the test of “religious freedom.”
Brownback was a champion of legislation introduced in 2014 that was called “an act concerning religious freedoms in respect to marriage.” The bill stated individuals did not have to “treat any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement as valid” provided it did not coincide with that person’s religious beliefs. …
We only can hope religious minorities around the world don’t suffer the same fate as the Kansas economy because of Brownback’s leadership. Godspeed, governor.
— The Hays Daily News