Archive for Monday, August 1, 2011

Critics blast Brownback for attending prayer day hosted by ‘inhumane’ anti-gay groups

August 1, 2011


The leader of a Kansas gay rights group on Monday expressed outrage that Gov. Sam Brownback was going to a highly publicized prayer event put on by anti-gay groups.

Thomas Witt, chairman of the Kansas Equality Coalition, said organizers of “The Response” at Reliant Stadium in Houston on Saturday are beyond extremists when it comes to anti-homosexual rhetoric, and Brownback should not be associating with them.

“These aren’t groups who just don’t want gays to get married,” Witt said. “Everyone knows where Sam Brownback stands on that; he doesn’t like it. But this is about showing support for organizations that would rather see us dead.”

In June, Brownback’s office said the Republican governor had accepted an invitation from Texas Gov. Rick Perry, also a Republican and possible presidential candidate, to attend the event which is being dubbed “a call to prayer for a nation in crisis.” Brownback’s office said he would be going at his own expense.

Since then, however, Brownback’s office has been quiet on the subject. In recent days, the governor’s office would not confirm his plans, only to say that Brownback would be on vacation during that time.

Several groups that have leadership roles in the event have gained national attention.

The American Family Association is listed as a host of the event, and several of its leaders are involved in putting it on. Mississippi-based AFA describes itself as a pro-family group that opposes abortion and homosexuality. It is currently calling for a boycott of Home Depot because AFA says the company has sponsored and participated in gay pride parades.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated AFA as a hate group, citing statements about homosexuality, such as a direct mail fundraising appeal that said, “For the sake of our children and society, we must oppose the spread of homosexual activity! Just as we must oppose murder, stealing and adultery!”

In 2010, Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for government and public policy at AFA, said, “Homosexuality gave us Adolf Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and 6 million dead Jews.”

“The Response” leadership team also includes several members of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Mo., and TheCall.

Anti-homosexual minister Lou Engle is a leader with the International House of Prayer, co-founder of TheCall and has had a long association with Brownback.

Engle and other anti-gay ministers from the United States have been accused by gay rights and religious groups of attempting to increase anti-gay sentiment in Uganda, where officials have been considering legislation that would criminalize homosexuality up to the point of including the death penalty for gays and lesbians.

A video of Engle speaking against the “homosexual agenda” at a rally in Uganda has been widely viewed. Engle has said his comments were misunderstood.

“I don’t know if extremist is a strong enough word,” Witt said of some involved in the prayer event in Houston. “Supporting the death penalty for gays, that’s not extreme; it’s inhumane.”

Brownback and Engle have known each other for years and for a seven-month period shared a condo in Washington, D.C., when Brownback was a U.S. senator. Engle said he had dreamed that Brownback would be president of the United States. Brownback ran for the Republican Party nomination for president in 2007 but was unsuccessful.

In 2009, Brownback participated with Engle in a “PrayerCast” in which participants prayed against the passage of federal health care reform. Brownback has also spoken at rallies with Engle.

But last year, Brownback’s relationship with Engle became an issue during the governor’s race when the Democratic candidate, state Sen. Tom Holland of Baldwin City, called on Brownback to denounce Engle.

At the time, Brownback said he disagreed with some of Engle’s statements and that he hadn’t spoken to Engle for several months. Brownback said in the past he worked with Engle on measures that called for apologies for the treatment of American Indians and blacks.

Witt said even though Brownback is going to “The Response” on his own personal time that doesn’t matter. “He’s the governor, full-time. And he’s everybody’s governor, not just the governor of the right-wing base,” he said.


Steve Jacob 6 years, 9 months ago

I said this before, but you don't see any other big name politicians going to this event, it's poison, even for Republicans. And it will sure come up if Perry runs for president.

Dana Brown 6 years, 9 months ago

it hurts to know that someone is seeking an alternative to the status quo, huh? ooorah for the Gov.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 9 months ago

Depends on what you call the "status quo".

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 9 months ago

It hurts to know that bigots, with no respect for the happiness of others, are considered as our leaders.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 9 months ago

Can you remind me, what's the problem with homosexuals? Are they attacking us? Are they stealing from us? Are they raping us? Are they terrorizing us as the radical christian right does on a daily basis?

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 9 months ago

Brownback has long had links to very disturbing anti-abortion and anti-gay groups, groups that go beyond advocacy and stating disagreement and that delve into violent and extreme rhetoric.

Engle is leading anti-gay crusades in Uganda that have resulting in laws calling for the death penalty for homosexuals. Brownback's links to this man, including his co-residency at the Family, are very troubling.

Brownback should explain these links and denounce this nut job Engle.

Bobo Fleming 6 years, 9 months ago

Here is the deal. The last I knew this was a free country and Brownback can attend any meeting he wants.

deec 6 years, 9 months ago

So if he were attending a function organized by someone who advocated for example, the death penalty for Christians, you'd be okay with that? According to anti-gay activists, homosexuality is a choice. So is religion. So if Uganda for becomes a predominantly Moslem country and passes a law calling for death for Christians, would you support the governor's right to attend a rally organized by a pro-Christian-death leader?

meggers 6 years, 9 months ago

And as a public official, he should fully expect citizens to hold him accountable for associating with a bunch of extremist bigots. Not to mention that in this free country, Brownback's constituents have the right to speak freely about actions with which they disagree. Despite his best efforts, Brownie hasn't quite figured out a way to get around that pesky US Constitution.

dinglesmith 6 years, 9 months ago

He is welcome to go. No one will stop him or imprison him if he does. However, freedom of speech protects individuals from government reprisal, not from being held responsible as a government official. He can go, but we are under no obligation to ignore it.

ECM 6 years, 9 months ago

Rothschild only knows how to write commentary.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 9 months ago

If the gov were to choose a blueberry muffin instead of a bran muffin, the usual suspects would be outraged.

bradh 6 years, 9 months ago

There's a lot of difference from working with someone with direct ties to going to a prayer meeting at the request of a fellow governor, where ONE of the many sponsors talked in Uganda about homosexuals and the Ugandan government is considering the death penalty for homosexuals. I seriously doubt the one person who talked for the one organization suggested the Ugandan government kill homosexuals. That's kind of like claiming the Jews were responsible for the Holocaust because someone one Jew knew talked to Goebbels at a social function once.

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

It would be more like if the gov were to intentionally go out of state to shop for his muffins at the "We Hate Gays Bakery." Sorry his association with people who hate fellow Americans doesn't register as a problem with you.

jonas_opines 6 years, 9 months ago

As long as they call themselves conservative, there's nothing that registers as a problem for snap.

texburgh 6 years, 9 months ago

I can't stand Brownback but if he chose a blueberry muffin over a bran muffin, I would not be outraged. I've eaten bran muffins and the choice of blueberry would be the only sane decision Brownback could make.

LHS56 6 years, 9 months ago

He can attend any event he wants as long as no tax dollars are involved. He said he is paying his own way. Ok...does that include his staff? Security? Family?
I'm a firm believer in the seperation of church and state. Brownback isn't and has never hidden the fact that there is no seperation. "We" voted him in. Just like Obama, we can vote him out. Time to start working!

Lana Christie-Hayes 6 years, 9 months ago

About as Anti-Christian as you can get. Abhorrent! I wonder if Phelps will be there too.

Bobo Fleming 6 years, 9 months ago

Everybody just lighten up a little. Its really a very hot day. Brownbacks meeting isn't worth all the heat being put out about it. Cool thoughts for a very hot day.

Cody Ochs 6 years, 9 months ago

Sam can go anywhere he wants as long as he foots the bill. Just like Barack Obama can go to any church he wa...never mind.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

Richard Perry has stated that americans have pulled away from God. No doubt Brownback subscribes to that thinking. How the hell would these lying corrupt politicians know anything about another one's God? They don't!

What drives Perry,Brownback and other like politicians is power,money,BIG GOVERNMENT and facism. The boys and girls attending this fiasco are as phoney as a 3 dollar bill IMO!

If the news media looked about and close up there just might be some special interest money in the crowd using the word GOD and BIBLE as a front.

Did Brownback and any other Kansas Reps spend our tax dollars? If so I demand OUR money back!!!!!

cabocrazed 6 years, 9 months ago

But when Queen Kathleen hosts a party for a late term abortionist - at her taxpayer-funded residence, where are all your voices? Where's your outrage? What a bunch of hypocrites!

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 9 months ago

Sorry, apples and oranges. Tiller had nothing to do with "religion" (other than the people who protested him). There wasn't even the slightest appearance of a possible Constitutional violation. Just like Brownback, you just can't seem to "get around that pesky U.S, Constitution thing".

cabocrazed 6 years, 9 months ago

Constitutional violation?

You mean Kathy's fundraiser at a taxpayer-provided residence?

You're absoluely correct that Tiller the Killer had nothing to do with religion. How could someone so cold hearted, who kills babies at term, be affilated with religion?

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 9 months ago

And you spout rhetoric like a good little "Christian" bigot. How are those jack boots fitting?

notaubermime 6 years, 9 months ago

Why should other people be outraged for your issues?

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

Scott Rothchild is reporting news. This story is circulating elsewhere in the country.

It is Sam Brownback and Richard Perry that have people concerned.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 9 months ago

Speaking of the larryville site, it seems to have been down for a while. Did the accumulated weight of the stupid cause it to crash?

verity 6 years, 9 months ago

"In 2009, Brownback participated with Engle in a “PrayerCast” in which participants prayed against the passage of federal health care reform."

Apparently, God didn't agree with Brownback.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 9 months ago

Nah, I'm sure BB used the excuse that it was passed by the "unGodly".

kawman_sense 6 years, 9 months ago

Just curious. Can someone please explain or point us to the 'evil' that folks are referring to?

I don't see it......

Fellow Americans,

Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy.

Some problems are beyond our power to solve, and according to the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, this historic hour demands a historic response. Therefore, on August 6, thousands will gather to pray for a historic breakthrough for our country and a renewed sense of moral purpose.

I sincerely hope you’ll join me in Houston on August 6th and take your place in Reliant Stadium with praying people asking God’s forgiveness, wisdom and provision for our state and nation. There is hope for America. It lies in heaven, and we will find it on our knees.

kawman_sense 6 years, 9 months ago

oh.... wait..... Never mind. I see it right there.... in between the lines.....

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 9 months ago

I dunno, maybe it has something to do with one of the event organizers being labeled as a 'hate group.' Is hate evil? I dunno the answer to that either. I hate peas.

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

God bless America ... and nowhere else!

What a crock.

oldexbeat 6 years, 9 months ago

First, the continued weirdness of the Christian beliefs -- is it God or Jesus ? Hmmm-- one's dead. Is it Hebrew Bible or New Testament ? They always combine both, as though they were actually Jewish, etc. And forgiveness for ? The invasion of Iraq, perhaps. The deaths of lots of people ? Heaven ? Ah, up there ? Right. Duh.

Our 'fuehrers' -- they get paid to think and worship a foreign country -- vatican -- to boot. Is it American to be on our knees in front of an old guy in Rome ? I don't think so.

jonas_opines 6 years, 9 months ago

"Some problems are beyond our power to solve"

That's a rather defeatist attitude to take.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 9 months ago

Having spent time with Southern Baptists, I'd almost take that as a recommendation.

jayhawxrok 6 years, 9 months ago

Brownback is a loon, a right wing zealot. He was a train wreck in the House and now he's come "home" to change our calendars back to 1860 in prep for a Senate run.

deec 6 years, 9 months ago

It's quite amusing that the usual suspects attack the reporter rather than making any attempt to refute the information contained in the article, with, you know, facts and stuff.

oldexbeat 6 years, 9 months ago

expose the misrepresentation of the radical homosexual agenda

huh? what the f)_)) does this mean ? You think it means that being gay is a choice ? Huh? Ok, so Sam hangs out with stupid bigoted people. So Sam probably is bigoted. (OK, not stupid -- clearly -- and will play his religian on his sleeve for your vote.)

"We believe that America is in a state of crisis. Not just politically, financially or morally, but because we are a nation that has not honored God in our successes or humbly called on Him in our struggles. According to the Bible, the answer to a nation in such crisis is to gather in humility and repentance and ask God to intervene. The Response will be a historic gathering of people from across the nation to pray and fast for America."

We believe that America is in a state of crisis because there are not real Christians in charge -- that care about people, their health, their housing, their children, their peace.

Now that might make a difference.

WilburNether 6 years, 9 months ago

Has Tom Holland called on Barack Hussein Obama to denounce Rev. Wright?

If not, he is a hypocrite.

I already know that he's a liar.

Jimo 6 years, 9 months ago

"Brownback said he disagreed with some of Engle’s statements"

That's the same thing Brownback said when his efforts working with "The Family" to get passed the "Kill the Gays" law in Uganda came to light.

True to form, Brownback has one position when he thinks no one is aware of what he's doing but a much more moderate one when exposed to the light.

naturalist 6 years, 9 months ago

"As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy."

As a nation, we are not all Christian, so why should we come together to call Jesus on the mainline? It makes better sense to ask all of us to call upon our own gods for guidance, doesn't it?

PS if you think this trip to TX isn't all about Brownback's hopes to run for a national office, possibly on a ticket with Rick Perry, then think again. Brownback is a self-serving hypocrite.

pace 6 years, 9 months ago

It will take decades to repair the damage the radical right hater are doing to this country, the economy and to the people of this state. The only ones who are getting more secure and richer are the Brownback protected billionaire. Taking food and books from children to feed the rich. Watta guy, He has a right to attend hate conference, we have to right to think it is disgusting.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 9 months ago

"He has a right to attend hate conference(s), we have (the) right to think it is disgusting." Truer words were never spoken.

Kirk Larson 6 years, 9 months ago

A former state legislator once said, "You're either for Fred Phelps or your against him." At least we know where the Governor stands.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 9 months ago

This is just a stunt to get his name out there for a run at higher office. I wonder who the Koch brothers called to cater this.

youraveragewoman 6 years, 9 months ago

Good Grief! I thought this was a free country. Can he not go where he wants on his vacation?

kantubek 6 years, 9 months ago

Free country?

"It's not a free country if you're gay."

"Can he not go where he wants on his vacation?"

Only if he spends his own (not taxpayer) money.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 9 months ago

Since kantubek used my quote, I'll explain why I typed it.

Gay cannot enter into a civil union or marriage as this is not recognized by Kansas. Tax law is biased towards married couples. Only family members/spouse are allowed to visit someone in intensive care at the hospital. Gays are considered as second-class citizens and are not truely free here in 'murikkka.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 9 months ago

Remember, Kansas changed it's Constitution a few years back and took freedom away from a certain segment of the population. I'll repeat that...Kansas amended it's Constitution to take freedom away from people.

Kirk Larson 6 years, 9 months ago

In Manhattan, it is legal to fire or evict someone because the boss or landlord learns they are gay.. The city council had set a discrimination policy that said otherwise, but then a bunch of teabaggers got voted in and they removed the provisions for sexual orientation or gender identity.

Joseph Jarvis 6 years, 9 months ago

Liberal says: "In what way are gay people not free? [Gays] have the same rights as every citizen of this country."

Until 2003, some states criminalized homosexuality. Until this year, gay people were prohibited from military service. Currently, gay men cannot donate blood, even for self-use (e.g., surgery) or with a negative HIV test. Currently, most gay people's relationships are ignored by all levels of government. Currently, it is against federal law to discriminate in employment based on race and gender but not sexual orientation or gender identity.

When you can be jailed for your identity, aren't fit to die for your country, have tainted blood, are a legal stranger to your spouse, and can be fired for nothing more than prejudice, I think you can say there is inequality.

Even using your list, there is evidence of unequal treatment. For example, you cite freedom of speech. Kansas's gay rights organization was recently prevented from carrying flagpoles with rainbow flags in a protest outside the statehouse because state police said they might be used as weapons. Yet groups with more favored viewpoints have been allowed far worse. When the state police were pressed about the difference in treatment, they invented a distinction in policies that turned on whether the event was a "protest" or a "rally." This was the first right you listed (speech) and the core of the right (political speech outside the legislature).

Paul R Getto 6 years, 9 months ago

So far, Mullah Sam seems to be the only other governor stupid enough to attend this event. Check out the sponsor's web opinions.

"On August 6th, Gov. Rick Perry will host a rally of prayer and fasting for a “nation in crisis.” Perry has invited all 49 other governors to share in the event he defines as “a nondenominational, apolitical, Christian prayer meeting.” He is expected to announce his presidential intentions soon after the rally.

A quick look at the event’s endorsement list features a who’s-who of extreme right-wing religious figures. They warn of dire consequences for our nation: birds dying out because gays can serve in the military, hurricanes ravaging “sinful cities,” even Oprah Winfrey being a sign of the Apocalypse. Yet despite their outlandish beliefs and rhetoric, Perry features their support prominently on the event’s website......"

I wondered why I saw a dead bird in my yard the other day; it's because we allow gays in the military. Finally, a straight answer to a complex problem............

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