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Sam Brownback in Rolling Stone


The Sam Brownback interview in Rolling Stone is creating quite a stir.It was reportedly all the talk during Kansas Days this last weekend, but national focus on the "God's Senator" article has been about an apparent misunderstanding.[The Associated Press][1] reports:_Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, a potential presidential candidate, said Monday he meant no offense to homosexuals when he used the word "fruits" in a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine.In a lengthy profile titled "God's Senator," the magazine quotes the Kansas Republican as criticizing countries like Sweden that allow civil unions between same-sex couples."You'll know them by their fruits," Brownback said, quoting a biblical passage from Matthew 7:19.Rolling Stone writer Jeff Sharlet said in the story, appearing in the magazine's current issue, that Brownback appeared to be calling gay Swedes "fruits," a derogatory term for homosexuals.After gay and lesbian advocacy groups denounced the comments last week, Brownback issued a statement Monday saying his quote "was in no way referring to sexual orientation."_The misunderstanding is unfortunate, because it's drawing attention away from what is perhaps the most comprehensive portrait of Brownback, the Kansas senator who is poised to run for president in 2008 - albeit a portrait drawn in a notably liberal magazine.It focuses heavily on his religious beliefs.[Some highlights from the article:][2]¢ "Brownback seeks something far more radical: not faith-based politics but faith in place of politics. In his dream America, the one he believes both the Bible and the Constitution promise, the state will simply wither away. In its place will be a country so suffused with God and the free market that the social fabric of the last hundred years -- schools, Social Security, welfare -- will be privatized or simply done away with."¢ "He tells a story about a chaplain who challenged a group of senators to reconsider their conception of democracy. 'How many constituents do you have?' the chaplain asked. The senators answered: 4 million, 9 million, 12 million. 'May I suggest,' the chaplain replied, 'that you have only one constituent?'"Brownback pauses. That moment, he declares, changed his life. 'This' -- being senator, running for president, waving the flag of a Christian nation -- 'is about serving one constituent.' He raises a hand and points above him."¢ "Now he has become a Catholic. He was baptized not in a church but in a chapel tucked between lobbyists' offices on K Street that is run by Opus Dei, the secretive lay order founded by a Catholic priest who advocated 'holy coercion' and considered Spanish dictator Francisco Franco an ideal of worldly power. Brownback also studies Torah with an orthodox rabbi from Brooklyn. 'Deep,' says the rabbi, Nosson Scherman. Lately, Brownback has been reading the Koran, but he doesn't like what he's finding"¢ "Brownback is unlikely to receive the Republican presidential nomination -- but as the candidate of the Christian right, he may well be in a position to determine who does, and what they include in their platform."¢ "The most bluntly theocratic effort, however, is the Constitution Restoration Act, which Brownback co-sponsored with Jim DeMint, another former C Streeter who was then a congressman from South Carolina. If passed, it will strip the Supreme Court of the ability to even hear cases in which citizens protest faith-based abuses of power. "¢ After his spiritual transformation, Brownback began traveling to some of the most blighted regions in the world. At times his motivation appeared strictly economic. He toured the dictatorships of Central Asia, trading U.S. support for access to oil -- but he insists that he wanted to prevent their wealth from falling into "Islamic hands." Oil may have spurred his interest in Africa, too -- the U.S. competes with China for access to African oil fields -- but the welfare of the world's most afflicted continent has since become a genuine obsession for Brownback. It's a long article. There's a lot more there.For more on reaction to the Rolling Stone article can be found [here.][3]How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][4] [1]: http://www.yahoo.com [2]: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/9178374/gods_senator/ [3]: http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&lr=&client=safari&rls=en&tab=wn&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=%22sam+brownback%22+%22rolling+stone%22&btnG=Search+News [4]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed


RonBurgandy 11 years, 9 months ago

They certainly did erase all the comments. blue73harley is right, it is sort of weird around here today.

craigers 11 years, 9 months ago

I am glad that he is standing up for what he believes in. That takes guts.

GiveMeABreak 11 years, 9 months ago

What do you expect? It's the facist Lawrence Journal World? I've said it before and I'll say it again...Got a freaky old lady named KoKaine Katy who embroiders on my jeans...gonna see my picture on the cover, gonna buy five copies for my mother, gonna see my smilin' face on the cover of the rollin' stone.

Irateirish 11 years, 9 months ago

Sam Brownback is one scary dude. What's really scary is the fact that so many people think that he's good for America. He is one of the legislators attempting to turn the U.S. into a theocracy. The arrogance of the religious right knows no bounds. Brownback, Santorum, and the like are so far removed from reality that an informed public would be able to see these senators for what they are: a threat to those who do not share their religious beliefs.

mushfish 11 years, 9 months ago

We need to keep religion out of the White House. These christian closed minded views will set this country back another 30 years. I feel that it takes an open~minded, fair person to run a country. Free your mind and your ass will follow! Peace and love.....

editor 11 years, 9 months ago

Note: the Congressional Briefing blog was misconfigured on the back end to allow non-registered comments.

It's the policy of LJWorld.com to require users to register before posting comments; so when we discovered the misconfiguration this morning we configured the blog to accord with site policies.

Unfortunately, switching the blog to require registered-user comments rendered the unregistered comments to the netherworld.

We greatly apologize for the inconvenience.

And for any disappointments on the conspiracy theories.

RonBurgandy 11 years, 9 months ago

Ah man, no conspiracy theories...bummer.

Jamesaust 11 years, 9 months ago

Its hardly bizarre that 'Taliban Sam' is "unlikely to receive the Republican presidential nomination." What is bizarre is that his recent re-election campaign in Kansas drew only a politically-virginal retired railroad engineer who as I recall got the Democrat nomination only after the primary winner (another railroad engineer) decided he didn't really wan to run.

As Boyda demonstrated against Ryun that same year, there is considerable unconfortableness among Kansans if there is a challenged who can ask questions that the Kansas press (unlike Rolling Stone) shies away from.

The question unasked by RS: "Do you favor a constitutional ban on divorce and the criminalization of adultery as a means to protect the endangered family?" I believe Sam is honest enough that he would have answered either "yes" or "no comment."

If the 20th century taught us anything, it is: when radical types speak plainly about their intentions, it is wise to take them at their own word.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 9 months ago

The opposition by democrats in Kansas is pathetic, but I agree that there is dissatisfaction as evidenced by Boyda. Roberts was virtually unopposed in his last election. Pathetic.

Dan Glickman could mount a challenge as could Sebelius. Other than that, there are not many high-profile democratic politicians in Kansas. Maybe the republicans will need to clean this one up themselves.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 9 months ago

"You'll know them by their fruits,"

Turns out "fruits" in Aramaic translates to "fashionable shoes and closely-cropped beards". This must have been what oSAMa Brownback meant.

Jamesaust 11 years, 9 months ago

It is a sign of the times that a writer in a major magazine like RT would be clued into hip modern slang but be wholly ignorant of the religious heritage of 90% of Americans.

Still, on the other hand, after the "constituency of one" line, I wonder why Sam didn't tell Kansans that not only was he a Christianist but that he had no intention of considering them to be his constituents. Goodness, it wasn't all that long ago that JFK had to work at emphasizing that his political loyalty was to the U.S. first and foremost, not to the Pope. If only he'd realized that they were one and the same.

chicklet 11 years, 9 months ago

i don't think dan glickman is going to leave the MPAA to come back to kansas! i love that guy.

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