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Washington Post profile depicts Brownback as compassionate Christian conservative

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![][1]Today's [Washington Post][2] has a lengthy profile of Sen. Sam Brownback and his 2008 presidential aspirations. It's much friendlier than the Rolling Stone piece a few months back, though it covers much of the same ground.With echoes of President Bush's 2000 election campaign, the Post suggests that Brownback isn't just a Christian conservative - he's a compassionate Christian conservative.The Post says: "Because of his emphasis on compassion, Brownback does not fit the stereotype of the angry Christian conservative."It adds: "Brownback has teamed up with some of the most liberal members of the Senate to help victims of sex trafficking, and suffering Sudanese. He quotes Bono on the struggles of the poor and encourages college students to take their spring breaks in Africa. He has worked for women's rights in Afghanistan and for North Korean refugees. When the issue of illegal immigration blew up in the Senate earlier this year, Brownback embraced President Bush's plan for comprehensive reform, infuriating some conservatives who see it as too lenient. He has pushed for an African American history museum on the Mall, saying he became committed after a 'divine intervention' came to him during prayer."But the Post seems to downplay Brownback's presidential chances, but suggests he could still have a big impact on the GOP race in 2008:"And now, at 49, he's considering a run for president. Across the country, not many people know who Sam Brownback is. His fundraising has been lackluster, though it's still early. Even if he doesn't get close to winning, though, his support in the conservative Christian community may affect what other candidates are talking about."'One of his major contributions would be to anchor the moral issues in the Republican Party,' says Rob Schenck, an evangelical minister and president of the conservative National Clergy Council. 'He in a way could hold the evangelical and the traditional Catholic vote hostage if the party began to waver on those issues.'"The Libby Copeland piece also contains the following highlights:¢ On Brownback's conversion to Catholicism: "He won't talk much about this aspect of his religious life. 'It's kind of a divisive issue,' he says, perhaps conscious of his many evangelical supporters. 'People divide along churches instead of trying to look at how you pull together. Like, okay, this church is better than that church. You can find the Lord in a lot of places if you're willing to look for Him.'"¢ "He practices prayer when he finds himself in heated situations, as he did recently during a meeting on a constitutional amendment he supports, which would ban same-sex marriage. (Marriage, he says, is 'a man and a woman bonded together for life and grandparents surrounding 'em.') 'Instead of getting angry at somebody for opposing you on something, you're just praying for them,' he says. 'You just pray blessings on them, blessings on their family.'"¢ "During visits to Israel, Brownback used to study the Torah with Ariel Sharon, calling it 'each of us feeding our souls.' Lately he has been reading the Koran. He says Islam's holy book talks a lot about weighing people's good deeds against their bad deeds, and this has made him appreciate Christianity more."¢ On the presidency: "It's one of the most humbling things on Earth," Brownback says, his voice soft. "Look at the nature and the difficulty of that job and the greatness of this country and the need to be humble and wise to serve. Plus it's just, it's like, pride was the first sin and humility's the first grace . . ."There's much more there.Other links today:Sam Brownback links[(Salon.com commentary) Who's afraid of the big bad gay marriage amendment?][3] Kansas Republican Sam Brownback, a 2008 presidential contender, led the charge for a constitutional amendment on the Senate floor Monday, dominating the debate with a handful of blue-and-white charts that he said showed the need for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. He had line graphs, bar graphs and circle graphs. He spoke about French law and Dutch sociology. He went on about the benefits of two-parent families. "It's important that a child be raised between a loving couple," Brownback declared, a phrase that seemed, at first, to be an argument in favor of gay marriage. "Developmental problems are less common in two parent families." He said that welfare encourages out-of-wedlock births and called for more research on marriage. But the Republican senator made no real mention of men who love men or women who love women.[(BP News commentary) Children at risk when marriage redefined, constitutional amendment supporters say:][4] "[W]e know from all the social data, in all societies, at all times, that the best place to raise children is [within] the union of a man and a woman," Sen. Sam Brownback, R.-Kan., said. "... You can raise good children in other settings, but the best -- the optimal setting -- is in the union between a man and a woman, bonded together for life.... That's something we've got social data on, but we also know that in our hearts." A procedural vote on the amendment, S.J. Res. 1, now is scheduled for Wednesday.[(Yahoo.com commentary) THE SENTATOR WHO CRIED 'BIGOT':][5] The "B" word is also fueling new fears about the ultimate consequences of gay marriage. As Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., said on the floor of the Senate: "Same-sex marriage proponents argue that sexual orientation is like race, and that opponents of same-sex marriage are therefore like bigots who oppose interracial marriage. Once same-sex marriage becomes law, that understanding is likely to be controlling." Brownback pointed to a litany of potential negative consequences for traditional faiths: "So in states with same-sex marriage, religiously affiliated schools, adoption agencies, psychological clinics, social workers, marital counselors, etc. will be forced to choose between violating their own deeply held beliefs and giving up government contracts, tax-exempt status, or even being denied the right to operate at all. ... It's already happening, as we've seen in Massachusetts with Boston's Catholic Charities being forced out of the adoption business entirely rather than violate church teaching on marriage and family."[(Wall Street Journal) Battle Over Foreign-Aid Spending Heats Up:][6] Sen. Sam Brownback (R., Kan.), a member of the Appropriations Committee, is drafting legislation that would require the administration to spend 50% of aid to Africa on such items as water wells, immunizations and teacher training. Mr. Brownback says he became disenchanted with how the administration is delivering foreign aid during a December trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo. "It was like you were just taking a lot of money and scattering it around, and there was nothing real at the end of the day," says Mr. Brownback, who is part of a growing pro-aid movement among American Christian conservatives.How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][7] [1]: http://www.commonsenseblog.org/bios/img/brownback.jpg [2]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/06/AR2006060601616.html [3]: http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2006/06/06/gay_marriage/ [4]: http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=23401 [5]: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ucmg/20060606/cm_ucmg/thesentatorwhocriedbigot [6]: http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB114964237227873311-9VLg4BPCPl76mawIeC92XypcO_E_20060706.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top [7]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

Comments

sibkiss 7 years, 10 months ago

Brownback is bought and paid for by the Rockefellers. They are ruling elite behind the CFR and want to abolish the American way of life to replace it with a one-size fits all global government / by the giant multi-national corporations, for the giant multi-national corporations. Never mind the US Constitution and our Bill of Rights...

He takes a stand with the ultra-right conservative and the ultra-left liberal depending on the issue and what the Catholic church tells him their direction is on the issue. No gay marriages?-- from a church whose priests are a hiding behind clerical robes a whole bunch of gays.

He must be the anti-christ, thats it! Damien for President! LOL

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xenophonschild 7 years, 10 months ago

One important questions is: How long, how many generations must we yet wait, for morons like Brownie and his ilk to shuffle into oblivion?

Maybe they serve some purpose - stability, keeping us in touch with our past - but they are fast becoming obsolete. I hope to live long enough to see the complete, utter demise of fundamentalist Christian conservative Republicans in our society.

And it's just a thought, but Phill Kline would love an opportunity to replace Brownie in the U.S. Senate. Something to think about.

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moderator 7 years, 10 months ago

"Compassionate" and "Conservative" is about the biggest contradiction of terms. It looks like its all about "truthiness"

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Jamesaust 7 years, 10 months ago

I'd be more of a mind to forgive commenters' citation to articles like the Kurtz one as just simple ignorance if so many of the claims could not be easily refuted.

Fact: neither Sweden nor Denmark has same-sex marriage. (They offer limited domestic partnerships.)

Fact: most family instability cited by Kurtz predates any move toward same-sex DPs.

Fact: the percentage of children born out-of-wedlock in Denmark and in Sweden DECLINED after institution of same-sex DPs (after decades of acceleration). (Although, at least I wouldn't claim a causational relationship like Kurtz no doubt would if the data read the other way.)

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Jamesaust 7 years, 10 months ago

'"... You can raise good children in other settings, but the best -- the optimal setting -- is in the union between a man and a woman, bonded together for life.... That's something we've got social data on, but we also know that in our hearts."' - Sam, quoted in BP [Baptist Press] News.

FALSE.

There are no data that demonstrates that children are "best" in "the union between a man and a woman" or in a household with two gay parents. A real (good) news organization would have not only quoted Brownback but pointed this fact out to readers; a propaganda sheet would do exactly what this source does - ignore it.

What there is evidence of is that stable two-parent families are (in general, but not always) "best" for children. The vast majority of stable two-parent families are represented by "the union between a man and a woman." But, it does not follow, and there is some research data to contradict, that stable but same-gender families offer distinguishable results. (Some even seem to show better results.) The phenomenon is relatively recent and rare so considerably more research would be necessary to "crown a king" of "best" family structures.

What's more: what is "best" is not the issue. Research is overwhelming that "broken" family, single parent households are (as a class) worse for children. I haven't noted any attempt by Brownback to strip single parents of custody (nor do I plan to hold my breath).

Indeed, it was (in part) EXPRESS INVOCATION FOR CHILDRENS' INTERESTS that same-sex DPs in Vermont and Connecticut and same-sex marriage in Massachusetts were instituted. How are children protected by informal, impermanent, extra-legal families that don't provide for their survival of a parent or health care from "the other" mommy (or daddy)?

Forget the gay couple for just a moment -- if the real deciding factor as some commenters have expressed here is "what's best for the children," then the debate is over ... Gay marriage it is!

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Bubarubu 7 years, 10 months ago

swbsow and Baille have it right. An equivalent to your argument is that because I feed my dog, I must feed my dog strychnine. It's called a slippery slope fallacy. There is no reason, other than Falwell, Dobson, Robertson, Warren, Santorum, etc. have said it, to equate same sex marriage with incest, polygamy, or bestiality. They don't like same sex relationships (don't think it stops at legal recognition of those relationships) and they also don't like incest, polygamy, and bestiality so they think of one leading to the others. Stop listening to them, they're morons. Think for yourself and see if you can generate an independent reason for banning same sex marriage that goes beyond "The Bible says its wrong" or "I don't like it".

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swbsow 7 years, 10 months ago

Posted by takeastand (anonymous) on June 7, 2006 at 4:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Good comments interesting to see what others think

Change of direction... Let's say Gay marriage is legalized in all 50. Does that open the door to say a brother marrying his sister or a man taking two wives just to get medical benefits? Be nice :)

No, why would it?

And as strange as this sounds, as long as there are only consenting adults involved, I have absolute no problem letting those happen.

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orchid 7 years, 10 months ago

takeastand- This video falls in line with your question. Thought you all might enjoy!

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/06/07.html#a8614

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Baille 7 years, 10 months ago

No. Rational basis for either regulation would make it OK.

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Bruce Rist 7 years, 10 months ago

Good comments interesting to see what others think

Change of direction... Let's say Gay marriage is legalized in all 50. Does that open the door to say a brother marrying his sister or a man taking two wives just to get medical benefits? Be nice :)

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Bubarubu 7 years, 10 months ago

Three minutes, four cogent critiques of the Kurtz article. Re-reading the excerpt that Agnostick posted was interesting. High out-of-wedlock birthrates PRECEDE same sex marriage. Troubling to the anti-SSM argument because, if SSM is supposed to cause the disintegration of the family, then the family shouldn't be disintegrating before SSM. Next time you post something, read something beyond the headline and apply some critical evaluation.

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Bubarubu 7 years, 10 months ago

takeastand--Other than Kurtz' assertion that it does, what proof does the article offer that gay marriage CAUSED the statistics he cites? On the first page, Kurtz even acknowledges that the marriage problem in Scandinavia started before they legalized gay marriage, so the point you're making here is absurd. Marriage has been undermined in Scandinavia, great, where the proof marriage was hurt by gay marriage and not economic factors, cultural mores, etc., etc.

So let's take up "what's best for the kids". Two parent households, right? Option one is to allow same sex marriage and if one of the two spouses has children, then the kids are raised in a two-parent home. You don't think that's very good though, based on your opposition to same sex marriage and your desire for what's best for the kids. Option two is to have homosexuals with children and a cohabitating partner OR no second parent in the home. Would that be better? Would that really make for a more stable, healthy, productive child-rearing environment? Is one straight parent better than two icky queers? Is one homosexual parent better than two? That seems to be the logical conclusion to your..."argument".

Reading Kurtz' article, he says that high tax rates (knew that would get in, didn't you?) force women to work so they're not home to raise the kids. Not sure what that has to do with gay marriage, but it seems like a pretty important argument from him. What Kurtz is actually bemoaning is the breakup of the nuclear family model in Scandinavia. Whatever your opinion of the nuclear family model and its alternatives, he's using same sex marriage as a red herring, throwing it out there and hoping someone will follow the trail. There is no causal link, he does not even propose one, he just says he doesn't like same sex marriage. Bully for him, now tell us the real reason why.

All of this means that the proof that same sex marriage will hurt marriage as an institution, families as we/you currently conceive of them, or Western civilization is not present. When you find some, you will let us know, won't you?

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orchid 7 years, 10 months ago

The Weekly Standard is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News corp., which is fitting since the article said the institution of marriage is already dead thanks to gay marriage.

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Agnostick 7 years, 10 months ago

Okay, this is good... from page 2 of Kurtz's article:

"In the early nineties, gay marriage came to the Nordic countries, where the out-of-wedlock birthrate was already high. Ten years later, out-of-wedlock birth rates have risen significantly in the middle group of nations. Not coincidentally, nearly every country in that middle group has recently either legalized some form of gay marriage, or is seriously considering doing so. Only in the group with low out-of-wedlock birthrates has the gay marriage movement achieved relatively little success."

Am I getting this right? Is Kurtz really trying to tell me that same-sex couples--biologically prohibited from procreation--are somehow "responsible" for higher birth rates?

DAMNIT!! YOU LESBIANS AND GAY GUYS QUIT GETTING PREGNANT AND SQUEEZING OUT BABIES!! THE WELFARE STATE CAN'T SUPPORT YOU! WE NEED THAT FOR THE "ANCHOR BABIES" CONSERVATIVES WELCOME ACROSS THE SOUTHERN BORDER!

criminy, that felt good...

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

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swbsow 7 years, 10 months ago

Posted by takeastand (anonymous) on June 7, 2006 at 3:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Didn't mean for the whole "experiment" thing to sound derogatory: Sorry

I really don't have an agenda here. I just want what's best for kids.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Pu...

I read that article earlier too and it doesn't really say what you think it should be saying. First, marriage rates were already declining well before same sex marriages were legalized. Second, this really addresses the fact that in Scandinavian that it not an issue to have children out of wedlock & it really never has been an issue in that culture. It really never carried that same stigma that it did in the U.S. Gay marriage really didn't have to do anything with that in Scandinavia cultures. Third, the institution of marriage in the U.S. does not equal child raising. Otherwise why not have a ban on childless marriages both those by choice & those unable to.

Really, this article has some very iffy links of gay marriage to ruining the state of marriage. The whole premise this guy has is that if you let gays marry then there is no incentive for opposite sex couples to marry & therefore kids are being raised out of wedlock. It is very shaky at best and really does not address the issue of gay marriage.

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Agnostick 7 years, 10 months ago

drewdun, did you read the "Standard" article?

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orchid 7 years, 10 months ago

The results of gay marriage? That gender roles in marriage won't mean a thing; that is the real problem for people like Jerry Falwell and James Dobson who have been leading this crusade. Falwell wrote "Listen, America!" in 1980, and stated that "We would not be having the present moral crisis regarding the homosexual movement if men and women accepted their proper roles as designated by God. . . . 'for the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church' (Ephesians 5:23)." So, the real problem is gender neutrality. It is a religious problem. Marriage, however, has always been a civil matter in the U.S.

To those (like Brownback) who supported the ban: it is not up to you to protect God's 'laws', I think He can take care of it on His own. Also Christianity teaches that God is to be the one that judges each of us in the end, otherwise, He would have asked for your help.

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drewdun 7 years, 10 months ago

Lets see,

Blind, ultra-nationalism. Check

Extreme glorification of the military and violence in 'defense' of the 'homeland.' Check.

Seeing their side as the only one with genuine values and true patriotism. Check.

Ignoring reality and slandering those that report it and accept it. Check.

Corporate control of the government. Check.

Finally, scapegoating and hating internal minorities, seeing them as the roots of many of our problems. CHECK.

Who does this sound like? HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

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Agnostick 7 years, 10 months ago

Okay, trying to wade through that article... anyone else's head spinning yet, from the spin Kurtz is putting on those statistics?

While I have yet to finish the article, the first two paragraphs are very telling: Kurtz freely admits that heterosexual marriage rates were already in a steep decline, long before same-sex marriage was legalized.

I'll keep reading, though...

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Bruce Rist 7 years, 10 months ago

Didn't mean for the whole "experiment" thing to sound derogatory: Sorry

I really don't have an agenda here. I just want what's best for kids.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/660zypwj.asp

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cutny 7 years, 10 months ago

Gee, the Senate vote failed. BIG SURPRISE! Shocking to find Brownback on the losing side of a bill YET AGAIN. GO BROWNIE. BROWNIE FOR PRESIDENT! Quit the Senate NOW and start your campaign.

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Redzilla 7 years, 10 months ago

I like how we're calling same-sex marriage an "experiment" now...From the current divorce rates it looks like the opposite sex marriage experiment isn't exactly panning out, either. I mean, if an "experiment" fails 50% of the time (as do 1st marriages of opposite sex couples), you wouldn't exactly call that a success, would you?

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swbsow 7 years, 10 months ago

Posted by takeastand (anonymous) on June 7, 2006 at 2:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Concrete examples? Well, the gay marriage experiment is not working in Demark and Sweden.

Yes, links and explanation.

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Bruce Rist 7 years, 10 months ago

Concrete examples? Well, the gay marriage experiment is not working in Demark and Sweden.

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swbsow 7 years, 10 months ago

Posted by 75x55 (anonymous) on June 7, 2006 at 1:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

swbsow - the main reason you don't see an "answer to " Agnostick's question is that the question is a deflection. It doesn't have anything to do with the purported issue of gay marriage. Liberals, as usual, look at how it affects themselves (ie. using a 'selfish' viewpoint), and expect everyone else to see the issue in terms of 'self', and not the effects it would have on the institution of marriage and the results of those changes that can be expected in the next several generations.

So what are the effects on the institution of marriage? Please cite concrete examples on how it is harming marriage. What changes can be expected in the next several generations? How are these changes harmful to society? Again please show concrete examples.

If letting same sex couples marry do not directly affect your marriage or my marriage, then how would it affect society?

Opposite sex couples are still going to go about their opposite sex lives as they did before.

Liberals are not being selfish here. It is people who share the same viewpoint as you that are the ones being selfish. You want to keep marriage for yourselves under your rules. Again, marriage is not a religious institution. It originated & still is an economic institution. It is only Christianity that has usurped it to be theirs.

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Agnostick 7 years, 10 months ago

I get it now, 75x55... you mean the way Conservatives (Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh, for example) have often used a "selfish" viewpoint to toss aside one wife after another, to trade-up to a "newer model?" Or in Newt's case, to engage in adulterous affairs?

How have adultery and divorce affected the institution of marriage over the past several generations? How do you expect adultery and divorce to impact the institution of marriage in the next 100 years or so?

Do you think divorce is a lesser threat to the institution of marriage, than the legalization of same-sex marriages?

And please don't confuse "self" with "selfish." Learn the difference between the two. Matthew 7:3 is a good place to start. :)

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

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75x55 7 years, 10 months ago

swbsow - the main reason you don't see an "answer to " Agnostick's question is that the question is a deflection. It doesn't have anything to do with the purported issue of gay marriage. Liberals, as usual, look at how it affects themselves (ie. using a 'selfish' viewpoint), and expect everyone else to see the issue in terms of 'self', and not the effects it would have on the institution of marriage and the results of those changes that can be expected in the next several generations.

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swbsow 7 years, 10 months ago

Wouldn't it be his bible belt?

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Agnostick 7 years, 10 months ago

paladin, you just wanna get a long, lust look at his...

belt.

Cilice belt, that is. :p

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

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paladin 7 years, 10 months ago

Herr Brownback is mien hero. The ultimate hypocrite. I'd love to be alone in the men's room with him. Uh, no, just to see if he has a reflection in the mirror.

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swbsow 7 years, 10 months ago

Well, the gay marriage ban proposal was just defeated in the Senate.

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swbsow 7 years, 10 months ago

Agnostick's question is not a new one but it is one that I have never heard an answer to ever since gay marriage became an issue.

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scenebooster 7 years, 10 months ago

I'm wondering why all of the Brownback supporters / "compassionate conservatives" who frequent the forums haven't posted in response to Agnostick's post...they seem to be so certain of their position, yet no attempts to combat this example of logical thinking? Makes ya think....

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Calliope877 7 years, 10 months ago

Agnostick,

I was about to pose some of the same questions, but you beat me to it.:p

I honestly don't understand why so many people consider same-sex marriages as a threat. It's self-righteous and downright ignorant.

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cutny 7 years, 10 months ago

He's such an embarrassment to the state. Go Brownie!! Please quit the senate and go run your laughing-stock presidential campaign.

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Baille 7 years, 10 months ago

Thank God he is compassionate.

Then again he has championed legislation that would make it nearly impossible for those on death row to have claims of actual innocence heard by an appellate court. His legislation creates so many procedural bars that he would make killing by the state a near-certainty for even those with proof of actual innocence. Even in the case of those who are guilty, I guess compassion only goes so far. Redemption is fine for those who "deserve" it, but woe be to those who murder in the U.S.A. They have forsaken the path of the righteous and it is our God-granted duty to see them fry.

Go, Sam!

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RustyShackleford 7 years, 10 months ago

If the Democratic Party ever ran someone against this mental case I'd like to help with the campaign for Browny.

I've even got two slogans to choose from.

  1. SAM BROWNBACK: because the rest of Kansas suddenly looks educated and sane standing next to me.

  2. SAM BROWNBACK: because Mississippi wants to take National Laughingstock back from Kansas.

Really, how can this guy or his fanatical religion be anything but scoffed in the 21st Century?

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Agnostick 7 years, 10 months ago

takeastand...

While we're waiting for the extremists on the both conservative/Republican/Right and the liberal/Democrat/Left ... how about some good old-fashioned Centrist logical questions?

1) Explain to me how two men or two women getting married affects your marriage, on a personal level? I've been married happily for almost 15 years, and my wife and I have had more than our share of gay and lesbian friends and acquaintances over the years. Some of these folks have had "commitment ceremonies," they wear rings, share a home. Somehow, they haven't affected my marriage, our marriage. Why do you think that is?

2) Massachusetts is currently the only state in the union that recognizes same-sex marriage. Massachusetts also happens to have the lowest divorce rate of all 50 states. Coincidence?

Agnostick agnostick@excite.com

P.S. I've never voted for Brownback, and never will--too much of an extremist.

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Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 10 months ago

I don't think I've ever laughed as hard when reading an article as I did when I finally made my way through this one. What's the Washington Post going to report next? That Sen. Kay O'Connor is the next Mother Teresa?

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Bruce Rist 7 years, 10 months ago

Can't wait for the left-wing bomb throwers to come out on this one!!! Let's put this article next to Ann Coluter and her new book and you could have some real fun

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