KANSAS: Trump Nominates Gov. Sam Brownback To Be US Ambassador-At-Large For Religious Freedom

The Kansas City Star reports:

President Donald Trump has appointed Gov. Sam Brownback to an ambassadorship, a little more than a month after the Kansas governor saw his signature tax policy dismantled by the state’s Legislature.

Trump announced Brownback’s appointment as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom Wednesday evening. Brownback had long been expected to be named to the post.

“Religious Freedom is the first freedom,” the governor said on Twitter Wednesday evening. “The choice of what you do with your own soul. I am honored to serve such an important cause.”

Brownback was first elected governor in 2010 after a failed presidential run and 15 years in the U.S. Senate, overseeing Kansas’ transformation into one of the leading laboratories for conservative policies.

More from Politico:

If confirmed, Brownback will serve effectively as the head of the Office of International Religous Freedom within the State Department.

That office is charged with promoting religous freedom as a key objective of U.S. foreign policy, according to the State Department’s website. The office’s mission is to monitor “religious persecution and discrimination worldwide, recommend and implement policies in respective regions or countries, and develop programs to promote religious freedom.”

In Kansas, Brownback has proved to be a deeply unpopular governor, even in a bedrock conservative state. A recent survey by Morning Consult found he was the second-least popular governor in America, with only 25 percent of those surveyed approving of of his job performance, and a 63 percent disapproval rating.

  • Todd20036

    “Religious Freedom” smells an awful lot like “oppress LBGT”, “oppress non Christians”

    Sounds like they want businesses the right to refuse service to those they don’t like.

    But that’s Nazi talk, and that could NEVER happen here.

    Right?

    • kcken

      .. taking it to the WORLD stage no less.. Shameful bullshit.

    • Dramphooey

      I’ll bet I can think of one religious minority he won’t give a damn about. Actually, I can think of only one that he will care about. This is disturbing. Our best hope is this is just a lip service office to pander to idiots.

      • BJORN RAGNVALDR

        Some thought his views on LGBT issues was just lip service to appease the idiots and might not actually take action……..I heard that argument before election, and here we are.

    • Gustav2

      The voters of Kansas are like a battered wife that just found out their husband was killed in a car crash.

      • Michael White

        Yes, but like so many battered wives will they elect another abuser?

        • Octoberfurst

          If they follow right-wingers usual patterns of voting—yes. “This conservative Governor was a disaster but I am sure the NEXT conservative Governor will do much better!” Idiots.

        • Gerry Fisher

          Unfortunately, a distinct possibility. 🙁

      • Gerry Fisher

        Oh, so TOTALLY this. They needed the assist.

      • Stephen Elliot Phillips

        The grand experiment of shoving Koch down the throats of kansans

      • Ninja0980

        Voter suppression and a crappy Democratic candidate helped too.

    • Rambie

      He’ll be working closely with Crimea to import their tactics

    • Randy503

      How about freedom FROM religion? Will atheists be protected too? Religious minorities?

      Sounds like Bannon really needs to shore up the religious right.

    • JCF
  • Dramphooey

    Possibly some relief for Kansas.

    • Tawreos

      I am sure he will pick a replacement that is just as bad as he is.

  • kcken

    People I worked with live in Kansas. They couldn’t talk about him without losing their SHIT. Hard to feel sorry for the state, when they kept re-electing the same republicans.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7d636becf387ac21e8b87ef6967399ce87fd9b5a0bbaed527469c725e6f49180.jpg

    • Octoberfurst

      That’s what kills me. They had the power to not re-elect Brownback but he got voted back in for another term. WTF? I thought for sure he would lose. I guess some people will vote GOP even if the party is a disaster because you wouldn’t want one of those horrible liberal Democrats in office right?

      • kcken

        The wealthy people in the Kansas wanted their tax cuts. The rural folks voted with their bible, and the uneducated Fox News types voted for a patriot, not sum commie Libtard. <- Kansas in a nutshell

        • Octoberfurst

          I think you totally nailed it!

        • Ninja0980

          Yup…not as many voted for him as before but it was still sadly enough to pull him across the finish line.
          Paul Davis didn’t himself any favors either.
          Sad to say but my cousin predicted that his weak response to Janice Pauls attempts to hurt LGBT sex trafficking victims while she was still a Democrat just before he declared his run for governor bode ill for said run.
          Wish she had been wrong.

      • Chucktech

        Kansans ALMOST elected Brownback’s Dem opponent, but it was discovered that the Dem visited a titty bar once 30 years ago, so that was pretty much that.

        • Ninja0980

          His weak response to that attack and others didn’t help.

  • netxtown

    Oh My Jesus Fucking Kriste!

    Hello Theocracy! Goodbye Democracy!

    However – I will sleep well knowing Brownsackofshit just made the ISIS list….

  • Tawreos

    “The office’s mission is to monitor “religious persecution and discrimination worldwide…”

    I am sure he will be looking into ways to increase the amount of persecution that christians can do to help win souls or some such crap.

    • kcken

      Bombing for Jesus. We can’t afford healthcare here, but we can drop a few billion in missiles on “muslims” ….

    • Steverino

      Funny how “religious freedom” is freedom from being persecuted because of their religion, so they can be free to persecute others… because of that same religion.

  • Kevin Perez

    Wow, what a humiliating fall from power. Well deserved too.

    • Dramphooey

      I’m hoping it is a fall from power, too. It shows the ignorance of this nation that it won’t look at how he has wrecked Kansas by ramming through the Republican Economic Lie.

  • Hanwi

    They forgot the word christian, they only recognize and believe in christian religious freedom.

    • Dramphooey

      That’s the only religion. The rest are all cults and devil worship. Strangely, the only competing religions of Christianity are atheism and evolution.

      • Hanwi

        Atheism and evolution are not competing religions, they are the most current theories we have for how our natural world operates. They apply the scientific method, the exact opposite of religion.

        Edit: I understand your point though.

    • JCF

      -ist!

  • Michael White

    It is getting worse and worse as the orange asshole gets crazier and crazier. Where are the decent people in the GOP? We are on the road to failure as a nation. When health care collapses (6% of our economy) no one, will get away from this with out serious damage to their way of life. I fear the “good” people are beginning to try and live below the radar as they did in Germany in the 20’s and 30’s. We forget Fascism’s rise did not happen overnight, but through a serious of smaller events. The media reports almost hourly on the latest outrageous act of the GOP administration, but we are like the frogs in the boiling water. I have not felt this afraid since my parents were very concerned during the Cuban Missile crisis. We are so doomed unless WE THE PEOPLE stop standing for this Bullshit and take to the streets.

    • Rambie

      “Where are the decent people in the GOP?”

      Sadly, I don’t think there are any left. Maybe Collins on health care.

      • Adam Schmidt

        This has been going on for a LONG time. Eisenhower was the last decent Republican leader. Then we got Nixon and his anti-semitism, Reagan who welcomed in the Southern Baptists and former Dixiecrats and all their poison. Bush Sr. who continued Reagan’s broken economic policies that favored the rich and screwed the poor. Bush Jr. who was just a tool for lobbyists and fed money to all of Cheney’s friends.

        And now Trump who’s not just willing but happy to demonize anyone who’s brown if it distracts from him and his friends pulling the biggest heist in history by looting the government funds devoted to that 1/6th of our economy. If they can kill off Medicare and Medicaid and instead route those funds to private industry, we’re not talking millions or billions, we’re talking trillions of dollars to be made off the taxpayers.

        And the GOP voter is glad to go along with it as long as they’re taking a stand against lazy blacks, thieving Mexicans (and all those other Hispanics that they call Mexicans because they’re too lazy to learn the difference), deviant gays, socialists and communists, and dirty liberals trying to teach their kids about sex and abortion. And hey, the GOP wants to give them a tax break, right?

        What does the Democratic party offer these people that the GOP voter can hear and understand through the layers of bullshit that have been foisted on them by FOX? Frankly, we could take one page from the GOP playbook that would work well… theme weeks. This week the DCC and DSCC and their friends are going to talk about how many jobs there are in solar and wind and other forms of renewable energy compared to coal. That if we really want to open up new jobs, and not just new jobs but well paying safe jobs that isn’t under threat of cave-ins and black lung, then we need to go towards renewable energy. That doing so creates an industry that lets us export and improve our trade balance. That really making America great starts with creating industries that build jobs and make America a leader in that industry. And don’t even mention global warming. Make the whole thing about jobs and money and trade… things that get through to a GOP voter.

        Then next week we talk about another issue. And then another one the week after that. Drive the narrative and force the GOP to try to respond to our push. Put them on the defensive for once. And none of this relies on character assassination, or lying, or any of the dirty tricks the GOP uses. Just telling the truth in a way that the voters can hear.

        • Stephen Elliot Phillips

          Problem is we cant vote legitimately anymore, and when there is an election we cannot legitimize it with a paper trail.

          • Adam Schmidt

            Then again, that becomes a week’s topic. Republican voters are concerned about voter fraud right? Talk to them about fraud on a huge scale, not these isolated voters like the woman who voted twice for Trump (mention her by name and reinforce that she illegally voted for Trump). But the fact that our states are using voting machines that don’t provide a clear paper trail to ensure your vote was counted. That just like your identity can be stolen with credit card fraud (something most people have encountered personally and can identify with), that your vote can be stolen by a machine that isn’t secure and the only way to know it’s secure is to have a paper trail.

            Highlight someone (to be honest, preferably white so GOP voters can identify with them) who was disenfranchised because their name was similar to someone who died or was a felon. Showcase hard working people who are ex-cons but are unable to vote despite being a strong contributing member of society. Pick a simple statement that is hard to disagree with… One Person, One Vote. Rally around that and that every person deserves their vote and they deserve to both have it counted and to know that it wasn’t tampered with by hackers. You don’t have to say Russians, heck… show some guy in his mother’s basement with a black ski mask or some other silly trope.

            We CAN communicate this in ways that speak to GOP voters and their self interest. And every one of these that we address make it that much harder for the GOP politicians to pull their crap.

          • The_Wretched

            ^good points.

          • Keroleen

            Perhaps as a potential solution it should be pointed out that some states, like Oregon and Washington, have 100% vote-by-mail-or-dropoff systems that for the most part, work very well. All paper ballots, no voting machines, plenty of time (usually a couple weeks) to mail or drop off your ballot at the nearest collection point. Some of these have permanent mailbox-like structures for after-hours access, which also negates needing to take time off to wait in lines unless you wait until the last minute. In Oregon, you can also sign up for electronic notification so you know your ballot was received.

            It’s not perfect, but every time I hear about suspicious voting machine related election results, I’m grateful I live in a paper ballot state.

      • jonfromcalifornia

        She’s a Republican who also voted for Gorsuch. Decent? I don’t think so.

        • Rambie

          That’s why I said, “on Healthcare” 😉

    • fkevin

      In an NPR article, health care is described as 1/6 of our economy:

      “The stock market really has been doing quite well since the Affordable Care Act has gone into effect, but the reason why this matters even more for health care is a sixth of our economy is devoted to health care.”

      http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/07/26/539518682/as-cost-of-u-s-health-care-skyrockets-so-does-pay-of-health-care-ceos

      Best part of the article, and one that is lacking from the public:

      NPR: “Are there any proposals on the table now — either in Republican bills or in Democratic proposals — that would actually reduce health care costs significantly and reverse this trend?”

      Bob Herman: “In the health care debate right now, none of the proposals in Congress address this whatsoever. A lot of what’s being proposed merely tinkers with the financing of health care and who gets health insurance. Nothing is being addressed about drug prices, for example. Nothing’s being addressed about the actual costs of the system. The debate right now is still bickering over how to finance the system — not around how much the system itself costs, which I think is a big issue.”

      • William

        During the campaign, Trump promised to overhaul the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, and allow for it to bulk buy and negotiate prices. Having Medicare pay full retail price would end.

        • The_Wretched

          There is zero chance of that happening. It’d be a good thing and the Orange Menace does not do good things.

    • Anyone decent in the GOP had left by 2004.

    • The_Wretched

      I’ll throw a look at “the media” as well. They loyally just report that he got the position and left off what it means.

  • Gustav2

    That is like promoting the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to direct a LGBT or Planned Parenthood outreach.

    Pandering to the most loyal part of his base.

  • Rex

    Attention World: you are now free to worship Trump, be prepared for disappointment.

  • netxtown

    7 o’clock…and I want to rock…..

    ….and i just don’t think I can do this today. I’ve run out of things to tear up, mangle, destroy. These theo-freaks just wreck my very last gay nerve…

  • barrixines

    I guess I was hoping too much that with the US turning in on itself politically, it might want to keep the religious shit to itself too. But glory be! the export of right wing Christian love is set to remain a global affair. I am sure there are homosexuals across the African continent besides themselves with excitement at the thought.

  • Karl Dubhe

    O/T, dear Bob… Scaramucci has claimed on UK tv that the fight against affordable health care is like Lincoln’s fight against slavery.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/27/trump-battle-obamacare-reminds-scaramucci-lincolns-fight-abolish-slavery

    • barrixines

      Amateur – everyone knows universal health care is like the Jews being put in the ovens.

    • The_Wretched

      I think I’ve felt more disgust in the last 6 months than I did in my entire prior life.

      • Karl Dubhe

        It’s the never ending horror Reality-TV-Live-Action-Movie.

        It cannot continue as it has…

    • PeterC

      I think he is a “Scare-a-muchy”.

  • Karl Dubhe

    It’ll get him the fuck out of Kansas into a job where he’ll not be able to do as much damage.

    Good.

  • Galvestonian

    What the hell is this crap ? Is this the U.S. ? Wasn’t there something called separation of Church & State as called for by our founding fathers ?

  • JDS

    Oh look Trump is making an American Taliban official.

  • Hanwi

    Brownback, religious freedom….there’s a sodomy joke somewhere in there….

    • lenvus

      Brownback Santorum? Brownbacking Santorum. I was also thinking Brownback Mountain, but that is more cinematic, not religious or political.

  • Amanda B. Rekendwith

    “The choice of what you do with your own soul.”
    This is very dangerous talk. It’s NOT what the 1st Amendment is about.
    Everyone, of all religions (incl. the non-religious) must still follow the laws of the land.
    Jesus would surely weep at the ways these charlatans have co-opted his message of love.

  • Dagoril

    Never thought I would ever be praying for a coup, but here we are.

  • The Milkman

    Religious police. Awesome.

    Waiting to hear from all those homocons who were all “oh but he’s not a religious nut like the rest of them…” (crickets chirping)

  • Len Ricci

    No money to keep our Trans uniformed troops, but lets throw away money on defending Christian religious freedoms because we all know that’s what’s going to save the free world from eternal damnation.

    • William

      Anything to keep Pence’s friends content.

  • ChrisInKansas

    Yay! Now he can marginalize gay people worldwide instead of just a small little box. Sorry, everyone else!

    • Ninja0980

      As I said last night, hoping he’ll follow Janice’s example in the near future.

  • Stev84

    No money to pursue war crimes, but plenty to push the Protestant fundamentalist agenda abroad. That’s all this is about. Making it easier for American missionaries to destroy other countries.

    • ChrisMorley

      The catholics are heavily involved too.
      The Vatican has ‘observer’ status at the UN and it is always lobbying heavily against women’s right to control their fertility and to suppress LGBTQ+ human rights.

  • Acronym Jim

    I wish Brownback all the success in this new endeavor that he had with the Kansas economy.

  • jmax

    “Office of International Religous (sic) Freedom within the State Department”?
    Almost as good as being named Ambassador to Never Land.

    • PeterC

      ‘Religious Freedom” equals Death to all Others.

  • Michael R

    How do they not have religious freedom ?
    Fucking stupid .

  • fkevin

    And yet: Tillerson faces fights on eliminating envoys: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/26/tillerson-special-envoys-240955

    While there are too many Special Envoys, the State Department should try to keep & develop ones that promote human rights and improve diplomatic relationships.

  • LesbianTippingHabits

    All of Kansas welcomes the nomination as an opportunity to dump Brownback.

    • CraigNJ

      The irony is that the voters in Kansas re-elected this bastard in 2014. Not by much but enough for a second term.

      • LesbianTippingHabits

        And they got what they deserved! Remember, vote – and vote wisely.

  • doninkansas

    This will not end well for anyone

  • JWC

    Well suited for a trump cabinet

  • Halou

    Will he make a protest over the treatment of fellow Evangelicals in, let’s say, Russia with it’s Orthodox majority? Or is this just going to be a year-long bitch fest aimed in equal measure against Europe and the Middle East?

    • William

      Sam should go assist the Shiite minority in Saudi Arabia. That would go over very well with the Sunnis.

      • Halou

        Don’t tell him about the Central African Republic where Christian and Muslim militias are, for all intents and purposes, fighting an open war against each other. The fighting is brutal enough that the nation’s army can’t do a damned thing about it.

        • BobSF_94117

          No, don’t tell him about that! We’ll be shipping weapons to the Christians if you do!

    • JCF

      Brownback is Catholic (of the Popoid variety. Or, to be even more clear, of the Pope Palpatine variety—does not care for current Vatican occupant).

  • Wesinoregon

    Yeah right. I’m sure he will be a good ambassador for all the other religions worldwide besides Christianity.

  • Keith D Plane

    well I bet the citizens of KS will be glad this douche bag will be gone tho he did fuck the the state bigly…

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Well, of course he did. The Theocratic States of America is beginning to take shape; and like all theocracies, it’s being lead by a con man who speaks in tongues.

    • Halou

      The frightening thing is this guy will be usurping the legitimate work of the State Department, the cripplingly underfunded, deliberately understaffed and woefully mismanaged State Department. The president is, on Steve Bannon’s advice, creating chaos enough that the rest of the government and the country as a whole will one day consent to his insane restructuring of everything.

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    I just need to stop reading the news. Every single morning now starts with something that makes me spit my coffee.

    • JCF

      Only spit, not puke? You’re doing better than me!

  • Robert Adams

    Religious freedom, my ass. Religious intolerance is the real agenda.

    • Halou

      In the same way that corporations are people, ‘religious freedom’ means the freedom of the religion as an abstract and not the freedom of individual worshipers.

      For example. The freedom of the Evangelical church to proselytize at and convert unbelievers, but those people are not free to accept or reject the preaching.

  • William

    I demand to be appointed Ambassador-At-Large for Deliciousness. My task will be to ensure that all desserts taste good.

    • Halou

      A chocolate cake so delicious it makes you forget you’re dealing with an overweight sabre-rattling dictator who may or may not have a working nuclear arsenal?

  • David

    Brownback is a dreadful person, yet all I hear from my friends who live in Kansas is “anything to get him out of here!”

    • Steverino

      Kind of like what a lot of Hoosiers felt about Pence…

  • M Jackson
  • Benny S.

    Well shit. When Bareback left Washington DC to become governor, I thought we’d never hear from him again.

    • PeterC

      We, here is KS hope to hear a lot less from him We love to share……..

    • BobSF_94117

      You won’t. He’ll only be talking to Christian fundamentalists.

  • TampaDink

    With so many ambassador slots waiting to be filled (like Russia), it’s so good to know that hair furor has established a bullshit ambassadorship just to suck up to the religious “right”.

  • Stephen Elliot Phillips

    Just another Trump, Inc steak product
    A slab of red meat for the rabid right.
    Im sure that flesh is toxic

  • The_Wretched

    “Religious Freedom is the first freedom”

    No, the ‘first freedom’ is NO ESTABLISHMENT!

    Here’s the text of the first amendment:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
    prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
    speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
    assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    • JCF

      Those used to be the same thing—until the Christianists separated them (and turned “freedom”, into “freedom to be fundamentalist”).

  • ted-

    A utterly pointless position in the government, only to waste our tax dollars. I’d rather shove my tax dollars up the POTUS’ orange asshole and light it on fire.

  • BobSF_94117

    “The office’s mission is to monitor “religious persecution and discrimination worldwide…”

    First up on the agenda, Trump’s inexcusable persecution of Iraqi Chaldians in Michigan. Imagine the look on Brownbacks’ face when he finds out they’re Christian.

  • Bonobo

    “…develop programs to promote religious freedom.” That includes ALL RELIGIONS!! It’s the 1st BILL OF RIGHTS!!

  • Rick Jackson

    Twenty-five percent approval rating and a 63% disapproval rating makes him a perfect fit for the most unpopular presidential administration in history.

  • JCF

    Failing up . . . to Fascism!

  • teedofftaxpayer

    LOL. Sounds like Trump is just making up positions like Hitler did to appease his right wingers. Somehow I don’t think this is what the Constitution meant by “freedom of Religion.” I’m beginning to think maybe it’s time we start arming ourselves because somehow I think before long we’re going to start being rounded up.

  • Ninja0980

    My relatives still in Kansas just want this asshole gone, and they don’t care how.

  • Vista-Cruiser

    Yes this is horrible. But it’s also a direct and foreseeable result of Democrats not bothering to vote in elections.