TOPEKA, Kan. - It's official. Kansans can breathe a sigh of relief. According to David Epps with the group Transform Topeka, God has made it possible for Sam Brownback to rule over Kansas.
The Capitol was turned into a Christian Church as the third floor reverberated with songs and prayer. In the small group that assembled, Governor Brownback stood with radical evangelical, anti-abortion messianic prophets (shades of crazy John Brown) to anoint the 2012 legislative session for the glory of their Religious Right God; a God who just happens to support their extreme social agenda.
This Christian pep rally was part of the "Prayer on the Hill" event organized by the Culture Shield Network. CSN is a faith based advocacy group from Wichita founded by Donna Lippoldt . She maintains that they have "people that pray in the Capitol all day, every day during the whole legislative session,"
Lippoldt might be familiar to some Wichitans. She takes credit for keeping casino's out of Sedgwick County but her real claim to fame would have to be the wasted years she spent harassing patients who sought legal abortions in Wichita, Kansas. Nice to know the governor is hanging with the very people who did so much to demonize, threaten and elevate the climate of violence in Kansas against Dr. Tiller.
The governor also did some praying. "May this Capitol radiate in your love," he said. "We pray that in Jesus' name. Amen."
That's right; all pretenses are gone from the governor and his minions. The governor and the Religious Right are openly working together to create a Christian State in America where government will be a model society based upon the Old Testament.
Imagine a society where there are no foolish expenditures for the arts or education but a government where women die in childbirth because it is the will of the Lord. Imagine a place where a tiny cell has more personhood rights than a living, breathing woman. Of course, Planned Parenthood will be demolished because only the Lord is in charge of procreation. Tax credits for frivolous things like child care, the disabled, adoptions, and historic preservation will be cut since they are not part of God's heavenly plan. [Can't these people do anything on their own without needing socialism to save them? Everyone knows God hates socialists.] And forget about the earned-income tax credit for families of the working poor. Everyone knows a wealthy person works harder than the poor and God hates sloth.
And never mind about Kansas officials respecting and upholding the separation of church and state. The Governor just prayed in the name of Jesus in the Capitol! So what if the Capitol is a government building that belongs to Atheists,Jews,Pagans, Christians and all Kansans? Brownback just co-opted Kansas government for his faith and the beauty of his actions is that if criticized, he can scream persecution.
Brownback's participation was hardly a private moment of worship and reflection-which any official has the right to enjoy throughout the legislative day. The governor participated not as an individual who happened to just stroll in, but due to the very fact that he is the chief executive officer of Kansas. He understood this gathering was all about proclaiming one particular faith as the highest authority under the dome to accomplish conservative goals " for God".
The message is loud and clear; the governor signaled he is working for Jesus and his own personal beliefs, and not for the people of Kansas. For the record, I don't see how God is glorified by taking from widows, orphans and the poor.
The access given to these Christians side by side with the governor was simply unprecedented. It would be difficult to contemplate a Humanist or Islamic group having the same opportunity to promote their religion or philosophical views at the Capitol and make audacious claims before the start of a legislative session.
Epps stated, "There has to be a supernatural transaction for us to move forward in the state in such a way that will glorify you." If there is one thing we have discovered about conservative Kansas lawmakers, it's that science, facts, and sound reasoning are considered the tools of the devil and liberals. Conservatives understand that the way to "move forward" with their extreme agenda is by exploiting the supernatural path through prayer and God to sanctify and encode their prejudices under the law.
Which begs the question: "Why should man do anything at all when God can take care of it without man?" We don't even need a legislature or a governor if one accepts Epps' logic.
As long Kansas officials can pull out the God card and pray piously before the voters, conservative republican legislators and the governor do not need to use wisdom or logic in governing. People forgive and ignore a lot the minute prayer breaks out. Politicians know this truth better than anyone.
The governor's prayer, that "God's love radiate all over," will not come to pass for women, children, the poor, and those in desperate need of healthcare in Kansas. And, this my dear Kansans, is what happens when we elect people who are more concerned about upholding their God and religion, instead of selflessly working for the good of the state and its people.