Sorry, governor. We are not fasting on your behalf.
I mean, what was Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback thinking when he issued a “Final Proclamation” calling on Kansans to fast and pray Tuesday, his last full day in office? He has mistaken the podium for a pulpit.
Mind you, he issued this divine declaration Monday, on Kansas Day. He let y’all finish celebrating Sunflower State, but he wants you to treat him like the greatest governor of all time.
“I personally feel blessed by the time I have spent serving our great state and would like to observe a time of prayer and fasting before God takes me on to the next part of my journey,” the governor said. “I invite all Kansans to join me as we pray for our state and our nation.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
Listen. I’m all for asking for prayers. Even my enemies get my prayers. I mean, they are especially needed when taking a gig with President Donald Trump’s administration.
But asking an entire state for a full day of fasting for you and your promotion? That’s not why people pray and fast. Is that what an ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom does, honey? Twist spiritual practices? Congress just confirmed his appointment to that position last week. I thought he was supposed to be advocating for persecuted religious minorities around the world.
I hope Kansans enjoy their favorite meals all day long on Tuesday. Don’t skip out on the Rotel or the burnt ends and fries or any of your cravings. If you are the praying kind, by all means, send one up for our survival. But let’s keep it real: We need to give thanks that he’s moving on and pray he does a better job at fighting for human rights and equality than he did in Kansas.
He made Kansas the first state to privatize Medicaid and put his all into ending legislation that would have expanded Medicaid to cover 150,000 low-income Kansans. Money over people? Sounds real spiritual, man.
He doesn’t care about your tired, hungry or poor. Especially if you are from a Muslim country. He adamantly supported Trump’s travel ban and withdrew Kansas from the federal refugee resettlement program. “It is unfortunate that we must take this step to protect the safety of Kansans,” he said in a 2015 statement, “but the federal government cannot guarantee that Syrian refugees coming to America would not be part of a terrorist organization seeking to harm our citizens.”
Note: That’s not what Jesus would do.
But did we expect better from someone who signed an executive order in 2015 that rescinded protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender state workers. We should have known he was all good with discrimination. He was for banning same-sex marriage.
Democrat Claire McCaskill of Missouri was among the 49 senators who voted no last week when he was up for confirmation.
“I just think that it’s really important if you’re going to be the ambassador trying to promote tolerance that you show that kind of attitude, and his difficulty with the question about using religion as an excuse to persecute or prosecute people who are gay, that was a disqualifier,” McCaskill said.
Pray he understands freedom of religion includes freedom from religion, too. It’s not his place to police a woman’s body. He urged the Trump administration to defund Planned Parenthood and follow the anti-abortion restrictions he helped craft in Kansas. I’ll donate a little something in his name.
The truth — even on the other side of the state line — I’ll say a prayer he grows a heart and a conscience. He’s about to head an office charged with protecting people from leaders like him. His track record is stained with oppression. For years he has starved Kansas.
So a day of prayer and fasting in his honor? Not today, Brownback. Not today.
Now excuse me while I go order my beef on bun. With extra sauce.