When it was announced by the Trump administration last year that Catholic Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, above, was to be nominated as an Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Minority Leader Anthony Hensley suggested that the state would be well rid of Brownback.
In a statement, Hensley said:
Sam Brownback will be remembered for becoming the most unpopular governor in America. His tax experiment failed to grow the economy as he promised. Instead, his policies have bankrupted our state and led to destroying nearly every agency in state government as well as his own political career.
He is moving on not because of anything he’s done in Kansas, but because of who he knows in Washington DC.
Well, it’s now been confirmed that US Senate has given Brownback the grand title of be the new Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom in the Department of State.
The Senate vote was 49-49 and Vice President Mike Pence cast the tiebreaking vote. Yesterday Brownback announced he will resign the office of Governor on January 31.
Thomas Farr, President of the Religious Freedom Institute in Washington, welcomed the appointment.
Ambassador Brownback’s deep experience, and his commitment to religious freedom for all people, will help ensure American leadership in the vital work of reducing global religious persecution, We believe he will make US religious freedom policy an integral part of America’s national security strategy.
He noted “a host of daunting challenges and threats to stability and security” that will face the new ambassador.
Rising levels of global religious persecution are being fueled by violent religious extremism, oppressive government policies, and aggressively anti-religious secularism. Millions are suffering terrible depredations as a result. Nations and economies are being destabilized by the absence of religious freedom.
He called Brownback:
The right choice to lead U.S. policy in addressing this global crisis. In his 16 years as a congressman and US senator, Brownback built a reputation as a steadfast advocate for religious freedom. He was one of the key supporters of the landmark International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, which established in law the promotion of religious freedom as an element of US foreign policy. The act also created the ambassadorship Brownback now holds.
It has been a great honor to serve Kansans as their governor since 2011 and prior to that as WS senator and congressman. As a lifelong Kansan, I have been privileged to serve and represent my fellow citizens for most of my adult life. Wherever my duties may take me, my Kansas values and experience will always travel with me.
The Chairman of the Helsinki Commission, Senator Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, praised the choice of Brownback, saying he is:
Exactly the man we need out there … Religious freedom is the first freedom, and defending the persecuted is vital to our national identity and national security. Radical Islamist terrorists target and kill Christians and people of other faiths to advance their evil ideology, recruiting, and propaganda. A robust defense of religious freedom is vital to defeating them.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn