Trump Taps Kansas' Brownback for At-Large Ambassadorship

  • Trump Taps Kansas' Brownback for At-Large Ambassadorship

Trump Taps Kansas' Brownback for At-Large Ambassadorship

The group International Christian Concern is looking forward to the new ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

President Donald Trump has nominated Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to the office of Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. As a Senator, Mr. Brownbackfocused on religious freedom issues and he helped craft the 1998 law that created the ambassador post he is set to fill.

Brownback is one of the most unpopular governors in the United States.

After the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 ruled that same-sex marriage was legal, Brownback issued an executive order that prohibited the state from taking legal action against clergy members or religious organizations that denied services to people in "accordance with a religious belief".

However, others criticised Trump's move to nominate Brownback as ambassador for worldwide religious freedom.

"This is an ambassadorship that helps promote the religious freedoms of people, not just in the US, but internationally", Arnold says. "I urge the Senate to confirm Governor Brownback without delay".

"I'm sure it's helpful that Brownback has been successful in his various roles, but what we're really looking for is somebody who can advocate for religious freedom regardless of what people's faith is and even if they have a faith at all", Curry says.

He also made three $500,000 loans to Brownback's and his re-election campaign in 2013 and 2014 that were highly unusual for their size and timing; two were paid back within days. He owes his competitiveness in this matchup to the experiment in supply-side economics he conducted during his first term, with massive tax cutsthe GOP-controlled legislature was finally forced to rescind earlier this year, overriding his veto. "It's freedom of religion for all faiths".

Gov. Brownback was raised on a family farm in eastern Kansas before becoming a lawyer. IRFA was watershed legislation at the time in recognizing the important leadership of the United States in advancing global religious freedom. By nominating Brownback, Trump keeps conservative Christians - whose support has been crucial so far - happy. Shea, who works for the Washington, D.C. -based think tank the Hudson Institute, was also believed to be considered for the position. "I'm of this state, and it's just been a hoot", Brownback said in a news conference on Thursday afternoon.

University of Vermont political science professor Peter Henne said a Brownback appointment could change emphasis on LGBTQ issues overseas: "If there are countries repressing LGBTQ people for reasons they claim are related to religion, we might not push back on that as much as we would otherwise", he said. He was often the administration's spokesman on health issues and served in the Legislature before first running on Brownback's ticket in 2010.

Bob Vander Plaats, an evangelical activist in Iowa, said that when Mr. Brownback ran for president in 2008, he was not viewed then as the unbending fiscal warrior he turned out to be as governor.

He says 200 million Christians are now experiencing persecution around the world, but hopes Brownback can use the United States' relations with partner nations to address the problem.

"He spoke out on the genocide in Sudan's Darfur region and he stood behind and was one of the first key sponsors for the International Religious Freedom Act", says Curry.