Sam Brownback on Principles & Values
Republican Sr Senator (KS)
And so, I really appreciate the people that are here, and the fights that we’ve all been in together, and we’re working, but we’ve got to win ‘em now, and we’ve got to win ‘em in this presidency.
But to whom much is given, much is required, and I believe fundamentally that the heart of our greatness is our goodness. If we ever lose that good heart, if we ever lose that goodness, we will most certainly lose our greatness. And that’s why I come back to where I started, on the basics. Faith, family, freedom. That’s where you get the goodness to build for the greatness, to move us on forward.
A: I wouldn’t delegate things to the vice president. But I would involve the vice president in a lot of things. But I think there’s a key point here to look at. One is that Dick Cheney came in with a lot of experience. He came in with a lot of experience on defense, foreign policy issues. And I think the president over-relied on that. I think Dick Cheney has done an admirable job. I think the president’s over-relied upon that. I think you need somebody coming into the presidency that’s had foreign policy experience, that’s worked on these national and global issues, so that they don’t have to depend on the vice president as much. I think you should have a highly competent person as vice president that can step in at any time and can provide you high-quality information, reflection, wisdom that’s needed in that job, but not somebody that takes over the job.
Empower America has done some great work on cultural issues such as song lyrics and the impact of popular culture on young people. Bill Bennett was dealing with that from a conservative perspective, which was not so much legislative as talking to the culture and saying, “Look what we’re doing.”
A: Well, I would ask him about it. His father’s been a wonderful ambassador in situations like the tsunami. I think that’s the right role for an ex-president. Pres. Clinton has not assumed the right role of an ex-president, where he’s injected himself a lot more on policy issues that haven’t been appropriate, and he really should defer more to the person that’s in the job. There’s one person that’s president at a time.
And yet, the last few decades have also ushered in a vague sense of unease, a belief that, as a society, we have lost ground morally, spiritually, and culturally. Horrific crimes are committed by children still in grade school. Neighborhood ties are growing thinner and fraying. Our popular culture is awash in violence and vulgarity, with movies, television programming, music, and games that glamorize killing garnering both commercial success and critical acclaim. Civic participation is falling and public cynicism toward government rising. There is a sense that our society has grown meaner, ruder, and more alienated.
We are at a cultural crossroads: the weight of the academic, aesthetic, social & civil institutions that have sunk into relativism is approaching critical mass. The traditional guardians of the true, the good, and the beautiful have abandoned their posts.
This is not to suggest that all of America’s cultural institutions are corrupt. Far from it. It does mean, however, that the ideas promoted through many of our most influential cultural-shaping institutions are themselves inimical to a healthy culture and a civil society--and, ultimately, to democratic governance.
First, it provides a dispassionate analysis of the state of our culture-forming institutions, and of their impact, influence, and function. Second, it spotlights innovative and effective emerging social movements that are now in the process of working their way through various institutions. It is important to identify and recognize these social entrepreneurs and movements, not only to celebrate them, but to bring them to attention so that others may replicate them.
"In the past month, many Senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law--it is to apply the law. And it is clear, I believe, that my record in two courts reflects my rigorous commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its terms; interpreting statutes according to their terms and Congress's intent; and hewing faithfully to precedents established by the Supreme Court and my Circuit Court. In each case I have heard, I have applied the law to the facts at hand."
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Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a person’s membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. There’s no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.
OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2006 AU scores as follows:
Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom. AU is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans.
Americans United is a national organization with members in all 50 states. We are headquartered in Washington, D.C., and led by the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director. AU has more than 75,000 members from all over the country. They include people from all walks of life and from various faith communities, as well as those who profess no particular faith. We are funded by donations from our members and others who support church-state separation. We do not seek, nor would we accept, government funding.
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