Religion and politics are a horrible mix. One always woefully disrupts the other. However, some politicians, like Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, stubbornly insists that one must dictate the other, and vice versa. But current affairs in Kansas, as pointed out by AlterNet contributor Heather Digby Parton, are further proof of why religion disrupts policy.
During his religious reign over the state of Kansas, Brownback cut education funding, privatized Medicaid, gutted Planned Parenthood, passing an overly invasive anti-abortion law, and passed a frightening piece of gun legislation where the state doesn’t have to observe federal gun laws.
Under the “CLEO Shall Sign and Comprehensive Preemption legislation,” which Brownback signed, county and city initiatives to regulate firearms and ammo have been prohibited.
Not only did Brownback slash government programs aimed at helping the needy and less fortunate and create a free-gun society in Kansas, but he has also perpetuated poverty with ludicrous tax policy. In short, tax cuts for the rich, and hikes for the poor. According to The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, from 2012 to 2013, taxes for the bottom 20 percent of income earners by 1.3 percent. The top 19 percent had gotten their taxes reduced by a cumulative 5.2 percent.
Brownback’s education budget is one of the worst in the country. Kansas was above the national average for state education funding before Brownback took office in 2011. Since then, Kansas has become of the lowest as Brownback reduced the state education budget by a devastating 15 percent, and his newest budget proposal would decrease it even more.
Because Brownback’s policies are all possessed by fundamentalist Christian motive, they are destructive and have bogged down Kansas’ post-recession recovery. In fact, Brownback’s policies have been so unpopular and harmful that 100 Republicans have endorsed his opponent, Democratic candidate Paul Davis.
People like Brownback believe in small government, but enacting laws that extends the government’s reach to the point of affecting the People’s day-to-day lives exudes the exact opposite.
What someone practices at home or church or mosque or temple is completely fine. But when extreme religion douses legislation and policy, things get hairy and only makes the majority suffer.