Who Would Jesus Vote For?
Meet Senator Sam Brownback. Rolling Stone takes an in-depth look about Brownback's (R-KS) rise to power and plans for the future. Here are a few excerpts:
He tells a story about a chaplain who challenged a group of senators to reconsider their conception of democracy. "How many constituents do you have?" the chaplain asked. The senators answered: 4 million, 9 million, 12 million. "May I suggest," the chaplain replied, "that you have only one constituent?"Why is he running for president?
Brownback pauses. That moment, he declares, changed his life. "This" -- being senator, running for president, waving the flag of a Christian nation -- "is about serving one constituent." He raises a hand and points above him.
He is running for president because murder is always on his mind: the abortion of what he considers fetal citizens. He speaks often and admiringly of John Brown, the abolitionist who massacred five pro-slavery settlers just north of the farm where Brownback grew up. Brown wanted to free the slaves; Brownback wants to free fetuses. He loves each and every one of them. "Just . . . sacred," he says. In January, during the confirmation of Samuel Alito for a seat on the Supreme Court, Brownback compared Roe v. Wade to the now disgraced rulings that once upheld segregation.On family life and sex:
Alito was in the Senate hearing room that day largely because of Brownback's efforts. Last October, after Bush named his personal lawyer, Harriet Miers, to the Supreme Court, Brownback politely but thoroughly demolished her nomination -- on the grounds that she was insufficiently opposed to abortion.
Brownback's wife, Mary, heiress to a Midwest newspaper fortune, married Sam during her final year of law school and boasts that she has never worked outside the home. "Basically," she says, "I live in the kitchen." From her spot by the stove, Mary monitors all media consumed by her kids. The Brownbacks block several channels, but even so, innuendos slip by, she says, and the nightly news is often "too sexual." The children, Mary says, "exude their faith." The oldest kids "opt out" of sex education at school.While we sleep, they create a real life version of the Handmaid's Tale.
Sex, in all its various forms, is at the center of Brownback's agenda. America, he believes, has divorced sexuality from what is sacred. "It's not that we think too much about sex," he says, "it's that we don't think enough of it." The senator would gladly roll back the sexual revolution altogether if he could, but he knows he can't, so instead he dreams of something better: a culture of "faith-based" eroticism in which premarital passion plays out not in flesh but in prayer.