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Wednesday, December 28, 2005
'The Catholic Knight' Endorses Brownback for President in 2008
BRIAN LAMB, HOST: Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, why do you want to be president someday?
SEN. SAM BROWNBACK (R), KANSAS: To be able to serve the people and to be able to renew the society and the culture. There are lots of reasons why one wants to do something like this. And I haven‘t made a formal announcement or a formal declaration. I have been traveling to a number of the early primary states.
But at the core of it, I just see that the country really needs to renew its basic structures. We have got — I chair the D.C. Appropriation Committee, and we have got over — just right at 60 percent of the children born to single mothers. A child can be born in that situation and do well, but the numbers generally move against him.
And I think we have really got to renew just these basic structures within the society. And that‘s at the core. I‘m also an economic conservative. I push things like the flat tax. I‘m a strong proponent of the military and a robust foreign policy. I‘m a full scale conservative in that sense.
But at its core I think we have to renew the society and renew the culture...
LAMB: When did you decide to become a Catholic?
BROWNBACK: It was about three years ago that I actually joined the Catholic Church. And I had thought about it from about four years prior to that. So it has been seven years that I‘ve thought, studied, considered doing that.
LAMB: What were you before?
BROWNBACK: I grew up a Methodist. Parker, Kansas, where I‘m from, that a town of 250 people, we kid that we lived up in the suburbs of Parker, we were a mile-and-a-half out of town, but we were on city water, so we thought, that‘s — we were in the suburbs of Parker that — on a farm there.
It‘s a one-church town, the Methodist church, and so I grew up a Methodist, then went to college and got involved with some of the youth groups on the college campus. The Navigators was an organization. And went to a Baptist church there for a period of time.
And most recently, before I joined the Catholic Church, was attending and still attend an evangelical — free, independent evangelical church in Topeka. My family didn‘t join the Catholic Church and so we go — I have a great Sunday morning.
I‘ll go to Mass, then I go to evangelical church. I get the Eucharist and the proceedings from the Catholic Church and the preaching and singing of an evangelical church, and it‘s really — it‘s a beautiful mix.
LAMB: Why Catholic and what lead to that? Who introduced you to it?
BROWNBACK: Really nobody did. It was a personal searching that took place. And you know, a deep feeling and calling. I did have a chance to meet Mother Teresa about eight months before she died. We hosted her here for a Congressional Gold Medal.
And I had read many of her writings, her speeches. She didn‘t write a lot. She gave a number of speeches and a lot of really piercing comments. And I was very attracted to the depth and beauty of the faith that she saw.
The Christian faith is a very hard faith to practice and to get it right. There — I guess, we‘re always practicing and never quite getting there. And yet, you know, you look at a person like her, and I‘ve seen others that seem like they have gotten an awful long ways along it.
And they still have problems. They still have difficulties, but seem to have perfected more the faith within them. And it was a beautiful thing to see.
LAMB: Why is the Christian faith hard to practice?
BROWNBACK: Actually, I think it‘s impossible to practice. Gandhi actually was quoted as saying this, that — and I‘m going to butcher this quote, but that would become a Christian if he could ever see one fully practiced.
It‘s a very self-sacrificing faith. It‘s premise is to love God and love one another. And that love is not limited. In its practice of love, it seeks fruit, it seeks you to show that fruit by caring for other people.
And these are all things generally really against human nature. So it has to be a real, you know, flowing through you for that to take place. And it‘s so easy for us to get our eye back on ourselves and our own selfish interests and desires and ways of doing things....
read full interview here