By KEN CARPENTER
Great Bend Post
Former Kansas Governor Sam Brownback spoke to the Rotary Club of Great Bend at their noon luncheon on Monday, Sept. 13. Brownback served as the United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom for three years during the Trump Administration.
He told the Rotarians that religion still plays a central role in world affairs.
"Most conflicts that you’re seeing in the world is a clash of world views,” Brownback said. “Either we’re going to have freedom of religion for everybody, everywhere, all the time...where you can practice your faith freely as long as you do it peacefully...or you’re going to see a lot more clashes of civilizations because civilizations are mostly built on a faith.”
Brownback focused many of his remarks on China and its influence in the world. He criticized the government of China for persecuting religious groups in that country.
"Chinese are communist atheists,” Brownback related. “They don’t believe in a higher authority than their government. If you’re a person of faith, you by nature believe in a higher moral authority. You believe there is something else there besides your government.”
Brownback said he believes the United States should not accept China’s treatment of religious groups.
Brownback has long championed the right to religious freedom. As a United States Senator, he co-sponsored the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 which created the Ambassador-at-Large position.