Are you free to believe – or to not believe? Are you sure? What is the most persecuted religious group in the world today? How does religious persecution affect you, your business, or your family? Linda’s guest, Ambassador Sam Brownback, has...
Are you free to believe – or to not believe? Are you sure? What is the most persecuted religious group in the world today? How does religious persecution affect you, your business, or your family? Linda’s guest, Ambassador Sam Brownback, has worked tirelessly in defense of religious freedom around the world. He is now Chairman of the National Committee for Religious Freedom, an organization formed to proactively defend the constitutional rights of religious freedom so all Americans can peacefully and publicly exercise their religious beliefs. Our Constitution guarantees freedom, but we must defend it to keep it. Learn how to defend your rights by listening today.
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Linda J. Hansen: Welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Prosperity 101 Breakroom Economics Podcast. My name is Linda J. Hansen, your host and the author of Prosperity 101- Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, and the creator of the Breakroom Economics Online course, the book, the course and the entire podcast library can be found on Prosperity101.Com. I seek to connect boardroom to break room and policy to paycheck by empowering and encouraging employers to educate employees about the public policy issues that affect their jobs. My goal is to help people understand the foundations of prosperity, the policies of prosperity, and how to protect their prosperity by becoming informed, involved, and impactful. I believe this will lead to greater employee loyalty, engagement and retention, and an increased awareness of the blessings and responsibilities of living in a free society. Listen each week to hear from exciting guests and be sure to visit Prosperity 101.Com.
Thank you for joining with me today. There is a little extra background noise in this episode because I was recording live from the expo floor at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. It was a spontaneous interview with my esteemed guest, Ambassador Sam Brownback. Ambassador Brownback is a tireless freedom fighter and I'm sure you will be blessed to hear of the work he is now doing with the National Committee for Religious Freedom. Are you free to believe? Are you sure? Keep listening to learn more.
Thank you so much for joining with me today. My guest today is Ambassador Sam Brownback. Sam Brownback served as Ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom from February 2018 to January 2021. He served as Governor of Kansas from 2011 to 2018. Prior to that, he represented his home state in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. While a member of the Senate, he worked actively on the issue of religious freedom in multiple countries and was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. Prior to his public service, Ambassador Brownback practiced law and taught agricultural law at Kansas State University. He earned a BS from Kansas State University and a JD from the University of Kansas. Ambassador Brownback currently serves as Co-chair of the International Religious Freedom Summit and is a Senior Fellow at Global Christian Relief. He is also chairman of the National Committee for Religious Freedom. He and his wife Mary have five children and nine grandchildren. And it's just a wonderful opportunity to see you again, Ambassador Brownback, and I'd love for you to share what you're doing here and tell the listeners a little bit about your current work.
Ambassador Sam Brownback: Well, thanks Linda. It's a pleasure seeing you again. I'm glad to see you still in the fight too, of course. And the Current work I'm doing. One of the reasons I'm here is for the National Committee for Religious Freedom. So Group started last year to fight for religious freedom here in the United States. We need to elect people at the local, state, federal level that will stand for religious freedom. Fight for religious freedom. And I'm talking about that. And then also push back against companies that are canceling religiously affiliated groups. We're seeing this happen in a number of places where people are being de-banked or they're being fired by their insurance company or whatever the case might be because generally of their conservative viewpoint of their religious values. And you have a right to free exercise in this country. It's the first of the first Amendment. And so that's what this group has been stood up to fight for. And we're trying to get people to sign up and be a part of it and then start estate affiliates. Got a national group. But we need Wisconsin's for religious freedom. We need Kansas for religious freedom. Fight for this issue in their state and local level.
Linda J. Hansen: Well, that's fantastic. And listeners, please, we'll give the web address at the end. But this is an important fight for all of us. And for those of you that are business owners, you know that you want to be free to speak about your faith and even the policies that lead to prosperity. We don't have to push this on employees. But we also do not want to be arrested or put out of business or de-banked because of our religious views or our political views. We have just as much right to hold those views as secular individuals. And fighting for freedom for ourselves helps us to fight for freedom for everyone. So if you want people to sign up to be a leader in their state, what would be the first step they should do?
Ambassador Sam Brownback: They can go on our website, it's the Ncrf.org, the word the thencrf.org and then look at that and see if that's something they wanted to sign up, be a part of to help pull together a group in their safe. And we have people of all religions, we have people of both political parties. This is a fight to stand up for free exercise. This is the right you have to be able to in public or in private to practice your faith, to choose whatever faith that you want to choose or have no faith at all. But that's what we're seeing people really needing to fight for now, because we're seeing so much increasingly in the education space, healthcare space, the business space, businesses getting fired or firing clients and customers simply because they have a conservative or a morally traditional viewpoint. And that shouldn't happen in a country where you're guaranteed the right to free exercise of your faith. That should also include going into the commercial marketplace. So I hope people will go on, sign up and get active and get involved because these movements have to go grassroots for them to be effective. It's one thing to start it nationally, but until it really reaches out into the communities, and until it's in Green Bay, Wisconsin, or Topeka, Kansas, it doesn't become a reality and really an active force. We win these fights at the grassroots level. You don't win them in the corporate boardrooms, you win them at the grassroots.
Linda J. Hansen: Well, exactly. And that's why I'm so passionate about helping empower employers to educate employees about all of these issues. And same with employees educating employers. For too long, we have allowed the left and the liberal progressive ideologies to dominate the workplace. And it is time that as people who love our constitution and love freedom for everyone, that we speak up in the workplace and bring these truths to mind. And we can do so. The media and progressive liberals will tell us we cannot, but we can, because we have that right. And when we do that, we are protecting the rights of everyone. Like you mentioned, I'd like you to speak a little bit too about your knowledge of Christian persecution around the world and religious persecution around the world. I've done some work helping persecuted Christians in Nigeria, and that is just a heartbreaking situation. We know what's happening in China and things, but some of the listeners may not be aware of the worldwide persecution, and that actually Christians are, like, the most widely persecuted right now.
Ambassador Sam Brownback: You've got more Christian persecution happening in the world today than in any time in the history of Christendom. And it's happening broadly. Some places it's a death sentence, other places, it's being frozen out within the society. There's a lot of different varieties to it. But it is a fundamental human right. It's recognized by the UN Charter of Human Rights. It is something which has been signed by every country in the world that you have a right to freedom of religion, to practice your faith, or not practice your faith, to change your faith if you choose to and we just find that so many governments are really stomping on this. Or there's communal violence where you'll go in a place, and if you're a minority faith, you can get excluded. Or communal violence. And these are the seeds of genocide. Most genocides are of a religious minority, starting with the Julie not even starting. But the most noteworthy one that we know of in recent time was the Jewish Holocaust of World War II. But right now, you've got Christians in northern Iraq and Yazidis that have gone through a genocide over the last ten years. Thankfully, that's gotten better, but it happened. You've got a genocide in western China of the Uyghur Muslims. It's happening right now, and yet you got Christians being locked up in China too. So it's the sort of thing that if you don't stop it, it just gets much worse. And like Nigeria that you spoke about, you've got a terrorist convention coming together in Nigeria, northern Nigeria in particular, where all these terrorist financiers are coming in, wanting that to be the next caliphate. Well, they're killing Christians in the process. We need to stand up and push back against these things we do.
Linda J. Hansen: And Nigeria, even geo-politically, that's an important area that we need to keep friendly towards America. Otherwise, it's just a terrorist whole region there that there's no friendly government. So we need to make sure that the Christian’s are protected all over the world. But religious freedom is something that is universal. When I talk to employers, I try to help them understand that all of these issues affect the workplace. And maybe there's an employer who has a faith-based employer that has a deep faith, but he's afraid. He or she is afraid to speak up, or they're afraid to talk about these public policy issues that affect their ability to employ people. But I say if you don't speak up now, you won't be able to speak up, because we are losing that freedom very quickly. And you talked about some issues where people are de-banked or they're totally boycotted. Well, we on the right. We can do that as well. I mean, we've seen the bud light boycott. We see what's happening with target right now and what they are offering, and it is incredible. People are up in arms about their push towards transgender, all these things that we need to stand firm against in terms of our culture and the Judeo-Christian heritage of our culture. We're not saying everyone has to become a Christian. We're saying that there are kind of rules of society that come from that Judeo-Christian heritage. We don't murder, we don't steal, and we don't lie. We treat people the way we'd like to be treated, and that keeps an order to society. And when we see that go out of the window in America or in other countries, we have trouble. What would you say to that?
Ambassador Sam Brownback: Well, I'd say that's kind of the basis of civilization. It's the basis of western civilization. It's what's made western civilization so successful has been culture is more important than government. Kind of what you believe and what you don't believe, what you'll tolerate, what you won't. And the thing about to me, I think that we're not doing enough is that a lot of these big companies that have moved so hard left and are trying to put in a cultural agenda into their product line, you're going? Most companies I shouldn't say most a number of companies in the United States, if people would vote their stock the way they vote in the bowling booth, they are big red states these companies are actually big red states, but we don't vote our stock if we would vote and get somebody of faith on the corporate board, but we don't organize and do that. And I think what we've got to start doing now, much more to the people on the right, is getting organized in these big companies, getting people to vote their stocks instead of a lot of times people would just say, I'll just sell my stock. I don't want to be a part of Disney Company anymore. No, go in there and vote. Get engaged. Start moving together with a different group or with a group of people to get somebody on the board of directors at Walt Disney Company. That's what I think there's a nascent movement to start with, and we need to do these things.
Linda J. Hansen: Yes, this is happening. And for listeners, I did an episode with Robert Nestlé from Inspire Investing, and we talked about this in that episode. There are some other episodes where I talk about that type of investing and making sure that you make your voice be heard in terms of the boards and the companies you're investing in. What would you say, Ambassador, to the employers who would really like to help their employees understand the importance about all of these issues and how it affects their ability to provide those jobs and to create family sustaining jobs and great benefits and opportunity? What would you say to those employers?
Ambassador Sam Brownback: To educate and to talk to people? I recently was on the ford motor company, their employee affinity group, that they have a number of religious affiliated employee affinity groups. And I spoke about religious freedom just educating their employees about their rights and the ability of ford motor company and their supply chain to push for religious freedom in places like Nigeria or china or Vietnam, where they're originating a lot of their products and they start pushing that they should have religious freedom. I just think people need to recognize the power they have, particularly as a citizen of the United States. We have amazing influence, and everybody does. It's not just I didn't say, okay, well, you're a former member of Congress. Of course you do. I said, no, this is everybody. And if people get organized and do things, they will find that they can have an effect on it. So I encourage people, pray about it, think about it, but then get active on it.
Linda J. Hansen: Absolutely. And don't leave this to the left. Don't leave this to the progressive liberals, the Marxist ideologies that are being pushed in the workplace and elsewhere. We can speak up, and we can make a difference. And I'm so glad you mentioned the supply chain, too. It's important. Pay attention to where things are produced. China is our enemy. Don't buy things from China as much as possible. I know it's almost impossible, but really try to find things that are made in America. And if you are a business, look for vendors who can support you with Made in America products and help America be strong. A strong America makes for a stronger world. And when we have freedom in America, we can spread freedom around the world. It's only because of our system of government that we have been able to have this prosperity, this freedom. And we have been the beacon, light of freedom for around the world. So we do not want that to stop. We must keep fighting. Do you have any other closing comments?
Ambassador Sam Brownback: Really Just God bless you. And one final thought is people think that we've already lost. They think it's just lost. I just need to go find a place in the wilderness and build a cabin and just build a fire and stay there. No, that's what some people on the other side want you to think. We're actually the majority here. We just got to get active and get united and start pushing. And these are basic traditional values I'm talking about that have been a part of Western civilization since Jesus walked the earth and since before with Judaism. So these are not radical notions. People have organized society for thousands of years, and it has worked. Not always perfectly by any means, but it's generally worked and we always want to improve. So you're not alone, you're not defeated, we haven't lost. Just get in the fight and start being active. God bless you.
Linda J. Hansen:
Well, amen to that. And I would say, when you feel alone, remember one plus God is a majority. But also, Jesus only had twelve, and it kind of worked out well for him. So we don't need big groups. We need to, I say, pray, have the power of God behind us and go forth. And we can create movements, we can make a difference and we can change history. So thank you, listeners. Thank you, Ambassador Brownback, and I look forward to having you back again. Thanks, sir.
Ambassador Sam Brownback: Thanks, Linda.
Linda J. Hansen: Thank you again for listening to the Prosperity 101 Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, share, and leave a great review. Don't forget to visit Prosperity101.com to access the entire podcast library to order my newest book, Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck or to enroll you or your employees in the Breakroom Economics online course. You can also receive the free e-book, 10 Tips for Helping Employees Understand How Public Policy Affects Their Paychecks. Freedom is never free. Understanding the foundations of prosperity and the policies of prosperity will help you to protect prosperity as you become informed, involved, and impactful. I give special thanks to our sponsors Matthews Archery, Inc. and Wisconsin Stamping & Manufacturing. Please contact us today at Prosperity101.com to let us know how we can serve you. Thank you.