It be National Talk Like a Pirate Day, so I best be featuring a scalawag who knows how to pillage and plunder!
Unfortunately, Governor Jan Brewer is no respectable pirate. (As you read, keep reading, because it gets worse.)
She went ahead and changed the definition of “dependent,” which means the following groups are no longer eligible to receive benefits:
» Domestic partners
» Children of domestic partners
» Full-time students age 23-24
» Disabled adult dependents
Isn’t she a sweetheart? Yep, benefits cut just like that.
The University of Arizona President Robert Sheldon knows what’s up:
“It’s a real step backwards for this university in terms of being able to compete for the best people,” Shelton said. “I don’t know of any other of our competitive universities that are put in this situation. It’s extremely worrisome.”
UA has 170 people receiving domestic partner benefits (40 of whom are same-sex partners). Thankfully the university is going to do what it can to help them find coverage, because they do, in fact, deserve it.
But what happened isn’t the worst part. What motivated Gov. Brewer is downright scary:
Gov. Jan Brewer said Wednesday that she believes “God has placed me in this powerful position as Arizona’s governor” to help the state weather its troubles.
This whole article is downright disturbing. This is exactly what we don’t need from elected officials. Let’s keep reading.
In a wide-ranging speech on the role of religion in politics and in her life, Brewer detailed to a group of pastors of the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church how she relies on her faith and in prayer to deal with many of the issues she faces as the state’s chief executive. Brewer also said there are times when, during a meeting with staffers, one will suggest praying about an issue.
“And we stop, and we take that time, and we pray about it,” Brewer, a Missouri Synod-Lutheran herself, told the group meeting here. “And it does make a difference.”
I’m not a citizen of Arizona; I recognize that. Still, it angers me to no end that a politician is being paid to pray. Prayer does not work, regardless of what she believes. Surely there is at least one other person in the state who could serve in that capacity without wasting so much time.
But Brewer also said she recognizes the difference between bring her faith to the office and having an “agenda.”
“The problem with having a political agenda is that we give the impression that we have God’s truth,” the governor said.
“We think we can convert God’s truth into a political platform, a set of political issues, and that there is ‘God’s way’ in our politics,” Brewer continued. “I don’t believe that for a moment, any more than you believe that God’s way is exclusively the Lutheran way.”
Umm… what? See, when people say they think they know what God wants, it’s really what they want. They’ve just convinced themselves it’s what God wants (but God is all in their head). So whatever Brewer believes is “God’s truth” is how she’s going to govern, so how is that not an agenda? Believers can really convince themselves of anything. It’s disturbing. If you don’t think I’ve parsed her words accurately, look at what comes next:
The governor said, though, she believes it is right — if not inevitable — that elected officials bring their faith to their offices.
Brewer quoted from “Faith and Politics,” a book by John Danforth, a former U.S. senator and ambassador to the United Nations, who also is an Episcopal priest.
“Danforth said, and I agree by the way, that it is important that we don’t check our religion at the church door,” Brewer said. “We want to apply it to the rest of our lives.”
The problem with that is the whole she-affects-everybody-else’s-lives-too thing. Like, if she doesn’t believe domestic partners should get benefits, it seems like domestic partners won’t get benefits.
“As with past challenges, tragedies or problems that I’ve had to confront, I first and foremost relied on my faith to guide me through, for I believe in the power of prayer,” she said. “And I firmly believe that God has placed me in this powerful position of Arizona’s governor to help guide our state through the difficulty that we are currently facing.”
She believes. Hooray for everybody else. But wake up, sister, because God didn’t put you in that powerful position. The naïve people of Arizona did. Don’t let your faith go to your head, Governor. This is still a democracy and people still have freewill.
Brewer, in response to audience questions, said she has been “blessed because so many people of great faith” have helped her with their prayers.
“And that has caused me, of course, to be grateful that we are a country of Christianity,” she said.
Wrong and wrong again! People’s prayers haven’t done shit for you, and we are a nation free of religion. Have you read the constitution, lady?
“I don’t think under the circumstances that anybody’s in the position of living at this turbulent time, these terrible, critical times of our nation, can possibly get through without asking for help and guidance from Jesus Christ and from God,” the governor told the ministers.
“For those of us who have lived it and practiced it, we just know that,” Brewer continued. “So it must be very difficult for someone out there that doesn’t have him to rely on.”
Wow, that’s how addicts talk! That comment is not a far cry from evangelizing from the statehouse. Clearly, the only way to survive is to be Christian. How does she feel about people who aren’t Christian?
Apparently, she doesn’t care that much. She explained that she is cutting government social programs like subsidized child care because of her faith:
“And that’s where, I believe, socially, churches need to step up and seek out people, not only of their own congregation but of the community,” she said. “Because if the church doesn’t do it, who is going to do it?“
Umm… did you read your job description? Let’s see, who is responsible for stepping up for communities? Hmmm… OH RIGHT! THE GOVERNMENT.
“It’s become almost a total solution has been government,” she said.
“I don’t know if that’s right,” Brewer said.
When I write on this blog about how I think faith is dangerous, this is what I’m talking about.
Governor Brewer is allowing Arizona to become a Christian theocracy. Her faith determines her governing. People who don’t share her faith are suffering. Unacceptable.
Congratulations, Governor Brewer, you are officially a LOON.