Religious themes permeate Kansas inauguration

Wichita EagleJanuary 12, 2011 

TOPEKA — Gov. Sam Brownback, who proudly wears his religious faith on both sleeves, declared the day of his inauguration a "gift from God" not to be frittered away.

"We have been placed here for a reason and a short season," he said during his speech Monday to a packed crowd in the Kansas House chamber. "Let us make the most of it."

Expressions of Christian faith were plentiful throughout the Capitol as people marked transfer of governance to new executive branch members and a fresh cadre of people serving in the Kansas Legislature. These public activities parallel the emergence in Kansas politics of social conservatives intent on making faith a more robust pillar of government.

Brownback said faith would help the state grapple with economic and social problems in a way reminiscent of the way abolitionists denouncing slavery prevailed to "end the original sin in America."

In the Statehouse, the Old Supreme Court room was reserved for prayer and joyful celebration of God. Musicians entertained people seeking divine guidance. The program was sponsored by Capitol Commission, a ministry working in more than a dozen states, in conjunction with the Kansas Family Policy Council and Concerned Women for America.

"We've come together to pray for our legislators," said Denise Cochran, a Topeka member of the organization of conservative women.

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