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KNAU and Arizona News

Brewer talks about religion's role in her political life

By Howard Fischer

Phoenix, AZ – Governor Jan Brewer said there's more than a political reason she
is the governor.

Brewer became the state's chief executive in January after Janet
Napolitano quit to take a job in the Obama administration. The
new governor said she inherited many, many problems, notably the
largest deficit on a per capita basis of any state in the nation.

Speaking Wednesday to a conference of Missouri Synod Lutheran
ministers, Brewer told them she relies on her faith. "For I believe in the power of prayer," she said. "And I firmly believe that
God has placed me in this powerful position as Arizona's governor
to help guide our state through the difficulty that we are
currently facing."

In a wide-ranging speech on the role of religion in politics and
in her life, Brewer, a member of the Missorui Synod, detailed how
she uses 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, someone will suggest praying
about an issue.

"And we stop, and we take that time, and we pray about it. And it
does make a difference."

Brewer also said she has been blssed because so many people of
faith have helped her with her prayers.

"And that has caused me, of course, to be grateful that we are a
country of Christianity."

But Brewer also said she recognizes the difference between
bringing 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. 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. I don't believe
that for a moment, any more than you believe that God's way is
exclusively the Lutheran way."

Brewer told the ministers the state's finances mean there is less
money coming in even as more people need government services. The
governor said she remembers the time when many of the services
government now provides were, in fact, made available through

"It's become almost a total solution has been government. And I
don't know if that's right. Some of us feel that government's
responsibility is just doing those things that people can't do
for themselves. But because of the need and the style of which
our government has gone, we've taken on a lot of responsibilities
that at one particular time was in the churches."

She said churches should step up now to seek out those in need.