Letter to the editor: Don’t suppress religious freedom
In her Nov. 1 opinion piece, Jeanette Pryor, a lobbyist for the Catholic Church in Kansas advocates for the passage of the Proposed Constitutional Amendment. Even without the PCA, Catholics in Kansas are already able to freely follow Catholic moral teachings.
But Ms. Pryor wants the PCA passed so that all citizens are required by Kansas law to follow Catholic moral teachings. She does not acknowledge that other religions have different moral teachings. She does not consider the loss of religious freedom for persons in other religions. Yet if the PCA passed, then it would deprive many Kansans of religious freedom, including Unitarians like myself.
Ms. Pryor quotes approvingly of Pope Francis’s support for the PCA. But the Pope does not speak for me, for my religious beliefs, or for Kansans who are not Catholics. Like every freedom-loving American, I want to follow the moral teachings of my own religion, not those of a different religion.
Putting the Catholic Church’s moral teaching into the Kansas Constitution would be a grave injustice, one wholly out of keeping with our country’s commitment to religious freedom for all persons of whichever religion. Why? Because if it did so, then our Kansas government would be unfairly favoring one religious perspective over others.
While religions have long differed significantly from each other on their moral teachings, government must allow for the free exercise of all religions, not favor one religious perspective over others. Suppression of religious freedom must never be the norm.
Kent Munzer, Topeka