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Letters to the Editor

Imposed beliefs

April 4, 2012

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To the editor:

The Kansas House, on March 29, passed legislation that would allow a religious defense to discrimination against gays. The bill is called the Kansas Preservation of Religious Freedom Act.

In many times and in many places, religious beliefs have been cited as justification for bias and discrimination against Jews, blacks, Indians, Muslims, Mexicans, women, the deaf, the physically and developmentally disabled, etc.

Each of us is entitled to our own beliefs. None of us are entitled to impose those beliefs on others.

The proper role of democratic government is to protect all citizens from unjust behavior. Authoritarian societies (e.g., the Soviet Union) write unjust discrimination (read bigotry) into law. Is the state of Kansas en route to becoming an authoritarian society?

Comments

Paul R Getto 2 years ago

"She also talked about how if you have prayer in schools then we would have to allow the prayers of all religions---and that you can pray any place you wish, and so forth." === Good points here. People can pray any time they want in schools or elsewhere as long as they do it on their own time and don't disrupt the education of others. Most prayer is silent anyway. "Who are the brain/prayer police?" (Sorry, Frank.) http://www.lyricsfreak.com/f/frank+zappa/who+are+the+brain+police_20056709.html

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denak 2 years ago

All this doom and gloom over nothing. First of all, this is the HOUSE. It isn't a law and more than likely will not become a law. The next step for this bill is for it to go to the Senate. Given the current makeup of the Senate, it is highly unlikely it wil ever be voted on and if it did get that stage, it wouldn't be passed. There are not enough votes in the Senate for it. What will more than likely happen is that it will be sent to a committe where it will either be altered or it will die a slow death in bill purgatory,never to be seen again.

I do have to wonder though, just why the LJWorld, doesn't actually print that fact. I guess it is more acceptable to rile up the masses about "discrimination against gays," as if the bill is actually a fact RIGHT NOW, then to mention that a) the bill doesn't actually mention the "gay" community and that this is a bill that has no chance of passing. I guess the "sky is falling" Chicken Little style of reporting has replaced the axiom, "if it bleeds, it leads." Or maybe it's just that they think the inner working of our government is so boring and its readership too dense to understand it. Much better (and easier) to print something dramatic and salacious than to actually print facts.

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Fossick 2 years ago

Cait48: "Actually, they wrote it together. Jefferson authored the Establishment clause. He, himself, made that perfectly clear."

No, they didn't. The exact wording of the Establishment Clause arose out of a conference committee of the House and Senate in September of 1789, from whence it was passed to the states for ratification. Thomas Jefferson was not in the Congress - in fact he was not even in the country. It was not until after the bill was written, hammered into its final form and passed that Jefferson returned from his tour as the US Ambassador to France and accepted the position of Secretary of State. You are probably confusing the First Amendment with a earlier bill that Jefferson wrote while in Virginia.

(from a source) The text of the First Amendment:

Some early draft amendments to the religion section were:

  • James Madison, 1789-JUN-7 "The Civil Rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, nor on any pretext infringed. No state shall violate the equal rights of conscience or the freedom of the press, or the trial by jury in criminal cases."

  • House Select Committee, JUL-28 "No religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed,"

  • Samuel Livermore, AUG-15 "Congress shall make no laws touching religion, or infringing the rights of conscience."

  • House version, AUG-20 "Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe the rights of conscience." (Moved by Fisher Ames)

  • Initial Senate version, SEP-3 "Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

  • Final Senate version, SEP-9 "Congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith or a mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion."

  • Conference Committee "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." http://www.religioustolerance.org/amend_1.htm

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verity 2 years ago

I had a very interesting conversation the other day with a rather conservative, fundamentalist Christian who I grew up with. She was complaining about the "legalists" in the church where I grew up and she still attends. Some are saying others aren't "saved" because they believe the wrong way on a certain point of doctrine---I couldn't even understand the difference between the two beliefs. I was surprised when she said, "It's all about power and control," something she repeated numerous times. We talked about how if you are secure in yourself, you don't feel the need to control other people.

She also talked about how if you have prayer in schools then we would have to allow the prayers of all religions---and that you can pray any place you wish, and so forth.

Unfortunately, reasonable Christians like my friend get drowned out by the minority (at least from my experience, I think it is a minority) who think that religious freedom means forcing their beliefs on others. It's not about religion at all, it's about control, and those who feel the need to control others will never be satisfied because they can never have enough.

After this conversation it also hit me that is the reason why some people will continue to do anything to make more money even when they have more than they will ever be able to use. Money means you can control things---and they will never have enough control.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years ago

For "Liberaltines", evolution is Neat!! until it applies to them.

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jonas_opines 2 years ago

It does seem that at least 4 times out of 5 or 6 that someone identifying as a society's dominant religion cries about religious oppression, what it actually winds up being is that they've been denied government sanction to use their religion to oppress other people.

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Ragingbear 2 years ago

Religious beliefs were behind the reasoning for those that perpetrated 9-11 and the wars in the Gulf.

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skootermonkey 2 years ago

C'mon guys! Think of the draw this will have on people looking to locate a place where they can live while maintaining their religious life-style that would otherwise be illegal! Sure gays will be discriminated against but now Mormons can come to KS and marry multiple wives, Muslims can establish Sharia law, and Rastafarians can light up! Think of the endless possibilities!

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equalaccessprivacy 2 years ago

Well-said! Street harassment is the most diabolical form of mob rule ever invented. So as long as country bumpkins continue to raise their kids to aggressively single out and approach strangers for discriminatory reasons KS will remain an offensively authoritarian place! You can't fix stupid.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years ago

If common sense was used in government: Citizen: I don't believe in abortion. Government: Then don't get one. Citizen: I don't believe in birth control. Government: You don't have to use it. Citizen: I believe gay marriage is a sin. Government: Then don't marry the same sex. Citizen: I want my children to learn about Creationism. Government: Then take them to church. Citizen: I want my children to have "abstinence only" sex education. Government: Then opt your children out of school based sex ed and actually TALK to them about it yourself.

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lunacydetector 2 years ago

the democrats are the party of no God, so no God is imposed on the rest of us, just like the soviet union, or the red chinese....no God, period.

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sowhatnow 2 years ago

Why aren't we making a distinction between religious freedom in the church versus in the marketplace?

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Pastor_Bedtime 2 years ago

But the radical theocrats are on a mission from their God, so they feel justified. And smugly superior at the same time too. Their world view demands their evangelism and domination. And any resistance to their mandatory belief system comes clearly from the "radical leftists", "socialists" or "athiests".

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Richard Heckler 2 years ago

Is the state of Kansas en route to becoming an authoritarian society?

Yes

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hujiko 2 years ago

You sir are bigoted towards bigots. That makes you a hypocrite!!

Bigots have rights too, right?

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