Regarding “Conservatism takes a right turn in Kansas politics” (July 8 Eagle): I am deeply troubled by the shift I see in our communities, state and nation to less involvement in regulating markets and to reducing benefits designed to assist the poorest and most vulnerable of our society. At the same time, there is more government involvement in social issues such as women’s health care choices and same-gender civil rights.
Some say it was the election of President Obama that awakened this movement toward a more extreme conservatism. That very well could be. But what I see is a drift toward a dangerous marriage of church and state.
There was a day when the religious community, in general, served our nation well as a corrective voice to government, calling it out on issues of social uplift and justice. Somehow, many in the religious community seem to have moved from being a corrective to a “yes-man,” even an accomplice.
We need to find a way back to civil discourse and negotiation, conversation and listening in our country. My prayer is this recent right turn might awaken those of us who are of a differing voice, a more moderate or progressive liberal voice. There are those of us who see our voice as a corrective, not as a mandate, and our silence is not serving our country, our fellow humankind or God well.
Separation of church and state is not just a good idea but a fundamental principle if we are to remain free as individuals, as faith communities and as a country. It is crucial if there is truly to be freedom, liberty and justice for all.
KENT H. LITTLE
College Hill United Methodist Church