Religious freedom is not absolute
It is well-known that religious beliefs can be scientifically mistaken, as is the belief that the world is only 6,000 years old. It is equally obvious that religious beliefs can be morally mistaken, as is the belief of some Muslims that girls should not be educated. It is also obvious that some beliefs that were once held by the majority of Christians can be morally mistaken, as was the belief that interracial marriages are forbidden by God.
A direct implication of this is that some of one’s currently held religious beliefs may be morally mistaken.
This fact raises questions with regard to the claim that everyone always has the right to act upon his sincerely held religious views. Such a claim, if not totally false, is certainly an oversimplification of a very complex issue.
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A problem that is bound to arise in our religiously and morally diverse society is: How are we to treat those whose religious and moral views differ from our own?
Our democracy has answered part of this question with our notion of religious freedom. But religious freedom is not absolute. When a sincerely held religious view is morally mistaken, one is not allowed to act upon it. For example, sincere racists are not allowed to discriminate against other races, even if their religion supports racism.
Same-sex marriages are opposed by many religions, and they claim that their religious freedom gives them the right to discriminate against same-sex couples. But what if this sincerely held religious view is morally mistaken?
GERALD H. PASKE
Regarding the letter by Americans for Prosperity about our renewable portfolio standard (March 10 Letters to the Editor): According to a recent statewide poll, most Kansans support renewable energy, and most Kansans realize that wind energy helps stabilize electric bills for homes and business, brings significant jobs and investment to our state, and helps our communities grow. Using renewable energy doesn’t pollute and protects our natural resources. Electric utilities in Kansas met the 2015 standards last year. Some already have met the 2020 standards.
Some Kansas lawmakers and outside interest groups want to repeal our RPS, which would send jobs and investment to neighboring states. We need Kansas legislators to look at the benefits of the RPS, which include:
• $7 billion in capital investment from wind energy through the end of 2013.
• 13,000 direct and indirect jobs.
• $13 million in annual landowner lease payments.
• $10 million in annual donation payments to counties hosting wind farms.
• Minimal cost to Kansas ratepayers – less than a quarter of a cent per each kilowatt-hour of electricity used (much less than average cost of 9.55 cents).
If lawmakers are voting against wind, they are voting against Kansas. The renewable portfolio standard has had a powerful positive effect for Kansas.
If you are planning to purchase a used car, please be aware of a problem that happened to me. Last summer I bought a beautiful – inside and out – 2002 Hyundai Sonata from a large dealership on the east side of Wichita.
Last fall I took my car to a Hyundai dealership for an oil change and an alignment (the car was pulling to the right). While my car was on the rack, the service people called me to view the underside of my car. It was badly corroded, to the point that my front passenger tire was bent inward. In the three months that I owned it, both new front tires had been ruined. It would have taken almost $2,000 to repair my car. I took my car back to the dealership where I purchased it and managed to get my money back.
I was told the car was probably in the Katrina flood.
If you are purchasing a used car, make sure they put it on the rack for you. It is illegal for these cars to be sold, but they are on the market.
ROBERTA KEEGAN ARNETT