The Capitol Commission omission
Having read “ ‘I just let him lead’: Behind the prayers for lawmakers” by Jonathan Shorman in the May 29 Wichita Eagle, I have concerns. Of course, each citizen and lawmaker has an absolute right to worship as they choose, yet the First Amendment and its establishment clause do have something to add when government and religion intersect. The Wex legal dictionary (Cornell University) says:
“The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause prohibits the government from making any law ‘respecting an establishment of religion.’ This clause not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another. It also prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion.”
In order to be fair, it seems that the Kansas Legislature should hear a wider scope of religious expression than that of Christian evangelicals from the Capitol Commission. The thousands of other Christian denominations should have representation. Perhaps each churchgoer in the Legislature could have weekly consultation with their own minister, rather than have a Capitol Commission representative like Dave DePue frequently interacting with them. The rest of the world’s major religions should also be encouraged to promulgate their thoughts. This would be an actual search for wisdom, a free market of belief, real liberty and freedom in the realm of belief, all valuable viewpoints to ponder, an escape from restriction. Shouldn’t the irreligious have representation?
Dave Crook, Derby
Many faces of hate
Almost daily in our world, television, the internet and social media put in full view for all to see pictures of individuals who committed unthinkable violence against other members of humankind. Many of the perpetrators express anger toward others because of their religion, gender preference, race, ethnicity, ancestry, disability, or defenseless children and those who have grown old.
The faces of hate are not all the same color, gender, or race, religion or ethnicity. Hate comes disguised in many ways, but the faces of hate always show telling signs and behavior before and after their hateful acts of violence.
As a people, many of us are appalled, angered and saddened by these violent acts, while others cheer, support and finance many of those individuals and organizations carrying out such heinous acts.
We as Americans should not be surprised by the violence we see in our nation, or the world. We need to examine our own recorded history of unthinkable violence against Native Americans, African Americans, Japanese Americans, women, transgender citizens, the disabled, senior citizens, children and those practicing different religious beliefs.
Take a close look in the mirror, America; you will come up close and personal with the many faces of hate.
Eugene Anderson, Wichita
To the parents of two young boys who were guided by you to recognize the veterans present at the Memorial Day services at Resthaven: As long as their bags of candy lasted, they searched for the veterans to give them a little treat and a big thank you. You then followed up with a handshake. I was impressed with your great parenting skills. We have many great parents in our society, usually not recognized as they go about raising the next generation of Americans. But you are appreciated and prayed for. Keep up the good work. You will be repaid many times over by good children.
Laura Shriner, Wichita
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