by Bill Scholl
“We’ll remember in November,” is a powerful chorus in American democracy when the people remind their elected representatives that they are accountable.
In Kansas, when so many seats are safe for the prevailing political party, it is very important that we also remember in August.
August 7 will be the primaries when many senators/representatives will be chosen. Recent statements and votes by our elected officials should give all people of faith pause.
Some politicians in Kansas have attacked Catholics, labeling them bigots for upholding the religious belief that children have the right to both a mother and a father. Catholics and people of faith also have the right of conscience to refuse participation in arrangements that violate their Christian morals.
Thanks to the advocacy of many who responded to our Kansas bishops’ call to protect adoption choice, the bill of the same name passed the Senate and the House and went to Gov. Jeff Coyler’s desk for his signature.
It was a live-and-let-live approach that never sought to stop same-sex couples from adoption, but rather to protect the status quo that allows faith-based groups to not participate in such arrangements.
What should have been a common-sense protection of religious freedom to ensure that we have as many diverse groups as possible helping Kansas kids find forever homes was turned into a referendum on the LGBTQ agenda to marginalize and destroy any group who dissents or does not wish to enable their version of family.
Even Justice Anthony Kennedy who wrote the majority opinion for Obergefell v. Hodges, which made same-sex marriage the law across the U.S., declared in that statement: “It must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.”
As Catholics, we should be aware that our practice of faith in the public square is being attacked as bigotry. We need leaders who can safeguard true diversity and not force Christians into the closet just as others are getting out.
We need to elect officials who will not, in the name of tolerance, allow Kansas to become intolerant of religious morals.
Mark your calendars for Aug. 7 and make sure you’re registered to vote in the primaries and find out how your senator and representatives voted on this law by going online to: www.archkck.org/socialjustice.
Decide for yourself, and vote.