More on the Missouri Resolution

March 09, 2006

A couple days ago I posted an article I wrote attacking a resolution being considered by Missouri state legislators to recognize "a Christian God." Several religious leaders have stated their concerns about the resolution. Here are a few of them.

The Reverend Bob Towner, Christ Episcopal Church pastor, stated, "The whole thing is preposterous. ... This assumes all Christians think alike and that there is a majority position. The truth is we don't all think alike."

Boo Tyson, executive director of the Mainstream Coalition, a Kansas City area group of ministers and other religious leaders, said, “We ask you to stop this nonsense now."

Rabbi Alan Cohen of Congregation Beth Shalom in Kansas City argued, “It would make religion a slave of the state.”

And the Reverend Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of The Interfaith Alliance stated:

This Resolution is not about religion. It’s about politics. In grade school, we are taught that in matters of faith, government must not take sides. This seems to have been lost on the sponsors of this Resolution. Surely those who have read their history know that government’s endorsement of religion is a death knell to religious liberty. They are doing no service to Christianity or to the inter-religious community of this nation.

When reading the Missouri State Legislature Resolution endorsing Christianity as the state’s official religion, it’s hard to suppress the images and feelings I once knew growing up in the segregated South. The Civil Rights movement began because this country had sent a message to those who were different, that they didn’t belong. Decades earlier, our country did the same thing in denying women the right to vote. Today, Missouri legislators are denying equal rights and opportunities to their own residents whose religious beliefs and practices are different from those of the majority. No citizen’s rights or opportunities should ever depend on their, or anyone else’s, religious beliefs or practices, period.

When will we finally heed history’s lessons that denying Americans their basic rights, because they are considered different is un-American? Missouri is the ‘Show Me’ state and for the sake of present and future generations, I urge the residents of this great state to show the rest of the country they will not tolerate such blatant prejudice on the part of those they chose to represent them. Tell the Christian Right, ‘You’re not going to steal our government; you do not speak for me.’ At the end of the day, if there is not freedom from the imposition of religion, there is no religious freedom
Amen! We need more religious leaders like these who are willing to take a stand and challenge the state's leaders when they are wrong.