July 18, 2024

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Catholic Lobbyist: Electing Republicans Doesn’t Guarantee Religious Liberty

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Kansas is a case study in the idea that nothing will be fixed if Christians continue voting for Republicans, writes Michael Schuttloffel in a column for The Leaven, the official newspaper for the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas.

“…The idea that simply pushing the red button instead of the blue one will elect people committed to protecting religious freedom is becoming more mistaken by the minute,” Schuttloffel, a lobbyist for the Kansas Catholic Conference, writes.

The idea that simply pushing the red button instead of the blue one will elect people committed to protecting religious freedom is becoming more mistaken by the minute,” Schuttloffel, a lobbyist for the Kansas Catholic Conference, writes.

Kansas is making that obvious by its lawmakers’ refusal to protect faith-based adoption providers like Catholic Charities, according to Schuttloffel. Lawmakers in the majority-Republican Kansas House torpedoed legislation to protect faith-based agencies in March.

In Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. Catholic Charities were forced to close their doors based on their policies that placed children in homes with married moms and dads. Several other states, like North Dakota, Virginia, Rhode Island, Michigan, Mississippi and Texas have passed legislation to protect such agencies, but in deep red Kansas, House Republicans balked at a similar proposal.

“Here, 27 House Republicans voted no on the bill,” Schuttloffel writes. Their number included four members of Republican leadership and four chairs of major House committees.

The Kansas Senate passed the adoption protection act with 28 of 40 members voting in the affirmative, but Senate debate revealed just how hostile some Republicans are to the Catholic faith, according to Schuttloffel.

It “was the scene of an ugly remark that you undoubtedly would have heard about before now had it been directed at any other group than Catholics,” he writes.

During Senate debate, Republican Sen. Barbara Bollier laid out a “farcical understanding of what the ‘Catholic religion’ believes about the seven deadly sins, took the mic again and called those beliefs ‘sick,'” Schottloffel writes.

Lawmakers may take up the adoption legislation that affords religious liberty to faith based agencies during the upcoming veto session.

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