Religious freedom is an important, fundamental cornerstone of our democracy. However, no person's religious freedom is being denied by not allowing large gatherings of people (for any reason) during a health pandemic. No one will be arrested for their religious beliefs.
That is not what is happening here. I have watched with disgust as certain Republican legislators and leaders have downplayed the severity of the health crisis from day one. They have continued to hamper any efforts by Gov. Kelly and public health professionals to control the spread of COVID-19.
Republican lawmakers, this is not the time for political posturing, dog whistles and setting up roadblocks for reasonable public health measures. I applaud Gov. Kelly and her team for their tireless work in protecting the health and safety of Kansans, even as this is a politically difficult decision.
Due to the misguided Republican overturn of limiting large church gatherings, more Kansas lives will be put at risk. The health and safety of the population should always outweigh the "right" to squeeze into a crowded pew on Easter Sunday. Please practice your faith from home, and look forward to a time when you can safely gather again.
Marda Neufeld, Silver Lake