Statement in Response To Governor Kelly’s Religious Freedom Overreach

April 7

This afternoon, Governor Kelly issued an executive order that specifically targets churches, demanding that they not meet if they are likely to bring more than ten people together. Until now, churches have been trusted to be responsible and take measures to protect their members. Churches have been voluntarily complying with these directives. Why are schools, libraries, and even restaurants exempted from this more restrictive order but churches are not? Why is Governor targeting churches? Why are we the ones who are not trusted to be socially responsible?

It is a highly disappointing that the Governor would choose to specifically target churches, especially on the holiest of week in the Christian faith. Yes, churches should be wise and should take appropriate measures to protect their members. Yet, there are multiple state governors in states with liberal administrations that have continued to trust the faith-based community to practice wisdom and love for neighbor. These governors have worked with the religious community to ensure their safety and well-being and instead Governor Kelly has refused to do so and rather issued a sweeping order.

To be clear, we are not encouraging any churches to meet during this time of crisis. However, the faith community should be trusted to self-regulate and the government should not use instances that occurred before the Governor’s first stay-at-home order was even issued to validate an attack on religious freedom. We call on members of the Legislative Coordinating Council to denounce this blatant attack on religious freedom and protect the freedoms we hold dear as Kansans.