TOPEKA, Kan. - Conservatives in the Kansas legislature are once again up to their old tricks of trying to turn the Capitol into a religious body. A new proposal was announced this week that would provide Kansas state lawmakers with a very special privilege; an "All-faiths" chapel inside the Capitol building. There are many legal concerns as well as practical arguments against the All-faiths chapel. However, the important question to raise is why such a proposal has suddenly appeared?
The whole effort is nothing more than religious mischief concocted by the religious right. If the proposal goes nowhere in this session, the idea still gets out in front of the public to build momentum and support down the road for a chapel. Make no mistake that behind this audacious proposal, the All-faiths chapel is a very calculated and concrete challenge to elevate religion in Kansas government and devalue secularism. This proposal essentially demands that Kansas government accommodate and provide for religion to establish a real presence within the Statehouse and serve as a visible reminder that faith is paramount in governing when in fact, governing should be neutral when it comes to religious promotion. Establishing a chapel in the Capitol building is hardly a neutral act.