Letter to the Editor

Religious groups need protection for observances

Wednesday, December 4, 2002

To the editor:

The Missouri Legislature ended in May with much work left undone. One proposed piece of legislation is of vital importance to all religious communities: the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Currently, religious groups in our state enjoy the freedom to practice some tenets of their faith strictly because of the goodwill of their community rather than the letter of the law. The use of candles for religious observances is in many communities in violation of fire codes. Serving wine to minors during the observance of communion is in violation of state law concerning the serving of alcoholic beverages to minors. A Missouri Religious Freedom Restoration Act would protect these and other religious practices.

As much as we all are grateful for the goodwill of others, what Missourians need and deserve is to have all their religious practices protected by law. My hope is that Missourians will talk to their state legislators and tell them Missouri needs a Religious Freedom Restoration Act -- and it needs it now.


St. Louis