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Our Religious Freedoms & Principles At Risk With Remote-Control Government

On Wednesday, January 6th, the Connecticut Legislature begins its 2021-2022 session in Hartford with a ceremonial swearing in. It will be done outdoors to comply with social distancing requirements. Then, for the foreseeable future, all lawmaking will be done by remote, the public will not be allowed in the Legislative Office Building or State Capitol.

And the Legislature must decide by early February whether to extend extraordinary executive powers to Gov. Ned Lamont.

These have been challenging times for all Americans and residents, but the Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Conference is very concerned about denying the public the right to fully exercise their constitutional right to address concerns to their government.

During these challenging times, legislators must not forget that the government only operates with the public’s consent.  Connecticut residents must be able to exercise their state constitutional rights, which include:

“the exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, … free to all persons in the state,” and the

“right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble for their common good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government, for redress of grievances, or other proper purposes, by petition, address or remonstrance.” The Connecticut Constitution.

In-person public hearings and personal contact with legislators are irreplaceable.  Zoom meetings and emails are inadequate substitutes that allow legislators to mute and delete contrarian voices with ease in the privacy of their own homes.  Many issues of utmost importance to people of faith will not be debated thoroughly.  Their advocates will not have the ability to promptly and effectively engage in this debate.

This plan limits opportunities and allows those in power to operate outside the normal give and take of public debate. It is a dangerous precedent.  Remote control gives the government too much control, no matter how earnest they claim the process.

In order to protect our religious freedom, to promote and protect life and to serve the work of our Church, we must take action now.

We are asking your support to urge your elected leaders to consider the following:

Suspend all legislative activity until later spring and only then reserve legislation that maintains essential government services and operations – especially for the poor, indigent and others suffering from this pandemic. 

Please click on the link below to send an email to your State Senator, State Representative, legislative leadership and Gov. Lamont. You may edit the email to suit your position.