"A Mayor Should be Open to All," a Commentary by Vern Barnet

March 21, 2007


Source: The Kansas City Star


Religion should bring people together, but it often generates conflict. A strong community celebrates both shared humanity and distinctive spiritual labels.

Both Kansas City mayoral candidates support interfaith understanding.

Mark Funkhouser says although he has not been involved in interfaith efforts here or before he came to Kansas City, he respects the “huge variety” of beliefs and would probably respond to invitations for him to participate in interfaith activities.

In an interview, Funkhouser said he recognizes a deep spirituality that moves people, whether that spirituality “is in the context of formal religion or not.”

When I mentioned Kansas City’s selection as the pilot site for two national interfaith academies for training religious professionals and emerging religious leaders at the St. Paul School of Theology this summer, Funkhouser said he was glad such programs were happening here.