Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Missouri Votes to Bring Prayer Back to School

Christians in Missouri are fighting back at the atheists' nationwide attempts to silence constitutional prayers to Jesus Christ in schools, local government meetings, and other public gatherings. The "Right-to-Pray" Amendment (House Joint Resolution 2) will be on the August 7th ballot after a panel of the Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals recently threw out the atheists' claims in Coburn v. Mayer.

For background, read Prayer Amendment Passes in Missouri Legislature and also read Prayer in America: Hidden Faith, or Public?

UPDATE 8/8/12: Over 80% of Missourians vote for prayer and religious liberty

UPDATE 7/8/14: Democrat Missouri Gov. Signs Religious Liberty Law for Schools

-- From "Right-to-pray amendment slated for August ballot by [Dem Gov.] Nixon" by Virginia Young, St. Louis Post-dispatch 5/23/12

The Legislature approved the proposal in the 2011 legislative session. The measure passed the House on a vote of 126-30 and the Senate on a unanimous 34-0 vote.

The sponsor, Rep. Mike McGhee, R-Odessa, said he championed the change because of a fear that government would use the separation of church and state as a reason to keep people from privately praying on public property.

Critics said at the time that the right to pray in public is already protected by the U.S. Constitution and that the Missouri Constitution says citizens have the "right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience."

Senate Democrats said they decided not to oppose the amendment because it didn't do anything.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Ozarks Voters, Lawmakers Weigh in on 'Right to Pray' Issue" by April Hansen, KOLR-TV10 (Springfield, MO) 7/11/12

Under the amendment, "...any person shall have the right to pray individually or corporately in a private or public setting so long as such prayer does not result in disturbance of the peace or disruption of a public meeting or assembly..."

The amendment reaffirms that students can privately pray in public schools, but it would not allow schools to hold class prayers.

The amendment also says students can express religious beliefs in assignments, free from discrimination.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Missouri Court Upholds 'Right to Pray' Amendment" by Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter 6/19/12

"The proposed amendment makes certain or safeguards the right to freedom of religious expression by setting forth specific ways to avoid infringing upon this right," reads the majority opinion.

"By stating that the proposed amendment would ensure the right of Missouri citizens to express their religious beliefs without infringement, the summary statement fairly and impartially summarizes this purpose."

In its majority opinion, the appeals panel argued that rather than being redundant regarding religious freedom rights, the proposed amendment "elaborates on its meaning with regard to prayer and the expression of religious beliefs in private and public settings, on government and public property, and in schools."

While the amendment was passed overwhelmingly by both houses of the General Assembly, the proposed amendment is not without its critics. Americans United for Separation of Church and State has weighed in on the ballot effort and felt the court made the wrong decision.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.