Friday, March 11, 2011

Prayer Amendment Passes in Missouri House

The proposed amendment to Missouri's Constitution would ensure that citizens and schoolchildren have the right to pray and acknowledge God in public settings.

UPDATE 8/8/12: Over 80% of Missourians vote in favor of amendment

UPDATE 5/10/11: Bill passes Senate 34 to zero - Citizens will vote in 2012

-- From "Mo. House approves proposed amendment on religious expression in public and government places" by The Associated Press 3/10/11

For the sixth year in a row, the Missouri House has approved a proposed constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to pray privately in public places.

The amendment would prohibit Missouri cities, counties and schools from adopting policies to prevent prayer or other religious demonstrations in public places.

Thursday's 126-30 House vote sent the measure to the Senate, where it has died in previous years. Senate passage would put the amendment on a statewide ballot in November 2012.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Prayer Amendments Introduced in Missouri House and Senate" posted at Missouri Family E-News 2/14/11

Representative Mike McGhee of Odesssa has again filed House Joint Resolution 2 in the Missouri House, and Senator Jack Goodman of Mt. Vernon has introduced Senate Joint Resolution 16 in the Missouri Senate.

At the heart of the proposal is a provision guaranteeing the right of students in public schools to pray on a voluntary basis. Students would be assured of the right to pray and acknowledge God so long as such expressions abide within the same parameters placed upon any other free speech under similar circumstances.

While the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that "state-sponsored prayer" (organized prayer led by school officials) is unconstitutional, the High Court has also declared that schools and other governmental bodies cannot infringe on the voluntary free exercise of religious speech in school settings. Schools cannot engage in "viewpoint discrimination" by prohibiting speech based on its religious content.

Yet school officials across the country regularly suppress the religious values and voices of students based on a false understanding of the constitutional theory of the "separation of church and state." Opponents of religious liberty such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation incorrectly argue that any and all references to God and religion must be banished from school premises.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.