Missouri prayer amendment passes by wide margin
    August 9 2012 by Kellie Kotraba, Religion News Service

    COLUMBIA, Mo. – Voters in Missouri overwhelmingly approved a “right to pray” amendment to the state’s constitution Aug. 7, despite concerns about the measure’s necessity and legality. 
    Amendment 2, which supporters said would protect the freedom of religious expression in public schools and other public spaces, received nearly 80 percent of the vote.  
    The language on Tuesday’s ballot stressed the rights of citizens to express their religious beliefs and the rights of children to pray and acknowledge God in schools. It also stated that students could be exempted from classroom activities that violate their religious beliefs.
    State Rep. Mike McGhee, a Republican who sponsored the amendment, said it would remind people about their religious freedoms, such as reading religious books at school. “It’s OK to bring your Bible to study hall,” he said.
    It is not clear how students’ exemption from classroom activities will be regulated. McGhee has said it could vary by age group, but individual school districts will likely create their own policies on the matter.
    The amendment was backed by Missouri’s four Catholic bishops and the Missouri Baptist Convention. The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri and several non-Christian groups opposed it. Legal experts almost unanimously predict that the amendment will wind up in court.   
    Critics also argued the amendment is redundant – the U.S. Constitution already protects religious freedom. And some warned that it would spark countless lawsuits and bring unintended consequences.
    The amendment garnered enough support to pass by a 7-1 margin.
    Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill voted “yes” on the amendment.
    8/9/2012 3:29:10 PM by Kellie Kotraba, Religion News Service | with 0 comments
    Filed under: Amendment, Freedom, Prayer

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