Vandalia area voters and those throughout the state of Missouri will be asked to support or oppose the proposed Constitutional Amendment 2 when they cast votes during a special election on Tuesday, August 7.
What is also known as the Missouri Public Prayer Amendment, was sponsored by Rep. Mike McGhee, the current District 122 representative from Odessa.
The proposal, if passed, would amend the constitution to:
• Ensure the right of Missouri citizens to express their religious beliefs are not infringed
• Ensure that school children have the right to pray and acknowledge God voluntarily in their schools
• Ensure that all public schools shall display the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution
The Missouri Secretary of State’s website states a “Yes” vote “will amend the Missouri Constitution to provide that neither the state nor political subdivisions shall establish any official religion. The amendment further provides that a citizen’s right to express their religious beliefs regardless of their religion shall not be infringed and that the right to worship includes prayer in private or public settings, on government premises, on public property, and in all public schools. The amendment also requires public schools to display the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.”
A “No” vote “will not change the current constitutional provisions protecting freedom of religion.”
Supporters include the Missouri Family Policy Council, Missouri Eagle Forum, Missouri Baptist Convention Christian Life Commission, Missouri Catholic Conference, Missouri Family Network, Concerned Women for America-Missouri, and more.
In a flyer available at http://prayeramendment.org, supporters say that there are anti-religious forces in the culture “waging war on religious belief and expression in the public square.” They note concerns on the success of atheist groups, the ACLU, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation to banish references to God and the nation’s religious heritage from the public arena.
They say the amendment will clarify 1st Amendment rights.
Amendment 2 survived a challenge to even appear on the ballot in a state appeals court in June.
In the lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri and the ACLU of Eastern Missouri, it noted the summary, to them, was misleading because it “does not mention that students could use the proposed amendment to avoid homework assignments” and that the measure would “remove any state constitutional protection of religious expression or liberty for prisoners in state or local custody.”
Some opponents feel the ballot measure is just a political move to get the Republican base out to vote and don’t feel the amendment gives any additional protection.