Missouri to vote on 'right to pray'

2012-05-24 12:58

Kansas City - Voters in the US state of Missouri will decide on 7 August whether to approve a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to pray in public places.

Governor Jay Nixon signed a proclamation on Wednesday setting the election on the amendment, which Missouri legislators voted overwhelmingly last year to put on the ballot in 2012.

Had Nixon not signed the proclamation, the amendment would have automatically appeared on the 6 November general election ballot. A spokesperson for Nixon declined to say whether his signing of the proclamation meant the governor supported the measure.

While the US Constitution protects the right to pray in public places, supporters of the Missouri ballot issue want to clarify those rights.

In House committee testimony last year, they said there is increasing ignorance about religious expression. Opponents testified that the amendment adds nothing to existing law and may invite litigation.

Under the amendment, public prayer would be allowed as long as it did not disturb the peace or disrupt a public assembly.

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

The US Supreme Court ruled in 1962 that school-initiated prayer amounted to establishing religion in public schools in violation of the Constitution.

Under the Missouri amendment, students could not "be compelled to perform or participate in any education assignments or presentations" that violate their religious beliefs.

The prayer amendment passed 126-30 in the Missouri House and 34-0 in the Senate. Both chambers are controlled by Republicans. Nixon is a Democrat and former attorney general.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-05-24 13:42

    The US is of course the devil's playground and has been since the 1940's, a look at their legal system and laws confirms that Orson Wells didn't even scratch the surface of the reality with his book, and few could at that time even dream of the loss of civil liberties that would occur or the apathy of the population at the loss of their rights.

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-05-24 13:50

      The US banned God from highschools and then they cry when they have so many highschool shootings. Throw God out and live with the consequences.

  • Gavin - 2012-05-24 13:56

    wow, they actually have to vote on something like this - what a f'ed up country.

      ludlowdj - 2012-05-24 14:58

      and they tell us the are a free country in which individuals have rights.....yea right

  • Fredster - 2012-05-24 14:07

    ...and yet they have the words: I God we trust, on all the currencies

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-05-24 14:34

      knowing the USA, it's which god I'm worried about

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