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Missourians scheduled to vote on a “Right to Pray” amendment in August

Missourians scheduled to vote on a “Right to Pray” amendment in August

August 7, Governor Jay Nixon (D) of Missouri, slated a proposed amendment affirming the right to pray in public places on the voting ballot.

Governor Nixon announced that he placed the measure on the August ballot, instead of the November ballot, "because the provisions of the amendment would be effective immediately if approved by voters."

Nixon declined further comment, refusing to state whether he supported the bill or not.

Officials expect the measure to draw conservatives to the polls in August.

So from a political standpoint, it stands to reason that Nixon, a Democrat, would want to get it out of the way in August, when parties are choosing their nominees, rather than in the general election pitting Democrats against Republicans.

The House passed the measure 126-30 and the Senate passed it 34-0, during the 2011 legislative session.

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 of the amendment say the U. S. Constitution’s First Amendment already protects the right to pray in public and the Missouri Constitution states, the "right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience."

If voters approve it, it would prevent government and public school officials from adopting policies that prevent public prayer as long as it does not disturb the peace or disrupt said event.

The bill states that it repeals Section 5 Article 1 of the Missouri Constitution and replaces it with, among other things, “that no human authority can control or interfere with the right of conscious”.

About Mriana

Mriana is a humanist and the author of "A Source of Misery", who grew up in the Church of God, Anderson Indiana. After she became an adult, she joined the Episcopal Church, but later left the Church and became a humanist. She has two grown sons and raises cats. Mriana raised her sons in the Episcopal Church, but in their teen years, they left the Church and she soon followed. One of her sons became a "Tao Buddhist" and the other a None, creating his own world view. She enjoys writing, reading, science, philosophy, psychology, and other subjects. Mriana is also an animal lover, who cares for their welfare as living beings, who are part of the earth. She is a huge Star Trek fan in a little body.
  • Rob S

    "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."

    How would "government" detect someone who is privately praying?  Is there some gadget that detects prayer?  

    • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

      They aren't talking about private prayer.  I think they are talking about, like they do now in MO, praying before a Town Hall meeting and other government functions.  What I think Missourians are voting on in August is the right to continue doing that, which means Fundamngelicals will be imposing their beliefs on everyone.

  • http://twitter.com/propequity PropEquity

    thanks for good information about it.

  • Harappan_man

    I'm sure that Governor Nixon knows very well that there is no restriction on private prayer, unless the prayer infringes on the rights of others, for example glossolalia in the middle of physics class.

    What he also knows is that Religion can be used to control its adherents. Religion can be inspiring, and many other things, but Nixon isn't interested in any of them. To him religion is a tool. His goal is to create an issue that he can use to divide the voters into two camps: "me, prayer, good" -vs- "them, no prayer, bad." He'd use "them, eat live kittens, bad" if he thought he could make it convincing.

    So, Nixon can run a truth-free campaign. He can convince voters of that which is not true. He'll leave his constituents less ready and less able to understand what is really going on around them, but that will increase Nixon's control over them, so for him the trade is justified.

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