If anyone reading this is a resident of Missouri and over the age of 18 then take a few minutes to read this before you head to the polls tomorrow, August 9th.

Tomorrow, on the ballot you’ll be asked to vote for or against Missouri Constitutional Amendment 2. It’s being billboarded as the “right to pray” amendment and being hidden behind deliberately loaded questions like this opinion poll:

Do you think the federal courts are correct in ruling that the Constitution allows government to stop prayer in schools and on public property, or do you think when the Constitution says no branch of the government shall interfere with the free exercise of religion that it gives Americans the right to pray anywhere they want?

Saaaayyy whaaa? When have Americans been prohibited from praying wherever they want? Unlike religions, our secular government doesn’t persecute thought crimes, so if a person was to have a private conversation with their imaginary friend then more power to them.

What proponents of this amendment say it will do and what this amendment says it will do are vastly different. As you can guess from the name the religious right are shouting that this will (finally) allow students to pray in schools… Which they can already do… So what’s the point of this legislature then?

As someone who’s read the proposed amendment I had three points of contention.

1. While saying it will give students the right to pray, in reality it will give teachers the ability to lead prayer in classrooms of public schools. This is as disturbing as it is unconstitutional. The first amendment surely has something to say about this. Something about establishment of religion?

2. Members of the clergy will have the right to hold invocations at events like school board meetings, graduation ceremonies and town hall meetings. This is not only unconstitutional, but there is a mountain of court precedence in the recent past that will have this dismissed in a heartbeat if it shows up in federal court.

Am I worried about the effects of these first two? In short , no, because I have no doubt they will be taken to court and repealed, but this will cost taxpayers like myself millions of dollars to cover the state’s court bills.

And finally 3. This amendment will allow students to opt out of course material in schools if it goes against their sincerely-held religious beliefs. Seriously guys, how much further can we deteriorate our education system. Fundamentalists don’t have to participate in any science or history lesson that takes place more than 6000 years ago?

I have more I’d like to say on this, but I’m literally hooked up to an IV and about to go under for surgery, so I want to rush this out there today to give people a chance to read it before they head to the polls tomorrow.

Now go out and vote!


~ by Arsirion on August 6, 2012.


  1. Accidentally clicked the wrong link and I’m pleasantly surprised to see you’ve had some activity. For some reason I wasn’t emailed about your posts even though I’m following.

    From a recent post of mine:

    As a private citizen, you have the right to pray and not be discriminated against for that decision. As a private citizen, I also have the right to not pray and not be discriminated against for choosing non-participation. Students have the right to pray on their own private initiative, so long as they do not disrupt school activities. Many people assert that students’ right to pray was taken away. This is a lie. The precedent is that public school teachers are not allowed to initiate prayers while presenting themselves as a teacher because doing so would constitute a government endorsement of and favoritism toward a religion.

    It’s self-fulfilling persecution when fundies spread the lie that prayer has been banned: Teachers who are ignorant of what the First Amendment really means end up enforcing a ban that doesn’t exist because everyone they know says it exists.

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