JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (BP) — The passage of Missouri Amendment 2 — which guarantees the right to pray and worship on public property and to choose any or no religion — was cheered by Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) leaders who worked hard for its passage.
Missouri votes passed it Aug. 9 by a margin of 83–17 percent.
“This is the very first time that any state has voted on this issue since the early 1960s, when prayer was removed from public schools,” said Kerry Messer, legislative liaison for the Christian Life Commission (CLC) of the MBC. “The nation has been held hostage to the U.S. Supreme Court on this front for over 50 years. This is the first time we’ve had a credible measure of what citizens think about that topic.”
The MBC distributed 186,000 bulletin inserts to affiliated churches, outlining how passage of the amendment would impact the state:
- Children would have the right to pray voluntarily in public school.
- Citizens would have the right to pray and to acknowledge God in public settings and on public property.
- Elected officials would have the right to pray and acknowledge God in public meetings and public ceremonies.
- Students would have the right to express their belief in God in their school work and classroom discussions.
- Students would have the right to decline participation in school assignments or programs that violate their religious beliefs.
The full text of the amendment is available online at http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2012ballot/fulltext_1.pdf.