Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Missouri House Approves Proposed Prayer Amendment

The Missouri House of Representatives yesterday approved and sent to the state Senate a proposed state constitutional amendment on public prayer. HJR 19, Religious Freedom In Public Places, is described as follows by the Legislature:
Upon voter approval, this proposed constitutional amendment guarantees a citizen's First Amendment right to pray and worship in all public areas including schools as long as the activities are voluntary and subject to the same rules and regulations that apply to all other types of speech.

The amendment also reaffirms a citizen's right to choose any religion or no religion at all by prohibiting both the establishment of an official state religion and any state
coercion or endorsement of religion through practices as composing official state prayers.

Public schools receiving state funds are required to display the text of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States in a conspicuous and legible manner.
Reporting on an earlier preliminary vote of approval on the Resolution last week, the AP quotes Democratic state Representative John Burnett as saying that the proposed amendment is an attempt to increase Republican voter turnout in 2008.