Missouri reaffirms freedom of religion

Austen Klein



Missourians voted Aug. 8, to reaffirm their religious rights and other proposals on the Missouri Public Prayer Act, also known as Amendment 2, which, according to ABC news, won by 83 percent.

The added provisions included that Missouri citizens’ right to express their religious beliefs shall not be infringed, that school children have the right to pray and acknowledge God voluntarily in their schools and that all public schools shall display the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.

Supporters say it is important for religious freedom in Missouri. Timothy Cowin, pastor at Rock Hill Baptist Church said, “It is obvious the proposal was redundant – protections were already there; however, those that supported it felt it strengthened their religious freedom.”

The controversy of the matter refers to the notion that students may be eligible for exemption from certain classes temporarily if the study conflicts with their “religious beliefs,” which opponents of the bill like au.org stated, “will threaten Missouri’s public education system.”

Cowan added, “If something is taught to kids that are offensive, most of us would understand some sensitivity to those cultures – applied to any religious belief – and have allowances to be exempt.”

Opponents like au.org stated, “Religious discussion and prayer are already protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, section 5 of the Missouri Constitution,” and it “will lead to expensive litigation that Missourians will be forced to pay for.”

Temporary exemption of studies would regard most notably topics like evolution and sex education. Currently, Missourian teachers must “present evolution as a theory, and not fact – you cannot attempt to influence them [the students],” stated Chris Allen, biology teacher.

Allen added, “If anyone has any sort of objections to the studies we can find alternatives.”

The amendment will have no impact on taxes and will not result in costs for state and local governmental entities.

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