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Blog

Fortifying Public Prayer in Missouri?

Thomas Whitley

Missouri votes to fortify public prayer with amendment that critics call unnecessary:

Missouri voters approved an amendment to the state constitution Tuesday that proponents say will help ensure the right to pray in public.

The amendment was on a statewide ballot and had widespread support, though critics said the right to pray is already protected under the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

First, this bill is redundant and completely unnecessary. Second, part of the bill goes beyond protecting the right to prayer and becomes dangerous to real education:

Another part of the amendment sparking controversy is a section that reads "no student shall be compelled to perform or participate in academic assignments or educational presentations that violate his or her religious beliefs."

Should students get out of learning algebra because it is against her religious beliefs? Of course not, but the law would also likely be used to get students from participating in assignments that teach scientific facts like we're seeing in Louisiana.

This amendment will go to the courts and most likely be struck down, but we should be clear about the challenges to education coming from the right all over the country.

P.S. Don't forget that Texas wants to take critical thinking out of its education system.