On the August 7th primary ballot, you will be given the opportunity to vote onConstitutional Amendment 2. This is one of the most significant religious freedom measures to be placed before Missouri voters in our state’s history. Passage of this state constitutional amendment would guarantee Missourians the right to pray and worship on public property and reaffirm their right to choose any or no religion.
The common question has been “why do we need to vote on this state constitutional amendment if it is already in the federal constitution”? The reason is simple. There has been an infringement on the right to pray. There are many instances in which a child is not allowed to have their Bible out in study hall at school, can’t pray before lunch, or even sing “Jesus Loves Me” while on the playground.
There is nothing unconstitutional about having prayer before a football game, school board meeting or any other public gathering. We have been led to believe “separation of church and state” means no prayer, when it really means the government is not allowed to sanction one religion over another. Amendment 2 will ensure our children the right to pray voluntarily in our public schools. Missourians like you, will have the right to pray and acknowledge God in public setting and on public property. Elected officials will have the right to pray and acknowledge God in public meetings and public ceremonies. Students will have the right to express their belief in God in their school work and classroom discussions.
The wording you will see when you go to vote on August 7th is as follows:
Official Ballot Title:
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure:
· That the right of Missouri citizens 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.
It is estimated this proposal will result in little or no costs or savings for state and local governmental entities.
Fair Ballot Language:
A "yes" vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to provide that neither the state nor political subdivisions shall establish any official religion. The amendment further provides that a citizen's right to express their religious beliefs regardless of their religion shall not be infringed and that the right to worship includes prayer in private or public settings, on government premises, on public property, and in all public schools. The amendment also requires public schools to display the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.
A "no" vote will not change the current constitutional provisions protecting freedom of religion.