Legislators, Religious Leaders
Endorse Prayer Amendment
Amendment 2 on August 7th Ballot
Legislative and religious leaders are lining up behind Amendment 2, the constitutional amendment on the August 7th ballot protecting the right to pray. A bi-partisan group of state legislators have announced their endorsement of the Missouri Prayer Amendment, and spiritual leaders from various religious denominations are offering their endorsement as well.
A total of 13 state senators and 67 state representatives have gone on record urging Missourians to vote "Yes" on Amendment 2. Legislative supporters come from all regions and corners of the state. (The list of legislative endorsements can be found at the end of this message.)
"There is no freedom that we cherish more as Americans than our right to the free exercise of our religion," says House Majority Leader Tim Jones of Eureka. "Unfortunately, we continue to witness attacks on our right to pray, exercise our religion freely, and share our religious beliefs. How sad it is that our religious liberties must be defended in a country that was founded as one nation under God."
"Amendment 2 will reinforce and spell out clearly in our State Constitution the scope of our religious freedoms, and our right to speak our religious values in the public square," Jones adds. "The Missouri Prayer Amendment helps ensure that the supreme law of our state accommodates and protects our religious freedom, which is a bedrock upon which our nation in created. I urge Missouri citizens to vote yes on Amendment 2 on Tuesday, August 7th."
"Our First Amendment right to freedom of speech is extremely important in exercising our religious beliefs freely, and is deserving of protection," says Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer of Dexter. Passage of Amendment 2 is imperative in guaranteeing Missourians have the right to pray in public places. Preventing the government from infringing on our religious beliefs through this amendment to Missouri's Constitution will affirm one of our country's core principles."
Missouri's Catholic bishops have also issued a joint statement backing the passage of Amendment 2. The statement was signed by the Most Reverend Robert Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis; the Most Reverend Robert Finn, Bishop of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese; the Most Reverend John Gaydos, Bishop of the Jefferson City diocese; and the Most Reverend James Johnston, the Bishop of the Springfield-Cape Girardeau diocese.
"True religious freedom does not just constitute freedom to worship on Sunday, but also includes the freedom to express one's faith publicly," the bishops' statement reads. "Religious values are becoming increasingly marginalized in our society. People of faith need assurance that they remain free to exercise their religious beliefs in public, provided just order be preserved. Amendment 2 would protect these rights of religious freedom. We encourage Missouri Catholics to vote in favor of Amendment 2 on August 7th."
Dr. George Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, is another religious leader supporting Amendment 2. "As our religious rights in this nation continue to erode and come under attack, I commend the General Assembly for passing this resolution. Passage of this amendment would assure that students will have the right to pray voluntarily in our public schools, and may decline participation in school assignments or other programs that violate their religious beliefs. I am pleased to join other religious leaders to urge Missouri voters to support the Missouri Prayer Amendment on the August 7th statewide ballot."
Dr. John Yeats, Executive Director of the Missouri Baptist Convention, adds his voice to those urging passage of Amendment 2. "In a day when the idea of religious freedom is marginalized by too many public servants and elected leaders, an amendment is necessary to define what is legally acceptable. From a common sense perspective, no one needs to check the practice of their faith at the door of a public facility, whether it be an educational institution, courthouse, statehouse, city park, public ball field or city council meeting."
Amendment 2 has also been formally endorsed by the Rev. Dr. Ray Mirly, President of the Missouri District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
In addition to protecting the rights of schoolchildren to pray on a voluntary basis in the public schools, Amendment 2 also protects the free exercise rights of adult citizens. The Missouri Prayer Amendment clarifies that citizens have the right to pray and acknowledge God in public settings and on public property. The Amendment also safeguards the right of elected officials to have invocations before public meetings.
The practice of government invocations is the subject of a recent lawsuit filed against county commissioners in Franklin County. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit in U.S. District Court in St. Louis seeking to prohibit Franklin County Commissioners from praying before their meetings.
You can learn more about Amendment 2 at these websites:
Bulletin inserts are available for churches in support of the Missouri Prayer Amendment. They can be obtained by calling (636) 536-0014, or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com
A church video for use during church announcements can be downloaded by visiting the following website and clicking the menu item "Click Here for Church Resources."
Here is a list of state legislators endorsing Amendment 2:
Senators Dan Brown, Tom Dempsey, Kevin Engler, Will Kraus, Brad Lager, Jim Lembke, Robert Mayer, Brian Nieves, David Pearce, Scott Rupp, Rob Schaaf, Bill Stouffer, and Jay Wasson
Representatives Randy Asbury, Sue Allen, Kurt Bahr, T. J. Berry, Linda Black, Ellen Brandom, Cloria Brown, Wanda Brown, Mike Cierpiot, Kathie Conway, Stanley Cox, Sandy Crawford, Charlie Davis, David Day, Charlie Denison, John Diehl, Sue Entlicher, Joe Fallert, Paul Fitzwater, Thomas Flanigan, Lyndall Fraker, Diane Franklin, Keith Frederick, Gary Fuhr, Doug Funderburk, Chuck Gatschenberger, Casey Guernsey, Ben Harris, Galen Higdon, Dave Hinson, Steve Hodges, Jay Houghton, Denny Hoskins, Caleb Jones, Tim Jones, Mike Kelley, Bart Korman, Bill Lant, Donna Lichtenegger, Thomas Long, John McCaherty, Mike McGhee, Tim Meadows, Bob Nance, Myron Neth, Don Phillips, Darrell Pollock, Paul Quinn, Bill Reiboldt, Jeanie Riddle, Lyle Rowland, David Sater, Dwight Scharnhorst, Vicki Schneider, Shane Schoeller, Tom Shively, Lindell Shumake, Ryan Silvey, Jason Smith, Sheila Solon, Chrissy Sommer, Mike Thomson, Steven Tilley, Wayne Wallingford, Paul Wieland, Zachary Wyatt, and Anne Zerr