Missouri Passes 'Right to Pray' Law, Allows Kids to Refuse School Assignments

| by Michael Allen

Amendment 2, also called the 'right to pray' amendment, was passed by the Missouri State House, 126-30, and the State Senate by 34-0.

While the amendment was promoted as a law to guarantee the "right to pray," critics say that it does far more, even allowing children in school to refuse assignments.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports:

The ballot language said the amendment would ensure Missourians' right to express their religious beliefs, schoolchildren's "right to pray and acknowledge God voluntarily in their schools" and require all public schools to display the Bill of Rights.

The ballot did not mention language in the amendment allowing students to refuse to participate in school assignments that violate religious beliefs, or ensuring elected officials the right to pray on government property.

"This was misleading in its presentation and possibly unconstitutional in its application, so now we're headed for the courts," said Karen Aroesty of the Anti-Defamation League of Missouri and Southern Illinois. "We'll let the next branch of the democratic process do its part, and I suspect a case will be on file pretty soon."