A couple of weeks ago, Missourians passed Amendment 2, which was unnecessary legislation protecting the right to private prayer (which no one has ever had problems with)… and allowing students to use the excuse “It violates my religious beliefs” when they don’t want to learn something.
That’s not necessarily the bill’s intention, but it’s now allowed.
On NPR, guest host Jacki Lyden spoke with the bill’s sponsor State Rep. Mike McGhee and the Anti-Defamation League’s Karen Aroesty, who fought against it:
As you listen, pay attention to the McGhee’s examples of what this bill would protect. He has no idea what the difference is between private prayer (which everyone supports) and government endorsement of it (which we don’t).
He argues that Christian children have been stopped from praying privately — if that’s true, the teachers need to be educated and reprimanded. No liberal group is trying to take away that right.
McGhee also says a City Council should be allowed to say a formal prayer to Jesus Christ at the start of meetings. He’s completely wrong. Listen to him (at the 5:25 mark) disingenuously pretend like he would support them if they wanted to pray to Buddha, too. That’s easy to say when you know the majority of city council representatives are Christians and that’s not changing anytime soon.
Aroesty shows incredible patience at McGhee’s boneheaded remarks. She brings up the academic issue — how students could now opt out of taking, say, a health class because they have to learn something (e.g. homosexuality isn’t abnormal) they don’t like. McGhee pretends like this isn’t an issue and avoids the fact that it’s now plausible.
The ACLU has already filed a lawsuit against this bill. Let’s hope they win. This law was never needed in the first place and its passing only strengthens Christian privilege in the state.