By special guest author Rev. Chris M. Fluharty of Missouri – Secularist will have you believe that the establishment clause is violated any time religion and government cross. The establishment clause was created to prevent the federal government from creating a national church, such as the Church of England, and to keep the government from corrupting the church. The anti-federalists wanted a state-sponsored church, but the federalists were opposed to this and eventually pushed for the establishment clause. In fact, many Southern colonies had state churches well into the 1840s. So much for the so-called wall of separation of church and state. One should read, in context, Jefferson’s letter before using this term so out of context. The intent of the founders was very clear by their actions in office. They had chaplains and have opened Congress in prayer every day since its inception and before. Jefferson used federal money to evangelize the Native Americans. The Capitol was used for many years as a place of worship. I can go on but I made my point.
As for a “Lemon test,” I think Pounders (see Right to Pray Blurs Church and State) is building a huge straw man here, as no such test exists in the establishment clause. This “right to pray amendment” is redundant sure enough, but the other “hidden” provisions are needed, to protect, increasingly eroding freedoms. The entire amendment is available for anyone to read, so if it is hidden it is because one is to lazy to read the amendment they are voting on (much like our elected officials today).
First off, elected officials have been inviting clergy to pray since the founding of Missouri. This is indeed a right they already enjoy. However, to protect that right, an amendment is needed to keep liberal judges from forcing their personal agendas onto the citizens of Missouri. As long as no one is forced to participate, and no preference is given to a single denomination, than it is constitutional. That is elementary constitutional law.
As for the students objection clause. If a “Christian” parent is foolish enough to subject their kids to the liberal indoctrination centers known as public schools, then they should not complain when the public schools want to brainwash their kids with junk science and outright propaganda. Unfortunately, some parents cannot homeschool or they prefer to forfeit their God ordained duties to the government, so for them the clause should be there. They already have the right to object to school work that violates their beliefs, but like the clergy prayer, at any time some activist judge may take that away.
So, the amendment is needed and should be affirmed by the citizens of Missouri no matter their personal creeds or convictions. I hope voters educate themselves on the issue and vote soundly and not based on propaganda.
(The above was written in response to an article by Mr. Tyler Pounders entitled: “‘‘Right to Pray’ blurs church, state,” July 30, 2012) When Rev. Fluharty sent in his beliefs on the matter, the Springfield News Leader decided not to print his letter and instead neatly hide it on the bottom of their opinion page on the website. Yet for the last few days at the Springfield News Leader, there has been one liberal ranting after another of anti-church, anti-faith, anti-truth. Typical media bias for sure.)