You wouldn’t think this would be necessary, but apparently a lot of people do: Missouri passes amendment to the state constitution guaranteeing citizens’ right to demonstrate religious beliefs in public:
The so-called “right to pray” amendment to the Missouri Constitution passed by the kind of margin rarely seen in election referendums.
The measure’s supporters said the amendment — called Amendment 2 on the ballot — will protect Missourians’ right to pray in public.
“Missourians have affirmed the right to pray in public places and repudiated religious intolerance,” said Mike Hoey, executive director of the Missouri Catholic Conference, as early returns showed the measure winning by a sevenfold advantage.
Critics have warned the amendment will indeed open the door to taxpayer-funded lawsuits.
“This is going to be a nightmare for school districts, which will end up getting sued by individuals on both sides of church-state debate,” said Alex Luchenitser, associate legal director for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. “This is the most far-out constitutional amendment we’ve seen in the church-state area.”
But the amendment’s supporters were thrilled with the large margin of victory Tuesday.
“You don’t have to see bringing religion to public square as a threat,” Hoey said. “We see it as positive thing, and most Missourians did too.”
It may well open the door to new lawsuits, but sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. The “freedom from religion” crowd needs to realize that, if you keep pushing against public displays of religion, you’re going to eventually get pushback like this.