Wednesday, March 08, 2006

:0 (Updated)

I heard about this on the radio on my way home Monday:

KMOV.com St. Louis, MO Top Stories


State bill proposes Christianity be Missouri’s official religion

09:24 PM CST on Saturday, March 4, 2006
By John Mills, News 4


"Missouri legislators in Jefferson City considered a bill that would name Christianity the state's official "majority" religion.


House Concurrent Resolution 13 has is pending in the state legislature.


Many Missouri residents had not heard about the bill until Thursday.


Karen Aroesty of the Anti-defamation league, along with other watch-groups, began a letter writing and email campaign to stop the resolution.


The resolution would recognize "a Christian god," and it would not protect minority religions, but "protect the majority's right to express their religious beliefs.


The resolution also recognizes that, "a greater power exists," and only Christianity receives what the resolution calls, "justified recognition."


State representative David Sater of Cassville in southwestern Missouri, sponsored the resolution, but he has refused to talk about it on camera or over the phone.


KMOV also contacted Gov. Matt Blunt's office to see where he stands on the resolution, but he has yet to respond."


I'd wager State representative David Sater of Cassville will soon be looking for gainful employment in another field.

UPDATE:

I think I may have spoken too soon. This is not as simple as I at first thought. For some weird and totally unexplained reason I lost my mind and took the media's word for this story rather than looking into it myself, now I regret that. Following is a link to the bill, House Concurrent Resolution No. 13, and the entire, less than a page long bill, itself:

http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/biltxt/intro/HCR0013I.htm

SECOND REGULAR SESSION

House Concurrent Resolution No. 13
93RD GENERAL ASSEMBLY
4572L.02I
Whereas, our forefathers of this great nation of the United States recognized a Christian God and used the principles afforded to us by Him as the founding principles of our nation; and

Whereas, as citizens of this great nation, we the majority also wish to exercise our constitutional right to acknowledge our Creator and give thanks for the many gifts provided by Him; and

Whereas, as elected officials we should protect the majority's right to express their religious beliefs while showing respect for those who object; and

Whereas, we wish to continue the wisdom imparted in the Constitution of the United States of America by the founding fathers; and

Whereas, we as elected officials recognize that a Greater Power exists above and beyond the institutions of mankind:

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-third General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, that we stand with the majority of our constituents and exercise the common sense that voluntary prayer in public schools and religious displays on public property are not a coalition of church and state, but rather the justified recognition of the positive role that Christianity has played in this great nation of ours, the United States of America.
END
So, that's it. While the article I posted above doesn't say this, the radio account I heard on the way home on Monday stated that this bill "made Christianity the State Religion." Where the heck does it say that? What exactly is wrong with recognizing our Christian roots? This bill addresses Christianity specifically, it allows, with the "exercise" of "common sense," voluntary prayer in public school, NOT MANDATED prayer, it allows for religious displays on public property but does NOT MANDATE it and states that those exercises do NOT represent "a coalition of church and state," simply a recognition that the majority of Missourians are Christians and should have the right to practice the freedom of religion the constitution was intended to afford us.
What am I missing here? It does not deny the right of any other religion to display whatever religious displays that their respective practitioners want to display, it does not deny other religions any rights and even intends to practice "common sense," it merely wants to resolve that CHRISTIANS have a right to practice prayer and display their religious symbols, yes, on public property (gasp!). It even has language incorportated in it to promote respect for those who object.
Do we really have freedom of religion in America or not!??? It's a sad state when we have to try to pass a resolution to insure us the rights that our founders intended all along. That is what this is about, freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.
The media is spinning the story again, as if they ever stopped, and I fell for it this time.

3 comments:

wildwest said...

*Voluntary* prayer already is allowed.

Jacke M. said...

I know, wildwest. Just to clarify my position, I don't necessarily support this bill, I just think it is being misrepresented by the media.

Read that article I posted a link to this morning. Great article and very thought provoking.

John Wilkins said...

clearly spin, although the idea that the forefathers universally had recognizably Christian beliefs [and many of our great founders were unitarians and deists], and I wonder if the state house would recognize the contribution of transcendentalists, Jews and Native American Panentheists, to our nation's history. Let us all reward Christianity. If we care about accuracy, however, there are plenty of other faiths that deserve recognition.