The Missouri Concurrent Resolution

Redstate Rabble and Abnormal Interests both have stories on House Concurrent Resolution No. 13. This bit of news has finally made it into the papers here in St. Louis. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Some religious leaders on Friday blasted a proposed Missouri House resolution that supports prayer in schools and recognizes a “Christian God,” saying legislators are pushing Christianity as a state religion.
“It’s an atrocity,” said the Rev. Timothy L. Carson, senior minister at Webster Groves Christian Church. “Thomas Jefferson would be rolling in his grave. It’s indicative of a movement within one segment of activist Christianity that wants to dominate the rest with their views.”

Of course the reson why so many people are against the resolution is they simply don’t understand it yes, I’m being sarcastic):

House Speaker Pro Tem Carl Bearden, R-St. Charles, believes the backlash against the resolution is unmerited. He and other lawmakers say much of the uproar is due to a misunderstanding of resolutions. They are largely symbolic, typically having no force of law. They serve as a kind of opinion poll that lawmakers hope will be noted, but officials say privately that the measures are often ignored.
Bearden said that just because a resolution is filed, it doesn’t necessarily represent the views of the entire Legislature. While the resolution on religion has cleared the House Rules Committee, there’s no guarantee it will go further, he said.
In fact, dozens of resolutions filed in the past two years have died or been withdrawn. At least two of those were similar to this year’s religious resolution. One would have supported the motto “In God We Trust” for use in public buildings.

Interestingly, none of the people involved in it could be reached for comment. On the other hand, the head of the Missouri Baptist Convention is all for it:

“The foundations of this country started with Christianity, and this just goes back and acknowledges where we started,” said the Rev. David Clippard, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention.

The Bill was sponsored by Rep. David Sater, R-Cassville and Rep. Barney Joe Fisher, R-Richards. Should you care to drop them a line their contact information is

David Sater:
MO House of Representatives
Address: 201 West Capitol Avenue
Room 236B
Jefferson City MO 65101
Capitol Ph: 573-751-1480
Capitol Fax: 573-522-1466
Barney Joe Fisher:
MO House of Representatives
Address: 201 West Capitol Avenue
Room 201B
Jefferson City MO 65101
Capitol Ph: 573-751-5388

Even though this would not have the force of law, if passed, I still find it apalling. There is more to America than Conservative Evangelical Christians and I see no reason why we should privilege them at the expense of others. This nation was founded on compromise between a wide variety of competing interests and the “all or nothing” approach displayed in the resolution undermines that priniciple. I would argue that the compromise between competing interests is one of the things that gives our society strength and cohesiveness. I would also like to point out the following:

Matthew 6:5-6: “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men….when thou prayest, enter into thy closet and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret….”

One Response

  1. As an atheist, I’m all for the resolution. In fact, it doesn’t go nearly far enough. Go for the gold – prayer in all public funcitons (including school); mandatory participaion in services; rewrite criminal law to match biblical views.
    Northern Europe is not largely secular today despite having had a dominating state church for a long time; it is secular _precisely_because_ of this. I can imagine no single thing (besides god actually, really, appearing and setting up offices with visiting hours and a weekly television special) that could do so much for the cause of secularism and atheism.

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