By: Wes Wallace
By: Wes Wallace
Cape Girardeau, MO -Prayer in public school and posting of the Ten Commandments top the list of controversial topics with separation of church and state. A resolution in the Missouri House would make Christianity the majority religion for the Show Me State. The legislation would "protect the majority's right to express their religious beliefs."
"With the current understanding of Supreme Court law, it's blatantly unconstitutional," says Dr. Hamner Hill, Chairman of SEMO's Department of Political Science, Philosophy & Religion, "There's absolutely no questions about that, this law will be struck down."
Dr. Hill says the protection of religious freedom is important to everyone, but that particular freedom might be taken away from those who don't believe in Christianity.
The resolution states, "Whereas 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...". However, Dr. Hill says a majority of our founding father's weren't overly religious and believed in a deity or 'a' god, not the God Christians recognize.
The point of the resolution isn't to make people convert to Christianity, instead it would allow them to have prayer in public places and to post the Ten Commandments on public property. Several people tell Heartland News they don't think the resolution infringes on anyone's right to choose a religion.
"It's already a majority religion here, so they're not setting or requiring people to convert," says SEMO student Rocky Kingre, "Besides, I think our roots are Christian, and we shouldn't deny our roots."
"I'm a Christian and most people I know are Christians," says Sierra Haley of St. Louis, "but as long as it doesn't make people believe in something they don't believe it, then this resolution is ok, I'm ok with it."
Not everyone agrees.
"I don't think it's a good thing to mix religion and political issues," explains Guillaume Morel, a SEMO exchange student from France, "In my country, the two are totally separate. You pray, you go to church, you do what you want, and no one from the government can tell you or promote what religion you need to have."
Opponents of the resolution say it would widen the gap between religious groups and cause more separation for Muslims and Buddhists, "They shouldn't be singled out based on their religious beliefs," says Dr. Hill, " Most people came to this country to begin with to avoid that sort of thing."