Entries in Praying (2)


Missouri Passes Right to Pray Amendment

Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) -- Missouri voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state constitution reiterating individuals’ right to pray publicly and in schools.

On a day when GOP primaries promised the most competitive statewide races, the amendment passed with 83 percent of the vote, with only two precincts still outstanding.  The measure was introduced by Republican state Rep. Mike McGhee andwas  moved onto the ballot by the General Assembly.

The amendment’s official ballot title was as follows:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure:

-- That the right of Missouri citizens to express their religious beliefs shall not be infringed;

-- That school children have the right to pray and acknowledge God voluntarily in their schools; and

-- That all public schools shall display the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.

Freedom of speech and religion are already protected under the Bill of Rights, prompting critics of the bill to call it unnecessary and a move to trample religious minorities.  Republican lawmakers pursued the measure as a clarification of doubt.

Speaking to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in May, Democratic state Rep. Mike Kelly criticized the amendment as “jobs bill for lawyers.”  The measure also drew opposition from the Islamic Foundation of St. Louis, which voiced fears that the bill sent a message of exclusion to religious minorities.  Missouri’s four Catholic bishops supported the amendment, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


President Obama Prays 'A Lot' Amid Crises

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- President Obama says he's been doing "a lot of praying" in recent weeks while faced with tough choices on Libya and other crises at home and abroad.

"I am praying that I'm making the best possible decisions, and that I've got the strength to serve the American people well," he said in an interview Tuesday with ABC News' Diane Sawyer.

While the president has not shied away from openly discussing his prayer life, Obama's comments are the latest reminder that he believes faith in God has helped him navigate the presidency's difficult moments.

At the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington last month, Obama described how the shooting tragedy in Tucson, Arizona, had deepened his faith and how watching his daughters grow up makes him lean on God a little bit more.

"My prayers sometimes are general: Lord, give me the strength to meet the challenges of my office," he said.  "Sometimes they're specific: Lord, give me patience as I watch Malia go to her first dance.  Where there will be boys, Lord, have that skirt get longer as she travels to that dance."

Despite Obama's public professions on religion and spirituality, many Americans continue to doubt the president's faith.

Nearly one in five Americans incorrectly believes that Obama is a Muslim, according to a poll by the nonpartisan Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released late last year.

The poll found the number surveyed who knew correctly that Obama is Christian actually declined, from 48 percent in March 2009 to 34 percent in August 2010.  Forty-three percent of Americans now say they don't know what Obama's religion is at all.

The president has defended against the skepticism, and said that his faith has helped him endure the difficult questions.

"My Christian faith ... has been a sustaining force for me over these last few years -- all the more so when Michelle and I hear our faith questioned from time to time," Obama said last month.  "We are reminded that ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us but whether we're being true to our conscience and true to our God." 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio