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Columbia Missourian

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Missouri Constitution does not need amending

By Martin J. Rafanan
August 2, 2012 | 5:54 p.m. CDT

As an ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and a long-time supporter of inter-faith dialogue and building respect and understanding among all religious traditions, I believe the Missouri Constitution has been doing an excellent job of preserving our religious liberties and does not need amending on Tuesday. I urge Missourians to vote "no" on Amendment 2.

Amendment 2’s ballot language doesn’t give voters a full picture of all the proposed changes. For example, if passed, Amendment 2 will open the door for those in power to impose their faith on others. We must never allow that to happen. Instead we should support the diverse faith perspectives of all community members.

The ballot summary also fails to mention that students will be allowed to opt out of assignments that are contrary to their religious beliefs. This will be a huge disruption for our schools, not to mention a disservice to our students who are entitled to a well-rounded education.

As always, it is important to research ballot issues thoroughly so we can make informed decisions at the polls. I think if voters read through all of the changes called for in Amendment 2 , they will see the absurdity of this poorly written amendment and vote "no" on Amendment 2.

The Rev. Dr. Martin J. Rafanan is a minister for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in St. Louis.