Your Opinion: Prayer amendment raises concerns

Dear Editor:

Although I am a Christian I do not claim to have a complete and infallible understanding of God and the Bible. Therefore I do not suggest that my understanding of Scripture is right and those who think differently are wrong.

Currently, I have a concern about the recent passage of an amendment to the Missouri Constitution that permits unrestricted public displays of Christian prayer. There are numerous examples in Scripture that discourage this practice. Jesus taught his disciples to pray in private and not to be like the hypocrites who love to stand and pray in public so that they could be seen by others. Matt 6: 5-6. Time and again Jesus himself withdrew from the company of others in order to pray. (See examples: Matt. 14:23; Mark 6:46; Luke 5:16; Luke 9:28; Matt. 26:44; Mark 1:35; Luke 9:18; Luke 22:41.

Another concern for me is that Christianity is often questioned because we seek to pass laws that force others to accept our beliefs. If we show love and respect for those who have different understandings we have an opportunity to establish positive relationships that can lead to a better world in which to live. After all, none of us is right all the time.

It concerns me also that the amendment includes allowing students to decide not to do homework that contains information with which they disagree. As a retired school teacher I find this to be an incursion into the teacher’s freedom to help students to learn how to deal with all kinds of information. The world must be dealt with as it is, not just the way we would like it to be.

If we want the world to be a better place, the answer is to work harder to love and respect each other. If we cannot express ourselves in a positive way, our prayers will accomplish little. I do not think we can afford to pick and choose whom to love.

No one is perfect enough to tell others what to believe Let us learn from each other.

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