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reaping the bitter harvest of its own sowing, for accepting and receiving "its income from the revenue of these properties and from state subsidies."
That has been the humiliating history of every union of church and state. The church which receives the largest subsidies from the state has to suffer the greatest humiliation and loss whenever the government puts a stop to the church's raid upon the public treasury.
But let me present to you a statement from the President of Yale University, Dr. Charles Seymour, which was printed in the New York Times of July 6, 1944. He most pertinently said:
Contributions from outside mean ultimate control from the outside. that happens liberty will have disappeared and authority will be supreme. We know what happened in Germany when the free local institutions, the universities, the charitable federations, lost their independence, when public funds were substituted for private endowments and gifts. Government support brought political control; the state monopoilzed the functions and activities heretofore in private hands. The basis of totalitarianism was laid.
That is a university president pointing out the dangers of these private institutions receiving Government or State subsidies.
The founding fathers of this Republic aimed to separate the church and the state completely, both politically and financially, so far as the Federal Government was concerned. When the Bill of Rights was placed in our Constitution, the American people themselves · placed limitations on the powers of Congress and forbade the highest law-making body in the land to interfere with the free exercise of religion or to give support and aid in the establishment of religion. The civil government was to maintain a position of absolute neutrality upon the subject of religion or on the propagation of religion. That was to remain purely a function of the church. The state was to be independent of the church and the church free and independent from the state and its functions. The church has no business in politics and the state no prerogatives within the domain of the church.
The provisions in two of these bills, namely, S. 199 and S. 472, that expressly make mention of nonpublic schools sharing in the benefits of the proposed legislation, are a departure from our time-honored doctrine and our American ideals of a total separation of church and state. President U. S. Grant, in a speech he delivered to the veterans of the Civil War in 1876, saw some grave dangers ahead and warned the American people to safeguard their blood-bought liberties by saying:
If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but it will be between patriotism and intelligence on one side, and superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other. In this centennial year, the work of strengthening the foundation of the structure laid by our forefathers 100 years ago, should be begun. Let us all labor for the security of free thought, free speech, free press, and pure morals, unfettered religious sentiments, and equal rights and privileges for all men, irrespective of nationality, color, or religion. Encourage free schools, and resolve that not one dollar appropriated to them shall be applied to the support of any sectarian school; resolve that any child in the land may get a common-school education, unmixed with atheistic, pagan, or sectarian teaching. Keep the church and state forever separate.
He also wrote in his message to Congress, recommending the passage of an amendment to the National Constitution
prohibiting the granting of ary school funds or school taxes, or any part thereof, either by legislative, municipal, or other authority, for the benefit or in aid,
directly or indirectly, of any religious sect or denomination; or in aid, or for the benefit of any other object of any nature or kind.
If these appropriation bills for education had made a direct appeal for the aid of parochial schools they would not stand a chance of passage. We hold, if you cannot succeed in getting aid by a direct appeal, by calling things by their right name and have to camouflage the issue in order to get indirectly what you cannot get directly, that is the most dangerous and vicious kind of legislation. Assessing the people of every religious persuasion and those who make no profession of religion to support the teaching of a religion they do not profess, is the worst kind of tyranny. That system was in vogue in the past, and the founding fathers of our Republic discarded it after a bitter struggle.
James Madison, who secured the adoption of our Bill of Rights in our matchless Constitution, said: "It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties." When the general assessment bill was before the Virginia Assembly to tax everybody to support religion, he said: "There is not a shadow of right in the general government to intermeddle with religion." State aid for the support of religious institutions was obnoxious to the framers of our Constitution. In the remonstrance which Madison drew up against the general assessment bill for the support of religion, it is stated that not even a "three pence" contribution was thus to be exacted from any citizen for such a purpose. In some of these bills now before Congress a burden of millions of dollars is laid upon the backs of the taxpayers for the support of religious schools. It is not the amount of assessment but the principle of assessment for religious purposes that is wrong. Our forefathers would not tolerate "the first experiment upon our liberties," nor did they "wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents." Nor should we open the floodgates to such far-reaching vicious legislation. Our forefathers of the American Revolution "saw all the consequences in the principle and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.' As Madison said:
Who does not see that
We revere this lesson too much, soon to forget it. * * * the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever (II Madison, 183, 185, 186).
If the Government is going to compel American citizens to pay taxes to support religious schools, it can with equal propriety compel the citizens to pay taxes to support the churches and the propagation of religion, even a religion they would never give voluntary support. This proposal to support nonpublic or religious schools opens a Pandora box of public ills which are staggering to comprehend in view of past experiments along these lines. It has couched in it a potential inferno of human tragedy and religious bickerings. If Congress ever opens the door to grant support to religious institutions, it will rue the day it conceived the idea. The church that accepts such financial aid will become the target of attack and abuse, and deservedly so, for its failure to profit from past experiences.
Compulsory taxation to support a religion you do not believe in is not only a denial of the fundamental principle of religious freedom but the very essence of religious despotism.
The plea that this appropriation is for the promotion of education and therefore builds up the general welfare of society and of the state and benefits both the Government and the religious organizations thus sponsored by these appropriations, is the same specious argument that was advanced by the totalitarian governments of Europe, under the regimes of Hitler and Mussolini. The general welfare argument for the benefit of the individual and the strengthening of the state, has ever been the plea of dictators, and tyrants to keep themselves in power and dominate all things and all men, in civil as well as religious affairs. The evil consequences that grow out of state support of religious institutions far outweigh all the benefits that accrue to the state. We entreat your committee to eliminate those provisions from the educational bills which propose to grant tax funds for the support of schools owned and operated by religious organizations.
Mr. Chairman, I submit that if the public highway which is provided by the public for everybody is not acceptable to an institution which wants to build its own highway, it ought to support it. If they are dissatisfied with the police department that is appointed to protect everybody and want a police department of their own, then they ought to support that police department; and if they are not satisfied with the transportation that is provided and want their own trans-portation, the public does not provide transportation for the citizens.. We have to pay for it. That is operated by private transportation companies, and so forth. And if we are not satisfied to ride on those and pay for it, then the state ought not to pay for it.
Senator AIKEN. The committee thank you for your testimony,. Mr. Longacre.
There was one other witness left over from Friday. If he will be good enough it is requested that he wait a few minutes since Senator Pepper has to leave because of another important committee meeting he has to attend very soon. So I will ask you to wait until Senator Pepper concludes his testimony.
STATEMENT BY HON. CLAUDE PEPPER, A UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Senator AIKEN. May I ask if you are also speaking for SenatorMurray?
Senator PEPPER. I am also speaking for Senator Murray, in the event that he finds it impossible to attend today's session.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee: For some time now the American system of free public education in our elementary and high schools has been in a state of crisis. To meet this crisis the subcommittee is considering a number of bills to provide assistance for educational facilities and services and for the raising of teachers' salaries.
I firmly believe in the principle of Federal aid for the educational problems of our States. Such aid must be granted on the condition that educational policy and administration, of course, remain solely a local matter.
While I support Federal aid to further all educational facilities in the public schools, I am particularly anxious that we proceed imme
Senator DONNELL. I would like to state that I do not agree with the witness' view that there should be the slightest deviation from the principle. It seems to me that the principle as outlined here and outlined in the minority opinion in the Everson case to which Mrs. Heming has referred, the principle of Jefferson and of Madison, is so clear and in harmony with the theory of our Government that it should not be deviated from one hair's breadth and I am not at all sure that the Congress, if a strong, vigorous opposition to the slightest deviation. were made, would not give what Mrs. Heming distinctly states she desires, namely, adequate assistance to children without the slightest deviation. I am quoting you in substance correctly, am I not?
Mrs. HEMING. Ábsolutely, sir, and I hope you may win and persuade Congress to enact the bill the way we would prefer to express it, but I do hope that we do not lose this year's prospects.
Senator DONNELL. Certainly you would agree that the writers of the minority opinion in the Everson case and Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, if quoted correctly here, would not advocate the slightest deviation of even one hair's breadth from the principle to which you refer and which you prefer. You agree with that, do you not?
Mrs. HEMING. Entirely.
Senator AIKEN. Do you think that the country should reject the opinion handed down by the majority of the Court? Of course not. Mrs. HEMING. I think we have to accept the Supreme Court opinion because the Supreme Court has been known to reverse itself.
Senator ELLENDER. That is a point I want to emphasize, that you are certainly on solid ground, and I am disappointed in my good friend from Missouri quoting the minority opinion, the minority view. It may be that the Supreme Court did not decide according to his views of it; yet, that is the law of the land.
Mrs. HEMING. And we have to abide by it for the time being. Senator ELLENDER. What I am willing to do is let these Federal funds be distributed by States in accordance with their own law and as anyone feels that we are trespassing on the Constitution, let him come forth and bring it before the Court and let the Court decide it. Mrs. HEMING. We have to accept it as it stands. We can work for changing it and we certainly intend to.
Senator DONNELL. Mr. Chairman, I would like to call attention to the fact that the case, the Everson case to which reference is made, is upon a very limited state of facts. It has nothing to do with the contribution of moneys toward books or the supporting of teachers. Under the language of S. 472, as I read it, this money can be used for any purpose in connection with education. This is perfectly clear from the language of that bill as I see it. If I may, I will also say two things and I will not take more of the witness' time.
In the first place, the majority opinion, after emphasizing very vigorously and eloquently the importance of maintaining a separate wall between church and state, and indeed, concluding, except as to the last sentence, with these two sentences:
The first amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach. then proceeds, to the surprise of some members of the Court, to decide. that what, apparently from the argument of Justice Murphy, they
were not going to decide-they decided in favor of it. And I may just conclude these observations with this quotation from Mr. Justice Jackson's dissent. He says:
The Court's opinion marshals every argument in favor of State aid and puts the case in its most favorable light, but much of its reasoning confirms my conclusions that there are no good grounds upon which to support the present legislation. In fact, the undertones of the opinion, advocating complete and uncompromising separation of church from state, seem utterly discordant with its conclusion yielding support to their commingling in educational matters. The case which irresistibly comes to mind is the most fitting precedent in that of Julia who, according to Byron's reports, "whispering 'I will ne'er consent,'consented."
Senator ELLENDER. You have read this case thoroughly, I am sure. Senator DONNELL. I have not read every word of it. I am familiar, generally speaking, with the case.
Senator ELLENDER. Now, in that case, as I recall, no public funds were given over to the schools themselves; but the funds were used strictly by the board to pay for the transportation of these children.
Now, the Supreme Court, I think it was in 1933 or 1934, decided that a State had the right to expend public funds for the purchase of school books for the use of all children no matter where they went to school, and declared the constitutional theory that these funds did. not go direct to the schools but to the children, and it is on that theory that the Everson case was decided.
Now, I am in full agreement with the Senator from Missouri that any of these funds, be it the Everson case or the State of Louisiana, had been directed by an appropriation that would have been made to the schools themselves, there would have been a different situation altogether because in that event there would have been no way by which the purchase of books could have been curtailed, that is, if they bought religious books or any other books it was desired to use in these schools. But under the Louisiana law, as well as five or six other States in the Union, what happens is, as in Louisiana, that the books are purchased by the State. They are State property and they are loaned to the children of the State no matter where they go to school. It was on the theory that this money was not made available to the schools direct, but on the contrary to the children, that the Supreme Court said that that was within the purview of the Constitution.
Senator DONNELL. In answer to the Senator from Louisiana I point out first that the moneys that were under discussion in the Everson case were moneys paid to parents in reimbursement for the transportation of their children. However, I think the minority. opinion adequately and clearly shows that the effect was precisely that of assisting and supporting church education.
To my mind it is as clear as crystal that there can be no dispute to the correctness of their conclusion. Furthermore, this S. 472 on which this witness has expressed herself, I call attention to section 6A wherein no limitation is made upon the use of these funds as prevailed in the case of the New Jersey case. Section 6A says:
In order more nearly to equalize educational opportunities, the funds paid to a State from the funds appropriated under section 3 of this act shall be available for disbursement by that State to local public school jurisdictions, or other State public education agencies, for all types of current expenditures, excluding interest, debt service, and capital outlay, for public elementary-school and public secondary-school education.