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It says "Thank you" at the end, and I do indeed thank the committee for this opportunity.
Senator BAYH. May I ask you to let us ask some questions, sir?
Mr. COHEN. Certainly, sir.
Senator BAYH. Thank you very much, Mr. Cohen.
Could I ask a question or two about this petition?
Mr. COHEN. Certainly, sir.
Senator BAYH. Were these petitions sent to the ministers, or placed in newspapers? How did they acquire access to them?
Mr. COHEN. This actually-perhaps, my use of the word "petition" is not the perfect word.
Senator BAYH. I do not know that you used it. I did.
Senator BAYH. And if it is erroneous, I apologize for it. In signing this, it would seem to me, they are petitioning Congress or petitioning someone in the finest sense of the word.
Mr. COHEN. I think you are correct. I did not want to take the word "petition." A petition is signed in the presence of someone else. They were just cards, and I did want to draw that distinction. This statement which I read as a Protestant minister-I wish to state my firm conviction that, and to be free to pray, et cetera, and to recognize Almighty God in the public life of our Nation, it does mention on a voluntary basis, to be free to pray and to read the Holy Bible in our public schools, and in general to recognize Almighty God in the public life of our Nation-they were mailed out to a mailing list of ministers, and this work was done by the group known as International Christian Youth-U.S.A., and enclosed in the letters would be a few cards, which would say, "If you are a minister please, if you agree, sign it, and send it in," or some of these mailing lists had laymen as well as ministers, and it said, "Will you give this to your minister and ask him if he is willing to sign it and mail it in.'
Senator BAYH. Was there an effort made to send these cards to all ministers in the country or to see that all ministers got the cards?
Mr. COHEN. That is the projected plan, hindered only by finance, I have been told by some of the leaders of this group. We had a long discussion coming up as to actually-I was wondering what percentage of ministers sent it in, and it was very hard to come by, but at least I think without any shadow of a doubt, we could say that at random, and you can see by the denominations represented, these 83 groups, many groups with different flavors, many groups, well, representing all the views in America, they are almost every Protestant denomination there is on that list, less than 5 percent, I would say, of the ministers of the United States. It would be a random selection of less than 5 percent of the ministers of the United States so far have received them, and when this statement says we had expected this to double, the response has been so overwhelming that I would think if the committee had money-but I cannot-and could poll every minister in the United States, I think out of the 170,000 clergymen in the United States, I think the number might go over 100,000.
Senator BAYH. If by the inclusion of the petition of 4,000 ministers you are trying to show that there are ministers who want voluntary prayer and Bible reading, contrary to what some interpret the Supreme
Court decision, then it seems to me you have a great deal of validity by this.
But if you are trying to refute, as it appears also that you might be. and to lessen the validity of the testimony made on behalf of sizable numbers of church members of the part of the hierarchy, then it seems to me to sustain this from an evidentiary standpoint you have to say how many cards were sent out, what percent of return you had, and I notice you have seven ministers of my home town of Terre Haute, Ind., which is an insignificant percentage of the whole number there, and if by going over the one or two whose names I recognize, this would be even less evidence from the standpoint of the numbers of their congregation.
But would you care to comment on what you are trying to do so we could have that in proper perspective?
Mr. COHEN. Certainly, sir. I realize statistically to establish a clear percentage this would have to be done more carefully, and it would have to insure, for instance, that every minister it was mailed to would receive it, and then we could give some sort of statistical evaluation.
We do not have this at the moment, but what we do have is the fact that it was sent out, and again I am not sure how many it was sent out to. It would seem, we were guessing in the car coming up, maybe a thousand, but I have no way to really be sure, but certainly not much higher, and there is a problem that many of these mailing lists have old addresses. Some were to laymen and not ministers. And so, as you know, with any poll, that half of them, it would seem, or many of them get lost. But from the few statistics that we would have, I would say that we would have received 4,000 signatures out of what we guess to be 7,000 or 8,000 ministers approached. But we are not sure, even, for instance, out of almost 4,000, over 3,900, only 3 letters disagreeing with this were received so far.
Senator BAYH. It is hardly a fair comparison.
Mr. COHEN. Right. I am saying that only people who would feel strongly
Senator BAYH. But the thing is you have sent some cards to laymen, and some cards to ministers.
Mr. COHEN. Right. Excuse me, only clergy sent them back. In other words, the card would state, clergymen. If a layman sent it back it would not be counted.
Senator BAYH. But, you see, you do not know how many laymen gave them to ministers from whom you did not hear. It is pretty difficult to tie this down.
Mr. COHEN. Right. And the only thing where this is valid, and I think it is indeed valid for this
Senator BAYII. But each of the ministers on the list were personally contacted, and each of these people that you have represented did, in fact, sign the card. Do we know for a fact that they do feel as they attest themselves?
Mr. COHEN. Yes, sir. And again, I just do not have the facilities to poll every minister in the United States. But this does show contrary-in other words, the testimony we hoped to make the committee to feel, so to speak, is that for someone to say that ministers, Protestant ministers, are against this is very questionable, to say the least.
Senator BAYH. You see the reason I pursued this, which may sound a bit picayunish, in your statement on page 5 you point out that the work of the Protestant Ministers for School Prayers and Bible Reading actively dispels the impression created by staff members of some church organizations that American clergy oppose prayer.
Well, now, in looking at our list of witnesses here I note the names of Dean Robert F. Drinan, the dean of Boston College Law School, and Dr. Contos, of the Greek Orthodox Church. I know for a fact tomorrow that Bishop Richard Raines of the Methodist Church, a practicing minister of my own faith from my own home State intends to be here. I could go right on down our list or the record in the House of Representatives which compiled some 3,000 pages last year, to show that we have gotten a lot deeper than staff. I would hate for the record not to show that, or hate for the record to show even inadvertently, that the contrary point of view to yours, which has been represented by the hierarchy of most of our church groups is limited strictly to staff members.
Did you send any
Mr. COHEN. Could I make a comment, sir, on that-or, excuse me. Senator BAYH. I was just going to ask that some of the previous witnesses have gone to some length to show how their opinion was reached. They indicated that the Court decisions, unabridged, were sent to the ministers, to the delegate representatives, to the conventions, and that there was no editorializing in trying to feed them any particular line of thought.
It is far different from a card which goes through the mail. I suppose it would be pretty hard for a minister to evaluate the situation, if he was not familiar with the total intricacies of the Supreme Court decisions. I doubt that many of them are aware of the legal technicalities. I know this Senator is becoming more aware every day of the intricacies that I was not previously aware of.
Mr. COHEN. While they may not be familiar, sir, with the intricacies, I doubt if you would find a minister in the United States, unless he be somewhere in, I do not know, I was thinking of some rural district somewhere, that is not aware of what has happened, and is not somewhat informed. And so that I mean, they are informed, and, for instance, when a minister signs this: "I wish to state my firm conviction that, due to recent Supreme Court decisions, provision now needs to be made in the United States of America for individuals, on a voluntary basis, to be free to pray and to read the Holy Bible in our public schools," that is a knowledgeable signature.
Senator BAYH. I want to state it may be a knowledgeable signature, but it certainly is not an acknowledgment of an awareness of the facts of the Supreme Court decision because there is nothing in the Supreme Court decision that says you cannot read the Holy Bible in public schools.
Mr. COHEN. Right. Excuse me, I agree with you, sir.
Senator BAYH. Here is the whole premise of the card. It says: "Due to recent Supreme Court decisions".
Mr. COHEN. In other words, what we get out of this card
Senator BAYH. It says the Bible can be studied as a book, it can be studied as a piece of literature and, in my estimation, there is some difference of opinion. It does not even deny voluntary prayer.
Mr. COHEN. In other words, I am championing these signatures as to their feeling among many ministers that they are for children to be free to pray and to read the Bible in the schools.
Now, whether their legal analysis of the Supreme Court decision is correct, and if you wish to take exception, I would not want to argue with you, sir.
Senator TYDINGS. Mr. Chairman, there is one interesting thing about this. Where did you get the list of ministers whom you circularized! Mr. COHEN. My impression is-I could-it is some mailing list. Senator TYDINGS. Was it the mailing list that you used for Mr. McIntire's radio program?
Mr. COHEN. It might be. We could
Senator TYDINGS. It probably was, was it not?
Mr. COHEN. I am not sure. I am really not sure, sir.
Senator TYDING. You do not know then where you got the list. Do you know whether the list actually contains only ministers who have been ordained in a Protestant church or does it also include ministers who have sent away to mail-order houses?
Mr. COHEN. Well, we have the national chairman of this group with us, if we could call on him. Maybe he could tell you the answer to that. Senator BAYH. I think it would be fair to have him do that.
Senator TYDINGS. Why don't you have him join you up at the stand so he can give you the answers. Consult with him and see if you can get the answers.
Senator BAYH. Senator I did not note just when you arrived. I have been trying to find out from our witness, Mr. Cohen, how many cards had been sent out, what was the percentage of response, and apparently he does not have that data. We are trying to determine the weight to be given to the testimony.
STATEMENT OF CARL THOMAS MCINTIRE, NATIONAL CHAIRMAN, INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN YOUTH
Mr. McINTIRE. My name is Carl Thomas McIntire. I am the national chairman of International Christian Youth, and I am a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Dr. Cohen is one of the 4,000 ministers who has endorsed the statement which our International Christian Youth has circulated to ministers. The mailing lists used so far number about three mailing lists of churches, individual churches. We have not used any radio broadcast mailing lists, for example, for only church groups-right, church groups that have in their lists both ministers and laymen and, as I say, or as Dr. Cohen has mentioned, from these lists cards have been put into circulation.
Our intention, of course, is through the ministers who have already signed, to find ways to circulate the cards to further numbers of ministers and a further list of ministers from the denominational listing, for example, and to see if we can get a still higher percentage of ministers reached with the possibility of signing the card.
Senator TYDINGS. Please tell us about these lists. Did you go, for example, to the Baptist Convention and get the list of the members of the Baptist ministers in any given State? Did you go to the Episcopal
Church or the Lutheran Church or the Methodist Church or any recognized church? Where did you get these names?
Mr. McINTIRE. May I ask what is the point of the question?
Senator BAYH. I do not see why he has to state the point. He is asking a legitimate question.
Senator TYDINGS. You are pointing out that a great many Protestant ministers support the position that your witness has taken. Now for the benefit of those who study this testimony, we want to see just who constitutes that list, who these people are. Are they ministers or aren't they? And it will be helpful to us if you will tell us where you got the list.
Mr. McINTIRE. They all are ministers, to the best of our knowledge. We have spot checked as well as anyone can to be sure. This list, one list, for example, was of the members of the clergy of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, which is a Baptist body which contains some 100,000 members.
Senator TYDINGS. Well now, you say they are all ministers.
Senator TYDINGS. What is that?
Mr. McINTIRE. The General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, includes 100,000 constituent members of the churches. I have no idea how many clergy they have, but that was one list, for example, that they used, and we used other church bodies. I said three or four; I do not recall all of them myself. I am not the staff worker.
Senators TYDINGS. Are any of the names on this list persons who are not clergymen? In other words, have you put any individual down here with "Reverend" in front of his name who is not a practicing minister?
Mr. McINTIRE. To the best of our knowledge, sir, we have not at all. These are all bona fide names.
Senator TYDINGS. What is your knowledge? postcard coming back have you checked it at all? Mr. McINTIRE. As I say, we do as best we can. card to
When you receive the
We would return a
Senator TYDINGS. But you do not really know. You take a card, and if it says, "Reverend" so and so, you put it down, don't you?
Mr. McINTIRE. Yes. You do, and on a certain percentage, as I say, like any poll, you spot check and you will find that a certain percentage will not be good and some will. In our case the percentage was almost negligible of those which were not good.
Senator TYDINGS. What do you do with the cards that do not say "Reverend"?
Mr. McINTIRE. Well, they nearly all said "Reverend" and gave the church.
Senator TYDINGS. Now, I am concerned because a preliminary examination of the Baltimore phone book with regard to the ministers you list in Baltimore, Md., indicated that 5 of the 18 names listed as Baltimore members of Protestant Ministers for Prayer, do not list themselves in either the yellow pages or the regular section as ministers. In other words, they list themselves as individuals.
Now, my question to you is, how you account for this.
Mr. COHEN. Excuse me, sir, which name did you start with out of these 15?