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pictured taking the oath of office with his hand on a Bible. Washington Irving gives an interesting word picture of this inauguration by saying, "James Otis wanted to hold the Bible up for Washington to kiss while Washington chose to reverently bend down to kiss the Bible."
Larger weapons include a discussion of why this is the "Year of the Bible." Many states have commemorated 1966 as "The Year of the Bible" in recognition of the 150th Anniversary of the American Bible Society. It might be interesting to ask why there is a year of the Bible and not a year of Webster's Dictionary. Or a year of "Lady Chatterly's Lover." What is so significant about the Bible that it warrants this special recognition? Every student has a right to know. Another weapon in this class is the spiritual passages of "Robinson Crusoe." The author, Daniel Dafoe, was a minister. One of Robinson Crusoe's objectives was to lead his man Friday to a spiritual decision. The spiritual passages in Robinson Crusoe have been dropped from any popular abridgements. The teacher has the right, in fact the obligation, to teach Robinson Crusoe as it was originally written.
Still another effective weapon is the Annual Presidential Prayer Proclamation. Congress has instructed the President to set aside one day each year as National Day of Prayer. A student has a right to hear the Proclamation and to know what and why it is.
A weapon in the bomb class is the suggestion of one high school English teacher writing in The English Journal who says that the third chapter of John needs to be understood before the famous American novel "The Great Gatsby" with all its imagery can be comprehended. Every teacher has the right, the obligation, to see that students are acquainted with the third chapter of John in order to understand the many works of literature based on the concepts there.
Another prominent English Journal article gives teachers suggestions for teaching "The Celestial Railroad," Nathaniel Hawthorne's parody on Pilgrim's Progress. A teacher has a right to see that every student understands the main themes of the Bible so that "Pilgrim's Progress" and then "The Celestial Railroad" can be understood.
In the atomic bomb class of weapons is a fullblown Bible course at the public school. Why not? Among other things the Court said that the Bible was worthy of study. The Court said that nothing in their decision meant that the Bible could not be studied when it was made part of a program of education. And the warriors we speak of here are educators. Schools teach all kinds of things cooking, sewing, dancing, music, basketball, arithmetic, auto driving, etc.-why not the Bible? A number of schools are teaching an elective Bible course. Not as many as should be. For the most part, teachers have resorted to their own ingenuity and efforts. Many have written their own outlines. One teacher wrote her own textbook.
Senator BAYH. You have given this whole matter a tremendous amount of thought. It is obvious from what you are saying that you are well aware of the fact, that there is an understanding or a misunderstanding, and the need to create a better understanding of what the Court has in fact said. Does it take a constitutional amendment? Does it take a constitutional act? Does it take a resolution? These are questions we are still going to have to answer.
As I mentioned earlier, we are operating under a limited procedure this morning because of the airline strike question, perhaps that was before you came, I do not know whether counsel had a chance to mention it to you. We were originally denied any opportunity to sit at all this morning because of the discussion going on on the floor, and when I explained to the leaders that we did have three witnesses who were coming at some considerable sacrifice of time, they permitted us to go ahead and sit for a short period, which we have already exceeded by 45 minutes. So if you wish to briefly summarize, I am going to have to bring this to a close so as not to violate the agree
Mr. PANOCH. All right. I would say this: there are improper things going on in public schools now, in both directions. We need to do some proper things. What we need to do is to develop proper activities for the public school to do, and then the improper will drop away. People want to do something. And in one city in Ohio right after the Court decision they eliminated all prayer and everything. The next year the people said, "We want to pray," so they reinstated it and did all the wrong things. They did not know what right things to do.
What I am saying is there are improper things going on now, and I have full sympathy with that. Maybe the only way to eliminate improper activity is to develop proper activity, and as the schools develop proper activity, the improper activity will drop away by themselves.
Schools have not developed proper activities now, and they seem to be scared to do that, so we need something, Federal legislation, for a moment of meditation, which would be my answer, to free that creative spirit and let the teachers create these new and better activities and, as we have proper activities, the improper activities will drop away. Senator BAYH. Thank you very much. I appreciate your contribution and the very open manner in which we have had a chance to discuss it. I hope to discuss this with you at some other time. Mr. PANOCH. Thank you.
Senator BAYH. We will be in recess until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 11:55 a.m., the committee recessed, to reconvene at 10 a.m., Friday, August 5, 1966.)
FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 1966
SUBCOMMITTEE ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
The subcommittee met, pursuant to recess, at 10:05 a.m., in room 318, Old Senate Office Building, Senator Birch Bayh presiding. Present: Senators Bayh, Tydings, and Hruska.
Also present: Larry A. Conrad, chief counsel, and Jay Berman, of Senator Bavh's staff.
Senator BAYH. I ask that statement of Senators Stennis and Curtis be inserted in the record at this point.
STATEMENT OF SENATOR CARL T. CURTIS (REPUBLICAN OF NEBRASKA)
Mr. Chairman, I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity of bringing my views on this subject to this Committee. I favor the proposal. I hope that the Subcommittee and the full Committee will take favorable and prompt action. It is not my purpose to present an involved or legal brief on the subject. Rather, I wish to state the reason for my position.
Because of several rulings of the Supreme Court, we face a chaotic situation in the country. The decisions of the Supreme Court have not clarified the original intent of the First Amendment to the Constitution. That Amendment says: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
The decisions of the Supreme Court have resulted in a variety of actions on the part of school and other officials. Some have held that it is unlawful for a tax-supported school to have a clergyman or other person offer a prayer at a commencement program. In some instances, baccalaureate services have been banned. There have been some rather ridiculous results-for instance, a recommendation that words which constitute a prayer can be recited in a school if they are not recited in an attitude of prayer.
There are many ways to pray. A prayer can be a silent one or it can be audible. It can be extemporaneous or it can be memorized. It can be in prose or it can be a poem. It can be a song. One of the Justices of the Supreme Court in his individual views on one of the prayer cases stated that while the students were not required to recite the prayer, the teacher was; that since the teacher was paid from tax funds and even though it took only about forty seconds for her to recite the prayer, to do so was a violation of the Constitution. What is going to be the situation when a teacher of the schools directs the class to stand and sing "God Bless America"? In that song we have these lines, "God bless America, land that I love, stand beside her and guide her through the night with a light from above."
Or what is the legal situation if in another school the instructor has the class stand and sing "America the Beautiful."-shall these words be eliminated: "May God they gold refine, till all success be nobleness, and every gain divine." "God shed His grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea."?
Must we discard the song written by the famous Baltimore lawyer, Francis Scott Key? It is our national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner." In that song we find these words: "Praise the Power that hath made and preserved
us a nation! Then conquer we must for our cause it is just and this be our motto: In God is our trust!".
Shall we have to discard the last stanza of America? Are the citizens of the United States the possessors of sovereign power? Can they write into our Constitution what they want to? Is it a violation of the Constitution to have the following words sung in our schools:
"Our fathers' God, to Thee,
To Thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
It is my opinion that the people of the United States should amend their Constitution and reassert the original intent of the First Amendment before the situation is further complicated by additional decisions of the Supreme Court.
If it is unlawful for a school teacher whose salary is paid from tax funds to use forty seconds to recite a prayer, how can we use tax funds to supply a Chaplain in the United States Senate or in the United States House of Repre sentatives?
Following the same reasoning, how can we for long sustain the expenditur of tax dollars to provide the Chaplaincy Corps for the Armed Services? Th Chaplaincy Corps has been operated in a tolerant and cooperative manner t the satisfaction of three great branches of religion, to wit: Catholic, Protestan and Jewish. A non-believer or a believer in some other religion would hav a hard time proving that he was ever injured or damaged or his liberties inte ferred with because of the existence of the Chaplaincy Corps in our Arme Services. The Chaplaincy Corps has not resulted in the government establishin a religion, neither has it interferred with the free exercise thereof.
Mr. Chairman, I do not believe that any objective student of history can de the clear and simple purpose of the First Amendment. The writers of this pa of the Constitution did not want a state church. Our founding fathers did n want any church-whether it be Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopalian, Cathol Baptist, or any other denomination-to be maintained by tax funds. It was th simple. There is no evidence that any of the founding fathers had any idea driving a belief in God out of our national life. They just didn't want a ta supported church.
In 1947 in the Everson case (330 U.S. 1) Justice Black speaking of perse tions and abuses for the Supreme Court said, "These practices became so v monplace as to shock the freedom-loving colonials into a feeling of abhorren The imposition of taxes to pay ministers' salaries and to build and mainta churches and church property aroused their indignation. It was these feelin which found expression in the First Amendment. No one locality and no o group throughout the Colonies can rightly be given entire credit for havi aroused the sentiment that culminated in adoption of the Bill of Rights' pro sions embracing religious liberty. But Virginia, where the established chur had achieved a dominant influence in political affairs and where many excess attracted wide public attention, provided a great stimulus and able leaders for the movement. The people there, as elsewhere, reached the conviction t individual religious liberty could be achieved best under a government which stripped of all power to tax, to support, or otherwise to assist any or all religio or to interfere with the beliefs of any religious individual or group.
Mr. Chairman, in conclusion I wish to again state that it was never the tention of our founding fathers to create a society acceptable only to unbeliev The history of the Constitution clearly shows that the founding fathers inter no hostility toward religion. They wrote the First Amendment to put an end tax-supported churches. We should get back to its original meaning and I L the adoption of the Resolution by this Committee.
STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN STENNIS
Mr. Chairman, in recent years the United States Supreme Court has rend many decisions which I believe are contrary to the social, political, and 1. heritage of our great Nation. These decisions reach practically every pha
our lives, but none portends such grave dangers as the recent cases involving religious exercises in the public schools. In my opinion, the Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment in a manner never intended by its authors nor consistent with the understanding and desires of the overwhelming majority of our people.
It is not my purpose today to attempt to give a detailed historical or legal discussion of the issues involved in the proposed constitutional amendments being considered by this Committee. Suffice it to say that the Court has moved from the "released-time" holdings of McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203 (1948), and Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306 (1953), to Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962) where the Court ruled that a teacher could not repeat the prayer: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country", to Abington School District v. Schempp, and Murray v. Curlett, 374 U.S. 203 (1963) wherein the Court held that permissive reading of the Bible or recitation of the Lord's Prayer is unconstitutional.
Under other circumstances it might be that the Court's decisions could and should be restricted to the specific facts involved and they should not be reviewed as a forerunner of things to come. In this instance, however, there is sound reason to believe to the contrary. The logic and language of the majority opinion and the general trend of prior decisions on this subject lend credence to the belief that Court will go far beyond its actual holding in these cases. This belief is particularly reinforced by the extreme position taken in the concurring opinion of Justice Douglas, for example, in Engel v. Vitale. He declared that many other governmental "aids" to religion similarly violate the first amendment. I have a grave apprehension, therefore, that the decision in this case will shortly be followed by others which increasingly erode our spiritual heritage. The U.S. Supreme Court itself said, as recently as 1951 (Zorach v. Clausen, that "We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being." That quotation and that thought, Mr. Chairman, is the key to this whole problem, to this whole matter. However, if future decisions are consistent with the rationale of the Engel case, I am convinced that the holding will sooner or later be extended so as to forbid and prohibit many of our traditional, respected and time-honored practices.
Indeed Justice Douglas has already declared in his concurring opinion that it was his view that the use of the traditional cry in the opening of the Supreme Court, the practice of opening the sessions of the Congress with prayer, and many other religious exercises are violative of the first amendment.
If the Court should extend its decision only slightly, many other religious activities may be banned by future decisions. Among these are: compulsory chapel services in military academies, religious services in Federal prisons and hospitals, the issuance of religious proclamations by the President, payment of GI bill educational benefits to church-affiliated schools; Federal aid for school lunches and busses in parochial schools; governmental aid to church affiliated hospitals; tax exemptions for religious organizations; the use of chaplains in the Armed Forces: the requirement that the President, Members of Congress, and the Justices of the Supreme Court subscribe to an oath in which the aid of the Deity is invoked, the inscribing of the words "in God we trust" upon the currency of the Nation, the singing of our national anthem which proclaims our trust in God; and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance which contains the words, "one Nation under God."
These are some of the problems or potential problems created by the recent decision. I submit that this decision has gone beyond the intent and purpose of the framers of the first amendment. The first amendment was written to prevent governmental control of religion, the establishment of a state church, and the abuses and persecution in the name of religion with governmental sanction which were then prevalent. The amendment was not written to destroy religion and it was never intended that the state and religion should be entirely alien to one another-hostile, suspicious, unfriendly, the wholly isolated. The amendment was designed to do exactly what the language says, which is to prohibit the Congress from making a "law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Certainly it cannot be seriously contended that the simple, non-denominational and noncompulsory prayer involved in the Engel case resulted either in the establishment of a religion or prohibited the free exercise thereof.