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responsibilities and tasks. Finally, it is the greatest betrayal of our heritage and of our profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, to treat the worship of God, and prayer in particular, or the public reading of the Scriptures, as convenient devices to enforce order in assemblies, or as ceremonial supports for either a narrow band of patriotism or an expedient social morality."-William A. Morrison, general secretary, board of Christian education; Eugene Carson Blake, stated clerk, general assembly; Monday Morning (a magazine for Presbyterian ministers), May 20, 1963.

"Don't rush the prayer amendment.

It is so easy to think that one is voting

The

for prayer and the Bible. It comes as a shock that this is not the issue. issue is that agencies of government cannot avoid favoring one denomination and hurting another by the practical decisions that have to be made by government authority on what version of the Bible shall be imposed and what prayer. The churches know this and that is why they are against the Becker amendment. "Prayers and Bible reading are more meaningful withing the home and church than in the public schools. The late President Kennedy pointed out quite accurately that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling 'would be a welcome reminder to every American family that we can pray a good deal more at home and attend our churches with a good deal more fidelity.' "-Christian Science Monitor, March 30, 1964.

"The Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs reaffirms its conviction that laws and regulations prescribing prayers or devotional exercises do not contribute to a free exercise of religion and should not be encouraged.

The Baptist Joint Committee also expresses a deep concern lest such laws and regulations become the means of confusing the moral values of American society for a devotion to religious insights. While the committee is enthusiastic about much in the American heritage as a national way of life, the equation of religious ideas and practices with our national culture will erode rather than strengthen the American heritage.

"The committee recognizes that some political leaders may make appeals for the establishment of religious acts through legalized means to arouse public sentiment. This we regard to be in bad taste as a violation of the principles of separation of church and state.

"Legislative representatives and political leaders should be made aware of our Baptist support for a clear distinction between the roles of the churches and those of State agencies.”—Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs, March 10, 1964.

"The religious liberty declaration," Cardinal Ritter said, "is necessary for progress toward Christian unity and the unity of mankind." The reason: "Without such a declaration there can be no mutual discussion, and the door would be closed to any real dialogue with those outside the church.'

"In other words, the first requisite for a dialogue with other Christians, with Jews, with Mohammedans, with mankind generally, is full recognition that each person must be free to obey conscience.

"A corollary of this is that the church must strive to express religious truth with such clarity and charity that it will appeal to the free intellects of free human beings.

"Those are among the purposes for which Pope John XXIII summoned the Ecumenical Council.

"This principle of respect for conscience is also in perfect accord with Pope John's encyclical, Pacem in Terris, in which he emphasized that 'by the natural law every human being has the right to freedom in searching for truth and in expressing and communicating his opinions.'

"It would seem impossible to square with such principles a school prayer amendment to the Constitution which would legalize religious exercises which are initiated, sponsored, or directed by public school authorities."-Catholic Universe Bulletin (Cleveland, Ohio), January 3, 1964.

"We believe that a person is not adequately educated for life unless he has a real appreciation of religious ideas, values, institutions, and practices. But because of the religious pluralism which prevails in our society today, religious education cannot be a function of the public schools. However, this does not mean that the role which religion, as empirical fact, plays in the culture and in human history cannot be taught in the public schools. Therefore, while supporting the Supreme Court decision of June 17, 1963, we urge positive coopera

tion toward this end among clergymen, educators, administrators, and other leaders of the community."-Bishops F. Gerald Ensley, A. Raymond Grant, John Wesley Lord, and Kenneth W. Copeland (officers of the General Board of Christian Social Concerns of the Methodist Church).

"We do not believe that much has been lost in terms of the specific points covered by the recent decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court in the school prayer and Bible reading cases. If the Lord's Prayer were to be recited in schoolrooms only for the sake of the moral and ethical atmosphere it creates, it would be worth nothing to the practicing Christian. The Lord's Prayer is the supreme act of adoration and petition or it is debased. Reading the Bible in the public schools without comment, too, has been of dubious value as either an educational or religious experience. The more we attempt as Christians or Americans to insist on common denominator religious exercise or instruction in the public schools, the greater risk we run of diluting our faith and contributing to a vague religiosity which identifies religion with patriotism and becomes a national folk religion."-Statement of the Executive Council, Lutheran Church in America, June 28-29, 1963.

"Committing religious suicide-Several religious and political forces in the United States appear determined to destroy the Nation's constitutional guarantee of religious freedom ***. The numerous efforts to circumvent the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions on Bible reading and prayer in the public schools are variously motivated. Some of the efforts rise from a sincere but misguided notion that the Supreme Court's rulings have jeopardized religion in the United States. Some of the attacks on the Court's decisions can be charitably explained only as products of ignorance * Jews, Unitarians, secularists, Roman Catholics and others whose children have been unwillingly subjected to religious services and instruction in public schools may have to excuse [this] ignorance, but they do not have to stand idly by while that kind of ignorance destroys their freedom from religions imposed, supported, and coerced by the state. Some of the efforts to amend the first amendment are entirely motivated by political considerations. Whipping the Supreme Court, even when it faithfully interprets the Constitution, is a popular pastime, and a political candidate who runs on a platform that 'defends God' expects from Providence a reciprocal courtesy * * *. Frenetic attacks on the Bill of Rights imperil the very soul of the Nation and jeopardize every man's right to worship and obey God in freedom. God does not need our defense, but we need to defend ourselves against religion-intoxicated fanatics, sincere but bungling religionists, and opportunistic politicians who offer us their kind of religion and their brand of God in exchange for God-given religious freedom."-The Christian Century, April 1, 1964.

Senator BAYH. I see that Congressman Waggonner, our distinguished colleague from Louisiana, is now with us. I am glad that you have taken the time from a very busy schedule to join us and let us have the benefit of your thinking for the record.

STATEMENT OF CONGRESSMAN JOE D. WAGGONNER, JR., U.S. REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE STATE OF LOUISIANA

Congressman WAGGONNER. Thank you. Senator. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I would like first of all to express my sincere appreciation to you for permitting me to come over from the other body to express my feelings on the very important proposal under consideration here.

Like so many Americans, I am genuinely disturbed over this issue and, while it might be politically expedient for any member to avoid the issue and take no part in the contest of views, my conscience will not permit me to do so.

I will make my remarks brief and, I hope, to the point. Your patience in hearing me out is a courtesy which I, personally, appreciate. I hope you gentlemen will not hesitate to call upon us in the House

when there is an issue before us in which you have a similar interest. We would be pleased to have you as our guests. I speak to you this morning not as an attorney, for I am not, therefore, I am not a constitutional authority.

Mr. Chairman, the Supreme Court's attack on the first amendment to the Constitution has created as much confusion among the people as any set of decisions in modern times. Many well-meaning churchmen, church groups, ministers, and laymen are being misled into thinking the current controversy concerns only prayers in public schools and that the action proposed in Congress is motivated only by the prayer decisions. This is not the case at all.

These same churchmen, church groups, ministers, and laymen are being misled into thinking that Congress is attempting to destroy the protection of the first amendment to the Constitution. This is not the case at all.

The truth is: The Supreme Court has already laid the groundwork with which that protection will ultimately be destroyed. What Congress is attempting to do is restore that protection.

The truth is: By itself, the prayers-in-schools issue is important because it signals the further attack on religion in the United States. I know of no Member of the Congress who wants to tamper with the pure perfection of the first amendment to the Constitution. Certainly, I do not. This is what the first amendment says on the subject of religion :

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof * * *.

I know of no way religious freedom could be given the people in clearer language. I know of few other instances in all history when so few words guaranteed so much to so many.

But, the Supreme Court has jeopardized the protection of this amendment and some action must be taken to reinstate it. It is not enough to say: "Hands off. Do not tamper with the first amendment.” The first amendment has already been tampered with by the Supreme Court-and this is only the beginning.

Let us examine the Supreme Court case which, for the first time, took the Nation on a sharp turn to the left as far as religion is concerned. It is not the 1862 Prayer-In-Public-Schools case in Engle v. Vitale, but in the case of Everson v. Board of Education in 1947. The philosophy expressed during this case is the heart of the controversy, not in the recent prayer cases.

I have underlined the portions of the majority opinion which changed the interpretation of the first amendment in my prepared statement from what it had always been and added a new dimension to it that the framers of the Constitution and the authors of the first amendment never dreamed of. Pay particular attention to the underlined words in this statement by the Supreme Court:

"The 'establishment of religion' clause of the first amendment means at least this: neither a State nor the Federal Government can set up a church.

"Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another.

"*** No tax in any amount, large or small can be levied to support any religious activities***” (330 U.S. at 15X16.)

Even in the dissenting opinion, this same philosophy was repeated by Mr. Justice Rutledge when he described his concept of the first amendment in these words: "It was to create a complete and permanent separation of the spheres of religious and civil authority by comprehensively forbidding every form of public aid or support for religion." And, further on in his opinion: "**** the amendment forbids any appropriation, large or small, from public funds to aid or support any and all religious exercises."

“****

Prior to the Everson case in 1947, it was understood by all that the first amendment meant that the U.S. Government could not establish a Federal or national religion or select one particular denomination as the Federal or national religion of this country. It was understood to mean that the Federal Government could not aid one particular denomination or prefer one over the other. It was also understood by all that the Federal Government could not prohibit the free exercise of religion.

It was with this understanding that the people went their separate ways, each worshipping in the way he chose, or not worshipping if he so chose, while the Federal Government gave aid and protection to all religions with complete impartiality. This was an interpretation of the first amendment which no one doubted and to which all adhered.

With the Everson case, the Supreme Court destroyed this interpretation of the first amendment by stating that "the Federal Government could not aid all religions impartially*** could not take any step whatsoever, no matter how small, which would further religion in the United States."

This is the philosophy which is the direct cause of the current controversy and it is this philosophy which I and others in the Congress feel must be changed if the first amendment is to be restored to its former meaning.

Under the Everson philosophy that the Federal Government could not aid all religions impartially or spend any tax funds which would promote religion, it brings into serious doubt if any of these traditional activities of the Government, among others, are any longer constitu tional:

For example, the employment of chaplains in the military service-
The motto of the United States, "In God We Trust";
The words, "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance;
The tax exemptions enjoyed by all churches;

Tax deductible contributions by anyone to any church;
The Prayer Room in the House of Representatives;
Fire and police protection for church property;
Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday;
Baccalaureate services in public schools;

Observance of Christmas and Easter in public institutions; Prayers during ceremonies or meetings of any public body. These are but a few ways in which the Federal Government aids all religions and religion itself. There are many, many more. If the Everson philosophy is followed, each of these practices must and will fall when a case involving them finally comes before the Supreme Court.

The handwriting is already on the wall. Mr. Justice Brennan has said: "*** the regular use of public school property for religious

activities" such as the erection of a nativity scene, may be unconstitutional (374 U.S. at 298). In fact, Justice Brennan's assertion "that morning devotional exercises in any form are constitutionally invalid" compels the conclusion that schoolchildren cannot even think a prayer unless the period of silent thought is called something other than "devotional."

Mr. Justice Brennan has also said that the reference to God in the Pledge of Allegiance may merely recognize the historical fact that our Nation was believed to have been founded "under God" (374 U.S. 222). He similarly dismisses any idea that the Nation's motto, "In God We Trust," has any religious meaning. This, to me, says that as long as we are paying homage to old superstitutions and traditions, it is constitutionally permitted. If however, we take it seriously, then it would be unconstitutional.

Mr. Justice Douglas says:

A fastidious atheist or agnostic could even object to the supplication with which the Court opens each session: "God save the United States and this Honorable Court" (343 U.S. 312-313).

At the present time, several cases are on their way to the Supreme Court in which some of the practices listed above that I have previously listed are involved. For example, the American Civil Liberties Union has a suit pending to erase the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.

I do not believe the people of the United States, no matter what their particular denomination, want this Nation to carry its official position of "no position" to this extreme. Any man who has reduced his mind to the point where he has "no position" on any subject, is little more than a vegetable. A nation is no different. A godless nation is not a neutral nation. It is one which has taken a position against God and, I submit, this is the wrong decision. It is one we must not take.

Any person or group which takes the position today that Congress should do nothing to reestablish the first amendment will have no cause to complain when any or all of the practices I mentioned earlier are systematically struck down one by one by the Supreme Court. The Everson philosophy underlies the prayers-in-schools decision and it will be the same philosophy the Court will use when they make all future decisions.

This, then, is what the controversy is all about; not whether or not children can be permitted to join in voluntary prayers in school, but the question of the Federal Government's attitude toward the existence of a Supreme Being. The Supreme Court has not taken the view of the believer who says, "Yes, there is a Supreme Being." It has not taken the view of the atheist who says, "No, there is not." It has not even taken the position of the agnostic who says, "I do not know."

The Supreme Court has said that the official position of this country is one of suspended judgment on the question of His existence. It has been held by some that Congress need only to withdraw from the Supreme Court its appellate jurisdiction in cases involving religion.

This, they claim, will take away from the Supreme Court the right to rule in religious cases and thus, no amendment would be needed.

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