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I support what the distinguished Bishop has said. I think the Court has misconstrued the meaning of the first amendment. All Senator Stennis and I want is an appropriately worded amendment to make it crystal clear that the Supreme Court shall not go beyond the intention and meaning of those who framed that amendment, they intended the words "establishment of religion,” to mean a religious sect or organization that we would call a church-Baptist, Methodist, Episcopal, Catholic, or what have you.

As to the history of the official recognition of the fact that we are a Christian nation, it is crystal clear to me the bishop is right. Although no specific provision in the Constitution relates to prayer, I am sure my colleagues on this committee will recall what took place when it looked like the Constitutional Convention was not going to agree on a plan for the protection of small States in the creation of a Senate, the small States being unwilling for the population test as applied in the House to apply to the Senate.

Benjamin Franklin rose and asked why has it not once occurred to us to ask the Father of Lights to illuminate our understanding? He made a motion that every future session be opened with prayer, which was adopted, and they were opened with prayer. Thereafter the Convention agreed on a Constitution which Gladstone said wasthe most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.

In the First Congress after Patrick Henry and James Mason, the author of our Bill of Rights had claimed that the Constitution did not fully, protect the rights of the people, including religious freedom, Madison proposed 12 amendments, 10 of which were adopted. He wanted the first amendment to apply to the States, but as finally agreed upon, it was limited to Congress.

In the First Congress it was proposed to have Chaplains to open each session of the House and Senate with prayer.

Madison was on the committee that formulated that plan and, as the bishop said, he was on the board of regents of the University of Virginia when Mr. Jefferson wanted rooms in his University of Virginia, State built and State financed, to be set aside for religious exercises.

In 1877 a distinguished Congressman from Maine, James G. Blaine, got through the House an amendment to the Constitution which would have applied to the States the provisions of the first amendment dealing with religion. It was defeated in the Senate.

So I say all the history shows that we went the middle way. There would be no contribution to the establishment of a church; there would would be no prohibition against the free exercise of a man's conscience; but in that middle way we had many instances of public recognition that we had started out with a form of government based upon the teachings of the Bible, from the Ten Commandments where we got our Code of Criminal Laws.

From the Bible we also got our free enterprise system and we recognized that in the beginning.

We find public recognition of God in the opening of courts. There are prayers in the Senate and over one door of our Senate Chamber is the inscription “In God We Trust."

On another wall the inscription, “May God Smile Upon Our Enterprises."

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We have the words "One Nation Under God” in our tribute to the flag.

Ås Bishop Pike pointed out, “In God We Trust,” is stamped on our money.

In those ways we try to indicate to the world that we believe in a Supreme Being.

Benjamin Franklin said:

I have lived for a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proof I see of the fact that God governs in the affairs of men.

We want to preserve the separation of church and state, but we do not want to go down the broad highway of secularism.

Now, as to haste. The Washington Post says, “Why all the haste." The Roanoke Times says, "Why all the haste.” Well, there is something to the belief that the Supreme Court might back down. I agree with Senator Stennis that if it does not back down, it will use a pending Maryland case to overrule the recitation of the Lord's Prayer in the public schools. Involved in a Florida case are Easter and Christmas holiday, religious hymns, and religious paintings. Suppose all are ruled out? That would be in line with the views of Mr. Justice Douglas.

Suppose the Supreme Court goes ahead as Mr. Justice Douglas says it should. Three-fourths of the State legislatures meet next year. If Congress, instead of acting this year to give them the option of ratifying a constitutional amendment, waits until next fall to see what the Court is going to do, it will be 3 years before action on a constitutional amendment could be concluded.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator HART. Thank you, sir. .

Bishop Pike, I think you have sensed that all of us are very appreciative of the help you have given us.

If there is anything you care to add by way of conclusion you are welcome to do so.

Bishop PIKE. I would first thank the committee through its honorable and distinguished chairman for this opportunity. I care very much about all of this as you know, as a lawyer and as a clergyman, as an American, and as one who believes, as I am sure all of you do, that the finest fruit, the finest flower of the whole Judeo-Christian tradition has been the American way of life and in our characteristic institutions.

I want to see us preserve these institutions. I will say that this particular prayer and what will happen in this regard, in New York is not terribly crucial as such. I do not think the Kingdom of God will rise or fall on what happens in that regard.

I think the opinion of the Court, though it was drafted on narrow grounds, taken along with the other matters before us and that are coming up soon and the previous decision in the McCollum case, suggests that this characteristic "middle way" of ours is imperiled. Thus, I believe this to be a very grave and serious matter and that it ranks with many of the other things in our history where this distinguished committee has wrestled and worked to help keep us on the track.

I am very happy to have so small a part in this wrestling; and I am sure there is the desire to maintain our way of life in its fullness, with the protection of all minorities, and the avoidance of new and novel relationships.

We do want to maintain the separation of church and state. But we have never agreed to a separation of religion from society.

Senator HART. Thank you.

We are going to hear now from Members of Congress who have had an opportunity to come and be with us.

Senator KEATING. The first witness, one of the distinguished Members of Congress, Frank J. Becker, of New York. I know that he has a great interest in this problem. He has discussed it with me. He has made efforts in the House of Representatives to deal with this very vexing problem and we are very happy to hear first from Congressman Frank Becker, of New York.

Senator HART. We apologize for holding you so long, Mr. Becker.



Mr. BECKER. Senator, I have sat at many hearings and know what you have to contend with.

I more than appreciate the opportunity and privilege to appear before you and I appreciate the remarks of my former colleague in the House and good friend, the Senator from New York, Senator Keating

Senator KEATING. Mr. Chairman, I have to be on the floor and I will have to leave. I will read Congressman Becker's testimony with great interest because I know it will be very helpful.

Senator Scott. I would like, Mr. Chairman, to be associated with the remarks Senator Keating has just made also. I must leave as I am informed a colleague in the House of Representatives has interested himself in this and I have great admiration and respect for him and I am very happy that he has so interested himself in this serious problem.

Mr. BECKER. Thank you, Senator Scott. My statement will be

very brief.

First, I would like to acknowledge the testimony of Bishop Pike here, and I think he did an excellent job in presenting the arguments in respect to the Constitution and Supreme Court decision.

While here I shall also advocate an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to permit prayer to Almighty God in public schools and all public places in the United States. On June 26, 1962, I introduced House Resolution 752, to amend the Constitution and I am submitting a copy of the resolution for the record.

Senator Hart. You may insert it in the record at this point. (H.J. Res. 752 follows:)

[H.J. Res. 752, 87th Cong., 2d sess.) JOINT RESOLUTION Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States

pertaining to the offering of prayers in Public schools and other public places in the United States

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution only if ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress :

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do so.

"SECTION 1. Prayers may be offered in the course of any program in any public school or other public place in the United States.

"SEC. 2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress."

Mr. BECKER. I disagree with the conclusions of the Supreme Court, and sincerely believe that the Justices read meaning into the Constitution that is not expressed, and was never intended by the framers of this great and historical document.

The first amendment contains the words: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof. These words are simple, and the Congress, through our history, has never breached this clause; nor has there ever been any attempt to

However, your time is valuable and I can see no point in arguing the decision; nor will it serve any good purpose. Therefore, in my humble opinion, believing that no part of the Constitution bars prayer in our public schools, and to forestall any future suits, I pray the Congress will take immediate steps to amend the Constitution and clear the air once and for all. It is my opinion that this is the desire of the overwhelming majority of the American people and, if this is submitted to the various State legislatures, an amendment will be ratified.

It seems to be clearly intended by some to have long and continuous debate on this subject, to tire out the people in the hope that they will forget and drop the matter. I trust you will not permit this to happen.

Never in our history have we gone through such critical times. Never have we needed, more, the help of Almighty God, than we do today. This help can only be sought through prayer, just as our forefathers sought His help daily in the founding of our great country.

In view of the fact that our Constitution provides the means for amending the Constitution, consistent with the will of the people, I cannot see how there be any objection to submitting such an amendment to the State legislatures for their action.

I am trying to make this statement as brief as possible; however, I would like to read into the record, a sermon delivered by Rabbi Bernard Zlotowitz of the Union Reform Temple, Freeport, Long Island, N.Y., in my district. The sermon was given on April 20, 1962, and is directed to this subject. The arguments for both prayer and Bible reading in public schools are worth hearing:

I would like to quote to you the address by Rabbi Bernard Zlotowitz,

who says:

The purpose of the Passover holiday is to make us conscious of the importance of freedom and the worth of the individual. Passover cautions us not to take for granted the privilege we enjoy as free men and women. The seder and its ceremonial symbols serve to remind us that the bread of affliction and the shackles of slavery must once and for all be destroyed, so that the dignity of the human being will be raised to a godly level, and all the peoples of this earth, regardless of their color, race, or creed will be truly recognized as children of God, created in His image.

It is, therefore, fitting and proper at this season of our joy and gladness when we commemorate the exodus from Egypt and our redemption from slavery to examine once again the religious ideals of our faith and the high principles of our country.

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To be more specific, let us consider whether prayers and Bible reading in the public schools, or for that matter any religious celebration, is in keeping and in harmony with our religious tradition and American heritage or whether it is a violation of our Constitution and all that we hold dear and sacred.

Our religion has its roots in the belief in one God who taught us through His prophets and seers that freedom of the individual is paramount and is the ideal of mankind. God himself took us out of the land of Egypt-out of the house of bondage to make us a kindom of priests and a holy nation—where brotherhood would reign supreme and godliness reach unprecedented heights.

Similarly, our own Nation was founded "in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” And in order to put teeth into this preamble, the first amendment to the Constitution which the States ratified was the declaration that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof * *

The Founding Fathers knew only too well the dangers inherent in an established church. The experiences of the countries of the European Continent were only too vivid in their minds.

They fully realized that the freedom of the individual could never be complete if there was an official church recognized by the state. This the Founding Fathers wanted to avoid at all costs. They wanted a separation of church and state; and this they achieved.

But by no stretch of the imagination did the founders of our country ever desire the separation of religion from government. The founders were a godly group of men and this was to be a godly country. Religion imbued them with a spirit of love and high ideals. The Bible inspired them.

The Liberty Bell bears the Biblical inscription: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." The Declaration of Independence refers to the Deity as the source of liberty. Listen to the words of this great document:

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.

From these significant examples we can readily recognize that the founders of this Nation were a godly people and not a godless people. That they wanted a godly nation and not a godless nation. They always sought divine help in all their deliberations just as the Houses of Congress do today. In fact, there are official chaplains in the Government, who bring spiritual aid and comfort to the representatives of the Government.

The President of the United States takes a Bible, places his hand on it, and raises his other hand to God and swears under an oath to God that he will uphold the Constitution and the laws of the United States. Governors, mayors, judges, and all people who hold public office take an oath to God that they will fulfill the duties of their office to the best of their ability. A nonbeliever cannot hold a public office in our land. The wheels of justice would be at a standstiĩl if witnesses were not sworn in.

The laws of perjury are based on swearing falsely. Our currency reads: "In God We Trust.” Even the Pledge of Allegiance has been modified to read : "This Nation under God.”

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