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It is not my desire or intention to question the decision of our country's highest court, for to waive aside or to ignore such decisions would border anarchy.

Inasmuch as the decision has evoked vast correspondence from the people of my State, and I suppose from constituents of other Senators, it is my belief your subcommittee should provide opportunity for interested citizens to present their views in public hearings, in accordance with congressional custom and procedure.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

Washington, D.C., November 15, 1962. Hon. JAMES EASTLAND, Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I am very pleased to have the opportunity to submit a statement, to be included in the record of the hearings on the resolutions relating to prayers in public schools. My statement is attached. Sincerely yours,

STEVEN B. DEROUNIAN, Member of Congress.

STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE STEVEN B. DEROUNIAN, MEMBER OF CONGRESS,

SECOND DISTRICT, NEW YORK Mr. Chairman, the decision of the Supreme Court, on June 26 of this year, in ruling against the use of a simple, nondenominational prayer in the public schools of New York State, shocked the Nation.

To those of us who cannot accept this decision-and we are in the great majority-it has succeeded only in spreading confusion in its attempt to read into the first amendment of the Constitution a denial of the greatest single factor in the unparalleled progress of our country—the recognition of and our dependence upon a Supreme Being.

If we are to continue on the high moral plane that has distinguished this Nation and its people, the true meaning of the first amendment must be clarified beyond question.

Many proposals have been made by the Members of Congress and I have introduced House Joint Resolution 820, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States in order to authorize the several States to permit the offering of a prayer in public schools and other public places.

We cannot teach moral values to our children if we are forced to ignore our heritage. “It is fallacy”—and I quote “to suppose that by omitting a subject you teach nothing about it. On the contrary, you teach that it is to be omitted, and that it is therefore a matter of secondary importance. And you teach this, not openly and explicity, which would invite criticism ; you simply take it for granted and thereby insinuate it silently, insidously, and all but irresistibly.” I believe that to teach that prayer is to be omitted from our lives and is of secondary importance was exactly the intent of those who petitioned against the Board of Education of the Union Free School District of New Hyde Park, N.Y. an area which I have represented-seeking to discontinue the use of the simple little prayer.

I challenge anyone to read into the prayer used in the schools of New York the establishment of any specific religion. In fact, in all that I have read since this decision, nowhere have I seen any denouncement of the words of the prayer by any religious body. For that matter, the Justices of the Supreme Court made no effort to show that the prayer actually did establish any specific religion. They simply could not have done so.

Throughout the honorable history of this Nation, every great soldier, citizen, and statesmen has publicly acknowledged his belief in God and at no time has such recognition ever imperiled the separation of church and state. Time and again our courts have ruled that the recital of a prayer is completely acceptable under our laws and within the meaning of the Constitution. But now, suddenly, and at a time when we are involved in a life struggle with atheistic communism, our Supreme Court shakes the very foundation of our Government. If we let this decision stand, we will be leading our country away from freedom and toward godlessness. I urge your careful consideration of this matter.

STATEMENT OF CONGRESSMAN GEORGE H. FALLON, OF MARYLAND, IN SUPPORT OF

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 765 Mr. Chairman, I appear here today for the purpose of saying a few words in behalf of House Joint Resolution 765, introduced by me, providing for the free use of prayer in the public schools.

This resolution was required, Mr. Chairman, in consequence of the recent Supreme Court decision, outlawing the compulsory use of a nonpartisan prayer, in the State of New York.

As I see that decision, and as many persons see it, the Supreme Court has, in its defense of a minute minority, overstepped the rights of an overwhelming majority, by declaring against the invocation of God's will in the American public school classroom.

This cannot be borne, Mr. Chairman. The people will not have it. I, personally, have no doubt that when the Supreme Court enunciated the school prayer opinion of June 25, 1962, the several Justices acted in the hope of benefiting a minority, with no intention of harming anyone else, in any way. A miscalculation occurred, however. For the American people have come to attach great importance, over the years, to the presence of prayer in the classroom. To them, it represents a child's introduction to God, as much as does the entrance of a child into Sunday school. They—the masses of God-fearing American adultshave come to recognize the limited power of once-a-week religious exercises. They therefore believe in the necessity of prayer between church services; and who, after all, is better suited to lead such prayer than the schoolteachers of the land who have, traditionally, devoted their energies to efforts looking to the moral betterment of the younger generation.

House Joint Resolution 765 is aimed at returning to the schools a privilege long recognized and approved by public opinion. It is a resolution wholly in keeping with the spirit of American sentiment today, and the spirit of our forefathers, who also, in their time, had a good deal to say about religious freedom.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

Washington, D.C., August 8, 1962. Senator JAMES 0. EASTLAND, Chairman, Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.O.

MY DEAR SENATOR: I deeply appreciate your kind invitation to appear before your committee in support of an amendment to the Constitution of the United States with regard to the offering of prayers in public schools and other public places.

Unfortunately, due to pressures here I was unable to appear personally. However, I do wish to submit a statement for the record, copy of which I am enclosing. Sincerely yours,

PAUL A. FINO, Member of Congress.

STATEMENT BY CONGRESSMAN PAUL A. FINO, REPUBLICAN, OF NEW YORK Mr. Chairman, I would like, at this time, to express my support for legislation now before your committee, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States with regard to the offering of prayers in the public schools and other public places. I have introduced House Joint Resolution 766 in the House to accomplish the same purpose.

What this amendment would do, in effect, would be to reverse the Supreme Court decision of June 25, 1962, outlawing the reading of a nonpartisan prayer in the public schools of the State of New York, and implicitly ruling out the schoolroom prayer as a feature of American life. A reversal in this regard is not only eminently proper, but absolutely necessary if we are not to stand ashamed in the eyes of the Western World—as the champion of religious liberty, who dared not speak out openly in behalf of religious principle.

It is my belief, Mr. Chairman, that the rise of this Nation to international prominence was the direct result of divine will, and I, therefore, have no doubt of an existing relationship between our prayers and our successes.

Under these circumstances, at a time in history when the need for American success is all the more pressing, it seems to me particularly disturbing that we should, as the result of an astonishing judicial interpretation, be denied the privilege of invoking the will of God in that crucial training area, the schoolroom.

It is not my desire or intention to question the decision of our highest court, for to waive aside or to ignore such decisions w anarchy.

Inasmuch as the decision has evoked vast correspondence of my State, and I suppose from constituents of other Senators, your subcommittee should provide opportunity for interested citize their views in public hearings, in accordance with congressionale procedure.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Washington, D.C., November 15, 1.
Hon. JAMES EASTLAND,
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I am very pleased to have the opportunity to submit a statement, to be included in the record of the hearings on the resolutions relating to prayers in public schools. My statement is attached. Sincerely yours,

STEVEN B. DEROUNIAN, Member of Congress.

STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE STEVEN B. DEROUNIAN, MEMBER OF CONGRESS,

SECOND DISTRICT, NEW YORK Mr. Chairman, the decision of the Supreme Court, on June 26 of this year, in ruling against the use of a simple, nondenominational prayer in the public schools of New York State, shocked the Nation.

To those of us who cannot accept this decision-and we are in the great majority—it has succeeded only in spreading confusion in its attempt to read into the first amendment of the Constitution a denial of the greatest single factor in the unparalleled progress of our country—the recognition of and our dependence upon a Supreme Being.

If we are to continue on the high moral plane that has distinguished this Nation and its people, the true meaning of the first amendment must be clarified beyond question.

Many proposals have been made by the Members of Congress and I have introduced House Joint Resolution 820, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States in order to authorize the several States to permit the offering of a prayer in public schools and other public places.

We cannot teach moral values to our children if we are forced to ignore our heritage. “It is fallacy”—and I quote "to suppose that by omitting a subject you teach nothing about it. On the contrary, you teach that it is to be omitted, and that it is therefore a matter of secondary importance. And you teach this, not openly and explicity, which would invite criticism ; you simply take it for granted and thereby insinuate it silently, insidously, and all but irresistibly." I believe that to teach that prayer is to be omitted from our lives and is of secondary importance was exactly the intent of those who petitioned against the Board of Education of the Union Free School District of New Hyde Park, N.Y.an area which I have represented-seeking to discontinue the use of the simple little prayer.

I challenge anyone to read into the prayer used in the schools of New York the establishment of any specific religion. In fact, in all that I have read since this decision, nowhere have I seen any denouncement of the words of the prayer by any religious body. For that matter, the Justices of the Supreme Court made no effort to show that the prayer actually did establish any specific religion. They simply could not have done so.

Throughout the honorable history of this Nation, every great soldier, citizen, and statesmen has publicly acknowledged his belief in God and at no time has such recognition ever imperiled the separation of church and state. Time and again our courts have ruled that the recital of a prayer is completely acceptable under our laws and within the meaning of the Constitution. But now, suddenly, and at a time when we are involved in a life struggle with atheistic communism, our Supreme Court shakes the very foundation of our Government. If we let this decision stand, we will be leading our country away from freedom and toward godlessness. I urge your careful consideration of this matter.

Given the conflict between the Supreme Court and the people, I think it incumbent upon the Congress to permit the people to amend the Constitution through their elective representatives in State legislative bodies. The Congress does not have the constitutional authority to amend the Constitution. It can only propose an amendment for action by the States. I cannot believe the Congress should withhold from the people the right to amend the Constitution if they desire to do so.

A second important consideration is the fact that the decision of the Supreme Court in Engel v. Vitale has produced conflict and chaos in schools. Prayer or Bible reading is practiced in the schools in close to 20,000 sehool districts throughout the Nation. Ceremonies that bear some religious character are common in public schools almost without exception.

In every State legal authorities are now puzzling over Engel v. Vitale in order to determine its effect on practices that have long been a cherished part of the educational process.

Some legal authorities contend that the Supreme Court's decision should be given the narrowest possible construction as prohibiting only the composition of a prayer by State educational authorities. Justice Douglas, on the other hand, in his concurring opinion suggests that the Court's reasoning makes unconstitutional a wide range of practices and programs including the use of the Bible for the administering of oaths, the employment of chaplains in the Congress and the armed services, the application of the National School Lunch Act to students in church-related schools. The State Board of Education of Vermont has concluded that the Supreme Court has found unconstitutional any “intermingling of religious expressions and practices in tax-supported educational institutions."

In view of this chaotic situation, there is need for speedy clarification of the meaning of the Constitution. On this point, I would expect many of those who support the decision of the Supreme Court in Engel v. Vitale to concur.

The amendment which I have offered is limited in scope. It seeks only to cover the specific issue decided in Engel v. Vitale. I am aware of the suggestion of Bishop James Pike of the Episcopal diocese of San Francisco that the wording of the first amendment prohibiting an establishment of religion be changed. I would fear to tamper with language which has served this Nation well by establishing the boundary line that separates church and state.

All that need be done, in my opinion, is to write into the Constitution the popular belief that the establishment of religion clause was never intended to prevent schoolchildren who wish to pray from doing so nor to prohibit school authorities from making arrangements for them to do so.

I respectfully request that this statement be made a part of the record and sincerely hope that you and the committee may see fit to give favorable consideration thereto. Respectfully submitted.

WILLIAM E. MILLER, Member of Congress.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

Washington, D.C., August 21, 1962. HON. JAMES 0. EASTLAND, Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : The Supreme Court's decision in Engel v. Vitale, handed down on June 25, stirred up a storm of controversy and led to the introduction, in both the Senate and the House, of numerous proposals to amend the Constitution of the United States.

After careful study, not only of the Supreme Court's opinion, but also of the record and briefs before that Court (including the opinions of the several courts of the State of New York which had considered the case), I reach the conclusion that the Supreme Court rightly decided the issues before it, and that its decision does not require or even justify any of the proposed amendments of the Constitution.

On July 26 and August 2 the Judiciary Committee of the Senate held hearings on the resolutions proposing such amendments. I understand further hearings are in prospect, but may not be held before this Congress adjourns. Since I am not seeking reelection, I may not be able to be present at later hearings. On that account and because I would like to place my views before the co' 20. I ask laws of the State of Maryland, because it based its decision, not upon principles of religion and morality, but upon economic and social principles. It has outlawed reference to God in an official oath prescribed likewise by the State of Maryland. It has gone far toward the outlawing of all teaching of religion in the public schools under the release-time plan whereby religion is taught not by the teacher but by pastors of the children in attendance upon the schools.

It has now outlawed the recitation of a simple prayer as a part of the opening exercises of the public schools of the country. There is pending before the Court and will be decided in the fall term a case dealing with the reading of the Bible in the public schools and also dealing with any religious exercises whatsoever, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving. In view of the fact that the School Prayer case was decided by a 6 to 1 majority, it is easy to see that the exponents of this atheist philosophy will make virtually a clean sweep in establishing in our governmental system all of the atheistic principles of Ingersoll and his associates.

It would seem that it boils down to a question of whether our Government in all of its facets must be absolutely neutral as to all religious beliefs, nonChristian as well as Christian, and even neutral as to those who profess atheism as their creed. If the Supreme Court is headed in the direction of making all phases of the Government absolutely neutral as between professors of Christianity, and those who believe in God, as against those who are antagonistic to and would destroy these beliefs, a Christian people, and others who hold to the Christian-Judiastic teachings of both the Old and New Testaments, should recognize that fact and do what they can to counteract it in such manner as will enable them to preserve Christianity, as being the basic ideal in our way of life. All would agree that no governmental agency should be allowed to discriminate in favor of any religion or be in any manner circumscribed in maintaining absolute freedom of religion within the terms and meaning of the Constitution, bearing in mind always, that this is a Christian nation and that was one of Christ's teachings.

That we are not dealing wholly within the realm of speculation and something that probably will never happen is shown by the concurring opinion of Justice W. 0. Douglas. He and Justice Black who wrote the majority opinion of the Court have been yoke fellows in much of the liberal philosophy developed by the Supreme Court. Apparently the other five of the majority of the Court were not willing to go as far as Justice Douglas wanted to go and he wrote a separate concurring opinion, but they did not oppose his view. He pointed out that the entire State and Federal Governments are honeycombed with church financing, and among these, he listed government aid to religious related institutions, including reduced postage rates for religious publications, compulsory chapel attendance at the armed services academies, all income tax deductions for church and charitable institutions, the use of "In God We Trust” on the coinage, and the words “Under God” in the pledge of allegiance.

He further chided his brothers of the Court for opening the Supreme Court sessions with a prayer which closed “God save the United States and This Honorable Court." He also referred to the opening of Congress with prayers, the opening of the legislatures with prayers and there is a broad implication in his dissent that anybody on the public payroll of either the State or Federal Government should be forbidden to utter a public prayer, because to that extent the Government is financing a religious exercise.

Under this view of the case, President Roosevelt when he led the Nation in a nationwide radio prayer to God for guidance during some of the stress and strain of World War II violated the Constitution of the United States. Also, it will be recalled that President Dwight D. Eisenhower after he had taken the oath of office invited the audience and the Nation at large to join him in a prayer to God for guidance and for His protecting care for his administration. Of course, many other instances may be pointed out where the Presidents of the United States engaged in prayer and other activities that would be calculated to influence the people at large in their religious thinking and religious activities.

Chancellor Kent who had been chief justice of the Supreme Court of New York and who wrote “Kent's Commentaries” was probably the greatest lawyer that America has produced. In the case of Lindenmuller v. People (33 Barb (N.Y.) 548), he made this striking statement illustrating how far the Judges of our present Supreme Court are now departing from the principles laid down by those who founded the Republic. He said:

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