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“Mr. GRANIK. Let him answer. We'll come back to you in a moment, Senator. “Mr. BUTLER. And Senator Talmadge, I'm going to read to you the decision of the Court, and I hope that you won't tell me afterward that that's not what it says. But it says in so many words in footnote 1 on page 14 that this decision does not bar those kinds of activities by the State. And it went further to say that such patriotic or ceremonial occasions bear no true resemblance to the unquestioned religious exercise that the State of New York has sponsored in this instance.
"Bishop PIKE. That was the worst thing that they did because the Court unconsciously was blasphemous. It says when it prays every day and when these fine prayers in Congress are said that they are not religious, we don't really mean them. They are ceremonial. They're real prayers and that's a blasphemous thing unconsciously.
"Mr. BUTLER. The objection isn't to tell Americans how to pray or what to pray. It's to instill into the hearts of the Americans a love for their country. They're patriotic utterances.
"Bishop PIKE. The prayers are for the love of God.
"Mr. BUTLER. They're not prayers.
"Bishop PIKE. You've never read the Congressional Record?
"Mr. BUTLER. An archaic man has done it, to tell them how to pray in Congress. "Senator JAVITS. Gentlemen, can't we—I think that the pragmatic operation which allows the mention of the Supreme Being, our respect for the Supreme Deity, our cognizance of the Being, satisfies all faiths in our country equally, and I have little doubt that the Supreme Court, when it sees what has happened, what it has done, will refine the decision in that way, and then we will find that as long as the implications are gone from this decision, it can be lived with. It's one of those decisions that possibly, in my opinion, can be lived with. But I think it's a great mistake to make this the occasion for internecine strife in a religious sense between the faiths.
"Senator TALMADGE. I think the word is whether or not they recognize the Supreme Being. That's what the framers of the Constitution intended. That's what the courts have so held, and I think that's what the true significance of the first amendment is.
"Bishop PIKE. I share your confidence that they will be able to help us on this next decision.
"Mr. GRANIK. I'm sorry, gentlemen, I must interrupt. We'll return after this important announcement.
"Thank you very much, Rt. Rev. James A. Pike, bishop of the diocese of California; William J. Butler, New York attorney; Senator Herman E. Talmadge, Democrat, of Georgia; and Senator Jacob K. Javits, Republican, of New York."
[From the Congressional Record, June 29, p. 11382]
THE LORD'S PRAYER AND THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Mr. MCGEE. Mr. President, the recent decision of the Supreme Court concerning prayer in the schools has sparked a great deal of comment and debate in this Chamber and across the Nation.
Some of the keenest minds of the Nation are now being focused on the implications of this decision, the Court which made it, and the U.S. Constitution. One of the finest authorities on the subject of the Constitution that I know of my greatly admired and respected former colleague, Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney-has recently made a statement on this issue which I think will be of immense interest to everyone.
I need not remind my colleagues that Senator O'Mahoney has long been noted as a man who has devoted a lifetime to the preservation of the Constitution and who, during his brilliant career in the Senate, was often called upon to settle questions bearing on the constitutionality of proposed legislation. He labored tirelessly to maintain the balance between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of our Government. No one will forget his opposition to President Roosevelt's attempt to pack the Supreme Court.
I ask unanimous consent, Mr. President, that Senator O'Mahoney's statement on the recent Court decision be printed at this point in the record with the knowledge that his views will be of utmost interest to all concerned with this matter.
There being no objection, the statement was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:
"STATEMENT BY JOSEPH C. O'MAHONEY, U.S. SENATOR FROM WYOMING, RETIRED
"The decision of Justice Black in the Supreme Court yesterday is not a decision sustained by the Constitution, but has turned loose upon the people of the United States the very danger that the constitutional fathers sought to avoid when they wrote the first section of the first amendment which reads: 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.'
"The plaintiffs in this case are residents of Long Island. They are no part of Congress. They have no right to pass a law or to establish a religion for the United States, nor have they any right to alter any of our traditional practices. These plaintiffs were members of various religions and part of them were nonbelievers, so that the decision of Justice Black has opened the door to atheists to prohibit, by citing his decision as the law of the land, the agelong practice that Americans have always followed of announcing their belief in God. 'In God We Trust' are the words stamped upon our silver dollar. 'In God We Trust,' we announce on our dollar bill. Every oath of office an officer of this country takes is based upon our national attitude toward religion, but there never has been an establishment of religion nor has there ever been an establishment of nonreligion, which is what will be attained if the Black decision should now be followed. It is not the law of this land.
"Justice Black's misinterpretation of the plain words of the Constitution is proven by his own words which he uses in the decision. The establishment clause,' Justice Black writes, 'stands as an expression of principle on the part of the founders of our Constitution that religion is too personal, too sacred, too holy, to permit its "unhallowed perversion" by a civil magistrate.'
"This is exactly the reverse of what the Constitution says. The Constitution does not prohibit a civil magistrate from making a law to establish religion, nor does it prohibit any civil magistrate or any State official for providing for the reading of the Lord's Prayer in the public schools. It deals only with things that Congress may not do. The amendment is as follows:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.'
"It will be seen that this amendment adopted curiously enough by the Congress is a constitutional prohibition against itself, and contains no language to support Justice Black."
RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GOVERNORS' CONFERENCE, 54TH ANNUAL
MEETING, HERSHEY, PA., JULY 3, 1962
Whereas the recent majority opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court in the New York School Prayer case has created far-reaching misunderstanding as to the Nation's faith and dependence in God; and
Whereas the Governors assembled at the 54th annual Governors' conference acknowledge their dependence upon God and the power of prayer to Him; and Whereas the power of prayer has sustained man throughout our history and provided the moral foundation for our great Nation: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Governors' conference urge the Congress of the United States to propose an amendment to the Constitution of the United States that will make clear and beyond challenge the acknowledgment by our Nation and people of their faith in God and permit the free and voluntary participation in prayer in our public schools.
RESOLUTION OF CONGREGATION SHALOM SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEE, MILWAUKEE, WIS., IN SUPPORT OF THE SUPREME COURT DECISION 468, OCTOBER TERM, 1961 Steven I. Engel, et al., petitioners v. William J. Vitale, Sr., et al., on writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals of New York
Whereas this decision is a reaffirmation of the fundamental traditions of religious liberty and freedom of conscience; and
Whereas the history of civilization and its institution recognizes that secular and religious forces are two distinct and separate entities, and the struggle of each to dominate human destinies has only worked to the detriment of mankind; and
Whereas American history, dating from 1620 to the present, reveals a progressive recognition, despite temporary setback, that religious freedom is most secure where church and state are separated, and least secure where they are united; and Whereas proof of the above is gained by a reading and understanding of the intent of the 1st and 14th amendments to the Constitution of the United States, viz:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof";
"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States";
Whereas it is for all practical purposes and intents impossible to compose a prayer to be read in public schools that will satisfy all sects; and
Whereas religion belongs to the home, the church, and the synagogue; education is the domain of the State; and
Whereas the reading of any kind of prayer in school would violate the conscience of the atheist who, though he makes up only a fractional part of our population, is entitled to equal protection of his conscience under our laws. We must recognize that the conscience of each citizen is inviolate, as Jefferson wrote:
"It is error alone which needs support of the Government. Truth can stand by itself";
Whereas our schools do not become "godless," "secular," or "irreligious" by the omission of prayer. Our schools furnish an environment for future America that is rich in the spirit of religion and religious heritage. Thus the home, school, church, and synagogue link their efforts together to create man in the image of God: Therefore be it
Resolved, That any amendment to the Constitution of the United States, or resolution to the Senate, which seeks to nullify the principles and intent of the 1st and 14th amendments guaranteeing religious freedom and inviolability of conscience, would be a historical step backward.
OCTOBER 3, 1962.
SAUL KITTOWER, Chairman.
ST. CECILIA'S HOLY NAME SOCIETY,
Mr. CLIFFORD P. CASE,
DEAR SIR: A resolution to amend the Constitution to permit religious practices in public schools:
"Whereas the foundation of these United States, the most blessed of all nations, is rooted in religious precepts; and
"Whereas the freedom of man is derived from Almighty God and preserved by compliance to religious principles; and
"Whereas the survival of this Republic, as a nation of free and responsible men, is wholly dependent upon adherence to, and the strengthening of, its religious heritage; and
"Whereas powerful and determined forces are prevalent in these United States whose sole objective is the abolition of all religious principles and practices from American life and who utilize the guise of 'separation of church and state' to attain this objective; and
"Whereas recent Supreme Court decisions tend to weaken and destroy those beautiful, inspiring, and necessary religious precepts and practices so indelibly interwoven in the fabric of this Republic; and
"Whereas such antireligious decisions can only result in a great weakening of the Republic and insure its betrayal into the hands of that atheistic conspiracy dedicated to its enslavement and destruction; and
"Whereas such antireligious interpretations of the Constitution by the Supreme Court are, undeniably, contrary to the spirit of the intent of the founders of this Republic and contrary to the will of the vast majority of its citizens: Now, therefore, be it
"Resolved by this society, the Holy Name Society of St. Cecilia's Roman Catholic Church of Rockaway, N.J., That the Congress of these United States take those steps necessary to amend the Constitution of these United States of America to permit and encourage prayers and other religious practices in the public schools of this Nation; and be it further
"Resolved, That copies of this resolution be sent to our Representatives and Senators who will report this resolution to the Congress of the United States of America."
Adopted on the 6th day of August 1962, St. Cecilia's Roman Catholic Church, Rockaway, N.J.
RAYMOND F. SMITH, Chairman.
Whereas the U.S. Supreme Court, on the same day that it ruled a simple prayer to the God of our fathers as being unconstitutional, ruled that the Post Office Department could not bar from the mails certain pornographic literature, and in substance ruled God out and let the dirty and filthy literature in; and Whereas such action on the part of the Court will, in our opinion, have a bad influence on the morals of the people of the United States particularly the children and young people: and
Whereas it appears that the only way to counteract said opinions of the said Court is to amend the Constitution of the United States: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the members of the Berean Sunday School Class of the First Baptist Church, Newton, Miss., That said opinions of the Supreme Court are deplored and viewed with great alarm as a trend toward a godless and degenerate state of mind in the Nation, which trend should be reversed immediately if the Nation is to endure; be it further
Resolved, That the Congress of the United States be urged to submit to the States and the peoples thereof the necessary amendments to the Constitution to set aside and hold for naught the said rulings of the Supreme Court; be it further Resolved, That copies of this resolution be sent to the Mississippi delegation in Congress, to the President, the Court, and to the press.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI,
County of Newton:
This is to certify that the above and foregoing resolution was unanimously adopted by the Berean Sunday School Class, First Baptist Church, Newton, Miss., on July 8, 1962; that this adult men's Bible class is composed of 35 members of Isaid church.
This July 9, 1962.
W. H. BASSETT, Secretary.
NEW ORLEANS JUNIOR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
CHAIRMAN, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE,
DEAR SIR: Attached is a resolution recently passed by the New Orleans Junior Chamber of Commerce. As you can see, the New Orleans Jaycees are much opposed to the Supreme Court's prayer-ban ruling and strongly feel that corrective action should be taken.
F. J. GUTKNECHT III,
Whereas the U.S. Supreme Court recently declared nonconstitutional a New York State public school prayer which states: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our country"; and
Whereas this decision can well be used by secularists as a precedent for striking down other public school religious practices such as Bible reading, the Lord's Prayer, Christmas carols, Easter plays and the like; and
Whereas the decision could be broadened to prohibit prayer before any public or government gathering, such as prayers offered by congressional chaplains or at services conducted by chaplains of the Armed Forces; and
Whereas it is the belief of the New Orleans Junior Chamber of Commerce that nothing was further from the intent of the framers of our Constitution and its amendments, which men well realized our dependence upon God; and
Whereas it is the Jaycee belief that public recognition of God, of His guidance, and of His mercy-and our public petitioning for continuance of these great benefits-is very much a part of our American heritage; therefore be it
Resolved, That noncompulsory prayer before any public gathering be protected by constitutional amendment or revision in order that this precious right cannot be erased: be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be recorded in the minutes of our organization and forwarded to Louisiana Congressmen, to the Louisiana State Junior Chamber of Commerce, and to interested news media.
Mr. JOSEPH A. DAVIS,
Chief Clerk, Senate Judiciary Committee,
BETH JACOB CONGREGATION, Baltimore, Md., September 14, 1962.
DEAR MR. DAVIS: I am taking the liberty of sending to you the enclosed resolution which was passed by our congregation, and with which I concur.
Rabbi, Vice President, Synagogue Council of America, New York, N.Y. Whereas the Bill of Rights, including the first amendment to the Constitution, which states the policy of separation of church and state has never been tampered with since its adoption as part of our Constitution; and
Whereas the recent decision of the Supreme Court has been interpreted by authorities of all religious denominations within the United States as in no sense negating religion but accentuating this separation of church and state; and
Whereas there has been a great deal of sentiment in opposition to this decision: Therefore be it
Resolved by the board of directors of the Beth Jacob Congregation, representing over 1,400 families of the Jewish community of Baltimore, That we affirm the following sentiments:
(1) We consider the principle of separation of church and state very significant and important insofar as our country is concerned.
(2) We look upon the recent decision of the Supreme Court as in no way negating the importance of religion in the life of the American people but, on the contrary, placing it in its proper context, that is, the home and the religious institution, church or synagogue.
(3) We feel that this decision ought to emphasize the importance of strengthening the home and religious institutions, as stated by President Kennedy, so that our young people may be given the full benefits, the inspiration, the discipline and the meaning that are found in religion and its code of morality.
(4) We call upon the proper committees of our Congress to bring about a delay in the proceedings concerning this matter so that there will be time for a cooling-off period insofar as the emotional reaction to this project is concerned and we will be enabled to see from actual experience to what degree this permeates other aspects of American life.
(5) We instruct our secretary to convey these sentiments to our representatives in Congress and such other authorities as they may find necessary. HAROLD SUGAR, Secretary.