« AnteriorContinuar »
Senator Hatch. I think that would be good, not for this record, but for our personal purview, and I think that anything else that you can do to help summarize the actual facts of the case, I would appreciate having for the record, in as brief a form as possible.
Mr. SILEVEN. Thank you very much.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF DR. EVERETT SILEVEN
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY AND ALLALYSIS OF CURRENT STATUS
THE SYNOPSIS BACKGROUND OF DR. EVERETT SILEVEN
Dr. Everett Sileven
was born April 21, 1939 near Muskogee, Oklahoma.
His father was an itinerant Baptist preacher; his mother was a fine.
Christian lady. When he was four his mother died of cancer, and he
moved with his father to California where he lived for a very short time.
He and his brother were soon adopted by an Aunt and Uncle in Missouri
by the name Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Sileven. Mr. and Mrs. Sileven were the
owners of a 6,000 acre ranch, and Everett spent his growing up years in
that area working long and hard hours in timber, cattle, and farming.
He graduated from the Houston High School, Houston, Missouri in 1957.
He attended Southwest Missouri State Teachers College; Hillsboro College
in Hillsboro, Missouri; Washington University and Southern Illinois
University, majoring in Business Administration.
He worked for Ralston
Purina Company in the research division and also was manager of Package
Development for ConAgra of Omaha, Nebraska, He spent a short time as
manager of Package Research for the Frito Lay Company of Dallas, Texas.
Pastor Sileven entered the full time ministry in 1975 after having
completed his Master of Theology and Doctorate of Theology from Faith
Baptist Theological Seminary in Morgantown, Kentucky. He has Honorary
Doctorates from Freedom University in Orlando, Florida and Hyles-Anderson
College in Hammond, Indiana.
Pastor Sileven is Pastor of the Faith Baptist Church in Louisville,
Nebraska, which has experienced the awesome hand of persecution by the
State of Nebraska since 1977, He has spent 157 days in jail for operating
a Christian School without a license. His daughter has been subject to
arrest along with seven of the parents of his church who spent 93 days in
the Cass County jail in Platt smouth, Nebraska,
Pastor Sileven is a patriot and a believer in the free enterprise
system, constitutional government, and stands firmly on the principles
of the founding fathers. It is due to his deep concern for America
that an effort is being made to produce alternatives to the Marxist
ideology being propagated in this country by founding the American
Coalition of Unregistered Churches and its monthly magazine, the "Trumpet".
Pastor Sileven is also a cooperating founder of the Nebraska Christian
Political Action Committee. Dr. Sileven is traveling America on a busy
speaking schedule as well as pastoring Faith Baptist Church,
Religious liberty as known and protected by our founding forefathers, under the Constitution of the States and the United States,
no longer exists in this country. There is a growing resistance to
government encroachment upon these liberties, and unless the Congress
does something substantial to restrain government from further en
croachment, it is our fear that the government will perpetrate a
"The power of the will to follow the dictates of its unrestricted choice, and to direct the external acts of the individual, without restraint, coercion, or control from other persons"
(Myer vs. State of Nebraska 43S. CT. 625, 626, 262 0.5, 390.)
"The word 'liberty' denotes not merely freedom from bodily
"Freedom from dictation, constraint, or control in matters affecting the conscience, religious beliefs, and the practice of religions: freedom to entertain and express any or no systein of religious opinions, and to engage in or refrain fron any form of religious observance or public or private religious worship, not inconsistent with the peace and good order of society and the general welfare. See Prazee's Case, 63 Michigan 396, 30 N.W. 72, 6 AM, ST, Rep. 310: State vs, White, 64 N.H. 48, 5A, 828.
Now any liberty that requires a license is no longer a liberty.
The definition of a license is also given in Blacks law dictionary and
is defined as follows:
"A permission, accorded by a competent authority,
conferring the right to do some act which without such authorization
would be illegal, or would be a trespass or a tort.
A pernit, granted
by the sovereign, generally for a consideration to a person, firm, or
corporation to pursue some occupation or to carry on some business subject
to regulations under the police power.
A license is in no sense a contract
between the state and the licensee but is a mere personal permit neither
transferrable nor vendible. That would be state exrel. Cuillot vs.
Central Bank and Trust Company, 143 LAP, 1053, 79 so. 857, 858.
In America, we the citizens are the sovereigns. Therefore, why is
government continually trying to force licenses on us to perform those
Godóziven, God-ordained, inalienable rights. If there are any licenses
to grant, then we the people would be the ones granting them to the
government officials since we are sovereigns and goveranent is not the
sovereign but is the servant and agent of the people,
II, THE FOREFATHERS UNDERSTANDING OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTIES
Mr. William Blackstone was probably the greatest jurist of the era
of the founding of our nation,
More of his commentaries were purchased
in America than in England, and they were used extensively in the founding
of our nation. I would like to quote from his commentaries as to the
understanding of a man's relationship to his God.
"Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependent being. A being, independent of any other, has no rule to pursue, but such as he prescribes to himself; but a state of dependence will inevitably oblige the inferior to take the will of him, on whom he depends, as rule of his conduct; not indeed in every particular, but in all those points wherein his dependence consists. Consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his maker for everything, it is necessary that he should be in all points conformed to his makers will. This law of God is of course superior in obligation to any other. His binding over all the globe and all countries, and in all times; no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this: and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their atthority, mediately or immediately, from this original. Upon this foundation depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these."
On the particular subject of sovereignty of the people, I will now
quote Mr. George St. Tucker who was a famous jurist in the early 1800's
in the state of Virginia. In his footnotes on Blackstone's commentaries
he expounds the American Constitution on principle of government.
speaks extensively to the sovereignty of the people and I quote,
"The American Revolution has formed a new epic in the history of civil institutions, by reducing to practice, what, before, had been supposed to exist only in the visionary speculations of theoretical writers.... The world, for the first time since the annals of its inhabitants began, saw an original written compact formed by the free and deliberate voices of individuals diposed to unite in the same social bonds; thus exhibiting a political phenomenon unknown to former ages. This memorable precedent was soon followed by the far greater number of the states of the union, and led the way to that instrument, by which the union of the confederate states have since been completed, and in which, as we shall hereafter endeavor to show, the sovereignty of the people, the responsibility of their servants are principles are fundamentally, and unequivocably, establish; in which the powers of the several branches of the government are defined, and the excessive of them, as well in the legislature, as in the other branches, find limits, in which cannot be transgressed without an offending against that greater power from whom all authority, among us is derived; to wit, the people,"
It is absolutely understandable by this quote that our early founding
forefathers understood that all sovereign power rested in the people of
Our founding forefathers were extremely concerned about
government intervention into the freedom
of conscience and freedom of
exercise of religion. They had fled from Europe for these very reasons.
Therefore they insisted on the First Amendment to the United States
Constitution that would prohibit congress from making any law concerning
the establishment of religion and prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
This amendment simply says that congress can make no law relating to
religion. The question comes, what is religion?
Many of our forefathers have suffered jall, beating, confiscation of
fines and other harassments because they refused to take licenses,
permissions, permits, etc, from local and state governments to exercise
their religious practices. Included in these practices was the collection
and distribution of money and property, the education of children, public
worship, and many other things.
It also included the care for the elderly,
the sick, etc.
is no doubt that to our founding forefathers religious
1lberty meant not only the practice and belief of religion but the defining
for one's self what his religious beliefs and practices would be. The