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religious institutions and organizations is voluntary, and therefore should be supported by voluntary contributions. We believe that the use of tax money for support of religious groups is in opposition to the spirit and letter of the Constitution.
"We declare that this principle does not mean that the state is indifferent to the church, nor that the church is unconcerned for the state. It means rather that church and state are separate in their institutional life, and that neither controls the other.
“We affirm that public education is the birthright of every American child, and that support of such public education is the responsibility of every American. We observe that such support is indispensable to responsible citizenship as support of public roads, public welfare, police protection, and other obligations of society as a whole.
“We recognize the right of churches and other organizations and groups to establish private schools in the interest of spiritual, moral, or other objectives which they believe cannot be accomplished satisfactorily with the framework of the public school system. We insist, however, that the support of such private schools is solely the responsibility of their respective constituencies and is in no way a public obligation. We object strenuously, therefore, to any proposal that the public be taxed to pay for the special sectarian or other purposes for which particular groups establish private schools.
"We call upon our churches, educational agencies, colleges and universities, and parochial schools to study thoroughly their own present involvement in matters relating them to the State and tax funds. We urge disciplined thought, study, and action to maintain clearly the principle of separation of church and state and to withstand the dangers that first tend to blur and then compromise this historic American and Baptist position.
"We object strenuously, therefore, to any proposal that taxes or borrowing power be used to make grants or loans to sectarian or church-related schools. We emphasize that the use of Government finances in support of any sectarian purpose is a violation of basic religious liberties for it coerces citizens to support religious objectives which many of them cannot conscientiously approve."
American Baptist Convention, Rochester, N.Y., June 7, 1960:
“RESOLUTION, 62. SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE' "We reaffirm the Baptist stand for religious freedom and separation of church and state, granting unto all people the right to worship God according to the dictates of one's conscience and maintaining separate control of church and state.
“We express our belief in the principles of public school education and commend to our churches a new and continuing inquiry into the preservation and development of a strong system of public school education, and urge the study of, and action in opposition to, forces that may make this preservation difficult."
2. Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) International Convention, General Assembly, Miami, Fla., October 25-31, 1954, Resolution 57 :
** * * we affirm our continued adherence to the American principle of separation of church and state, and to the principle that public funds for education should be used for only public education and that we record our unalterable opposition to the use of any public funds for schools conducted under religious or sectarian auspices.'
International Convention of the Disciples of Christ, General Assembly, September 28-October 3, 1956, Resolution 65:
"* * * The place of religion in the public schools also is under constant discussion. Some say the religious heritage of America should be recognized and included in our public school curriculum. Others assert that there should be no teaching of religious education. We support the idea of treating the study of religion from an historical point of view as we do the study of any other phase of our culture. It should be accorded full recognition in the curriculum on the grounds that to omit it is to omit an integral part of our American tradition. * * *"
The trustees of the United Christian Missionary Society (Disciples) June 19-20, 1962, adopted a resolution which will be carried to the next general assembly asking for a “Call to Responsible Study of the Issues of Religion and Public Education." That resolution
Affirms that education of children and youth is a responsibility of the family, the church, the school, and the community;
Expresses its deep appreciation and continuing support for the high quality and democratic characteristics of the public education system ;
Declares its belief in the principle of voluntary support for churches and church-sponsored programs. 3. Church of the Brethren, Annual Conference, Long Beach, Calif., June 20– 25, 1961:
“6. We foresee continuing attempts to breach the constitutional wall of separation between church and state. We therefore urge upon all our members their responsibility under Christian vocation to resist any further efforts on the part of religious bodies to gain access to gifts of public funds for educational purposes. In particular we warn against perils of freedom of policy, curriculum, and personnel in schools and colleges. We also warn against governmental policies which may tend to give privileged position to any particular religious body. Finally, we believe that all religious persuasions flourish best when their support, either generally or in connection with any particular institutional arm, comes from sources which do not imperil their freedom.”
4. Church of God, General Ministerial Assembly, Anderson, Ind., 1961 :
"Whereas there has been wide discussion in the public press and in the current session of the Congress of the United States concerning the issue of granting Federal funds to education; and
“Whereas there are many facets of this issue which are of particular concern to the churches of America : Therefore, be it
“Resolved, That we, the General Ministerial Assembly of the Church of God, and in annual session in Anderson, Indiana, this day of June 1961, do hereby express the following convictions regarding the use of Federal tax funds for education:
"1. We reaffirm our confidence in and our support of the public school system as an indispensable means of providing educational opportunity for all children; we recognize the great problems now being faced by the public schools and urge provision for increased resources for the operation and improvement of these public schools within a framework of proper safeguards.
“2. We oppose any grants from Federal, State or local tax funds for the operation and support of nonpublic elementary and secondary schools.
"3. We are concerned that the historic principle of separation of church and state be maintained and promoted and urge all branches of government to avoid any infringement of the ideal of religious liberty which would inevitably arise when taxes paid under compulsion by all the people are used to aid nonpublic schools * * *."
5. The Methodist Church, General Conference, San Francisco, 1960, adopted the following resolution confirming an earlier one adopted in 1956 :
"PARAGRAPH 2028. RELIGION AND THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE UNITED STATES “The Methodist Church is committed to the public schools as the most effective means of providing common education for all our children. We hold that it is an institution essential to the preservation and development of our true democracy. But our public schools are hard pressed. Public tax funds, in increasing sums, are diverted to sectarian schools. Opponents of the public schools call the schools “godless” while at the same time legal restrictions are placed upon the recognition of religion in the schools. It is time for the friends of the public schools to be alert to this situation and to be active in their support.
“We desire to cooperate with educational leaders in achieving the highest functioning of the American public school system in terms of the intellectual and moral development of the pupils and the enrichment of the national life. We therefore call upon our people: (1) to acquaint themselves with the program and problems of the public school and to do all they can to encourage and strengthen the work of teachers and administrators, and (2) to present to our ablest youth the spiritual and public service opportunities of public school teaching as a vocation.
“We are unalterably opposed to the diversion of tax funds to the support of private and sectarian schools. In a short time this scattering process can destroy our American public school system and weaken the foundations of national unity.
“We believe that religion has a rightful place in the public school program, and that it is possible for public school teachers, without violating the traditional American principle of separation of church and state, to teach moral principles and spiritual values. We hold that it is possible, within this same principle of separation of church and state, to integrate religious instruction with the regular curriculum-for example, teaching religious classics in courses in literature, and in social studies showing the influence of religion upon our society. Such teaching would afford a background for further and more specific instruetion on the part of home and church. The home and church must carry the chief responsibility for nurturing vital faith which motivates life, but the home and church must have the support of our public schools. Our society must discover the techniques within the principle of separation of church and state by which that support can be achieved.”
6. Presbyterian Church in the United States, General Assembly, 1961:
"The Presbyterian Church in the United States is completely in accord with the principle of separation of church and state, and urges all members to be alert to legislative bills which violate the above principle and to be zealous in communicating with their legislative representatives to express their feelings."
7. Protestant Episcopal Church, National Council, May 2, 1962:
“RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE APPOINTMENT OF A COMMISSION TO STUDY CHURCH
“Whereas there is widespread and growing inquiry both in the major communions and in public life on several crucial issues of church-state relations, such as Federal aid to church-owned and church-related educational institutions at all levels, acceptance of public funds by church-related agencies, tax exemption for church programs, and religion in the public schools : Therefore, be it
“Resolved, That the national council request the presiding bishop to appoint a commission of churchmen, lay and clerical, to undertake a study of church-state relations, independently and cooperatively, for the Protestant Episcopal Church, with staff services provided by the departments of Christian social relations and Christian education, and with other departments as appropriate; and be it further
"Resolved, That the first phase of such a study be a consideration of the issue of aid to church-owned and church-related educational institutions at all levels, in the light of the resolution of general convention and the current debate on the matter in the churches and the country as a whole; and be it further
"Resolved, That said commission report to the national council not later than December 1963."
That commission has been appointed, and its first meeting is scheduled to be held in October 1962,
8. Seventh Day Baptist General Conference, 1961:
“Be it resolved, That we commend President John F. Kennedy for his stand in favor of the historic principle of separation of church and state in this country and that we oppose as being a violation of this principle the use of public funds either directly or indirectly in support of private or parochial schools."
9. United Church of Christ, Council of Christian Social Action, February 5, 1959:
“As Christian citizens we hold that every child has a right to education directed toward the full development of his own capacities, and toward preparation for responsible participation in the life of his home, church, community, and world.
“Recognizing the critical nature of these dangers, we affirm our support of the public school system, democratically controlled by the entire community, financed through general taxation, and open to all children without discrimination as to race, creed, or economic status.
“As Christians we affirm that the responsibility for the religious education of children belongs to the home and to the church-not to the public school.
"The public school should not teach any sectarian religion, permit dissemination of religious propaganda, require attendance at religious observances, or violate the conscience of religious minorities. It does, however, have an important function in recognizing religion as part of our culture and in teaching about religion as an influential force in our society.
“We urge that members of our churches help strengthen public schools by :
"3. Opposing efforts to use the public schools or tax funds to advance sectarian religious aims.
"We pledge our efforts to strengthen the system of public education for the full development of the capacities of our children and for the enrichment of our common life."
10. United Lutheran Church in America, October 10, 1956: *The United Lutheran Church in America :
*(a) Affirms its belief that the public school is a basic institution for general education in our society.
"(b) Asserts the responsibility of its constituency to support and improve the public schools of the communities.
"(c) Approves the establishment of Christian day schools by congregations where local conditions make such action advisable ***."
SUPPLEMENT: 1. DISCIPLES OF CHRIST Received too late for inclusion in the preceding classification is an action of the Annual Assembly of the International Convention of Christian Churches
Disciples of Christ) in the Los Angeles, Calif., September 30-October 4, 1962. A resolution No. 64 as considered was approved, as follows:
"CONCERNING APPROVAL OF THE SUPREME COURT ACTION REGARDING PRAYER IN
"Whereas the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in its June 25, 1962, decision on Engel v. Vitale that in this country it is no part of the business of government to compose official prayers for any group of the American people to recite as part of a religious program carried on by the Government' and 'It is neither sacrilegious nor antireligious to say that each separate government in this country should stay out of the business of writing or sanctioning official prayers and leave that purely religious function to the people themselves and to those the people choose to look to for religious guidance'; and
“Whereas this ruling is criticized by people who misunderstood it as an attack on religion, or who rightly understood that this ruling precludes a later favorable ruling breaking down separation of church and state in relation to public support for parochial schools, or who wish to discredit the Court because of its stand on other issues : Therefore, be it
“Resolved, That this convention approve the action of the Supreme Court in Engel v. Vitale, that we commend the Court's defense of the rightful role of the church from encroachment by the state and call upon our people to study this decision prayerfully and to defend it vigorously."
STATEMENT TO THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE STUDYING PROPOSALS TO CHANGE
THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION
My name is C. Stanley Lowell. I am the associate director of Protestants and Other Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and editor of its official publication, Church and State Review. This is a legal and educational group with some 175,000 members in all the States, maintains close liaison with major Protestant groups. The legal program of POAU has received the endorse ment of the General Conference of the Methodist Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, the American Baptist Convention, and other Protestant groups. The president of POAU is Dr. Louie D. Newton, pastor of the Druid Hills Baptist Church of Atlanta, Ga., and former president of the Southern Baptist Con. vention. Its executive director is Glenn L. Archer, former dean of Washburn Law School at Washburn University in Kansas.
We would like to register the entire infuence of this organization and its affiliated groups against any proposal to change the first amendment along any of the lines which have been suggested in the hearings of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Our major objection is that such suggestions as we have examined would, in our judgment, open the way for Government assistance to churches in a manner which would be entirely contrary to the American tradition of the past 150 years. The present language of the first amendment is, we believe, proper language which accurately depicts the intention of the Founding Fathers : “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." It is true that this language is general and that it leaves to our courts and legislatures a great deal of discrimination in the matter of carrying out its meaning. We believe, nevertheless, that this amendment states exactly what ought to be stated in regard to the rights of a free people to be protected from acts respecting establishment of religion, and to be protected against interference in the free exercise thereof.
The various proposals to amend which are before the committee would, in practically every instance, open the way for various kinds of “cooperation” between the state and the churches. This would be true of financial assistance which, according to all these versions, could be offered by government to churches on a "nonpreferential” basis. This would mean, in effect, that the state could provide financial aid for religion provided only that it extended such aid to all churches on an equal basis. This would be equivalent to saying that while a monagamous union of church and state could not be tolerated, a polygamous union would be proper.
Amity among the creeds in this country, and a church-state situation which has been free of both clericalism and anticlericalism, can be ascribed to our historic financial wall between the state and the churches. To amend our Constitution so as to make financial aid from government to the churches possible would be to disrupt this entire pattern. There would be the vying of the creeds one against another for preferred position and larger emolument. All the abuses which have been historically associated with the granting of financial subsidy to churches would be invited to come upon us through these proposals to change the first amendment.
What did the Founding Fathers intend by the present language of the first amendment? It is clear to us that they meant something far more than the barring of a single church establishment. They meant to postulate the noninvolvement of government with the churches. They meant to keep government out of the realm of religion. It is not just establishment which is barred by the present language, but “acts respecting establishment”; that is, anything which is about this, anything which pertains to this, anything which relates to this field of religion—all this is shut off from government activity. The first amendment means that religion is not within the purview of human government. It is a matter for the individual conscience and the churches. Its authority rests upon these who have been designated by believers to assume it. It is not within the competence of the civil power.
To change the first amendment in ways which would open the realm of religion to legislation, to officially designated practices of religion, and to the financing of religious programs would be to upset and destroy the delicate balance between state and church on which our felicitous religious situation has depended. To do this would, we believe, inject government into a realm where it has no business to be.
In their proposals to change the first amendment, Bishop James A. Pike, Francis Cardinal Spellman, and others have spoken of the necessity of reasserting the intention of the Founding Fathers. What is this intention ? Certainly it was not to provide government aid to religion on a nonpreferential basis. It was the opposite of this. The records of the debates on the Bill of Rights as contained in "The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, I," compiled by Joseph Gales (Washington, Gales and Seaton, 1834), and “Journal of the First Session of the Senate” (Washington, Gales and Seaton, 1820), provide a most interesting commentary on what the intention of the Founding Fathers actually was. A helpful presentation of this material has been offered by Dr. James H. Smylie, professor of church history at Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va., in the October 31, 1962, issue of the Christian Century. The progress of these debates, the various wordings which were proposed and rejected, and the eventual emergency of our present first amendment, all make it clear that what the Founding Fathers intended was to take the Government out of the business of religion. They wanted to prevent the single establishment, but they wanted no less to prevent a plural establishment. They wanted the churches to be free voluntary societies functionally separated from the civil power. They wanted no Government promotion for religion and no patronage for religion. It is significant, as Dr. Smylie notes, that "Members of the House made no concerted attempt to state the amendment in terms that Bishop Pike says they had in mind' and the Senate refused on at least three occasions to