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courts and in our own Congress. The Senate of the United States opens with prayer. But I think what the people want to know of my colleagues on this debate is where do they stand. And I think that's what we ought to try to answer. Where do they stand? What can and can't be done? And I deeply feel as a lawyer that there is a distinction to be made between the establishment clause, which is the establishment, as Senator Talmadge has just read from a very learned authority, of some type of institute, or some institution of religion, and the exercise clause, which is a freedom of worship, freedom of religion, and so on. Now I think all the courts decided, and it went, I agree it went further than the Court has gone heretofore, it decided that a State-prescribed prayer verges so close to being an establishment of a religion that the Court has struck that down. Well, the Supreme Court is the last word on the law, and I assume that that's the law for the moment.
"Mr. GRANIK. May Mr. Pike come in for a moment, Senator?
"Bishop PIKE. The Supreme Court is the last word except in one thing and that is the Constitution itself, and that is why I feel in due time a constitutional amendment should be adopted which does not make exceptions to the first amendment. I'm all for the first amendment and there are so many instances of this, as you and I agree-you'd have to have an amendment this long which would make it as bad as the California constitution, which is practically an encyclopedia of everything that any State assemblyman ever said in a speech.
"Senator JAVITS. Or the New York constitution.
"Bishop PIKE. Is that like that too? But rather, to restate the phrase, “establishment of a religion,' to say what our forefathers really meant. And I think frankly-we won't get off into that case in the tale, but in a column against the Champaign School District, I think the Court was wrong in its definition of the word “establishment.' I think in this case it's wrong in its definition of the word “religion. Now, as to what 'religion' meant, anyone who had had the recent English experience of my particular church being established in England knew exactly what they didn't want-the relationship between the Church of England and the state and Madison himself made that perfectly clear in his writings. His greatest biographer, Brant, has pointed out that was his intention here, to avoid a sect prevailing. Madison himself wanted it to read: There shall be no national establishment of religion, which would have made clear what he meant except that some people didn't like the idea of mentioning the National Government.
"Mr. GRANIK. Mr. Butler, in your debate in the Reader's Digest, you say you notice a growing acceptance of the decision.
"Mr. BUTLER. Yes. I'd like to bring that up now because I'd like to change this argument from quoting constitutional authorities out of context, and also by stating what was intended by Jefferson and Madison in the minds of lawyers. What we're really after here is religious freedom. The whole purpose of the first amendment
“Bishop PIKE. May I interrupt and ask you, did the Court or did it not in its majority opinion rest this on the religious exercise clause at all? It did not.
"Mr. BUTLER. It did not.
“Senator JAVITS. That's very important. Could we all agree on that? It did not involve the free exercise of religion.
“Senator TALMADGE. I agree. They said “establishment. A mere address to Almighty God established a religion.
“Senator JAVITS. Now that is I think the fulcrum of the discussion, in short, they have gone, I think, about as far as they could conceivably go in dealing with the establishment clause. But, so long as the exercise clause is left, the thing that concerns me, Bishop Pike, is shouldn't we allow the few other cases which erupt there-cases involving, for example, this question of an invocation, or a Christmas observance, or Bible reading-shouldn't we allow those cases to be decided before we jump into what, in my opinion, could create grave religious conflict in the country. How do you write a change in the first amendment? What do you say? For example, one of my colleagues wants to allow a period for prayer. Another of my colleagues wants to allow any kind of prayer, whether or not written by a State. Now this is going to involve a very big argument. I remember a time, for example, when minorities in this countryCatholic, as well as other minorities-were very much concerned about that kind of thing.
"Mr. GRANIK. I think Bishop Pike wants to get a word in. Mr. Butler, we'll come right back to you.
“Bishop PIKE. Yes, I want to get a word in now because I do agree with you. That's why I said in due time I would like to see consideration of a constitutional amendment because I'm wondering myself if we hadn't better get a new opinion out of the Court on these two cases coming up now, where I'm sure after all this discussion, they will do their utmost to clarify language and point out implications more fully than the present majority opinion did, and that might throw more light on what kind of amendment, if any—
"Mr. BUTLER. But I'd like to bring up this point. Nothing can be done in the United States until we put this issue in its proper framework. I'd like to convince my fellow Americans that religious freedom is better protected if we keep religion out of the public schools, that whenever the state participates in the religious exercise, promotes a religious exercise, furthers a religious exercise, it's dealing a blow to religious freedom. Religion should be left to the home and to the church. It shouldn't be in the state. It shouldn't be a function of the State to tell us how to pray and what to say, because history showed us that whenever that happened in the 3,000 years of recorded history, that that was the end of religion, the people lost their religion. They lost their right to practice their religion the way they chose. That was my plea before the Supreme Court. That's what the Court sustained. That's the proposition the Court sustained.
“Mr. GRANIK. The Senator wants à word.
“Senator TALMADGE. I sincerely believe in separation of church and state, but I just as strongly oppose secularization of our Nation. I think it's awful indeed when our courts strike down the existence of Almighty God and put Almighty God and the Devil on coequal status as far as the Supreme Court of the United States is concerned.
“Mr. BUTLER. But you can't believe in freedom.
“Senator TALMADGE. You can indeed. Now I don't blame you for not wanting to hear constitutional authorities because none of them accept that recent decision of the Supreme Court that supports your views. Here's what Mr. Storey, a great constitutional authority said on that: He said there probably will be found few persons in this or any other Christian country who would deliberately contend that it was unreasonable or unjust to foster and encourage the Christian religion generally as a matter of sound policy as well as revealed truth. The constitutions of 49 of the 50 States in this Union mention God, including that of New York State, and I'm for it.
"Senator JAVITS. Well, Senator, yield a minute, because I really think that we should not assume that that's what the Supreme Court did without actually being absolutely sure about it, because I do think that would be a lethal blow to the country and all its institutions. And even Mr. Butler-I was interested to hear his point-did not define his terms. For example, he couldn't-and I doubt that he would—but if he would, he couldn't against educating people about what has happened in religions historically in school. This is one of the great teachings of our history, and the minute you do, you are, if you follow the absolutely pure line, you're prohibited from teaching the history of the Reformation, the exodus of Moses or any other, or the coming of Jesus, or any other great event which is historical. And I just cannot believe that the Supreme Court decided that, and as I would like to make at least my position crystal clear, I would say this, I believe this is a narrow decision. I believe it goes to the outermost limits of the decision, but I do not believe we ought to leap into a constitutional amendment without giving the Court an opportunity as the highest organ of law in our land, to clarify precisely the limits of what is meant. Then if we need a constitutional amendment, in the light of the judgment and the morality of the people, then is the time to do it, not now.
“Mr. BUTLER. I'd like to take issue with the bishop.
“Bishop PIKE. I'm thinking increasingly along the line, Senator, you mentioned. I have felt that the type of amendment that should emerge, if one is needed, would be simply a restatement. The establishment—the recognition as an established church of any denomination, sect, or other organized religious association. I'd just like to
“Senator TALMADGE. That is, of course, what the framers of the first amendment intended and it was clearly demonstrated when it was debated in the House of Representatives in the colloquy between Congressman Huntington, of Connecticut, and James Madison, who was the author of the amendment. They
were determined that we would not have an established church in America. We had at that time Thirteen Original States, eight of them, I believe, had established churches. At the time, the establishment referred to was the Episcopal Church—the Church of England. And Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were determined that we would not have a state religion in America that would be mandatory upon the people and tax money could be levied to support it. That's what the first amendment was intended to convey.
“Mr. GRANIK. Mr. Butler wants a word.
"Mr. BUTLER. Well, certainly, Senator, that was one of the things that it was intended to prevent. Of course, the ultimate aim of the first amendment has always been the religious freedom of America. No one can take that away.
"Senator TALMADGE. What religious freedom is denied by this practice?
"Mr. BUTLER. I want to finish my point. I know you'll give me the courtesy of finishing my point.
“Senator TALMADGE. Certainly I will.
“Mr. BUTLER. Because it's pretty apparent to me that those who take issue with this decision are sanctioning, in effect, the state power for religious activity. I'd like to make a point that I have not made either in the article or did I make before the Supreme Court of the United States, and that is that I sense that the opposition to this decision is somehow entwined with abdication of parental and ecclesiastical responsibility. I think that the outcome of this decision is pointing out more and more each day the fact that the parents of America to a large extent are relying on the state to inculcate in the minds of their children the belief of God—a responsibility that should be theirs and should not be the state's responsibility.
“Mr. GRANIK. Mr. Pike has a word here.
"Bishop PIKE. As one very much concerned for religious education-I mean administratively Somlet me say this: This prayer—the under God and the pledge of allegiance and these other exercises as such-teach very little theology. We certainly cannot rely on them to set forth the framework of the JudeoChristian heritage and perspective on life. But, using these things in the 40 or 50 different ways that we do in our public life is as near neutral as anything we can get. If you leave them all out you have secularism by default-a view of life presented of man and things without God, a time in history without eternity, simply because these things are ignored. So that's not neutrality, because secularism itself is a faith-a view of life taken on faith explaining reality. If you go to this side and you use the Book of Common Prayer, let's say of my tradition, or the Reformed Jewish Prayer Book, or something, then you are inculcating a set of ideas and doctrines and practices of a given view. These things, I regard, not so much as the teaching of religion as simple pointers, little pointers—'In God We Trust,' the eye of God on the back of the dollar billHe's not as honored as he used to be due to inflation—but these are little pointers that there may be more. It's not a conflict with what we're doing in the Sunday school or what we're doing at home, but leaves a possibility of room for God. That's all they do, and that's about as near neutral as we can get.
"Mr. GRANIK. Bishop Pike, you've noted in the Reader's Digest debate that American public life is full of official prayers, such as the songs 'God Bless America' and 'America,' the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag with reference to 'one nation under God' has become a public school tradition. Questions have also been raised about the use of the fourth stanza of our national anthem for the same reason. Does the Supreme Court decision affect such practices, Mr. Butler ?
“Mr. BUTLER. Well, of course not. “Senator TALMADGE. Oh?
"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 non religion, 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.