Page 9


252252.522535129.532.9.52567 T ignores the sweeping decisions of the U.S. Supreme. Court against prayers and Bible readings in the Schempp and Murray cases. Parents expect their children in public schools to learn respect for and adherence to the laws of the land, but when teachers, by sanctioning devotionals, violate and even encourage disrespect for law, they undermine the nation’s traditions of religious liberty. Mr. Edgar, as the Commissioner of Education of Texas, cannot lightly wash his hands of liability if he permits teachers, principals and superintendents under his jurisdiction to participate in violating the law of the land. Moreover, I attended meetings and a forum here in Austin, and last spring a conference at Baylor University, all on prayers, and heard Catholics, Protestants, and Jews say that prayers in public schools had no religious value. WHEN I SAW the stone on the Capitol grounds bearing the inscriptions of the Ten Commandments, I was struck by its inconsistency with the separation of church and state. It appeared there suddently as if it had risen from the. ground. However, upon investigation I found its creation had not been a miracle. It was authorized by Senate Concurrent Resoltht tion No. 16. which passed both houses apparently by unanimous consent. The monument was dedicated on November 12, 1961. The resolution reads, in part, as follows: Whereas: The Fraternal Order of the [sic] Eagles for the past several years have [sic] placed across the country, in courthouses, classrooms, and public places, parchment plaques and granite monoliths of the Ten Commandments and Whereas: These plaques and monoliths have been presented by the Eagles to promote youth morality and to help stop the alarming increase of delinquency . . . The monolith on the capitol grounds may in some mysterious way abate the advance of juvenile delinquency in this state. Happily, its existence will not add to the taxpayers’ burdens for years to come and will not augment juvenile crime. The intent of the Senate in promoting this resolution was perhaps to remind the whipper-snappers of the House that in Austin, “Thou shalt not . . .” Acts of the 58th Legislature ought to show the salutary effects of the SUBSCRIBE OR RENEW THE TEXAS OBSERVER 504 West 24th Street Austin 5, Texas Enclosed is $5.00 for a ‘oneyear subscription to the Observer for : Name Address City, State This is a renewal. [1] This is a new subscription. granite monolith of the Ten Commandments on Capitol grounds. The thing which, in the future, may prove embarrasing is that the acceptance of the monument from the Fraternal Order of Eagles by the State has established a precedent for other benevolent societies to follow. CHAPLAINCIES AND PRAY-ERS in legislative halls are importations from Europe where, states had established churches and even monarchs were puppets of the clergy. Traditions die hard. Thus we find that Washington requested the Continental Congress to provide a chaplain for the army lest European potentates and peoples should conclude that the American fighters for freedom are a mere rabble of pagan savages. After the Revolution, Jefferson and Madison of Virginia sought to free that state of all vestiges of the Anglican churchstate. Like efforts were made in the other liberated colonies. The eschewal by the Constitutional Convention of prayers and chaplains, already noted, ought to have become a model of procedure in Congress and in the Texas Legislature also because Madison’s Journal had been published when Texas became a state. The European traditions survive in both. There is no authorization for chaplains or prayers anywhere in either the Constitution of the United States or in that of Texas. These may well be unconstitutional. State legislatures assemble in cities in which there are churches and ministers of several denominations. Hence there is no need for chaplains in legislative halls; besides, it is not the taxpayers’ job to pro In many cases the Observer makes a very good Christmas gift, and a fairly inexpensive one. The rates: for the first gift subscription, $5; for the second one, $4.50; for the third and for each subsequent gift subscription, $4. You can send ten gift subscriptions for $40. We will send a straightforward, wellprinted gift announcement in color to each of the recipients, and we will hand-sign these with your name as the giver, if you so specify in the relevant place on the forms below. Thank you. TO: Sarah Payne, Business Manager, Texas Observer, 504 W. 24th St., Austin, Texas Please send the Observer as a Christmas gift to the following people: Name Address City, State 0 \(Check here if you want us to sign your vide divine guidance for legislators any more than it is to do so for public school children. \(Chaplaincies in the armed forces during combat are another matter. It may be demoralizing for soldiers who had been indoctrinated in religion and accustomed to church attendance as civilians to have no About a year ago, someone got the idea that there ought to be a chaplain for the Travis County, jail at a stipend of $1200 per yearexactly the amount that would still permit a retired minister to qualify for social security payments from the United States government. Of course the chaplain had to be Christian because no Jews, it appears, had ever been committed to the institution. A protest lodged by individuals and the Central Texas affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union caused the theists to withdraw the proposal and to pay the chaplain from funds available to them. Chaplaincies are sinecures. APPARENTLY the chaplain’s prayers each morning in the legislative chambers had become inadequate in this atomic age. At least the Capitol City Kiwanis Club must have thought so, for it suggested that a prayer room be arranged and furnished for use by the legislators. As a result the four House members from Austin sponsored House Concurrent Resolution No. 93 which RESOLVED, By the House of Representatives of the State of Texas, the Senate concurring, That the Board of Control be directed to designate and furnish suitably a room in the Capitol Building where non-denominational November 29, 1963 13 Name Address City, State \(Check here if you want us to sign your Name Address City, State \(Check here if you want us to sign your Name Address City, State 0 \(Check here if you want us to sign your Please attach an extra sheet if necessary. This offer does not apply to renewals, except, of course, for renewals of previous Christmas gift subscriptions. Enclosed* Signed : Name Address City, State ci I Ike LAYsetOet as a eivt istntas qqf