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Originator of “Christian Amendment” Doubts Its Wisdom

Sen. Ralph E. Flanders, Vermont Republican, who introduced the so-called "Christian Amendment" to the Constitution on which public hearings were held last week, today expressed strong doubt as to the wisdom " of adopting the amendment.

The amendment, which would grant Federal recognition to "the authority and law of Jesus Christ" drew opposition from Jewish and Protestant groups on the. ground that it would violate the principle of separation of church and state.

The Senator said today that he introduced the resolution "by request. " "I was dubious myself as to the desirability of such an amendment, " he stated, "but I could see the viewpoint of those of my constituents who thought such a reference to the Deity should be made apart of our Constitution. It was my opinion that they were entitled to a hearing and that at the hearing the issues could be brought out."

After reading the transcript of testimony the Senator decided he was "still dubious. He said: "I think there is an essential conflict between this proposal and other sections of the Constitution guaranteeing complete freedom of religious belief and practice and that if adopted in its present form, it would cause a conflict between one part of the Constitution and another that would obviously be bad, "

Sen. Flanders did not appear at the hearings personally nor did he send a statement in support of the resolution which he introduced.

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