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Leader of Orthodox Jewish Congregations Testifies on Prayer Issue

Opposition to any amendment to the Constitution to permit prayers in public schools, was this afternoon voiced by Moses Feuerstein, president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. Mr. Feuerstein, however, expressed the opinion that children should be given time for a moment of meditation for silent prayer to be utilized by each child according to his own religious teachings.

He suggested that the moment of prayer could be made possible for each child by means of a card on which the prayer would be recorded. He noted that the child could take the card from his pocket and read it during the time allotted at the beginning of each school day, and that the home or church could provide the card.

He also explained that children who prefer not to pray need not do so; that his proposal would enable children of various denominations to pray in the authentic idioms of their respective tradition without violating any of the constitutional guarantees as interpreted by the Supreme Court.

Rev. Norman Temme of New York, speaking for 2, 500, 000 members of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod told the House Judiciary Committee that “the sure road toward secularism” would be “by way of a prescribed public religion. ” Appearing in opposition to the variety of proposed constitutional amendments which would void the U.S. Supreme Court ban on prayers and Bible reading in the public schools, he said: “We believe that this proposed legislation would prove to be destructive of our American tradition of separation of church and state, as well as the freedom of religious worship.”

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