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Rockford, Illinois
March 14, 1948     The Observer
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March 14, 1948
 

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O,=, ] %e,li'Oomo Ne'nl Sac If :,on 14, 1948 ~ OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER OF THE ROCKFORD DIOCESE ~ VOL. XXXVI,NO. 4& r ime Education Unconstitutional Justice Stanley O. Reed Lone Dissenter In U.S. Supreme Court's Decision Washington, March 8 --(NC)-- The Champaign, Illinois, released- time plan of religious education, in which Catholic, Protestant and Jewish clergymen conducted re- ligion classes in public schools, i has been ruled unconstitutional here by the United States Supreme Court. Justice Stanley O. Reed was the lone dissenter to the court's opinion Speaking for the majority, Jus- tice Hugo Black declared the "first Amendment rests upon the prem- ise that both religion and govern- ment can best work to achieve their lofty aims if each is left free from the other within its respec- tire sphere." "Here," he said, "Not only are the state's tax-supported public school buildings used for the dis- semination of religious doctrines, the state also affords sectarian groups an invaluable aid in that it helps to provide pupils for their religious classes through use o~. the state's compulsory public school machinery. This is not sep- aration of Church and state." In his dissent, Justice Reed laid emphasis upon a number of tradi- tional practices in the United States which would seem to indi- cate government aid to religion: ~,the provision for Chaplains in con- +i~,ress and the armed forces, com- Vpulsory chapel attendance at An- i napolis and West Point, and pro- vision in the GI bill for training of veterans at seminaries and schools for the ministry. "When actual church services have always been permitted on government property," he con- tinued, "the mere use of the school buildings by a non-sectar- ian group for religious education ought not to be condemned as an establishment of religion. For a non-sectarian organization to give the type of instruction here offered cannot be said" to violate our rule as to the establishment of relig- ion by the state. The prohibition of enactments respecting the es- tablishment of religion does not bar every friendly gesture between .' church e'~d state." "Devotion to the great principle Time" Only___Far ._Gdlessness! I There is no room in the schools of the nation for God. In/ essence that was the decision of the Supreme Court of the United J States last Monday. Once before there was no room for God in the homes or inns of a country. That was more than 1,900 years ago. But God came.., to Bethlehem and to the world. God is still here. God is always with us... whether we legislate Him out of our school rooms or not. Talk about the "Iron Curtain" behind the Soviet ring, That curtain covers up an ideology. It is there to hide the truth from those subjected to the ideology of communism. It is there to keep those under the communistic yoke from getting to the truth. It is a mechanism of fear. Godlessness is an ideology too. It is called atheism. Dropping the "Iron Curtain" of Godlessness around the doors of our public schools may seem like a victory for Mrs. Vashti McCoUum of Champaign. She sai~i The Supreme Court decision "safeguarded our school system from sectarian domination." She brought the age-old cry of separation of church and state into the picture too. What church? In Champaign, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish churches united to teach religious educa- tion in public school class rooms. So, we ask again---Whal church ? The first and fourteenth amendments to the Constitution of the United States were cited. What do these articles of amendment have to say? The first amendment (part of the Bill of Rights) reads : "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridg- ing 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." " . This amendment makes it possible for The Observer to print~ these words . . . for the writer to say them . . . for that same writer to believe in God . . . for you and for him to go to church .. to express publicly a belief in Almighty God. The 14th amendment contains several sections, only the first One of which was applicable in this particular appeal. It reads:-- "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its juris- diction the equal protection of the laws." All of which seem to point to the fact tliat there was but one basic issue at stake---Is it right to teach about God in a public school room? Just like asking "Does the sun have a right to shine ?" Yet, the Supreme Court has said by an 8 to 1 decision that tn effect religion should be kept in the churches, synagogues and homes.., out of public school rooms. Is there any longer any doubt then as to the secular nature of our country? Is there any question that the forces of secularism are waging a decisive battle against the legions of God's people? St. Vincent, Freeport; St. Mary, Woodstock; St. Patrick, Rockford, and St. Mary, Aurora, Tangle At Coliseum Saturday, March 13 It will be an early wearing of the green on Saturday, March 13, when the four finalists in the third annual Tourna- ment of Champions sponsored by The Observer, meet in the Coliseum at Rockford to determine the basketball champion among the grade schools of the Rockford diocese. Three of the four teams which survived regional play- offs during the past two weeks< sport green and white as team col- ors. Fortunately, some use green jerseys, others white, so that there w, ill be no conflict for officials or spectators. The four teams waiting for Sat- urday's starting whistle are St. Vincent's of Freeport, St. Mary's of Woodstock, St. Patrick's of Rockford and St. Mary's of Aurora. The first two teams will meet in the opening game Saturday after- noon at 2 p. m. with the last two named teams getting together starting at 3:30 p. m. A consolation game to determine the third-place winner will get un- derway Saturday evening at 7:15 with the championship tussle for The Observer's trophy set to start at 8:45. This year s Tournament of Champions is under the direction of the Rev. John J. X. Glynn, O.S. A., principal of St. Thomas high school, and Edward "Speedy" Mc- Coy, athletic director of the CYR and former St. Thomas coach. Four officials have been named by the tournament directors to ref- eree the four games with one set of two officials working each after- noon and evening game. The whistle-tooters will be William Mullane, Roger King, Eddie Reyn- olds and Jack Sharkey. Official time- keeper will be Robert Waish and James Columbi will be the official scorer. Mary's of Aurora who won the pa- rochial league tournament in that+ city by defeating St. Nicholas, last year's entry from Aurora, in the final game 33 to 24. Coached by the Rev. John P. Ddlan, the Aurorans have a team of !boys with evenly matched playing ability, with a different player usually being the leading scorer in each game. They are captained by James Schaeffer. St. Patrick's had an easy time getting past St. Mary's, with whom they tied for first place in the Rockford parochial league, when it came to the play-off game. Final score was 35 to 17. St. Mary's was playing without its No. 1 player, John Colloton, who was on the sidelines with his leg in a cast. Dr. Joseph Norton is the coach of St. Patrick's, who won 14 and lost three during regular season play. Bob Pfleuger is team cap+ tain and Jack Schopf is the team's leading scorer. St. Mary's of Woodstock, coach- ed by Melvin Stuessy, advanced to the Rockford finals by seeking out a one-point victory 18-17 over St, Joseph's of Elgin in the semi- finals, of the St. Mary's regional tournament last Sunday at Wood- stock, and then going on to de- feat St. James of Belvidere, 24 to 14, for the championship. John Dunham has proven the leading scorer for the boys from Each team in the tournament limited to ten players, each one of whom must be 15 years of age or under and the complete team roster must be in the hands of tournament officials before the opening whistle blows. ' This year's entries in the Tourn- ament of Champions are all new comers as compared with a year ago when St. Mary's of Sterling defeated St. Mary's of Rockford for the diocesan title and The Observer is Woodstock. His team is captained by Richard Menzel. The tenth annual Invitational tournament at St. Vincent's was won by the host club in the final game against another Freeport entry, the St. Thomas Aquinas out- fit, by a score of 46 to 19. In his first year of coaching at St. Vincent's, James Thou, a 1947 physical education graduate from the University of Illinois, has turn- Continued on Page 5A