Hard to say, but moral issues will get more attention.

Ronald Reagan’s election day sweep raised the hopes of many evangelical Christians for a more conservative, moral course for the country. While Reagan does intend to chart that course, the most immediate impact will come not from the White House but from Congress, thanks to the startling capture of the Senate by the Republicans, the defeat of influential liberal Democrats, and the swerve to conservatism in the House.

Some Christian lobbyists already predict that a bill granting income tax credits for private school tuition will now have the votes to pass, as will a bill taking jurisdiction over prayer in public schools out of the hands of unfriendly federal courts. Somewhat less certain are the odds for the long-stalled antiabortion amendment to the Constitution. The November 4 election brought in a majority of prolife senators and congressmen, but a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority in each house to pass, before it can be sent to the President for his signature and then on to the states, where 38 legislatures must ratify it. “Clearly, we don’t have two-thirds of the Senate now,” said Paul Weyrich, a Washington-wise lobbyist for conservative and religious causes.

The Reagan floodtide will likely bring many forward for a share of the credit. Jerry Falwell, for one, seems to have gotten the moral majority for which he had been clamoring, but the fact is, Reagan’s electoral mandate was so overwhelming that whatever credit Falwell and other Christian moralists should get must be seen in the light of other political realities. Pollster Lou Harris, who most accurately forecast the Reagan victory, attributed it much more to a broad repudiation of the Carter policies than to any call to arms by the Christian fundamentalists. “Right-wing conservatives would be mistaken to see [the election] as a mandate for Reagan’s social policies,” Harris said. That accords with the August Gallup Poll, which found that most evangelicals’ views on most of the issues are about the same as everyone else’s.

Weyrich, a devout Eastern rite Catholic who heads the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress, believes the Christian influence will have to make itself felt on Capitol Hill, since it can justify no easily defined claim on Reagan’s victory.

The new Congress, when it is seated in January, will mark the start of an exciting two years for Christian lobbyists. The school prayer bill, for example, is now languishing in a House subcommittee so hostile that not one member has voted for it. A discharge petition, to spring the bill out of the clutches of the subcommittee, requires the signatures of 218 congressmen, but it stalled out with 184 votes, 34 short. On November 4 the Republicans picked up 33 new seats. Most of the newcomers, with the prodding of a friendly Reagan administration, are likely to sign on, as are some of the current holdouts. Besides that, Rep. Philip Crane (R-Ill.), who organized the petition drive, won’t be away from Washington campaigning for president as he was last year.

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President-elect Reagan is strongly committed to tuition tax credits, which passed the House but failed in the Senate. Weyrich said most of the newly elected senators believe in it and he thinks it might well succeed now. (Not all Christians believe that officially sanctioned prayer in public schools is a good idea, and those differences will hamper that bill.)

The strength of the conservative tide made it hard to tell just how successful were the efforts of Christians, who for the first time were working at the grassroots across the country for a variety of congressional candidates. In relatively few places did the results of their work seem clear.

Former Vietnam row Jeremiah Denton, for example, upset Jim Folsom for an Alabama Senate seat, to become the first Republican senator from Alabama in 100 years and the first Catholic ever. Moral Majority worked hard in this election, and Denton was clearly aligned with the religious right.

Rep. Robert Dornan (R-Calif.) beat Carey Peck, son of the actor, by a comfortable five percentage points, even though he was the number one target of the proabortion lobby, and even though Peck came within a hair of unseating Dornan two years ago, before the proabortionists launched their attack on him. Dornan is an outspoken opponent of abortion, and antiabortionists battled hard on his behalf.

Sen. Thomas Eagleton, a Missouri Democrat, survived, even though the state went decisively for Reagan and a Republican beat the Democratic governor. Prolifers worked hard for him because of his antiabortion stance. They basked in the victory because Eagleton was targeted for defeat by the most prominent of the nonreligious conservative lobbies, and they believed their efforts might have made the difference.

The prolifers don’t identify with the general sweep of the religious right; they are interested only in the abortion issue. Douglas Badger, legislative director of the prolife Christian Action Council, said his group didn’t necessarily want to see so many of the liberal senators defeated, but they had to oppose the likes of George McGovern and Birch Bayh because they were proabortion. “The Democrats can withstand the right-wing tide,” Badger said. “We hope they will quit aligning themselves with the one issue (abortion) that can only lose elections for them. As long as they do, they will continue to lose good incumbents.”

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The defeat of George McGovern in South Dakota was one of those races in which it was difficult to tell just what happened, since so many conservative organizations ganged up on him. Paul Brown, head of the Life Amendment Political Action committee, lays claim to giving McGovern his first bloody nose, however, by working against him in the primary before the other groups got so involved. McGovern’s primary opponent won a respectable 38 percent.

Brown believes the prolifers were able to sway between 5 and 8 percent of the vote in many of the races in which abortion was an issue. That accords with the results of exit polling done by ABC News, which found that 8 percent of its sample voted on the basis of the abortion issue only. That means abortion is probably less significant among voters than the headlines generated by the battle seemed to indicate.

Other results from the ABC poll showed that 17 percent fewer white Protestants voted for Carter this time than in 1976. That is a significant shift to Reagan, according to voting analyst Al Menendez, and it accounts for Reagan’s victory in the South and border states, traditional Democratic strongholds. Among his own Southern Baptist brethren, the swing away from Carter was just as great. Among Catholics, Reagan won 47 percent of the vote and Carter 42 percent, only the second time in modern history that a plurality of Catholics voted Republican, according to Menendez. The first time was in the 1972 Nixon landslide against McGovern.

Among Jews, Carter barely carried a plurality, 41 percent, against 37 percent for Reagan (21 percent for Anderson). In New York State, however, the figures were reversed. Reagan won 42 percent and Carter 37 percent. According to Menendez, that was the surprise that allowed Reagan to carry New York, traditionally a Democratic state. An indication of the strong conservative trend was the fact that the winning Senate candidate in New York, Alphonse D’Amato, a Republican Catholic, won 25 percent of the Jewish vote against two Jewish candidates, incumbent Jacob Javits and Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman.

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One indication of a trend to moralism was the defeat of five of the six congressmen indicted in the FBI’s Abscam probe, as well as the loss by Rep. Robert Bauman (R-Md.), who was arrested earlier this fall on a homosexual charge.

Voters haven’t always been so quick to boot out their congressmen just for corruption. Just before the 1978 election, Rep. Charles Diggs of Detroit was convicted on 29 felony counts for diverting staff salaries to pay personal debts, yet he was reelected with an 80 percent majority. Daniel Flood, a Pennsylvania congressman, was also reelected in 1978 after being indicted twice, once in September and once in October, on a total of 13 counts of bribery, conspiracy, and lying.

It is perhaps ironic that Bauman lost. He is a thorough conservative and a skillful legislator widely admired in the House for his ability to confound the liberal Democratic Speaker, Thomas O’Neill. Without his parliamentary skill, the eager crowd of House conservatives will have a harder time advancing the concerns that voters spoke so clearly about on election day.

Religious Affiliations of 97th Congress
Congress’s New Complexion

The Ninety-seventh Congress will only not be more conservative but also more Catholic than its predecessor, according to analyses of last month’s elections.

Roughly 17 percent of the seats in both houses gained new occupants, and Roman Catholics accounted for more than one-third of them—26 seats in the House and 8 in the Senate, according to CHRISTIANITY TODAY’s biennial religious census of Congress. Altogether, there will be 136 Catholics in the new Congress, an increase of 7 over the 1978 elections—and a new all-time high.

Jewish candidates captured 7 of the House seats and 2 of the Senate seats that changed hands, bringing their number in the Ninety-seventh Congress to 32, an increase of 2 over 1978, and similarly, a new record.

United Methodists account for 11 of the new faces in the House and 6 in the Senate. But overall there are fewer of them (72) in the new Congress than in 1978 (75), continuing a decline that began in 1976. House whip John Brademas (D-Ind.), the United Methodist representative on the World Council of Churches Central Committee, lost reelection.

Jimmy Carter’s fellow Baptists took it on the chin, registering a net loss of 3 from their 1978 showing of 58. Of the newcomers, 8 in the House and 2 in the Senate are Baptists.

Lutherans stand at 19, a net loss of 1 since 1978.

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Episcopal, Mormon, Churches of Christ, and United Church of Christ listings all show a gain of one since 1978. Eastern Orthodox, Disciples, and Christian Science totals remain the same as in 1978.

The big losers this time were the Unitarian-Universalists, who lost one-fourth of their 1978 delegation of 12, and the Presbyterians, who suffered a loss of 5 since 1978, when they numbered 60.

(Because of the difficulties encountered in trying to pinpoint the exact Baptist, Presbyterian, and Lutheran denominations cited in affiliations, these groups have been listed generically in the census. This year’s census was compiled by Washington correspondent Edward E. Plowman and his wife Rose.)

Black Baptist pastors Walter Fauntroy of Washington, D.C., and William H. Gray III of Philadelphia, both Democrats, easily reclaimed their House seats. Another ordained incumbent Democrat in the House, United Methodist Robert W. Edgar of Pennsylvania, was also reelected.

In obedience to a Vatican directive restricting clergy involvement in politics, Democrat Robert Drinan of Massachusetts, a Catholic priest, did not seek reelection to his House seat. (Drinan’s seat was taken by Jewish proabortionist Barney Frank, whom Drinan endorsed but whose candidacy was indirectly opposed by Cardinal Humberto Madeiros of Boston.)

Considerably More Catholic

Southern Baptist clergyman John Buchanan, an eight-term Republican representative from Alabama, was eliminated in the primary election by Southern Baptist layman Albert Smith, Jr., who went on to defeat his Democratic opponent. Smith was backed vigorously by television preacher Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority organization.

The only ordained minister in the Senate is Republican John Danforth of Missouri, an Episcopalian whose seat was not up for election this year. With him in the Senate is Republican Richard Lugar of Indiana, who lists himself as a United Methodist lay minister. His seat was not up for grabs, either.

All of the women who ran for Congress won, including Paula Hawkins, a Mormon Republican who will represent Florida in the Senate. She campaigned on an antifeminist, profamily platform.

In the census, which follows, senators are listed first in boldface, then House members:

Baptist (55)

Byrd (D-W.Va.)

Cochran (R-Miss.)

Ford (D-Ky.)

Grassley (R-Iowa)

Hatfield (R-Ore.)

Helms (R-N.C.)

Humphrey (R-N.H.)

Johnston (R-La.)

Thurmond (R-S.C.)

Andrews (D-N.C.)

Ashbrook (R-Ohio)

Bailey (R-Mo.)

Barnard (D-Ga.)

Bevill (D-Ala.)

Bowen (D-Miss.)

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Brinkley (D-Ga.)

Broyhill (R-N.C.)

Collins (D-Ill.)

Collins (R-Tex.)

Conyers (D-Mich.)

Crockett (D-Mich.)

Daniel, D. (D-Va.)

Deckard (R-Ind.)

Fauntroy (D-D.C.)

Fields (R.-Tex.)

Ford (D-Tenn.)

Gephardt (D-Mo.)

Gingrich (R-Ga.)

Ginn (D-Ga.)

Gore (D-Tenn.)

Gray (D-Pa.)

Hance (D-Tex.)

Hefner (D-N.C.)

Hightower (D-Tex.)

Hinson (R-Miss.)

Hubbard (D-Ky.)

Hunter (R-Calif.)

Hutto (D-Fla.)

Jenkins (D-Ga.)

Jones (D-N.C.)

Long (D-La.)

Lott (R-Miss.)

Lowry (D-Wash.)

Mattox (D-Tex.)

Mollohan (D-W.Va.)

Natcher (D-Ky.)

Pepper (D-Fla.)

Perkins (D-Ky.)

Rogers (R-Ky.)

Savage (D-Ill.)

Smith (R-Ore.)

Smith (R-Ala.)

Thomas (R-Calif.)

Weber (R-Ohio)

Whitley (D-N.C.)

Christian Church

(Disciples) (6)

Bafalis (R-Fla.)

Bennett (D-Fla.)

Evans (D-Ga.)

Skelton (D-Mo.)

Whittaker (R-Kans.)

Winn (R-Kans.)

Christian Science (3)

Percy (R-Ill.)

McClory (R-Ill.)

Rousselot (R-Calif.)

Churches of Christ (6)

Bouquard (D-Tenn.)

Hippo (D-Ala.)

Hall, S. (D-Tex.)

Latta (R-Ohio)

McEwen (R-Ohio)

Williams (R-Ohio)

Eastern Orthodox (5)

Sarbanes (D-Md.)

Tsongas (D-Mass.)

Mavroules (D-Mass.)

Snowe (R-Maine)

Yatron (D-Pa.)

Episcopal (72)

Andrews (R-N.D.)

Byrd (I-Va.)

Chafee (R-R.I.)

Danforth (R-Mo.)

Exon (D-Neb.)

Goldwater (R-Ariz.)

Gorton (R-Wash.)

Heinz (R-Pa.)

Kassebaum (R-Kans.)

Kasten (R-Wisc.)

Mathias (R-Md.)

Mattingly (D-Ga.)

Matsunaga (D-Hawaii)

Pell (D-R.I.)

Proxmire (D-Wis.)

Roth (R-Del.)

Simpson (R-Wyo.)

Stevens (R-Alaska)

Wallop (R-Wyo.)

Warner (R-Va.)

Weicker (R-Conn.)

Alexander (D-Ark.)

Anderson (D-Calif.)

Anthony (D-Ark.)

Aspin (D-Wis.)

Benedict (R-W.Va.)

Bolling (D-Mo.)

Butler (R-Pa.)

Byron (D-Md.)

Campbell (R-S.C.)

Carman (R-N.Y.)

Coughlin (R-Pa.)

Daniel, R. (R-Va.)

Davis (R-Mich.)

Derrick (D-S.C.)

Dixon (D-Calif.)

Dunn (R-Mich.)

Edwards (R-Okla.)

Evans (R-Del.)

Fazio (D-Calif.)

Fish (R-N.Y.)

Goldwater, Jr. (R-Calif.)

Gramm (D-Tex.)

Hatcher (D-Ga.)

Hendon (R-N.C.)

Hughes (D-N J.)

Ireland (D-Fla.)

Leach (R-Iowa)

Leboutillier (R-N.Y.)

Livingston (R-La.)

McCullen (R-Fla.)

McKinney (R-Conn.)

Mitchell (D-Md.)

Montgomery (D-Miss.)

Moore (R-La.)

Myers (R-Ind.)

Neal (D-N.C.)

Nelson (D-Fla.)

Parris (R-Va.)

Paul (R.-Tex.)

Peyser (D-N.Y.)

Regula (R-Ohio)

Reuss (D-Wis.)

Sawyer (R-Mich.)

Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.)

Synar (D-Okla.)

Traxler (D-Mich.)

Trible (R-Va.)

White (D-Tex.)

Wirth (D-Colo.)

Young (R-Alaska)

Zeferetti (D-N.Y.)

Latter Day Saints (11)

Cannon (D-Nev.)

Garn (R-Utah)

Hatch (R-Utah)

Hawkins (R-Fla.)

Burgener (R-Calif.)

Hansen, J. (R-Utah)

Hansen, G. (R-Idaho)

Heftel (D-Hawaii)

Marriott (R-Utah)

Shumway (R-Calif.)

Udall (D-Ariz.)

Lutheran (20)

Armstrong (R-Colo.)

Jepsen (R-Iowa)

Badham (R-Calif.)

Bereuter (R-Neb.)

Clausen (R-Calif.)

Dannemeyer (R-Calif.)

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Dicks (D-Wash.)

Erdahl (R-Minn.)

Ertel (D-Pa.)

Gunderson (R-Wisc.)

Hagedorn (R-Minn.)

Loeffler (R-Tex.)

Marlenee (R-Mont.)

McCurdy (D-Okla.)

Sabo (D-Minn.)

Simon (D-Ill.)

Snyder (R-Ky.)

Spence (R-S.C.)

Stangeland (R-Minn.)

Stenholm (D-Tex.)

Jewish (32)

Boschwitz (R-Minn.)

Levin (D-Mich.)

Metzenbaum (D-Ohio)

Rudman (R-N.H.)

Specter (R-Pa.)

Zorinsky (D-Neb.)

Beilenson (D-Cairf.)

Fielder (R-Calif.)

Frank (D-Mass.)

Frost (D-Tex.)

Gejdenson (D-Conn.)

Gilman (R-N.Y.)

Glickman (D-Kans.)

Green (R-N.Y.)

Gradlson (R-Ohio)

Kramer (R-Colo.)

Lantos (D-Calif.)

Lehman (D-Fla.)

Levitas (D-Ga.)

Marks (R-Pa.)

Ottinger (D-N.Y.)

Richmond (D-N.Y.)

Scheuer (D-N.Y.)

Schumer (D-N.Y.)

Shamansky (D-Ohio)

Solarz (D-N.Y.)

Spellman (D-Md.)

Waxman (D-Calif.)

Weiss (D-N.Y.)

Wolpe (D-Mich.)

Wyden (D-Ore.)

Yates (D-Ill.)

Presbyterian (55)

Baker (R-Tenn.)

Bentsen (D-Tex.)

Chiles (D-Fla.)

Dixon (D-Ill.)

Glenn (D-Ohio)

Jackson (D-Wash.)

Pryor (D-Ark.)

Stennis (D-Miss.)

Williams (D-N.J.)

Applegate (D-Ohio)

Broomfield (R-Mich.)

Brown (R-Ohio)

Clinger (R-Pa.)

Coyne, J. (R-Pa.)

Daub (R-Tenn.)

Duncan (R-Tenn.)

Edwards (R-Ala.)

Emerson (R-Mo.)

Fountain (D-N.C.)

Fowler (D-Ga.)

Fuqua (D-Fla.)

Gibbons (D-Fla.)

Hall (D-Ohio)

Hammerschmidt (R-Ark.)

Hillis (R-Ind.)

Holt (R-Md.)

Horton (R-N.Y.)

Jeffries (R-Kans.)

Jones (D-Tenn.)

Kemp (R-N.Y.)

Kindness (R-Ohio)

Leath (D-Tex.)

Lewis (R-Calif.)

Long (D-Md.)

Martin (R-N.C.)

Matsui (D-Calif.)

McCloskey (R-Calif.)

Moorehead (R-Calif.)

Napier (R-S.C.)

Porter (R-Ill.)

Pritchard (R-Wash.)

Rahall (D-W.Va.)

Rose (D-N.C.)

Schulze (R-Pa.)

Seiberling (D-Ohio)

Selby (D-Ala.)

Solomon (R-N.Y.)

Stratton (D-N.Y.)

Vander Jagt (R-Mich.)

Walker (R-Pa.)

Wampler (R-Va.)

Watkins (D-Okla.)

Whitten (D-Miss.)

Wolfe (R-Va.)

Wright (D-Tex.)

Roman Catholic (136)

Biden (D-Del.)

D’Amato (R-N.Y.)

Denton (R-Ala.)

Dodd (D-Conn.)

Domenici (R-N.M.)

DeConcini (D-Ariz.)

Durenberger (R-Minn.)

Eagleton (D-Mo.)

Kennedy (D-Mass.)

Laxalt (R-Nev.)

Leahy (D-Vt.)

Melcher (D-Mont.)

Mitchell (D-Maine)

Moynihan (D-N.Y.)

Murkowski (R-Alaska)

Nickles (R-Okla.)

Pressler (R-S.D.)

Addabbo (D-N.Y.)

Albosta (D-Mich.)

Annunzio (D-Ill.)

Archer (R-Tex.)

Atkinson (D-Pa.)

Biaggi (D-N.Y.)

Bliley (R-Va.)

Boggs (D-La.)

Boland (D-Mass.)

Bonior (D-Mich.)

Breaux (D-La.)

Brodhead (D-Mich.)

Carney (R-N.Y.)

Chappie (R-Calif.)

Clay (D-Mo.)

Corcoran (R-Ill.)

Coelho (D-Calif.)

Conte (R-Mass.)

Cotter (D-Conn.)

Coyne, W. (D-Pa.)

D’Amours (D-N.H.)

Daschle (D-S.D.)

De la Garza (D-Tex.)

DeNardis (R-Conn.)

Derwinski (R-Ill.)

Dingell (D-Mich.)

Donnelly (D-Mass.)

Doman (R-Calif.)

Dougherty (R-Pa.)

Dwyer (D-N.J.)

Dyson (D-Md.)

Early (D-Mass.)

Eckart (D-Ohio)

Erlenborn (R-Ill.)

Evans (D-Ind.)

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Fary (D-Ill.)

Ferraro (D-N.Y.)

Florio (D-N.J.)

Foglietta (I-Pa.)

Foley (D-Wash.)

Gaydos (D-Pa.)

Gonzalez (D-Tex.)

Guarini (D-N.J.)

Harkin (D-Iowa)

Harnett (R-S.C.)

Heckler (R-Mass.)

Hertel (D-Mich.)

Hiler (R-Ind.)

Hollenbeck (R-N.J.)

Howard (D-N.J.)

Hyde (R-Ill.)

Jacobs (D-Ind.)

Jones (D-Okla.)

Kazen (D-Tex.)

Kildee (D-Mich.)

Kogovsek (D-Colo.)

LaFalce (D-N.Y.)

Lagomarsino (R-Calif.)

Lederer (D-Pa.)

Leland (D-Tex.)

Lowery (R-Calif.)

Luken (D-Ohio)

Lungren (R-Calif.)

Lujan (R-N.M.)

Madigan (R-Ill.)

Markey (D-Mass.)

Martin (R-N.Y.)

Martin (R-Ill.)

Mazzoli (D-Ky.)

McDade (R-Pa.)

McGrath (R-N.Y.)

McHugh (D-N.Y.)

Mica (D-Fla.)

Mikulski (D-Md.)

Miller (D-Calif.)

Minish (D-N.J.)

Moakley (D-Mass.)

Moffett (D-Conn.)

Molinari (R-N.Y.)

Motti (D-Ohio)

Murphy (D-Pa.)

Murtha (D-Pa.)

Nelligan (R-Pa.)

Nowack (D-N.Y.)

Oaker (D-Ohio)

Oberstar (D-Minn.)

Obey (D-Wis.)

O’Brien (R-Ill.)

O’Neill (D-Mass.)

Panetta (D-Calif.)

Price (D-Ill.)

Rangel (D-N.Y.)

Rinaldo (R-N J.)

Rodino (D-N.J.)

Roe (D-N.J.)

Rosenthal (D-N.Y.)

Rostenkowski (D-III.)

Roth (D-Wisc.)

Roybal (D-Calif.)

Rudd (R-Ariz.)

Russo (D-III.)

Santini (D-Nev.)

Schneider (R-R.I.)

Shannon (D-Mass.)

Shaw (R-Fla.)

Skeen (I-N.M.)

Smith (R-N.J.)

Stanton (R-Ohio)

St. Germain (D-R.I.)

Tauke (R-Iowa)

Tauzin (D-La.)

Vento (D-Minn.)

Volkmer (D-Mo.)

Walgren (D-Pa.)

Weber (R-Minn.)

Williams (D-Mont.)

Wortley (R-N.Y.)

Young (D-Mo.)

Zablocki (D-Wisc.)

Unitarian-Universalist (9)

Cohen (R-Maine)

Packwood (R-Oreg.)

Blanchard (D-Mich.)

Burton, J. (D-Calif.)

Burton, P. (D-Calif.)

Edwards (D-Calif.)

Ratchford (D-Conn.)

Ritter (R-Pa.)

Stark (D-Calif.)

United Church of Christ (16) (Includes Congregational)

Baucus (D-Mont.)

Burdick (D-N.D.)

Stafford (R-Vt.)

Akaka (D-Hawaii)

Bingham (D-N.Y.)

Brown (R-Colo.)

Downey (D-N.Y.)

Emery (R-Maine)

Findley (R-Ill.)

Ford (D-Mich.)

Gregg (R-N.H.)

Jeffords (R-Vt.)

Patterson (D-Calif.)

Railsback (R-Ill.)

Schroeder (D-Colo.)

Shuster (R-Pa.)

United Methodist (71)

Abnor (R-S.D.)

Boren (D-Okla.)

Bumpers (D-Ark.)

Dole (R-Kans.)

Heflin (D-Ala.)

Hollings (D-S.D.)

Huddleston (D-Ky.)

Inouye (D-Hawaii)

Long (D-La.)

Lugar (R-Ind.)

McClure (R-Idaho)

Nunn (D-Ga.)

Rlegle (D-Mich.)

Sasser (D-Tenn.)

Schmitt (R-N.M.)

Tower (R-Tex.)

Beard (R-Tenn.)

Boner (D-Tenn.)

Bedell (D-Iowa)

Bethune (R-Ark.)

Brooks (D-Tex.)

Brown (D-Calif.)

Chappell (D-Fla.)

Cheney (R-Wyo.)

Chisholm (D-N.Y.)

Conable (R-N.Y.)

Courter (R-N.J.)

Craig (R-Idaho)

Crane, D. (R-III.)

Crane, P. (R-III.)

Dickinson (R-Ala.)

Edgar (D-Pa.)

English (D-Okla.)

Evans (R-Iowa)

Frthian (D-Ind.)

Goodling (R-Pa.)

Grisham (R-Calif.)

Hall, R. (D-Tex.)

Hamilton (D-Ind.)

Hawkins (D-Calif.)

Holland (D-S.C.)

Hopkins (R-Ky.)

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Huckaby (D-La.)

McDonald (D-Ga.)

Johnston (R-N.C.)

Lent (R-N.Y.)

McDonald (D-Ga.)

Mineta (D-Calif.)

Miller (R-Ohio)

Mitchell (R-N.Y.)

Morrison (R-Wash.)

Nichols (D-Ala.)

Patman (D-Tex.)

Petri (R-Wisc.)

Pickle (D-Tex.)

Quillen (R-Tenn.)

Rhodes (R-Ariz.)

Roberts (R-Kans.)

Roberts (R-S.D.)

Roemer (D-La.)

Sharp (D-Ind.)

Smith (D-Iowa)

Smith (R-Neb.)

Staton (R-W.Va.)

Stockman (R-Mich.)

Stokes (D-Ohio)

Swift (D-Wash.)

Taylor (R-Mo.)

Whitehurst (R-Va.)

Wilson (D-Tex.)

Wylie (R-Ohio)

Young (R-Fla.)

“Christian” or “Protestant” (19) (No Specific Denomination)

Bradley (D-N.J.)

Cranston (D-Calif.)

East (R-N.C.)

Hart (D-Colo)

AuCoin (D-Oreg.)

Bailey (D-Pa.)

Bonker (D-Wash.)

Coleman (R-Mo.)

Danielson (D-Calif.)

Dellums (D-Calif.)

Dreier (R-Calif.)

Fascell (D-Fla.)

Fenwick (R-N.J.)

Lee (R-N.Y.)

Lundine (D-N.Y.)

Pease (D-Ohio)

Pursell (R-Mich.)

Studds (D-Mass.)

Weaver (D-Oreg.)


Roman Catholic

Babbitt (D-Ariz.)

Brennan (D-Maine)

Brown (D-Calif.)

Byrne (D-N.J.)

Carey (D-N.Y.)

Gallen (D-N.H.)

Garrahy (D-R.I.)

Grasso (D-Conn.)

King (D-Mass.)

Spellman (R-Wash.)

United Church of Christ

Ariyoshi (D-Hawaii)

Graham (D-Fla.)

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The Supreme Court and Public Schools
Carols Get Green Light, Ten Commandments Get Red

The campaign to keep religious influence in public schools won one and lost one in two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court last month.

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In the first case the court, in a 7-to-2 ruling, refused to prohibit public school children from singing Christmas carols. In the second, the court ruled 5 to 4 that it is unconstitutional for the Ten Commandments to hang in a public school classroom.

The Christmas carol case originated in a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, kindergarten classroom. The parents of one of the children objected to carol singing because they believed it constituted religious worship. The American Civil Liberties Union (aclu) pressed the case in federal court on the parents’ behalf. They lost, and took the case a step higher, to the federal appeals court. They lost again. The judge in that court ruled that carols are permissible because they are educational, and therefore serve a secular purpose. Given a primarily secular purpose, he said, school administrators “need not and should not sacrifice the quality of the students’ education” by purging from the curriculum “all materials that may offend any religious sensibility.”

Constitutional lawyer John Whitehead, who is active in Christian legal issues, saw ominous overtones in the decision, in spite of the apparent victory. “Secular society is saying that Christianity is okay if you treat it in a historical setting, but if you are really going to take it seriously, we don’t want any part of it.”

In the second case, the Supreme Court decided that a Kentucky law requiring the Ten Commandments to be displayed in all public school classrooms did amount to taking religion too seriously in school, and it declared the law unconstitutional.

In an unsigned opinion, the court said, “The preeminent purpose for posting the Ten Commandments on schoolroom walls is plainly religious in nature, and they may induce the children to read, to meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey the commandments.”

All of the posters bearing the commandments, (which were paid for and hung at private expense), bore the following inscription: “The secular application of the Ten Commandments is clearly seen in its adoption as the fundamental legal code of western civilization, and the common law of the United States.” Said Whitehead: “That’s a historical fact, but it didn’t work. The court didn’t buy it.”

Another lawyer active in Christian rights cases, John McLario of Menominee Falls, Wisconsin, saw the case differently: “The Ten Commandments are a Judeo-Christian proposition. They’re recognized as that. I can see problems when the state comes in and mandates that they should hang in all classrooms.”

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McLario also said that although the courts object to Christian influence in schools, they don’t object to secular humanism, which dominates public education and views human beings—not a divine being—as the highest value in the universe.

The ACLU also handled the Ten Commandments case.

North American Scene

President-elect Ronald Reagan hadn’t yet picked a Washington, D.C., church, but many speculate he will attend National Presbyterian Church, pastored by Louis Evans, Jr. Evans founded the Bel Air (California) Presbyterian Church, where Reagan has attended the past 20 years. Donn Moomaw, present pastor of the 2,000-member evangelical congregation, told a reporter that he and Reagan often discussed religion in private, and that Reagan “can talk intelligently about Christian doctrine … he knows the Bible.” Reagan still holds membership in the Hollywood-Beverly Christian Church, where he attended with his first wife, Jane Wyman, during his early Hollywood years: the closest such church in Washington is the National City Christian Church.

Esquire magazine is discussing ethics these days, in a regular column written by staff member Harry Stein. Speaking to members of the New York City Religious Public Relations Council last month, Stein cited man’s “immense capacity to ignore evil” and “our incredible ability not to see ourselves as we really are” as America’s biggest ethical challenge of the 1980s. The column has generated wide reader comment, said Stein, and the largest number of letters so far have been in reaction to a column discussing when and when not to compromise, and to one about marital fidelity.

The country’s Catholic bishops may applaud Ronald Reagan’s positions against abortion and for school prayer, but they signaled at their meeting in Washington last month that they aren’t very happy with other views held by the incoming administration. One of the largest rounds of applause at the National Conference of Catholic Bishops was accorded Auxiliary Bishop Thomas R. Gumbleton, who expressed alarm at “a president who believes we have to have superiority in nuclear weapons.” In other business, the bishops decided to ask the Vatican to drop the word “men” from the eucharistic blessing of wine, and eliminate several other male-only references, in order to make the liturgy less “sexist.”

Charles Colson has been invited to establish a branch in Canada of his Prison Fellowship, an expanding ministry that recently moved into a new headquarters building in Great Falls, Virginia. As in the U.S., the Canadian Prison Fellowship will seek volunteers who relate to prisoners and their families during and after prison terms. The volunteers (there are 6,000 in the U.S.) also conduct seminars in prisons, provide out-of-prison training for selected inmates, and seek prison reform.

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Moral Majority has targeted advertisers of objectional TV programs. Advertisers will be asked to push for content changes or face possible boycotts. The conservative lobby’s vice-president, Ronald Godwin, told Advertising Age that $500,000 may be put into the effort, which could be substantial considering the group’s wide support: a mailing list of 480,000, including 72,000 clergymen.

Missouri Synod Lutherans held a unique discipleship convocation last month, with an average attendance of 6,000 for each of the November 6–9 plenary sessions. The Synod’s so-called Great Commission Convocation in Saint Louis was aimed at helping congregations do evangelism and disciple young Christians. Speakers were elected by surveying all congregations, and the 78 workshops were conducted by congregations identified by district leaders as being among the best in various aspects of practicing discipleship.


Charles Keysor resigned last month as editor/executive secretary of Good News, the evangelical renewal movement within the United Methodist Church. Since founding the group in 1966 and becoming editor of its magazine, Keysor established the group as an influential force in the denomination. A former newsman, Keysor resigned to give full time to developing the journalism program at Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky. He started the program in 1972, and since then has taught there part-time.

In her candid interview in the December issue of Ladies’ Home Journal,Anita Bryant revealed that her marriage was breaking up as early as 1970. Her autobiography, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory, was then selling a million copies, with its homey details of her family life. After her 1976 crusade against homosexuals in Dade County, Florida, her personal life deteriorated to the extent that she contemplated suicide: “I remember one time after a close call, from combining [sleeping] pills and wine, I got very upset and poured the pills down the toilet. The next night I hit bottom so fast, if I had had those sleeping pills, I would have swallowed them.” She no longer sees the answers to feminism and homosexuality as simply as she once did: “I guess I can better understand the gays’ and feminists’ anger and frustration. As for gays, the church needs to be more loving … and willing to see these people as human beings.”

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The Seventh-day Adventist Church revoked the credentials of Walter Rea, a Long Beach, California, pastor who charged that Adventist prophetess Ellen G. White plagiarized extensively in her prolific writings. Church officials have acknowledged that she borrowed from her wide reading, but North American Division president C. E. Bradford said, “Rea’s action toward one of the denomination’s highly respected pioneers, in my opinion, has rendered him incapable of serving as an Adventist minister.” Rea said church officials were upset that he granted an interview to the Los Angeles Times, whose news service circulated it widely. In September the Adventists’ Australasian Division defrocked Desmond Ford, an influential theologian who took issue publicly with the investigative judgment, one of the church’s basic doctrines. (CT, Oct. 10, p. 76).

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