Deposition of Bishop Kenneth W. Hicks
REV. WILLIAM McLEAN, et al *
Plaintiffs * UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
VS * EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE * WESTERN DIVISION
STATE OF ARKANSAS, et al *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
ORAL DEPOSITION OF BISHOP KENNETH W. HICKS
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
MR. PHIL KAPLAN, ESQ., Kaplan, Hollingsworth,
Brewer & Bilheimer, 950 Tower Building,
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
MS. JOAN VEHIK, Esq., Cearley, Gitchel, Mitchell
& Roachell, 1014 West Third, Little Rock
For the Plaintiffs
MR. RICK CAMPBELL, Assistant Attorney General, and
MR. DUB ELROD, Assistant Attorney General, Justice
Building, Little Rock, Arkansas 72202
For the Defendants
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
ANSWERS AND DEPOSITION OF BISHOP KENNETH W. HICKS,
a witness produced on behalf of the Defendants, taken in the
above styled and numbered cause on the 2nd day of December,
1981 before Laura D. Bushman, a Notary Public in and for
Pulaski County, Arkansas at the office of Ms. Joan Vehik,
1014 West Third, Little Rock, Arkansas at 11:25 a.m.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
LAURA BUSHMAN COURT REPORTING SERVICE
1100 N. University, Suite 223
Little Rock, Arkansas 72207
Witness Sworn in: Bishop K. W. Hicks 3
Direct Examination by MR. CAMPBELL 3
Hicks Exhibit #1 marked for the record 60
[Exhibit found on page 63.]
Hicks Exhibit #2 marked for the record 61
[Exhibit found on page 64.]
Witness Signature page 65
Correction page 66
BY MR. CAMPBELL:
Q. Good morning, Bishop Hicks.
A. Good morning.
Q. My name is Rick Campbell and I am one the attorneys
representing the State Board of Education in the
litigation which is entitled McLean V. State Board
of Education. I am here this morning to discuss with you
a little bit about what your proposed testimony will be
at trial, to find out a little bit about your background
since the Plaintiffs have indicated that you will be
called as a witness in the case. If at any time you
would like to take a break to go to the restroom or get a
drink or anything, just let me know. There will be no
problem with that at all. Would you please state your
name and address?
A. Kenneth W. Hicks. **** ***** *******, ******
****, ******* *****.
Q. Are you married, Bishop Hicks?
Q. Do you have any children?
A. I have two children, two daughters. Would you like
Q. Yes, sir.
A. One daughter is Linda, Linda Diane and the other
daughter is Deborah Dawn Swenson, S-w-e-n-s-o-n. Q. Were
they educated in the public schools?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Where did they attend schools?
A. As a minister I moved on occasion. So their
grade school education -- well, their high school
education took place at several different places. But in
the public schools of Nebraska. The oldest daughter
is a graduate of Norfolk Nebraska High School. The
youngest is a graduate of Kearney, Nebraska High School.
They did their college work -- the
oldest daughter did hers at Kearney, K-e-a-r-n-e-y, State
College in Kearney, Nebraska. She got a Master's degree
from Nebraska University. The youngest daughter did her
college work at Kearney State College and the University
Q. Where are you presently employed?
A. I'm a Bishop of the United Methodist Church
of Arkansas, the Arkansas area as we call it. And
I reside in Little Rock. My office is in Little Rock.
Q. What are your responsibilities as Bishop of the
United Methodist Church?
A. My responsibilities are the general oversight of
the Churches of our denomination in Arkansas of which
there are approximately 750 to 800. I'm not sure just how
many. That oversight includes the appointing of ministers
to those Churches to serve as pastors. Also in the State of
Arkansas my role is to assist in providing leadership,
coordination and counsel in the entire life of our
denominational structure and thrust.
Beyond Arkansas, part of my
responsibility is that of what we call in our
denomination that of General Superintendency, which means
that in addition to being Bishop of Arkansas, I'm really
also a Bishop of our entire Church with responsibilities
from time to time beyond the limits of Arkansas.
Q. In your capacity providing leadership, coordination
and counsel to the United Methodist Churches in Arkansas,
have you developed a position, a United Methodist Church
position on Act 590?
A. No, sir. In our denomination the General
Conference of our Church speaks in a legal way for
our denomination. That is a representative meeting that
meets every four years and the total product of that is a
book of Church law that we call "The Discipline." And within
that are certain documents of historical background, our
social principles as well as details of Church law. This
product of this document is the official position of our
Beyond that, as a Bishop of the Church, my
role would be to interpret issues as best as I see them in
the light of our heritage and history and doctrine. But I
have not developed, nor would I really have the privilege of
establishing a doctrine or an official position on this
Q. As a Bishop in interpreting issues in light
of Church history or Church tradition, have you developed
a position on Act 590?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Has this been disseminated to all the other United
Methodist Churches in Arkansas?
A. My views have been disseminated in various ways
throughout our Churches, through our Church paper, "The
Arkansas Methodist", and some of that got into the --
at least the Arkansas Gazette. I did not submit that to
the "Letters to the Editor", but apparently somebody
did. I have -- I don't recall that I have made any
addresses on the creation-science bill, per se. Last annual
conference time I made a series -- I presented a series of
devotionals on the meaning of the creation accounts in
Genesis. The basic material for these had been prepared
some years ago. And that was the basis of the material that
Q. You mentioned the last annual conference. How is that
different from these four year conferences?
A. Yes, sir. In Arkansas we have in our parlance there
are two what we call annual conferences. Now that is a
geographic area as well as an occasion. There is a North
Arkansas Annual Conference and the southern part
of Arkansas, roughly, is the Little Rock annual
conference. But there is a session annually that we call
the annual conference session of each of these bodies.
And this is a time when business is conducted and
ministers are ordained and persons are received into
various relationships within the goals and objectives of
Q. Would positions be developed at these annual
conferences or would they be developed, as you suggested
earlier, at this conference held every four years?
A. A position on social issues?
A. The annual conferences do have the privilege
of submitting resolutions for the consideration of that
body. And that is an action that comes out of an agency
of that annual conference or a person in that annual
conference session. But again, that becomes the action
of that body of people. It is not an action that speaks
for all the United Methodists of that agency.
Now, as verses the four year
experience, the General Conference, that does become -- the
action of that does become the official position of the
United Methodist Church. What we do at the annual
conference by way of social position becomes the position of
that annual conference and is submitted to the people for
Q. To your knowledge, has there been a resolution
presented to an annual conference in Arkansas concerning
the teaching of creation-science in public schools?
A. I wish I had looked this up beforehand. It seems
to me that one of the annual conferences did take some
action regarding that and the other one did not. And I
can't recall the accuracy of that. I could find that out
rather quickly for you if you desire.
Q. Do you know about when this position would have
A. Yes. This would have been in -- the Little Rock
Annual Conference met beginning on Memorial day until I
think it was Thursday of that week. The North Arkansas
Conference met about two weeks later.
Q. Do you recall generally what the substance was of
the position taken by the conference?
A. The -- if there was a position -- and as I said, it
does seem to me that there was in one or the other
of them -- it was a position upholding the stance that --
against creation-science. The creation-science bill. But I
have to repeat that I'm not sure that that was done, which
would also be my way of saying this was certainly not a
priority within the agenda of either of the annual
Q. Would any interpretation of issues which you made
carry the weight of the United Methodist Church or
would it simply be your own position?
A. So far as I am concerned and understand my role
and the law of our Church, this would be my position because
our general conference, our general Church hasn't made any
kind of disposition of this issue. Our last meeting was
April of 1980 of that body.
Q. Before you became the Bishop of the United
Methodist Church in Arkansas, where were you employed?
A. I was a pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church,
Grand Island, Nebraska for approximately three and a
quarter years. And at that time the body met that
elects Bishops and I was elected. Prior to that I was
for five years a District Superintendent in the Nebraska
Annual Conference. And prior to that for years as
Q. Before you became the Bishop of the United
Methodist Church in Arkansas, had you ever had any
experience with the teaching of creation-science in
Q. Where did you graduate from high school, Bishop
A. Iola High School, Iola, Kansas.
Q. Did you study origins in high school?
A. I took -- I had very little science in high school. I
don't recall that we did study origin. My -- the only
science subject that I remember was chemistry. There might
have been some others, but I'm not sure.
Q. Where did you attend college?
A. I attended college and graduated from a small
Church related college at York, Nebraska called York
College at that time. It was a college of the
United Bretheren Church, a denomination in which I was
reared. Since those days that denomination merged
with another denomination and then that combined
denomination merged with the Methodist Church in 1968. I
joined the Methodist Church, however, in 1946 and became
a member and minister at that time.
Q. Did you take any science courses in college?
A. Yes, sir. Zoology is the one I recall. The worst.
Q. Do you recall studying origins in zoology?
A. Yes, in a general way, I do. There were references
to beginnings and to the different stages of development
apparently in certain species, et cetera.
Q. Do you recall whether a conflict ever developed
concerning evolution in the zoology class that you took?
A. No, there was never any conflict.
Q. Are you a member of any professional associations?
A. No. I can't think of any that I am a member of.
By professional associations, you mean other than
institutional boards and things like that?
A. No, I can't think of any that I am a member of.
Q. Are you a member of the Society for the Study
Q. Are you a member of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science?
Q. Are you a member of the Committed of Correspondence
in Chicago, Illinois?
Q. Are you a member of the group called CARE which is
Concerned Arkansans for Responsible Education?
Q. Are you on the mailing list of any organization
which has a position on whether or not creation-science
should be taught in the public schools?
A. I can't recall that I am on any regular mailing list.
Now, as is indicated in the material, from time to time a
publication will be sent me. But I am not aware that I'm on
any regular mailing list that has as its major concern this
area at all.
Q. These publications which are sent to you, are they
sent to you directly from the organizations or are
they sent to you from individuals?
A. Both. They'll come -- many interested individuals
will send me things that they read and picked up. Now
and again there will be something that will come as a
sample that may be a subscription is desired of. And now
and again there will be a mailing that would come from
some professional or educational agency of some sort
that I presume is put out as a policy paper by some
Q. Bishop Hicks, the Plaintiffs have listed you on a
witness list and suggested you would testify concerning
your reasons for the opposition to the teaching of
creation-science and your unsuccessful attempt to testify
before the Arkansas Legislature in opposition to Act
590. I would like to discuss each of those topics
with you and just generally let me ask you what will be
the subject matter of your testimony concerning the reasons
for your opposition to the teaching of creation- science?
A. I think the general subject matter will be based,
first of all, on the belief that this bill represents a
transgression of the First Amendment and the separation of
Church and State. And my basis for my rationale for this
has to do with the conviction that in order for the
creation-science curriculum to be installed or put in place,
it will be necessary for the State to prescribe limits,
bounds, definitions that will indicate how a teacher is to
be prepared for the teaching of this when the teacher is
prepared for the teaching of this. And I believe that that
represents a responsibility as being assumed by the State
that the State does not have under the First Amendment.
I believe also that the matter that the
data or the content of the creation-science thrust cannot
be taught without ultimate reference either to a Creator
and the nature of that Creator or to the Biblical data
from which the bulk of our culture would draw in their
understanding of the creation. And I believe that is
in effect mixing apples and oranges. My contention
is that the material in the Scriptures represents data
of faith, faith statements, theological statements, the-
why, the meaning of creation, but does not represent an
enlightened account of the how of creation and was not
I have read some on the issue in behalf of
creation-science in this material. As a matter of fact,
there is some material in there from the Institute of
Creation Research, I believe it is called, in California,
which as I understand is a prominent distributor of
material, curriculum materials for creation-science. There
is one document in there that lists the tenets of
creation-science. One listing has to do with Biblical
creation-science. Another listing has to do with just
scientific creationism, which would be as the material
indicates would be the stance if you are in a setting where
the Bible could not be referred to. But those tenets of
just scientific creationism that they hold to repeat where
numerous frequency, make reference to the Creator, to the
nature of the Creator and to a description of the Creator
that, if not in detail, describes -- at least by implication
describes a literal account of the first two Chapters of
Genesis. So for those reasons, there are some of the
reasons I believe that this bill is a contradiction of the
First Amendment. But I also believe that it is ambiguous
and that it is not only confused, but that it is confusing.
Q. Are there any other reasons that you are opposed
A. Well, beyond this, I don't know just how far one
really wants to go or whether these are other reasons or
not. But I believe as I indicated earlier so very deeply
that what is being attempted here would be, you know, it
would be using religion and a religious orientation in a
context that is not intended by the religious literature.
And an analogy might be that I see what would be done in
this as what might be done if an auto mechanic's tools were
used in surgery and a surgeon's tools were used to work on
cars. The outcome would definitely have limitations.
And so this again, you know, I feel --
this bill, I believe, puts limitations on free inquiry
which is what public education, I believe, is all about.
And it also takes for granted presuppositions about what
is appropriately creationist. So these represent the
substance, I think, of my positions.
Q. Are there any other reasons that you oppose the
A. Any other reasons do not come to mind at this
Q. Would you expect that these will be the reasons that
you will testify to at trial?
A. I think so, yes. These will be the basic reasons.
These are the kinds of things I've been trying to work
through in my own mind as I've dealt with this matter. I
might throw in one more. I indicated that I feel that the
bill, for the reasons that I gave, is ambiguous. There is
also reference within the bill to some terms. I forget just
how the terminology goes, but theological liberalism,
humanism. There is even a reference in there to Atheistic
Churches, which is a phrase that I'm not familiar with at
all, is an Atheistic Church. Again, the State eventually
assumes the right to decide what is theological liberalism,
what is humanism. And seems to place so much import on the
rejection or the diminishing of those terms that the State
obviously plans or intends to have the power and the right
to decide what the definition of those will be. And this
further I think represents the confusion and the ambiguity
of this bill. And that further magnifies the State stepping
into an arena that is not prescribed by the Constitution.
Q. You mentioned that one of your reasons for opposing
the teaching of creation-science in the classroom was
that the State must prescribe limits, bounds and
definitions of how creation-science would be presented.
What's wrong with that?
A. I think that those limits and bounds have inherently
at the core of them religious orientation, decisions
or definitions that are -- that have Biblical orientation
that is not unanimously agreed upon by any means. What I'm
really suggesting here is that those limits are basically
theological definitions, theological limits, value limits
that are religiously oriented. And my -- it may not be made
clear as to how those limits, how those definitions, how the
content of that is to be -- who is going to be the authority
for saying that here is the limit that beyond which a
teacher must not cross without being into the area that is
forbidden by the bill. Or here is the line at which a
teacher is prepared to teach objectively creation-science as
well as evolution. So it is again -- these are limits and
these are standards, these are policies that are inherently
theological and philosophical in nature, I believe.
And first of all, I don't believe the
State has the privilege of setting those. Secondly, the
State hasn't indicated how it plans to do so.
Q. Why do you think that creation-science has a religious
A. Well, what I -- it seems to me to be plain that
what creation-science is advocating is attempting to
address a point of view that apparently the proponents
of creation-science believes does not have religious
orientation. Therefore, they are couching a -- this
couches an attempt to teach science by the very title
itself from the standpoint of a Creator or a supernatural
kind of beginning. So that is my first reason.
Secondly is that all of the material I
have to say without exception -- I have not read widely
in the area of creation-science I admin. The material I
have read has the premise of having the ultimate aim
of teaching science in a way that will conform to Biblical
literalism. And the people that I have talked to or the
people that have talked to me who are for creation-science
have -- I believe I could say honestly without exception
-- used as a rationale for their belief in behalf of this
bill, that a religious orientation or a view of God or a
reference to God certainly ought to be -- have its place
within the classroom. So the overall exposure that I have
had to it seems to have that as a basic presupposition.
Q. Do you view the terms Creator and creation as
inherently religious terms?
A. I do. I do basically. So without feeling that that
has to be the case. But, you know, these terms have
been brought into place with regard to this bill as
over against a view of science that is not at all
religiously oriented and purports to be. So my
assumption really has to be that it is being thought
that creation-science, that creationism implies a
Creator. What material, again, I have read on
creation-science does really imply that rather specifically.
Q. Well, do you think that your feeling that the
terms Creator or creation may be inherently religious are
due to your own academic and professional training
in the ministry as opposed to some other reason?
A. I'm not quite clear I guess in regard to my own
mind. I'm sure that my own background does have a very
evident application here. No doubt with that. Again, I
guess I see the creation-science, the creation-science bill
was brought to pass as an alternative. And there is no way
that I can believe that it is intended that this bill is
going to be a bill that is intended to be devoid of a
devinely defined creative force or power. Otherwise we are
basically back in the ballpark of pure science.
Q. Why couldn't creation-science as you understand it
be taught as pure science?
A. I think it cannot be taught as pure science because
I see no way how the option of the creative act, by
whatever that may mean to the proponents of this bill,
I don't see how the option of presenting the creative bill
verses the option of just open conjecture and theorizing
along the evolution lines, I see nothing new that would
be brought into the situation that would be valid without
reference to a new ingredient, an added ingredient
namely that they are -- behind the Creative act that there
would have to be a creative intention by a Creator.
Q. What's wrong with that?
A. Well, then someone is going to have to be prepared,
it seems to me, to pursue the nature of that Creator with
those who are making the inquiry, with the pupils in
other words. Or the alternative would be that once
the act of creation by a Creator is thrown out, that
discussion of that would have to be cut off. And
no inquiry would be allowed by the provision of the law
itself. I can't understand how creation-science could be
taught in an open educational setting without the
possibility of a pupil asking, "Well what or who is the
Creator?" And at that point, by the nature of the
law itself, the discussion would have to end.
And I note within the bill itself that
the methodology that seems to be propounded by the bill
for teaching creation-science is a lecture methodology.
That's mentioned at least twice in the bill. Which
presupposes a limited kind of -- certainly a scientific
inquiry. Not an exchange. Not really inquiry, by
the dissemination of information. And that, again,
spells -- at least spells limits on the openness of this
Q. Well, do you think that "what or who" questions are
never asked when evolution is presented in the classroom?
A. I really don't know. I have no idea. I imagine they
are. I would think that they probably would be asked
sometimes. The reason that I would assume that is because
of the culture -- of our culture that has enough religious
clout or religious input into the formation of lives that it
is logical that it probably would be asked at times.
Q. Well, if the questions will be asked sometime when
teaching evolution, what's wrong with them being asked
if you are teaching creation-science?
A. It seems to me that if they are asked and the answer,
you know, is in the realm that these are theological and
these are philosophical data from here on, then you
have, you know, you have a premise, you have a bridge to
enable scientific inquiry to know that there is an
area where science can be pursued. There is an area
where, you know, the values and faith kinds of
imaginations or considerations -- those belong in a realm
that is not in the overall scientific pursuit.
And my concern here is this matter is
that it seems to me that the basic premise -- one basic
premise at least of the creation-science bill is that
somehow this theological and philosophical data can be
inserted into the process of the inquiring into our origins
and beginnings and so on.
Q. Well, if it could be presented in a scientific manner,
would you still oppose its being taught?
A. It is difficult to respond to that because I don't
believe it can be. That's a theoretical outcome that I
don't believe is possible. So I can't really respond to
Q. Again, why don't you think that's possible?
A. Who don't I think that's possible? The reason I don't
think it is possible is that -- and your question I
believe was -- I was thinking and I should have been
listening. The question that you asked me was why cannot --
state it again for me.
Q. Why is it not possible for creation-science to be
taught in a scientific manner?
A. The reason that it is not possible for
creation-science to be taught in a scientific manner is
that the basic presuppositions of creation-science are
several fold. but among those are that a Creator is a
beginner of the process, which immediately places the
whole discussion on a theological and philosophical
plane. And secondly, that the moment that the process
gets over on that plane, then the discussion has to
change from scientific data over to the nature of Creator or
the nature of this great supernatural act. The whole thing
of -- well, I'll just stop at that point I guess.
Q. What you are saying is -- and I don't want to
mischaracterize your testimony at all -- once a Creator
is mentioned or referred to, then we are out of the
realm of science and into the realm of theology?
A. Seems to me that if it is pursued, that it would be
in the realm of theology and philosophy.
Q. What if it was not pursued?
A. Well then there would have to be -- if, you know,
the legal provisions were followed to the letter, then I
would assume what would have to be done for a teacher or
somebody to say, "Well, this is an area about which
there is a great deal of opinion and there are varied
points of view. This is not an area that we pursue in
the public school science class." Something to that
effect I would suppose.
Q. Why couldn't a teacher do that?
A. I think the teacher not only could do that, but
would have to do that.
Q. Under Act 590?
A. Yeah. Uh-huh.
Q. Is it your understanding that publications which
you have looked at from the Institute for Creation
Research are the publications that will be used in the
public schools of Arkansas?
A. No, I have no basis to think that at all. Again, this
is one of those mailings that came to me voluntarily and
that's the only reason I happen to have it in my
possession. And I understand that it is a reliable center
or a prominent center from which creation-science material
Q. But it is your understanding that the State would be free
to seek its own publications?
Q. You mentioned that Act 590 was ambiguous. In what
ways do you find it ambiguous?
A. I think it is ambiguous in the -- for one thing in
what it would require by way of the orientation and
preparation of instructors who -- science teachers, for
instance, who have been taught within a framework of
a discipline that is outside of the provision of this
bill. I think it is ambiguous in terms of what an
instructor or instructors or School Boards, School Districts
would have to undergo by way of preparing for the
implementation of the creation-science material or data.
That is one reason that I think the
bill is ambiguous. And it does not say, in other words,
what the consequences are to teachers or to pupils. It
does not indicate what kind of preparation a teacher
would have to undergo or what would constitute the
arrival at the preparation satisfactory -- satisfactorily.
It is ambiguous in those areas.
I think it is ambiguous in another area
in its assumption, some of its assumptions. Namely that
the teaching of an evolutionary process which is really
not described -- as I have read the bill, evolution is
not described. But the assumption is that the
evolutionary process is counter in all cases to a belief
in a Creator. And that the creative process and the
reality of the Creator have nothing in common with each
other. I think that's a religious assumption that
is being made. A theological assumption that is
It is also ambiguous in the terms of
the terminology that I used earlier which seems to be, by
the very tone of the terminology of the phrases that
refer to theological liberalism, humanism, atheism
and the one -- the reference that indicates Atheistic
Churches. That seems to carry the tone of importance, it
seemed to me, of heaviness within the bill that says to me
that until those things are described -- if these are
important to the State or important to the legislature as
they obviously are -- that there needs to be more of a
clarification of what is intended and who is included and
who is left out of those terminologies.
Q. Why couldn't the preparation of materials which would
be used in presenting creation-science in the public schools
of Arkansas be left up to the professional judgment of
teachers and educators without the State having to mandate
A. Well, I think one -- there is called into question
the criteria and the credentials by which teachers,
school boards, others who make the selection of
curriculum -- it is called into question the credentials
by which those groups have the background, have the
training, have the rationale for making a sound
determination of scientific material, creation-science
Q. The second topic which the Plaintiffs have indicated
that you will be testifying to at trial is your
unsuccessful attempt to testify before the Arkansas
Legislature in opposition to Act 590. I would like to
discuss that with you for a few minutes. First let me ask
you when did you first learn that a bill requiring the
teaching of creation-science would be proposed in the
A. You know, I wish that I could pinpoint that for you
and I cannot. The nature of my work is that I am in and
out of the State a great deal. And some days before it
came to a time of decision I was aware that this was
somewhere in the process. And by some days, you know, I'm
just pulling out something here like ten days, two weeks in
advance. Something of that sort. And I was aware that
something like this was in the process. And I frankly --
what little I know about it at the time, somehow or other
caused me to think that it wasn't as far along and that
there wasn't as serious an effort in this endeavor as there
apparently was. And then my duties took me hither and yon
and I lost personal contact with it.
On the day -- again I don't have the
date, but it would have been -- at least it would have
been the date that it was passed in committee. At least
it would have been that date and I'm not sure whether it
was the date that it was really adopted by the
legislature or not. I learned early in the morning that it
was going to be at least in the committee that day, and I
think that's the stage at which I learned about it. And I
had committments already that day that did not allow me to
go up to the Capitol personally.
I asked Reverend George Tanner, who is
counsel director, which is a person that coordinates the
programatic thrust of the Little Rock Annual Conference,
if he would be able to go up and represent me.
I had conversation by phone with
somebody at the State House and I don't know who it was. It
was -- and I'm very sorry about that that I can't detail
this better. It was -- well, I can't say at this time
whether it was a legislator -- whether it was a Senator's
staff person or not. But I had contact with the Capitol by
phone. And they indicated that it would be in the committee
discussion at such and such time. Reverent Tanner went up
and his report back to me was that, "I attempted to speak on
your behalf and no provision was allowed for this." And he
indicated that there was a great deal of confusion in the
Chamber and that there was considerable evidence of people
who were proponents of the bill and persons who were very
vigorous and he described the climate of rather aggressive
persons who were not conducive to allowing open
discussions. But that -- and despite the fact that he
attempted to at least give some personal word from me, this
was not possible in the few minutes that was allowed for the
discussion at all.
And that is the -- is the extent
-- at that time that was the last of my attempts to
intrude or to give some input into the situation after I
learned that it had been passed. And can you tell me if
it was -- was it adopted that day, the same day it came
out of committee?
MR.KAPLAN: I don't know. It was either
the same day or the next day, but I've forgotten.
A. And so I gave up on it partly because of the press
of my responsibilities.
Q. Do you recall who it was that told you that the bill
was going to be introduced in the legislature?
A. No. No. No, I don't recall that.
Q. But you think that you learned of it sometime
A. Oh, yes. Yes. Uh-huh.
Q. Did you contact anyone when you first learned of
the bill possibly being introduced in the legislature
concerning your feelings about the bill?
A. I made a couple of phone calls and I cannot tell you
to whom I made them. This was a hurried kind of
transmission of information to me. And I think in both --
in the two or tree instances I asked the secretary to get in
touch with the person she had been informed I ought to be in
touch with. I pressed that as far as I could go. And I
can't tell you who those persons were. I think in all cases
they were not directly -- were not legislators, but were
Q. Do you recall whether this could have been January or
A. Oh, that would have been very close to the time
of the adoption of the bill. Within a day or two prior to
the adoption of the bill.
Q. That was the first time you had ever done anything
concerning the bill?
A. Yes, right. Yeah.
MR.KAPLAN: Can we go off the record for a
[Off the record discussion.]
Q. Why were you concerned with this bill being
introduced into the legislature?
A. I was concerned because basically -- because of the
-- my first initial concern was that I perceived this as
a transgression of the First Amendment. That this was
going to result in a mixture of Church and State that I
did not think was appropriate.
Q. Do you recall the substance of any of the telephone
conversations which you or your secretary may have made
concerning the creation-science bill?
A. The substance of them was a statement of my
position. And for the persons that I was talking to,
that I would appreciate it if the person that I was
trying to reach, the Senator or the Representative as
the case would have been, might know of my point of
view. And I asked that that be transmitted to that
person. That was the substance.
Q. Do you recall who you were trying to transmit your
A. I don't recall that. I don't recall that.
Q. Were they your local legislators or were they
friends of yours or --
A. No. These would have been persons that I
understood were directly related to this in some way or
was in charge of, you know, guiding this into committee
and that sort of thing. They were not friends, they were
not -- basically names that had been given me as being
persons that I should get in touch with.
Q. Who gave you those names?
A. These names came -- I don't know who these people were
actually by name. But these are people who know of my
concern, left word with the secretary that "At such and such
a time, this is on this kind of timeline. And so if the
Bishop wants to respond, he should call so and so at this
number." It was that kind of information.
Q. How would they have known of your concern in this
A. Well, these could have been people in our conference
and area staff. These could have been people there who
-- sometimes radios going or people who read something in
the paper that I hadn't read. They would have been that
type of person.
Q. How would they have known that you were concerned
A. Oh, through informal discussions as occurs every
now and then as we gathered for various kinds of meetings.
And sometimes if there is something that's hot, an
issue around that's getting a lot of attention, why we
make kind of comparison notes on it or exchange views
on it as we go in to get a cup of coffee in the morning.
Q. Well, when do you think you first discussed your
views with anyone concerning the teaching of
creation-science in the public schools?
A. That is very difficult to say. It would have been --
this particular subject would have been very close to the
time that the bill was enacted. Within these prior days.
Q. Within a week?
A. Probably within a week, yes. I think, though, that
the persons around whom I associate a lot, you know, in
our professional jobs down there at our headquarters,
that these would have been persons who would probably
have known my general attitude and general position in
Q. So prior to a week before the bill was enacted,
you had not had any involvement in --
A. I don't believe so. I think not. I think not.
Q. You had not talked to any legislators about it
prior to the week before its enactment?
A. No, I'm confident I did not.
Q. You did not talk to any employees of the
legislature prior to the week it was enacted?
A. No, assuming that it was in the committee
discussion a day or two prior to its enactment, I know I
would have not talked to employees of the legislature
earlier than that.
Q. Which committee was this that you are talking about?
A. I don't know that. It was whatever committee was
dealing with it, and I frankly don't know.
Q. Do you know if it was in the House or the Senate?
A. This would -- I believe that this would -- I believe
this would have been the House.
Q. Had you been contacted by any individuals or
groups prior to a week before the enactment of the
creation-science bill concerning your views?
A. No, no.
Q. Have you made attempts in the past to testify before a
A. Only, only -- there has only been one occasion
which was approximately three or four years ago. And the
incident had to do with a -- the consideration of a
proposed tax measure on Church property. And I was -- I
did appear before a committee that was chaired, I
believe, by Dr. -- the optometrist. I can't think of what
his name was. Prominent in legislature at the time from
Pine Bluff. You can't help me with that can you?
A. That's the only time I've appeared before a
Q. Were there others who appeared before the
legislative body at that time?
A. Yes. Yes.
Q. On both sides of the issue?
MS. VEHIK: I'm going to object to these
questions. I don't see any relevance.
Q. But on either side of the issue or both sides of
A. I frankly don't know whether both sides were
discussed. But we were -- at that time our side was
given an opportunity to assert an opinion.
Q. How did you know that that particular tax bill was
going to be before the legislative committee on that day?
A. I can't say. I don't recall how that word came to me.
Q. How was it that you decided you would testify?
A. There was a small group of interested persons.
Somebody did call me and said, "If we could have the
opportunity to make a statement, would you be willing to
go?" And I indicated that I would on this issue. And I
can't recall who that was.
Q. Do you recall the length of time between when you were
first contacted by the person asking whether you would
testify and the time you did testify?
A. I think it was the same day. I think it was before
noon and testimony took place, our appearance took place
approximately -- not far from the noon hour. Maybe 12:30,
1:00, 1:30, something like that.
Q. Did you personally make any arrangements to testify
or was that done for you?
A. No, that was done for me. I didn't personally do
Q. How long did your testimony --
MS. VEHIK: I would like to note
my continuing objection to this line of questions and
that they are not particularly relevant to the testimony
that the Bishop will give during the trial.
Q. Excuse us, Bishop Hicks. This is just some things
that lawyers have to do back and forth. How long was
your testimony at that hearing?
A. It was very brief, very brief. Probably only a minute
Q. Do you know how long the committee heard testimony
on the tax measure?
A. No, I have no idea.
Q. Did you leave immediately after your testimony?
A. Very shortly. Within thirty minutes.
Q. Do you know whether all bills which are considered by
the General Assembly are subject to committee hearings?
A. My technical knowledge of the legislative process
is minimal. And I frankly don't know. My assumption is
that, though there may be exceptions, that surely most
of them do go through a committee process.
Q. Do you know whether or not there are limitations
placed on the lengths of time a hearing will last
A. No. I don't know that.
Q. You mentioned that someone contacted you by
telephone concerning the hearing date on Act 590 -- what
later became Act 590. Do you know who that someone
A. No, there were several sources. And at the time I
made no attempt to remember and I did not -- I made no
attempt to record it and I frankly don't know. Somehow
or other, word was coming to me from more than one source
that this is pretty far along and, you know, "If you are
going to do anything, that it's got to be done shortly."
And these -- I could say and would say that these, you
know, were persons of -- I think in all cases of my --
of my professional commonality and not -- were not persons
of a -- of a legislative orientation that were seeking any
strength that I could bring one way or other. They are
persons who shared mutual concerns as me.
Q. Do you recall the length of time between that
telephone conversation alerting you to the committee hearing
and the date of the hearing?
A. The time when I was aware of it was the same day.
It was that morning that I was aware that it was going
to be discussed in committee. It seemed to me that word
was that 9:30 or something like that this will be on the
docket and there was no way that I could get loose at
that time. But it was that same morning.
Q. Prior to that day, had you prepared remarks
concerning your position on --
Q. -- the model bill?
Q. After you were contacted by telephone, but before the
scheduled time of the hearing, did you prepare remarks?
Q. Did you go to the Capitol that morning yourself?
A. No, I didn't go to the Capitol that morning
myself. My committments wouldn't allow me to do it. And
I asked Reverend George Tanner to go in my stead.
Q. Prior to -- excuse me. Go ahead.
A. I was going to say the context of that request
was for him to, you know, register on my behalf, in any
manner that he could, my opposition to this bill and my
concern about it.
Q. Prior to the telephone call which you received that
morning telling you of the committee hearing, had you
discussed your concerns about the bill with Reverend
A. I can't say for sure. If I did, it would have been
in a casual way that one might discuss a news item with
which one has some difference of opinion. And if there
was a discussion, it would have been within that context.
Q. What amount of time passed between the time that you
received the telephone call telling you of the committee
hearing and the time you first contacted Reverend Tanner
about appearing before the committee?
A. Probably twenty minutes.
Q. Why did you contact Reverend Tanner as opposed to
some other person?
A. Well, he was available for one thing. And I think he
was the first one that I had -- if he had not been able
to, I would have gone on to another person. And that
little sequence in there is something like, you know,
getting to the office about 8:30, learning of this.
Probably making a -- probably within there making a phone
call to affirm the time. Getting to -- and discovering that
I couldn't do it myself. Getting Reverend Tanner because I
know that he only had about fifteen minutes or so to get up
to the Capitol. He said, "I'll just drop everything and
Q. How long did your conversation last with Reverend
A. Oh, it would have been two or three minutes.
Q. And what did you tell Reverend Tanner to say?
A. That -- I can't recall the conversation verbatim.
But the gist of it would have been to ask him if he would
go in my behalf to register, in whatever manner he
could, my opposition to this bill. And I know -- I did
know enough, you know, of his position to know that I was
not asking him to do something contrary to his position.
And therefore, I was comfortable in just leaving it in
that way, knowing that if he had the opportunity to speak
that he would make appropriate remarks.
Q. Do you know whether Reverend Tanner ever spoke
to the legislature or at the legislative hearing?
A. I think he never had the opportunity. That was
my understanding that he did not have the opportunity,
though he requested. And from whom he requested, I don't
know. But he did endeavor to get to speak and was told that
there would not be an opportunity for him to speak.
Q That request would have been made when he arrived at
A. Right. Right.
Q. When did you learn that Reverend Tanner did not get to
speak to the legislative committee?
A. That afternoon sometime. Probably the middle
of the afternoon.
Q. Who did you learn that from?
A. From him.
Q. All right. What did he tell you?
A. He indicated that there was no opportunity given
for persons such as himself to speak. That there was
a great deal of confusion and it seemed to be a very
Q. What do you mean by the phrase "persons such as
A. Persons such as himself speaking? Well, persons
who were there to voice opposition to it. That it was
my recollection that he indicated that there was no one
on that occasion that was given the opportunity to speak
against the bill.
Q. Did he tell you whether or not Representative Wilson
spoke against the bill at that hearing?
A. I don't recall that he indicated that to me.
Q. Did he indicate to you that persons testified in favor
of the bill?
A. The -- you know, this is -- this is a recollection
that I had no idea that I would be asked to call up. And
I frankly cannot recall whether he said -- whether he
said that persons testified in favor of it. His overall
impression to me was that the opportunity for outside
input, that is people who are outside the committee, that
there was very little or no -- well, let me say it this
way. There was virtually no opportunity given for very
much input from anybody except within the committee