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On The 150th Anniversary Of The Dred Scott Decision

WHEREAS, March 6, 2007, marked the 150th anniversary of the infamous Dred Scott Decision by the United States Supreme Court; and

WHEREAS, The majority opinion of the Court concluded that people of African ancestry and their descendants “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect” and ruled that an entire race of people did not have personhood nor right of citizenship; and

WHEREAS, We affirm the Declaration of Independence which says, “we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights”; and

WHEREAS, This deplorable decision required action by all three branches of government to eventually overturn: Emancipation Proclamation (1863); Brown v. Board of Education (1954); and Civil Rights Act of 1964; and

WHEREAS, We are complicit with this erroneous Supreme Court decision when we fail to love, minister to, and share the Gospel with people because of their ethnicity, ability, or station in life; and

WHEREAS, We are all born as slaves to sin and have no rights to the throne of God except through Jesus Christ; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in San Antonio, Texas, June 12-13, 2007, wholly lament and repudiate the Dred Scott Decision and fully embrace the Lord’s command to love our neighbors as ourselves; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we reaffirm the historic action in 1995 of the Southern Baptist Convention to “unwaveringly denounce racism, in all its forms, as deplorable sin,” and to view “every human life as sacred…of equal and immeasurable worth, made in God’s image, regardless of race or ethnicity”; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we fully concur that “racism profoundly distorts our understanding of Christian morality”; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commend our churches who intentionally reach out to all persons regardless of ethnicity, and we encourage all other Southern Baptist churches to emulate their example, as the Body of Christ is commanded and called to do; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we pray for and eagerly await the day that the scourge and blight of racism is totally eradicated from the Body of Christ so that the world may see the love of Christ incarnated in and through us.