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Resolution Concerning Freedom Of Religion

Be it resolved by the Southern Baptist Convention in annual session assembled:

1. That this Convention reaffirm its unalterable devotion to the principles of the absolute separation of church and state and the absolute freedom of religion.

2. That it is our conviction that this principle includes and requires the prohibition of appropriation and use of all public funds for religious or sectarian institutions and purposes.

3. That in particular this principle would prohibit and should prohibit the levying of any tax by the government, by whatever name called, upon any church or religious or charitable institution under church auspices all of which are purely voluntary and must be kept entirely free from the taxing power and directing control of the government if freedom of religion is to continue.

4. That this Convention go on record, and it does hereby go on record, as opposing heartily and earnestly the Walsh Bill, known as S. 670, now pending before the United States Senate, the purpose of which, as stated in the Bill itself, is “to extend the Federal old-age and survivors’ insurance benefits of the Social Security Act to certain employes of religious and charitable organizations, and for other purposes.” It is our conviction that a change of name by which a tax levied by the government is called a contribution, does not change the nature of the levy nor the principles involved. Nor is the principle changed by the proposal to extend the coverage of the Social Security Act only to certain classes of persons employed by religious and charitable institutions. We are, therefore, compelled to oppose this legislation and we would urge all our people to use their influence with their Senators and Representatives to defeat the passage of this Bill.


5. That we recognize it as the high privilege and inescapable duty of the several religious denominations to provide a suitable and adequate fund for the social security of all of their employees, clerical and other. That this Convention shall recognize this principle and shall continue to enlarge its work through the Relief and Annuity Board in cooperation with the several conventions and that such adequate provisions shall be made for all who serve with our Baptist churches and denominational agencies.


Be it resolved by the Southern Baptist Convention in annual session assembled:

1. That we deprecate what seems to be a clear and unmistakable tendency on the part of some of our legislative bodies, including the Congress of the United States and some of the State Legislatures, to ignore and scout the rights of the people to determine their institutions at the ballot box.

2. That it is our deep and abiding conviction that this is a rank and inexcusable denial and betrayal of the principles of our free institutions and democratic government for the defense of which we are spending billions upon billions of dollars. What value will be the name of democracy if legislative bodies, whether national or state, force their will upon the people and refuse to allow the people to express themselves, or scout the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box?

3. We pledge ourselves without the slightest hesitation or reservation to the principles of democracy and to the right of the people to determine by majority vote what shall be their institutions and whether or not such a curse as the liquor traffic shall be fastened upon the body politic.

Unanimously approved and recommended for adoption by the Commission.
Arthur J. Barton, Chairman

Amendment offered by L. E. Barton, Jasper, Alabama, and adopted by the Convention:

Be it resolved by the Southern Baptist Convention in annual session assembled:

That we protest against the reappointment of Myron C. Taylor or anyone else as a representative of this government to the Vatican.