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Resolution Concerning Religious Liberty

In the historic Baptist concern for religious liberty the separation of the state from the church has been and continues to be an important policy.

In view of the renewed efforts to change the effect of the First Amendment, this Convention reaffirms the resolution adopted in 1964 with reference to the adequacy of the First Amendment as the legal basis for implementing our concern. We continue to oppose any and all attempts to modify this guarantee against establishments of religions and against interference with the free exercise of religion.

The importance of the policy of separation of church and state is increased rather than diminished by the overlappings of public concerns with church concerns, and by the numerous complexities associated with public provisions for health, welfare, and education.

In view of the increasing complexity of public programs of fiscal support, we commend the state conventions and the institutional trustees that have undertaken careful analyses of institutional policies with a view to the safeguarding of our historic concern for these principles. We likewise commend the Education Commission for launching a broadly representative study of contemporary denominational programs and needs in higher education.

We urge all who plan or operate religious activities to refrain from seeking public funds for the advancement of sectarian causes. We also urge all public agencies that support educational, health, or welfare activities of any kind to safeguard against the use of public funds for the support of, or the advancement of sectarian causes, purposes, or projects.