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Resolution On Church-state Relations

WHEREAS, The programs and activities of the State in present day society have enlarged to the point that:

a. Education is apparently moving toward a practical monopoly by the State,
b. The area of charity and public welfare is being largely preempted by the State,
c. The dignity of man and the opportunity of minorities are being moved from an area of Christian concern and recognition into an area protected and undergirded by laws, court decrees, and other State functions, and

WHEREAS, The church still maintains its program in these areas, either independent of the State or in cooperation with the State, resulting in an inevitable complexity of the problem of Church-State relations,

Now therefore be it RESOLVED:

1. That Southern Baptists maintain their traditional position on the separation of church and state by having a “free church in a free state”; and that we reaffirm previous actions of Southern Baptist Conventions in expressing opposition to official relations, diplomatic or otherwise, being established between the United States and the Vatican;

2. That we urge the leadership of all Baptist institutions to study the principles and issues of Church-State relationship, with the caution to be guided by their concerns for the Christian witness and for the freedom of men;

3. That we commend the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs for keeping Baptists informed and involved in giving a clear contemporary witness with reference to the basis and meaning of freedom; and

4. That we commend Protestants and Other Americans United for calling attention to the need for speaking to the major Church-State issues of our day.