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Resolution On Irs

WHEREAS, Revenue procedures have been proposed by the Internal Revenue Service which deny tax-exempt status to private schools–including those owned and operated by churches–unless they can prove that they do not discriminate on the basis of race in their admissions policies, and

WHEREAS, These procedures affecting the enrollment of church schools rest on broad grounds of public policy rather than on specific statutory authorization, and

WHEREAS, Many schools operated by a particular church or association of churches form an integral part of the total religious mission of the church or association, and

WHEREAS, Many of these schools were created by churches primarily to serve the religious as well as the educational needs of their own membership, and

WHEREAS, The actions of the Internal Revenue Service in this instance violate the constitutional guarantees of separation of church and state and the free exercise of religion,

Be it therefore RESOLVED by the Southern Baptist Convention in its 1979 annual meeting in Houston, Texas that:

1. We reaffirm our historic position in support of the separation of church and state, the right of the church alone to define its own religious mission, and the right of a church to establish schools as a part of that mission without the aid of the state, hindrance by the state, and threats of loss of tax-exempt status for following that religious mission, and

2. We request that the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs, while being sensitive to our position on racism, work vigorously to maintain the separation of church and state, to protect the free exercise of religion, and to oppose specifically the Internal Revenue Service’s proposed intrusions into church owned and operated schools.