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Resolution On Preserving The United States Constitution And The Amending Process

WHEREAS, If Congress changes the time period for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, millions of Americans will consider this an illegal attempt to tamper with our sacred United States Constitution, and

WHEREAS, If Congress extends the time once, then why not twice or indefinitely, thereby in effect destroying the amendment process, and

WHEREAS, If any part of the ERA resolution is subject to amendment, all of it should be subject to amendment and the whole subject considered “de novo” (begin again), and

WHEREAS, The ERA Extension Bill amounts to a misuse of the democratic process and violates the fundamental principles of contract law, and

WHEREAS, Seven years is the traditional period allowed for ratification of constitutional amendments and none has ever taken more than four years, and

WHEREAS, The right of states to rescind ERA should be part of any ERA Extension Bill (there is nothing in the United States Constitution, any Federal Statute, or any United States Supreme Court holding that denies a state the right to rescind its ratification of a constitutional amendment), now

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the Southern Baptist Convention in conference in Atlanta, Georgia, June 13-15, 1978, be on record as opposing the ERA Extension Bills now pending in the Congress of the United States and any amendment or any substitute bills which would provide for extension of the time for states to ratify the ERA.

Be it further RESOLVED, That the clearly stated right of states to rescind the ERA prior to ratification by three-fourths of the states must be part of any ERA time extension bill.

Be it further RESOLVED, That we denounce any governmental pressure, such as that levied in the form of withheld services or privileges, against states which have not ratified the proposed amendment.