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Resolution On Religious Liberty

RESOLVED, First, We reaffirm our belief in the doctrine of complete separation of Church and State.

Second, That the doctrine involves not only the inhibition of the use of public moneys, Federal, State or local, for the aid or support of the churches but also inhibits the use of such moneys, directly or indirectly, by or through, educational or benevolent institutions owned or controlled, by or through, sectarian or religious bodies.

Third, That the Churches and all their institutions and agencies should be supported by voluntary gifts of those interested and not by taxes imposed on all the people by force of law;

Fource, Without undertaking to pass upon the governmental principle involved, we hereby declare that in the opinion of this Convention that the distribution of public benefits by denominational institutions even as agents for the government, tends to create unseemly rivalries between the sects and menaces the feeling of brotherhood which should exist among the churches;

Fifth, We commend the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for declining to accept from the National Youth Administration of the Federal Government the allotment made to said institutions for student aid funds of the current session.

Sixth, We recommend the adoption of the following resolution offered by Ed S. Preston, Georgia:

WHEREAS, The use of radio for the presentation of Christian truths is of known and increasing importance;

WHEREAS, The commercial demands upon radio time and the technical program requirements make it increasingly difficult to secure effective presentation of these truths; and

WHEREAS, Baptist radio programs presented from time to time over strong stations reach a nation-wide audience making possible thereby contribution to all Baptists and to Christians generally;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That a committee be named by the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention to cooperate with a similar committee it is hoped will be named by the Northern Baptist Convention so that a joint study of radio opportunities for Baptists might be made, information as to their respective plans shared and cooperation given in radio matters where the interests of the Kingdom and of Baptists can be thus served.


(Your Commission regards the freedom of religion as a matter of such vital concern that it recommends the adoption of the following resolutions which were adopted last year):

1. That we hereby reaffirm our devotion to the fundamental New Testament doctrine and fundamental principle of the American Government, the separation of church and state; religion must be kept free from all entangling alliances with government and government must not assume patronage, sponsorship or control over religion in any form.

2. That we also declare it to be our abiding conviction that this fundamental doctrine of the New Testament and sacred principle of government cannot be maintained if and when the government becomes the financial sponsor for churches, provides financial subsidies for churches or other religious institutions, or appropriates money out of the public treasury to sectarian institutions.

3. That we would call the attention of Southern Baptist pastors and churches to these matters and would urge them with all diligence to maintain this doctrine in all of their activities and relationships and at all costs to abstain from borrowing money from government, receiving the financial endorsement of the government and receiving appropriations of funds from the public treasury, whether national or state.

4. That we would enter our earnest protest against the violation of this principle by any Baptist church or Baptist institution or by others, and especially against the appropriation or application of public funds to sectarian institutions of whatever name or order.