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Resolution On Religious Liberty

WHEREAS, The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees to U.S. citizens their free exercise of religion while protecting them from an establishment of religion; and

WHEREAS, Baptists have traditionally believed it to be vitally important that religious freedom be enjoyed by all and religious oppression experienced by none; and

WHEREAS, This historic principle of governmental neutrality toward religion appears to be eroding; and

WHEREAS, In this climate of governmental neutrality in the United States religion has flourished.

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That we, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting, June 14-16, 1983, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, reaffirm our determination to safeguard the genuine free exercise rights of every U.S. citizen and express our concern about the supression of religious liberty either by the establishment of religion or by the denial of free exercise; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we encourage Southern Baptists to oppose efforts to use governmental institutions and processes to promote the particular interests of a religious constituency or by favoring those who believe in no religion over those who have a faith commitment; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we encourage Southern Baptists to oppose the use of public monies for religious institutions and all unwarranted attempts by government to define “church;” and

Be it finally RESOLVED, That we call upon Baptists to express their confidence in the United States Constitution, and particularly in the First Amendment, as adequate and sufficient guarantees to protect these freedoms.