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Resolution On Religious Liberty

The committee to whom was referred the subject of the expediency of memorializing Congress in behalf of securing to American citizens the unmolested exercise of religious worship, recommend the presentation of the following memorial:

To the Honorable President and the Senate of the United States, in Congress assembled:

The memorial of the Southern Baptist Convention respectfully sheweth: That your memorialists are members of a religious body, which embraces a large and respectable portion of the citizens of the United States. The object of their petition is one which, in the estimation of your memorialists, and in that of hundreds of thousands of Christians in this land, embraces interests of vast importance.

As the community of civilized nations find it necessary for the protection of the persons and property, and rights of their respective inhabitants, when visiting foreign countries, to enter into treaties with each other and to establish resident officers abroad, in order to watch over and secure these rights, it seems to your memorialists as reasonable and justifiable to provide in our treaties for the security of free toleration in religious worship, as for the security of any other rights. All intercourse among civilized nations must be based on a fair exchange of privileges, and a reciprocity of advantages and immunities; and, therefore, as the citizens and subjects of all nations with whom we form treaties, enjoy the free and unmolested exercise of their religious opinions and worship on our shores, we think this great and powerful Republic owes it to her citizens who reside in or visit foreign countries, to include in her treaties, not only stipulations for their commercial and social rights, but also a guaranty for their freedom from molestation in their religious worship–a right deemed more sacred and important by Christian nations than any other privilege.

Your memorials, in behalf of the body which they represent, and uttering the sentiments of millions of their fellow-citizens in different parts of the land, earnestly request the attention of your honorable body to this subject.

RESOLVED, That a committee of five be appointed to consider the subject of memorializing the treaty-making authorities of the United States, for the purpose of securing to American citizens in foreign lands the same religious liberty which is accorded to all people in this country.