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Resolution On Textbook Censorship

WHEREAS, Southern Baptists recognize our debt of gratitude to our forebearers who came to America seeking religious freedom; and

WHEREAS, Judeo-Christian values had a vital role in the founding of America, the formation of its institutions, and the making of its national character; and

WHEREAS, Judeo-Christian values are the source and support of our rights and freedoms as evidenced in the words of our Declaration of Independence that “all men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;” and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Supreme Court requires neutrality of religion in the public schools, not forbidding the teaching of religion’s role in history but forbidding the teaching of tenets; and

WHEREAS, The Vitz Study completed for the U.S. Department of Education, which examined 90 textbooks used in 72 percent of the classes of our public schools (and corroborated by other researchers), found the virtual total censorship of the existence, history, contributions, and current role of the Judeo-Christian heritage from our textbooks; and

WHEREAS, The omission of references in textbooks to the existence, contributions, and current role of the Judeo-Christian heritage in our society represents, according to the Vitz Study, “a systematic denial of the history, heritage, beliefs, and values of a very large segment of the American people,” having the Judeo-Christian heritage; and the elimination of these references from textbooks may contribute to the hardening of fertile young minds and may minimize to them their nation’s religious heritage and their own religious commitment.

Be it therefore RESOLVED, That we, the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, June 10-12, 1986, pray diligently for those who seek the correction of the censored history of America’s development as presented in textbooks; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge all Southern Baptists to oppose censorship of the Judeo-Christian heritage as a historical fact from our public school textbooks; and

Be it finally RESOLVED, That we urge all Southern Baptists to encourage textbook selection committees working with city, county, and state boards of education not to accept textbooks that have censored the Judeo-Christian heritage.