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Resolution On The Display Of The Ten Commandments In Government Buildings

WHEREAS, The Ten Commandments have been foundational to the development of the moral and legal code of western civilization; and

WHEREAS, The Ten Commandments have made a critical contribution to the development of the principles upon which the American society as a whole, and our legal and judicial institutions in particular, were established; and

WHEREAS, The Ten Commandments have been publicly displayed in our American halls of justice and other public places for generations; and

WHEREAS, There is current litigation concerning the lawfulness of displaying the Ten Commandments on government property; and

WHEREAS, Prohibiting the display of documents of historical significance which are religious in nature or which contain expressions of a religious nature, solely on the basis of their religious content, is clearly discrimination against religious expression; and

WHEREAS, Romans 13:1 says: “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God” (NASB).

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that we, the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 17﷓19, 1997, declare that the public display, including display in government offices and courthouses, of the Ten Commandments should be permitted;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That we urge the Christian Life Commission to continue to work for a Religious Freedom Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would prohibit this and other types of discrimination against persons based on their religious expression or belief.