WHEREAS, The Congress of the United States is considering legislation to give taxpayers a tax credit (that is, a direct subtraction from one’s tax bill) for tuition payments, and
WHEREAS, The effect of such legislation would be of most benefit to those who could afford to finance their children’s attendance at private schools, including elite schools, and
WHEREAS, Most private elementary and secondary schools are related to churches and exist to serve the religious mission of sponsoring churches, and
WHEREAS, Tuition tax credit legislation carries the potential of financing private education at the expense of public education, and
WHEREAS, The attorney general of the United States has issued an advisory opinion that such legislation is of doubtful constitutionality under the First Amendment, especially with regard to tuition paid to elementary and secondary schools, and
WHEREAS, The Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs has opposed such legislation because of its threat to the principle of separation of church and state.
Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That we call upon President Ronald Reagan to reconsider his support of a tax credit legislation now under consideration by Congress.
Be it further RESOLVED, That we, messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, on June 17, 1982, register our opposition to all tuition tax credit legislation pending in Congress, urge the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs to continue to oppose such legislation, and express our concern over such legislation’s threat to the First Amendment guarantees of non-establishment of religion and the free exercise of religion.