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Southern Baptists Propose Resolution to Exit Public Schools

( [email protected] ) May 13, 2004 12:53 PM EDT

A resolution to urge Southern Baptists to remove their children from public schools has been proposed for the denomination's annual convention on June 15.

"It dawned on us that academics were going downhill. That was the beginning of our awakening," said Mr. Pinckney, a former second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, who co-submitted the resolution with Bruce Shortt, a Houston lawyer.

Southern Baptist is the nation’s largest non-Catholic sect with 16.2 million members. The resolution urges Southern Baptists to “remove their children from all government schools and see to it they receive a thoroughly Christian education."

The resolution directs the members to provide their children with a Christian education instead of “an anti-Christian education” that public schools teach including the acceptance of homosexuality. It notes, “it is foolish for Christians to give their children to be trained in schools run by the enemies of God."

Barrett Duke, vice president for public policy for the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said, “We are also concerned about what happens in public schools, some of which is contrary to Southern Baptist faith and sensitivities. But we've never said public education is incompatible with Christian life." He commented that Southern Baptists have never taken such a position against public education.

The resolution, with several dozen of resolutions, will be submitted to SBC’s Resolutions Committee to decide whether to present it to the full convention next month. If the resolution is sent to the floor, it will need a simple majority to pass. If rejected by the committee, Mr. Pinckney will introduce the resolution on the floor, which would need a two-thirds majority vote to pass.