SBC State Conventions
Missouri Baptist General Association (October 18-20, 1938)
Resolution III — Race Relations
It is with deep regret that we hear constantly of the race prejudice which is manifested at home and abroad. Especially are our hearts made sad when we read of the growing spirit of anti-Semitism which is spreading throughout the world, gradually seeping into our own land. Nearly two-thirds of the Jewish race has been caught in the quicksands of that unhappy continent of Europe where they seem to be rapidly and hopelessly sinking. Two of the three million in Poland are deprived of all means of subsistence. Hearts are touched by their suffering in Germany, Austria and Italy, where the slow economic annihilation of a people has become more excruciatingly cruel than annihilation by sword. To remain in these countries means sure starvation; to flee abroad they cannot, unless they are prepared to sacrifice their possessions. In the face of such a sad plight of a people, can we as followers of Christ remain silent and not voice our protests? We would not be true to our Christian heritage were we to do so, especially when we are reminded of our eternal debt to this race by the Apostle Paul who, in Romans 9:4-5, wrote, “Israelites: to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God and the promises; whose are the Father’s, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came.” If the Jew needs chastisement let us remember that it is God’s prerogative and not man’s. “Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will repay, saith the Lord.” We therefore would express our deep sympathy and concern to our Jewish brethren in their hour of suffering and assure them of our love. We representatives of the Christian faith publicly condemn the oppression to which millions of Jews are being subjected as a blot on the civilization of our time.
Minutes of the 1938 Annual Session of the Missouri Baptist General Association, Resolutions Committee Report, Resolution III – Race Relations, p. 217.
South Carolina Baptist Convention (November 15-17, 1938)
- Democracy. No people have had more to do with the development of democracy than Baptists. The world owes a great debt to Roger Williams and these who followed in his train. Democracies not just the rue of the majority. Fascism believes in that. It also involves the right of minority to live and to agitate for change, so long as this is advocated by peaceful means. We believe that private armies and military or semi-military organizations should not be allowed. Democracy is menaced today as it has not been in a hundred years. Hitler and Mussolini deride it. We see the trend toward fascism in the so-called democratic countries. We believe the best way to save democracy is to make it work in church, political, and economic life.
- Religious Liberty. We prize the principle of soul freedom. We believe in it not only for ourselves but for others. We protest the denial of Religious Liberty in Russia, Ethiopia, Germany and elsewhere. We look with horror on the terrible persecution of the Jews in Germany. How irrational to make a whole people suffer as they are at present because of the act of a half insane boy in France. We believe world opinion and influences should be marshalled against this persecution. We must beware of being infected by this baneful tendency. It is a time when we should show special kindness to the Jews in our midst.
We protest the persecution of Baptists and others in Roumania. For years the state church has persecuted our brethren there…We call on the Roumanian government to see…that Baptists are accorded the full religious liberty allowed Greek Catholics, Jews, and Moslems.
Minutes of the 1938 Annual Session of the State Convention of the Baptist Denomination of South Carolina, Commission on Social Service Report, pp. 121-122.
Mississippi Baptist Convention (November 1938)
Whereas, the German government has resorted to unjustifiable persecutions of the Jews in Germany,
Be it resolved, that we register our protest against these persecutions with the German Embassy at Washington, D. C., in the following letter:
The German Minister to the U. S. of America
The German Embassy,
Washington, D. C.
Representing 250,000 liberty loving Christians, we, the Mississippi Baptist Convention, now in session in Jackson, Mississippi, respectfully submit to you our solemn protest against the renewed and intensified persecution of Jews in Germany.
It is inconceivable to us how a great, cultured, historic people, such as the German people, could perpetuate or even tolerate the unjust, inhuman, un-Christian persecution, as have recently been reported in the American press, which your government now seems to be inflicting upon the Jews of Germany.
Furthermore, we cannot understand how a responsible government could inflict horrible punishment and heavy penalties upon a highly respected race of people living within its own borders, in retaliation of a rash act committed by a lone, irresponsible, overwrought boy of the same race, living in another country. No system of civilized jurisprudence known to us could justify such retaliation.
We join the Christian world in regretting and deploring the slaying of your esteemed citizen, Ernst Von Rath, German Embassy Secretary in Paris, by this misguided youth, but we must condemn as unwarranted and unjust the wholesale punishment of the Jews in Germany who had no part in instigating or executing this inexcusable crime and are therefore wholly innocent of it.
Such a course as your government seems to be pursuing against the Jews of your country because of this act, we believe can only add fuel to the fires of international misunderstanding and discord that are already burning all too threatenly, and certainly cannot promote the cause of world peace.
We respectfully request that you transmit this protest to your Propaganda Minister, Herr Paul Joseph Goebels of the third Reich.
J. D. Franks
“Resolution of Protest Against the Persecution of the Jews in Germany,” Proceedings of the 1938 Annual Session of the Mississippi Baptist Convention, pp. 51-52.
Alabama Baptist Convention (November 1938)
We note with approval the friendly relations that have existed between our Government and the German Reich. However we have been saddened by the continuous persecution of Jews and other minorities. We regard persecution a violation of fundamental human rights.
We believe that a great people such as the Germans are and have been are false to their own well being, and that they are justly incurring the displeasure and censure of civilized nations by their own oppression and intimidation of any groups because of religion or race. We make indignant protest against these injustices and ask that the Convention make representations to our State Department in Washington, the President, and the German Ambassador, Hans Dieckhoff.
Annual of the 1938 Alabama Baptist State Convention, Report of Social Service Commission, p. 112.
North Carolina Baptist Convention (November 1938)
We recognize and deeply regret human weakness and frailty which express themselves in universal racial antipathies and friction. Racial frictions are by no means limited to the South, not to the relations of the White man and the Negro. The most fragrant expression of racial antipathy at the present time is found in the universal prejudice against the Jew and the terrible persecution now inflicted upon the Jews in Germany, Poland and other countries. We rejoice that the gospel of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ offers an adequate remedy for racial hate, and we believe that only as this gospel is preached and accepted by all nations can we hope to see racial hatred disappear and to see all races living together in peace.
Annual of the 1938 North Carolina Baptist State Convention, Committee on Social Service and Civic Righteousness report, Resolution I – “Concerning Race Relations,” p. 37.
North Carolina Baptist Convention (November 1938)
- That the North Carolina Baptist Convention, representing four hundred thousand white Baptists, condemn and it does hereby condemn and deplore, the present policy of the German Government which it pursues in relentless and inhuman persecution both of Christians and Jews on purely religious and racial grounds.
- That we believe the government of the United States, without any general repeal or revision of its immigration laws, should somehow find it possible so to modify the application of these laws as to offer asylum to these persecuted and outraged people regardless of the immigration quotas fixed by statute.
Annual of the 1938 North Carolina Baptist State Convention, Committee on Social Service and Civic Righteousness report, Resolution IV – “German Persecution,” p. 38.
Tennessee Baptist Convention (November 1938)
THE TENNESSEE BAPTIST CONVENTION, in annual session assembled, representing a constituency of 375,000 white communicants, join millions of other American citizens in expressing indignation against the persecution by the German Government of Jews and other religious groups. We deplore the flagrant abridgment of human freedom and the anachronistic violation of fundamental human rights involved in all such persecution. We appeal to the Department of State of our government to use its good offices in whatever manner may be most effective in bringing the promptest end to such flagrant disregard of the rights of religious and racial minorities, and also to render whatever aid and comfort is possible to the distressed peoples of such minority groups.
Minutes of the Tennessee Baptist Convention 1938 Annual Session, p. 79.
Georgia Baptist Convention (November 1938)
The developments in the last few days in the renewed outbreak against the Jews leaves us appalled and speechless. We respectfully protest such discrimination and prejudice; for any man, anywhere, who is anti-Jewish in his acts or in his feelings, is at the same moment anti-Christian. Christianity, if it is real, must drive out of our hearts all prejudice and intolerance.
Minutes of the 1938 Baptist Convention of the State of Georgia, Social Service Commission Report, “What Can We Do About War?” p. 34.
Kentucky Baptist Convention (November, 1938)
- That this Association voice the deep sympathy of its members for all those religious and racial minorities that have suffered the loss of property or of civil rights because of religious loyalty or racial origin; whether in Soviet Union, the German Reich, Roumania, or other lands;
- That we covenant together to pray henceforth even more earnestly than in the past for all such;
- And that we exhort all our Baptist brethren in America and other lands to join us in praying for grace, for wisdom and for courage to render worthy Christian service to all such people that we can reach.
Proceedings of the 1938 General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, Minutes, p. 71.
North Carolina Baptist Convention (1943)
Since the war began in Europe four years ago racial tensions have been acute, often blazing out in destructive ways. The treatment of Jews in many lands has been one of the most heinous crimes of history. Their utter extermination planned systematically by Nazi leaders must always call for vigorous condemnation by Christians. In this country riots between Negroes and whites in several cities are greatly deplored. The unwillingness on the part of many white people to accord Negroes full opportunity for growth in a genuine democracy, and the bitterness shown by some of the colored leaders in seeking to obtain rights denied them, are not in accord with Christian ideals for living together. The presence in this country of descendants of nations against whom we are fighting produces additional friction. In the first world war Germans, and those removed by one generation from the Fatherland, often were the objects of scorn and indifference. The bitterness expressed toward some of them at that time seems in this war to have been directed chiefly against the descendants of Japanese in the western part of the country, with the placing of a large part of the Japanese population in internment camps.
Annual of the 1943 North Carolina Baptist State Convention, Committee on Social service and Civic Righteousness report, Section IV – “Racial Matters,” paragraph one, p. 34.
Missouri Baptist General Association (1943)
There were 599,000 Jews in Germany in 1933, and at the end of 1942 there were less than 40,000. There were 185,000 Jews in Austria before the War, and now there are less than 13,000. It has been reported upon reliable authority that 2,000,000 Jews have perished in Europe during the past four years, in this racial war prosecuted with all the hate of a thousand hells by the German war lords. Surely, a day of reckoning is coming for those guilty of this shameless slaughter!
We Americans, however, are not free from guilt in this matter. For more than a hundred years we have instilled into the hearts of our youth a race prejudice against the Japanese, Chinese, Indians and the Negroes. This dark and satanic prejudice instilled into the hearts of our youth by supposedly Christian parents has brought forth crimes and inhuman deeds which are so hideous that we hesitate to mention.
Minutes of the 1943 Annual Session of the Missouri Baptist General Association, Temperance and Social Service Committee Report, Section IV – Interracial Problems, pp. 141-142.
Missouri Baptist General Association (1944)
There is no problem confronting this nation that is more important than that of race relation. In a few places we are hearing some sensible and sane discussions of this subject. While there are very serious problems involved in the question regarding races - the Japanese and other nationalities, Jewish, etc. - Our chief problem, as we know, is between the whites and the blacks.
Minutes of the 1944 Annual Session of the Missouri Baptist General Association, Temperance and Social Service Committee Report, Race Relations, p. 154.
Alabama Baptist State Convention (Nov. 11-12, 2014)
RESOLUTION NO. 6
IN SUPPORT OF THE RIGHT OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL TO EXIST
WHEREAS, We recognize that long-standing hostility has existed between Israel and her neighbors; and
WHEREAS, The Scriptures call for us to pray for the peace of Israel (Psalm 122:6); and
WHEREAS, We affirm God’s love for and offer of salvation in Christ to all people, including both Jewish and Palestinian people; and
WHEREAS, Both Old and New Testaments affirm God’s special purposes and providential care for the Jewish people (Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 17:1-21; Romans 9-11); and
WHEREAS, The Jewish people have a historic connection to the land of Israel, a connection that is rooted in the promises of God Himself; and
WHEREAS, The Alabama legislature passed a resolution supporting the right of a Jewish Homeland in 1943, the first state to do so; and
WHEREAS, The international community restored land to the Jewish people in 1947 to provide a homeland for them and re-establish the nation of Israel; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 11-12, 2014, support the right of Israel to exist as a sovereign state; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we express our abhorrence of all forms of terrorism as inexcusable, barbaric, and cowardly acts; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we denounce revenge in any form as a response to past offenses (Romans 12:17-21) but support the right of sovereign nations to use force to defend themselves against aggressors; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we affirm that Israel must always be held accountable to the same standards of national righteousness as any other nation, particularly in light of the Old Testament mandate that Israel maintain justice for the strangers and aliens in her midst (Exodus 22:21; Deuteronomy 10:19); and be it further
RESOLVED, That we call on the Palestinian people to reform their government structures to repudiate terrorism and tyranny; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we call on the Israeli and Palestinian people to pursue policies that promote genuine religious liberty and peace between themselves and their neighbors; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we call on the United States and the nations of the world to offer whatever assistance they can to help secure peace in the Middle East; and be it further
RESOLVED, That we pledge to pray for peace in the Middle East, and especially for Israel; and be it finally
RESOLVED, That we pray that the true peace of our Lord will reign in the lives of the Israeli and Palestinian people and that this peace will bring blessing to this war-torn land.
RESOLUTION NO. 7
IN OPPOSITION TO ANTI-SEMITISM
WHEREAS, Scripture tells us that believers are to be known for loving others (John 13:35, Matt. 5:43, Matt. 19:19, Mark 12:31); and
WHEREAS, Alabama Baptists and Southern Baptists have long opposed racial and ethnic stereotyping and hatred; and
WHEREAS, A recent study by the Anti-Defamation League has determined that 26% of those surveyed in 100 nations around the world hold to unjust stereotypes of the Jewish community; and
WHEREAS, International press reports indicate a great rise in anti-Semitism in Europe, including denial of the Nazi Holocaust; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Alabama Baptist State Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, November 11-12, 2014, support the right of the Jewish community to fellowship without harassment; and be it further
RESOLVED, That Alabama Baptists deplore anti-Semitic attitudes, including Holocaust denial; and be it finally
RESOLVED, That Alabama Baptists will teach respect for our Jewish neighbors and would discourage those anti-Semitic attitudes which may seek to find a place in public policy.
http://www.sjlmag.com/2014/11/alabama-baptists-unanimously-declare.html (accessed 1 April 2016).