by David Closson
June 28, 2021
This is the final part of a three-part series highlighting significant resolutions passed by the Southern Baptist Convention this year that apply a biblical worldview to critical cultural and political issues. Read part one and part two.
Last week, America’s largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), held its annual meeting for the purpose of hearing updates from various seminaries, electing new leaders, and passing various resolutions.
Dozens of resolutions are submitted at every annual SBC meeting. Only a handful are accepted by the Resolution Committee and brought to a vote. If a resolution passes, that means the SBC is collectively agreeing to publicly affirm the statement contained in the resolution. Resolutions are traditionally in response to various cultural developments, social ideologies, or legislation under consideration by the United States Congress. One of the prominent resolutions passed during the 2021 convention was in defense of the Hyde Amendment.
The Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal tax dollars from being used to pay for abortions, has been included in every federal spending bill since 1976, when it was first passed by a 312-93 vote. The amendment has long enjoyed bipartisan support; however, the Biden administration did not include Hyde in its recent budget plan. The SBC’s resolution urges the administration to reconsider its position and uphold Hyde.
You can read all of the resolutions passed by the SBC here. Read the resolution “On Taxpayer Complicity in Abortion and the Hyde Amendment,” reprinted here:
WHEREAS, The Bible clearly and unequivocally affirms the sanctity of every human life made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27; 9:6), a truth to which Christians in every century have testified and are called to bear witness in every age and in every sphere of life; and
WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have historically affirmed biblical teaching regarding the sanctity of human life by supporting and funding pro-life initiatives and by adopting numerous pro-life resolutions at national, state, and associational meetings; and
WHEREAS, Since 1973 more than 60 million unborn children have had their lives tragically ended through the evil genocide of abortion as a result of the Supreme Court’s morally repugnant and unconstitutional ruling in Roe v. Wade; and
WHEREAS, The bipartisan, nearly half-century-old Hyde Amendment, enacted in 1976 and reinstated by every administration since, has heretofore prevented financial complicity in the sin of abortion by preventing federal tax dollars from paying for abortions or for health benefits that include coverage of abortion; and
WHEREAS, The Hyde Amendment has saved more than an estimated 2 million lives since its enactment and enjoys broad support from the American public; and
WHEREAS, Congress has consistently passed a wide range of Hyde-like amendments that protect taxpayer funds from being used for abortions in other federal programs (the Dornan and Smith Amendments), in international aid (the Helms, Siljander, and Tiahrt Amendments), in research (the Dickey-Wicker Amendment), and for medical providers and others who object to abortion (the Hyde-Weldon and Nickles Amendments); and
WHEREAS, The current administration has proposed eliminating the Hyde Amendment in its budget proposal, thus advocating to make taxpayer money available to fund abortion procedures; and
WHEREAS, Any party platform that explicitly calls for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment evidences a wanton disregard for human dignity and a culture of life; and
WHEREAS, Opposition to the Hyde Amendment represents an effort to make every American citizen complicit in high-handed moral rebellion against the Author of Life (Acts 3:15); now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, June 15-16, 2021, condemn any effort to repeal the Hyde Amendment as morally abhorrent, a violation of Biblical ethics, contrary to the natural law, and a moral stain on our nation; and be it further
RESOLVED, That Southern Baptists call on Congress and the President to uphold the Hyde Amendment and all pro-life Amendments, to protect life, and to prevent taxpayers from being complicit in the moral evil of abortion; and be it finally
RESOLVED, That Southern Baptists should work through all available cultural and legislative means to end the moral scourge of abortion as we also seek to love, care for, and minister to women who are victimized by the unjust abortion industry.
With this resolution, the SBC is taking a stand not only for the sanctity of human life, but also for freedom of conscience and religion. If the Hyde Amendment is removed from federal spending bills, these essential human rights will be under threat.
Let us pray and do everything we can to end the injustice of abortion. We must remember to “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Eph. 5:11).