Southern Baptists and “Labor Day”

Just a quick, interesting bit of info on Southern Baptists’ historic stand on labor in the United States. I thought it would be fitting for Labor Day.

Meeting in New Orleans at the Annual Convention of 1930, the Social Service Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (predecessor to what is now the “Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission”) proposed a resolution on labor, which was adopted by the delegation. This came in the wake of what was possibly the lowest economic point in American History. The impact of the Great Depression was being felt across the nation, and as laborers were being unfairly treated and widely abused (to the further detriment of our economy), Southern Baptists took a strong stand, as they have historically been known for doing, which exhibited their support for fair labor. Among the resolved statements were the following:

– That we recognize the right of labor to organize and engage in collective bargaining.

– That we recognize the right of laborers who may not wish to join a labor organization to employment.

– That we believe in a fair living wage for all who toil in factory and mine.

– That we favor a day of not more than nine hours and a week of not more than forty-nine and one-half hours.

– That we favor good sanitary housing conditions for all factory and mine workers, such as will properly protect both the health and morals of their families.

– That the teachings of the spirit of the Gospel ought to control in all industrial relations and that they offer only happy and peaceful solution of all our industrial problems.

Happy Labor Day.

[To see and search all of the SBC’s resolutions from its assembled history, click HERE.]

Grace and Peace,


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