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If and when such pressure upon the employer becomes coercive, the rights of free men, guaranteed under the first amendment, are abridged. If not coercive, the employer, in the case of our Baptist institutions and agencies, will choose not to pay the employer's share of the tax; thus, the benefits accruing to the employee under the bill would be reduced one-half, for the bill further stipulates that, “if the employer does not elect to pay the employer's contribution, only one-half of the employee's wages will be credited towards benefits."

The advisory council has recommended inclusion of the employees of nonprofit organizations (and I quote) “to assist these institutions in fulfilling their purpose.' I submit to you gentlemen that, with benefits accruing to the employee reduced one-half, these institutions would not be fulfilling their purpose nearly so well as they are fulfilling it under existing conditions ; for, in every case thus far in the administration of our plans for the lay employees of our denomination, the employer has agreed to, and is, matching the employee's money. Where the employee pays 3 percent of his salary, the employer contributes 3 percent; where the employee pays 4 percent, the employer contributes 4 percent; where the employee pays 5 percent, the emloyer matches his money.

In view of the foregoing, we resectfully request of your committee the same consideration be given our denominational employees, all of them employees of nonprofit organizations, as is now accorded in the bill to members of religious orders. We ask for them continued exemption from the coverage of the Federal Social Security Act.

If, in the wisdom of this committee, such a blanket exemption cannot be made, we then ask the same consideration for our group now given in the bill to State and local government employees. Such a provision would not make it mandatory upon the employee to participate under Federal social security, if, within a given group, the majority voted to continue participation throngh their denominational retirement board.

Scores of the heads of our various institutions throughout the Southland have expressed their convictions with regard to this matter, and their desires, in telegrams and letters to their respective Senators, including certain of you gentlemen. So also have the State secretaries, who, in their respective States, are the accepted leaders of our denominational work.

FEBRUARY 15, 1950. SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE,

(Care Dr. Walter R. Alexander, Baptist Building, Dallas): The inclusion of nearly 600,000 employees of nonprofit institutions other than ministers and members of religious orders in H. R. 6000 is concern to hundreds of thousands of the 612 million Baptists who compose the Southern Baptist Convention. Hundreds of our laity are participating through the ministers' retirement plan in addition to more than 10,000 pastors of churches. Moreover thousands of individuals are participating through the age security plan for lay church employees and hospitals, schools, colleges, orphanages, and other denominational agencies. The dues-paying members have their dues matched by the employer. Our people urge you to give the same consideration to our lay employees as is accorded in the bill to the members of religious orders, so that our lay workers shall have the same blanket exemption now granted the Roman Catholic Church. In the administration of our affairs as Southern Baptists the employer has agreed to and is maintaining the matching of the employees' money. This seems to be wise for all.

ROBERT G. LEE, President, Southern Baptist Convention.

FEBRUARY 15, 1950. SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE,

(Care Dr. Walter R. Alexander, Baptist Building. Dallas): While genuinely appreciative of the humanitarian purposes embodied in House of Representatives bill No. 6000, we Southern Baptists whose churches extend through 23 States in an arc from Maryland to the State of Washington, numbering 27,286 churches, are gravely concerned over the mandatory inclusion of the lay employees of our churches and religious agencies. We feel that as a minimum the option to enter or not to enter into the benefits of this bill allowed employees of municipal and State governments should be extended to the lay employees of the Southern Baptist Convention and similar religious bodies.

We

frankly feel that the exclusion of members of religious orders which thereby exempts lay workers in the Roman Catholic Church without a similar provision for the lay workers of Evangelical Churches is discrimination sufficient to warrant the most extreme reaction. It is in order to preclude the necessity of violent attacks upon a bill whose purposes are the highest humanitarian sort that we urgently petition the Senate Finance Committee to make exemption of lay workers of Evangelical Churches.

The lay workers of the Southern Baptist Convention, in most cases, are already included in the plans of the relief and annuity board of the Southern Baptist Convention which actually is more generous that the proposed plan under Federal social security. We feel that those who elect to be included in this plan provided by our denomination rather than the plan of the Federal Government should be under no coercion in their choice.

At great expense we have provided these security plans for our employees both lay and ordained because we do not believe it a part of our basic American principles for our religious bodies to become involved with governmental agencies. We plead for the right to continue this relationship.

DUKE K. MCCALL, Erecutive Secretary, Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. Respectfully submitted,

WALTER R. ALEXANDER, Erecutive Secretary, Relief and Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist

Convention,

FEBRUARY 15, 1950. Dr. WALTER R. ALEXANDER, Relief and Annuity Board,

Baptist Building, Dallas: Please express our opinion before Senate Finance Committee as follows: "We do not wish employees nonprofit or izations to be included in coverage Social Security Act. We believe present plan of greater benefit and more nearly in keeping with convictions of separation of church and State.”

M. CHANDLER STITH, Executive Secretary, District of Columbia Baptist Convention.

FEBRUARY 15, 1950. SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE.

(Care Dr. Walter R. Alexander, executive secretary of relief and annuity security as proposed in H. R. 6000. Relief and annuity board, Southern Baptist Convention entirely satisfactory in old age and survivors benefits for all our church employees.

board, Southern Baptist Convention, Dallas) : Illinois Baptists earnestly desire that employees of nonprofit organizations be excluded from coverage in any Social Security Act.

NOEL M. TAYLOR, Executive Secretary, Illinois Baptist State Association.

FEBRUARY 15, 1950. SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE.

(Care Walter R. Alexander, relief and annuity board, Southern Baptist Con

vention) : Our people much prefer that employees of our nonprofit organizations continue present denominational plans for security and that we therefore be not covered by Federal Social Security Act.

T. W. MEDEARIS, General Superintendent, Missouri Baptist General Association.

FEBRUARY 15, 1950. SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE.

(Care Dr. Walter R. Alexander, relief and annuity board, Dallas :) Kentucky Baptists number over one-half million. Seriously object to including employees of churches and church-related institutions under Government social

W. C. BOONE, General Secretary, Executive Board, General Association of Baptists in Kentucky.

FEBRUARY 16, 1950. SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE.

(Care W. R. Alexander, Baptist Building, Dallas): Please request Senate Finance Committee to exclude employees of nonprofit organizations and religious workers from coverage in Social Security Act. We believe this is vital and basic in the life of the Nation as well as religious denominations.

JAMES R. BRYANT, Executive Secretary, Virginia Baptist Board of Missions and Education,

Baptist General Association of Virginia.

FEBRUARY 16, 1950. Dr. WALTER R. ALEXANDER, Executive Secretary, Relief and Annuity Board,

Baptist Building, Dallas:
On behalf South Carolina Baptists respectfully urge through you Senate
Finance Committee exclude nonprofit organizations from coverage Social
Security Act.

CHARLES F. SIMS,
General Secretary-Treasurer,
South Carolina Baptist General Board.

FEBRUARY 16, 1950. SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE,

(Care Dr. Walter R. Alexander, Baptist Bldg., Dallas) : Louisiana Baptist Convention cooperating in retirement plan of Southern Baptist Convention urgently request you to exclude all our employees from necessity of coverage under Social Security Act. We feel our denominations provision is not only ample for our participants but better.

W. H. KNIGHT,
Executive Secretary-Treasurer Executive Board,

Louisiana Baptist Convention.

FEBRUARY 16, 1950. SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE, (Care Dr. Walter R. Alexander, Executive Secretary, Relief and Annuity

Board, SBC, Baptist Bldg., Dallas) : To safeguard our long-established principles and forestall any encroachment upon religious liberty and the separation of church and state, I urge that employees nonprofit organizations be excluded from coverage in Social Security Act. Ample provision has been made for this group and our people are strong in their convictions on this matter.

CLIFTON C. THOMAS, General Secretary, Maryland Baptist Union Association.

FEBRUARY 16, 1950. Dr. WALTER R. ALEXANDER,

Relief and Annuity Board, Baptist Building, Dallas: In view of the fact that all Baptist State employees are covered by a security system three times greater than Government social security, we urge Congress not to impose this injustice upon our employees by compelling employees of nonprofit institutions to accept Goverment social security.

CHARLES W. POPE, Executive Secretary, Tennessee Baptist Convention.

FEBRUARY 16, 1950. SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE, (Care Dr. Walter R. Alexander, Executive Secretary, Baptist Relief and

Annuity Board, Baptist Bldg., Dallas) : To include religious workers in social security would soon destroy every semblance of separation of church and state and depart from fundamental American principles.

HARRY P. STAGG, Executive Secretary, Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

FEBRUARY 16, 1950. SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE,

(Care Walter R. Alexander, Baptist Bldg., Dallas): Through retirement plans operated by the relief and annuity board, a convention agency of Southern Baptists every individual who bears a salaried relationship to any church, institution, board, or agency of our Baptist denomination is offered generous coverage. I therefore respectfully and earnestly request that your committee exclude from coverage under the Social Security Act employees of nonprofit organizations.

JAMES W. MERRITT, Executive Secretary, Treasurer, Georgia Baptist Convention.

FEBRUARY 16, 1950. SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE,

(Care Walter R. Alexander, Relief and Annuity Board, Dallas): We urgently request that all lay workers in other churches be granted same consideration as that given to religious orders of Catholic Church in Senate bill No. 6000. We believe that this bill as proposed violates the principle of separation of church and state and that we have a plan in our own relief and annuity board which safeguards this principle and provides adequately for our church and denominational lay employees.

R. E. MILAM, Executive Secretary,

H. C. PRICE, President, Baptist General Convention of Oregon.

FEBRUARY 16, 1950. SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE

(Care Dr. Walter R. Alexander, Baptist Bldg., Dallas) : Baptists anxious there be no infringement on principle separation of church and State. Since Southern Baptist have retirement program for all employees of churches and convention organizations, request you make same exception for them now being allowed the Catholics of America.

J. HOWARD WILLIAMS,
Executive Secretary, Executive Board,

Baptist General Convention of Texas.

FEBRUARY 16, 1950. SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE

(Care Walter R. Alexander, Executive Secretary, Relief and Annuity Board,

SBC, Baptist Bldg., Dallas) : In behalf of North Carolina Baptists I request that all employees of our church organizations, which are nonprofit organizations, be excluded from the Social Security Act. This request is made on the grounds that we have our own plans for covering full-time employees of our organization and of our Baptist churches.

M. A. HUGGINS, General Secretary, Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

FEBRUARY 16, 1950. SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE

(Care Walter R. Alexander, Executive Secretary, Relief and Annuity Board,

Dallas): Our employees are protected in disability and old age by our relief and annuity plan. Please exclude employees of nonprofit organizations on your impending Social Security Act.

WILLIS J. RAY, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Baptist General Convention of Arizona.

FEBRUARY 17, 1950. Dr. WALTER R. ALEXANDER,

Baptist Building, Dallas: California Southern Baptists join you in requesting employees of nonprofit organizations be excluded from coverage in Social Security Act.

A. F. CRITTENDOX, Executive Secretary, Southern Baptist General Convention of California.

FEBRUARY 16, 1950. Dr. WALTER ALEXANDER, Executive Secretary, Relief and Annuity Board,

Southern Baptist Convention, Dallas: Arkansas Baptists earnestly request that Baptist employees be exempted from provision of Social Security Act, for they are members of a nonprofit organization.

B. L. BRIDGES, Executive Secretary, Arkansas Baptist State Conrention. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Thomas Walters?

Mr. RICHARDSON. Mr. Walters won't be here, Senator; and I am scheduled to follow Mr. Walters.

The CHAIRMAN. All right, Mr. Richardson. You may come around, then. Please identify yourself for the record.

STATEMENT OF GEORGE J. RICHARDSON, SECRETARY-TREASURER,

INTERNATIONAL FIRE FIGHTERS ASSOCIATION, WASHINGTON, D. C.

Mr. RICHARDSON. I am George J. Richardson, secretary-treasurer of the International Fire Fighters Association, representing 80,000 out of a total of 92,000 fire fighters throughout the United States.

The CHAIRMAN. You represent 80,000 out of a total of 92.000?

Mr. RICHARDSON. Out of a total of 92,000 paid fire fighters, Senator. All of those are members of our association.

The CHAIRMAN. You do not include the volunteer systems?

Mr. RICHARDSON. No, sir. They are covered by social security by virtue of the occupation at which they work; so that they would not be involved in this.

The CHAIRMAN. I see.

Mr. RICHARDSON. We come first to endorse the bill as passed by the House, with one exception. That one exception is the provision which was in the original bill in the House last year, whereby policemen and firemen were exempted from the provisions of the bill. At that time we submitted to the House committee letters from 500 cities indicating that the firemen in those cities wanted to be excluded from the bill. We reiterate again at this time that same request, and we can submit to you probably 600 letters which have been submitted to

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