Mormon Church 'satisfied' with Boy Scouts possibly lifting gay youth ban
The Boy Scouts of America has been considering a change in its longstanding policy against allowing openly gay members.
April 26th, 2013
08:20 AM ET

Mormon Church 'satisfied' with Boy Scouts possibly lifting gay youth ban

By Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

Washington (CNN) – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said it was "satisfied" with the Boy Scouts of America’s move to consider no longer denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation.

In a statement Thursday, the Mormon church called the issue “complex and challenging” and said it believed the Boy Scouts were making “a thoughtful, good-faith effort” to address the issue.

“We are grateful to BSA for their careful consideration of these issues," the statement said. “We appreciate the positive things contained in this current proposal that will help build and strengthen the moral character and leadership skills of youth as we work together in the future.”

The Boy Scouts of America said last week it would consider a proposal that would no longer deny membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation but would maintain its ban on openly gay adult leaders. The organization's executive committee made the proposal.

"If approved, the resolution would mean that 'no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.' The BSA will maintain the current membership policy for all adults," Boy Scouts public relations director Deron Smith said.

The Boy Scouts proposal was anticipated after the group had punted on the issue in February. At the time, the Mormon church heralded the postponement, saying the organization had “acted wisely in delaying a vote on this policy issue until the implications can be more carefully evaluated.”

The Mormon Church has long been a supporter of the Boy Scouts, both in numbers and words. In 2011, Mormons represented 15% of the 2.7 million registered Boy Scouts, the single biggest group.

The church teaches that sex should be reserved only for a married man and woman, and congregants in violation of the church's teaching on sexual relationships can be excommunicated. Since gay people cannot be married in the church, any sex would be premarital and therefore sinful. Under these beliefs, members of the lesbian, gay and transgender community could be practicing Mormons as long as they are celibate.

Though the church’s doctrine condemning homosexuality has not changed in the last few years, and it remains opposed to same-sex marriage, some observers say the church is subtly but unmistakably growing friendlier toward the LGBT community, including voicing support for some gay rights.

Some activists pointed to the less public role in same-sex marriage ballot initiatives in 2012, a marked departure from earlier fights - such as California's Proposition 8 in which the church vocally supported the move to have same-sex marriage banned.

A statement in support of allowing gay children to join the Boy Scouts would be another step in that softening.

“The current BSA proposal constructively addresses a number of important issues that have been part of the ongoing dialogue including consistent standards for all BSA partners, recognition that Scouting exists to serve and benefit youth rather than Scout leaders, a single standard of moral purity for youth in the program, and a renewed emphasis for Scouts to honor their duty to God,” this week's Mormon statement continued.

The Boy Scouts' proposal is expected to be presented to voting members at the organization's May meeting in Dallas. If the policy is approved, it will take effect January 1.

- CNN’s Katia Hetter contributed to this report.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Mormonism • Politics • Sexuality

soundoff (1,554 Responses)
  1. HeavenSent

    Science, facts and having no shame obviously alluded the non-believers.

    April 29, 2013 at 9:57 am |
  2. The real Tom

    Still lying, HS? Jeebus is going to smite you.

    Why don't you find the post where I said we had free will, honey? Copy it and paste it. Hurry up your fat ass.

    April 29, 2013 at 9:57 am |
  3. midwest rail

    Disagreement is not bullying, nor is it persecution. Grow up.

    April 29, 2013 at 9:55 am |
  4. HeavenSent

    Barbara Worthington, woe to you for using a dummy handle to continue their lies. All those that wrote are the same fool that refuses to accept what he/she writes or says and continues to BULLY to get his/her own way.

    April 29, 2013 at 9:53 am |
  5. Reality

    Why we should not care what Mormons think about any subject:

    Bottom line: Mormonism is a business/employment/investment cult using a taxing i.e. t-ithing "religion" as a front and charitable donations and volunteer work to advertise said business. And the accounting books are closed to all but the prophet/"profit" and his all-male hierarchy.

    Tis a great business model i.e. charge your Mormon employees/stock holders a fee/t-ithe and invest it in ranches, insurance companies, canneries, gaudy temples, a great choir and mission-matured BYU football and basketball teams.

    And all going back to one of the great cons of all times i.e. the Moroni revelations to Joseph Smith analogous to mythical Gabriel's revelations to the hallucinating Mohammed !!!

    See p. 2 for added details about the assets and workings of the Mormon business cult.

    April 29, 2013 at 7:43 am |
    • JRO35

      Reality...and you care...why??? You are obviously ignorant. Live and let live.

      April 30, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
  6. Trance


    April 29, 2013 at 2:06 am |
    • Science

      Holy Hallucinations 35


      April 29, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
  7. HotAirAce

    If the RCC implemented this rule (gay parishioners are ok, but not gay leaders aka shamans or charlatans), there wouldn't be enough priests to keep the scam going.

    April 29, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • HotAirAce

      But the BSA is talking about banning all gay scout leaders, not just celibate ones.

      And I should not carry on this conversation without reiterating that being gay does not equal being a pedophile. Only ignorant azzholes such as Douglas insist on continuing this lie.

      April 29, 2013 at 12:56 am |
  8. The Non Believer

    Wow, isn't that big of them. I'm just so glad they're satisfied (eye roll).

    April 28, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
  9. Science

    HS aren't facts suppose to work when teaching children ?

    April 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
  10. Bob

    Russ, you get an award for the biggest wimp out of the day, you despiicable coward. Again, enough of your bullshit spew and your falsehoods and false claims already. Put up the evidence or cease and desist. Again, you and I can both go on all day citing references that the other will not agree with. Let's make this simple:

    Present your testable evidence, in your own words, for why you believe in your ludicrous, murderous, vicious sky fairy stories. So far, you have not been able to, and you have dodged that request in myriad slippery ways, you coward.

    Enough already. Your incessant blathering about your silly god fable is merely tiresome. Put up or shut up.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

    April 28, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • lol??

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      "......Join the movement......."??????????????? A call to coagulate!!!!

      April 30, 2013 at 2:06 am |
  11. Saraswati


    "...thank God that your parents didn't believe in abortion."

    Why? Most of the Christians I've asked informed me that fetuses get a free ride to heaven for eternity, no questions asked and no risk of screwing it up. Do you have a different story about what god does with aborted fetuses?

    April 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  12. Barbara Worthington

    Dear HeavenSent – I have reviewed the other posts, and I must say it is not very Christian for you to be caught lying as was pointed out to you below. I hope there are not any scouts reading these blogs as I would be ashamed that they might look upon your behavior as acceptable for a Christian.

    April 28, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  13. HeavenSent

    Science, no amount of your bullying stalking will make me believe your lies.

    April 28, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
  14. Science

    REPEAT see below................... you as bad as chad below !

    April 28, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  15. HeavenSent

    science, you and only you believe your own lies.

    The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. (Psalm 5:5-6)

    April 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  16. Science

    HS = BS

    The devil's cult ..................how does it feel to belong to that ?...............He who deceives is not nice.

    Not my creation ?

    April 28, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  17. HeavenSent

    Science, that would be you.

    April 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  18. mama k

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one (over 4,000,000 members) in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    Some believe the Pope is the Anti-Christ. Some believe Obama is the Anti-Christ.

    Some believe that celibacy is the only option for certain people, or for people in certain positions. Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but pretend not to understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease.

    In the U.S. recently we learned of the head of Lutheran CMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create more extreme divisions as time goes by, constantly subjecting others in its crossfire.

    April 28, 2013 at 2:18 pm |

    • Theodore Roosevelt did not take the oath of office on a Bible in 1901.

      John Quincy Adams swore on a book of law.

      William Howard Taft, the only U.S. President to also hold the office of Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court:

      I do not believe in the divinity of Christ, and there are many other of the postulates of the orthodox creed to which I cannot subscribe.

      As Deist Christians, the first five presidents including John Adams, James Madison & Thomas Jefferson were likely to have quite a different notion of God than the Christian God of today. Deist Christians may have followed Christ's teachings, but usually refuted the divinity of Christ. They were always ready to call out on the dark side of organized religion:

      I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history. "

      (John Adams, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816)

      Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

      (Thomas Jefferson, from Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785)

      During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

      (James Madison, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & Bill of Rights – from A Memorial and Remonstrance as delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785.)

      John Tyler, the 10th POTUS was a Deist Christian.

      Many believe Abraham Lincoln was a Deist.

      John Remsburg, in his book Six Historic Americans (1906), cites several of Lincoln's close associates:

      After his assassination Mrs. Lincoln said: "Mr. Lincoln had no hope and no faith in the usual acceptance of these words." His lifelong friend and executor, Judge David Davis, affirmed the same: "He had no faith in the Christian sense of the term." His biographer, Colonel Lamon, intimately acquainted with him in Illinois, and with him during all the years that he lived in Washington, says: "Never in all that time did he let fall from his lips or his pen an expression which remotely implied the slightest faith in Jesus as the son of God and the Savior of men."

      The Deistic side of John Adams comes out strong in these paragraphs A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America (1787-1788)

      The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

      Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.

      April 28, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  19. Science

    He who decieves is not nice !..............HS


    April 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  20. Chad

    @RichardSRussell “Read your history, Chad. Jesus (or, rather, his disciples) were competing for followers with half a dozen other god-man saviors from the Middle East (Buddha, Osiris, Mithra, Horus, Dionysus, Krishna, Inanna, Bacchus). Almost all of them had "miraculous" births and resurrection stories of their own. You just couldn't compete — nobody would take you seriously — if your guy couldn't make the same claim.”
    @Chad “actually, similarities between Jesus and Horus, Mithra, Dionysus exist only in your mind, and only because you have done no research to determine if it is true.
    Specifically: Putting to death the Dionysus/Osiris comparison with Jesus
    Historians do their best to understand Osiris from archeological digs, existing temples and wall carvings in Egypt. According to the myth, Osiris was slain by his jealous brother, Seth. His sister- wife (Isis) collected the pieces of her dismembered husband, revived him, and later conceived his son and avenger, Horus. Let’s take a look at the claims we have already described and separate truth from fiction, and then try to understand the underlying hope of the people who invented the god called Osiris:

    Claim: Osiris was called “Lord of Lords”, “King of Kings”, “God of Gods”, “Resurrection and the Life”, “Good Shepherd”, “Eternity and Everlastingness”, and the god who “made men and women to be “born again”
    Truth: These names for Jesus were NOT used by Osiris, who was called, “Lord of All”, the “Good Being”, “Lord of the Underworld”, “Lord (King) of Eternity”, “Ruler of the Dead”, “Lord of the West”, “Great One”, “He who takes seat,” “the Begetter”, “the Ram”, “Great Word”, “Chief of the Spirits”, “Ruler of Everlastingness”, “Living God,” “God above the gods.” These rather general names were not uncommon for many other deities as well.

    The Reasoning Behind the Osiris Mythology: If there is a God, we would expect Him to be powerful and possess a t itle that reflects that power.

    Claim: Osiris’ birth was announced by Three Wise Men: the three stars Mintaka, Anilam, and Alnitak in the belt of Orion, and Osiris had a star in the east (Sirius) that signified his birth
    Truth: It IS true that some scholars connect Osiris with Orion, but they don’t stretch the imagination to call the three stars of the belt “wise men”, and there is no mention of an eastern star in the Osiris mythology.

    The Reasoning Behind the Osiris Mythology: It is reasonable to as sume that if there is a God, his emergence into the natural world would be in some way spectacular and supernatural

    Claim: Osiris had a Eucharist ceremony of sorts, in which his flesh was eaten in the form of communion cakes of wheat
    Truth: There is no evidence for this in the research of the scholars

    Claim: Osiris taught much of the same material as Jesus; many teachings are identically the same, word for word
    Truth: There is absolutely no evidence of any of this, and the ‘wisdom’ of Osiris is still available for review.

    The Reasoning Behind the Osiris Mythology: If there is a God, we would expect Him to be a source of great wisdom

    Claim: Osiris was killed and later resurrected, providing hope to all that they may do likewise and become eternal
    Truth: Osiris was murdered and his body was then dismembered and scattered. Later, his body pieces were recovered and rejoined, and he was rejuvenated. Osiris then journeyed to the underworld, where he became the lord of the dead. He did NOT resurrect with a glorified body and walk with men on earth, as did Jesus. He was not alive again, as was Jesus, but was instead a “dead” god who never returned among the living

    The Reasoning Behind the Osiris Mythology: If there is a true God, we would expect him to have mastery over death and be able to control the powers of death and life.

    From this quick examination of the Osiris tradition, we can see that he was NOT called by the same names that were used for Jesus, and while he was connected by some to the Orion constellation, there is NO mention of three wise men in the Osiris birth story. In addition, Osiris was NOT celebrated with a Eucharist. He was murdered and reas sembled, but was NOT resurrected to glory and life as was Jesus. So in hindsight, how similar is Mithras to Jesus after all?
    How can anyone simply “say” something is similar to another matter when no similarity exists?

    putting to death the nonsense comparison of Horus and Jesus

    Claim #1-Horus and Jesus are born from a virgin.

    Horus’s mother is Isis. Isis was married to Osiris. We do not know for what length of time, but presumably the marriage was consummated. Whether it was or wasn’t doesn’t matter though. After Osiris is killed, Isis puts him back together again (he was hacked into 14 pieces) except for his penis which was tossed in a river or a lake. Iris fashions a subst itute penis for him, humps him and here comes Horus. There is nothing virginal about that.

    Claim #2-Both Horus and Jesus were born to a Mary and Joseph. (Seb)

    As noted Isis is Horus’s mother’s name not Mary. In addition, Seb is not Horus’s father, Osiris is. Seb is Osiris’s father. Further, Seb is a distinct name from Joseph. Putting them side by side does not make them synonyms, and that appears to be what was done here.

    Claim #3-Both were born of royal descent.

    This is accurate.

    Claim #4-Both births were announced by angels and witnessed by shepherds.

    I can find nothing that mentions that the birth of Horus was announced by an angel or witnessed by shepherds. I have found that Horus was born in a swamp, which is a pretty unlikely place for shepherds. In addition Acharya mentions that Horus was born in a cave. Mas sey makes no mention of this, although he does represent that Mithra was born in a cave.

    Claim #5-Both were heralded by stars and angels.

    There is no star that heralded Horus’s birth nor is there any angel announcing it. Archarya in a footnote in The Origins of Christianity indicates that that there are three stars named the three kings in Orion and then relates this to the birth of Jesus. When we look to the stories regarding Horus, we find no star or angel announcing his birth. To the extent that Acharya S relies upon Ma ssey and Ma ssey relies upon what is depicted in the panels at Luxor see (from an atheist) further regarding virgin birth and pronouncement by angels http ://w ww.frontlin e-apologetics.com/carrier_luxor _inscription.htm

    Claim #6-Both had later visitors (Horus-3 deities and Jesus-3 wisemen.)

    There is no indication that there ever were 3 wisemen. The bible never mentions the number of wisemen, nor is there any docu ment that reflects 3 deities at the birth of Horus. See the website referenced in Claim #5.

    Claim #7-Both had murder plots against them.

    There is mention that Seth did want to kill Horus, and Herod wanted to kill Jesus. so this is accurate.

    Claim#8-Both came of age at 12, were baptized and their baptizers were executed.

    There is no indication that Horus was preaching in a temple when he was 12. In fact, Ma ssey indicates that Hours the child was depicted as a “weakling.” That doesn’t jive with story of Jesus preaching in the temple. Again this appears to have been a confabulation from Acharya and repeated by others.

    Horus was never baptized in any of the Horus stories. In addition, Acharya mentions that John the Baptist is actually Anup the Baptizer. This individual is never mentioned anywhere in any Horus account. There is not even a footnote in Archaya’s on-line work The Origins of Christianity to support this. There is nothing.

    Claim #9-Both had 12 disciples.

    According to the Horus accounts, Horus had four semi-gods that were followers. There is some indication of 16 human followers and an unknown number of blacksmiths that went into battle with him. Horus did not have 12 disciples. Jesus reportedly did. Acharya failed to give a footnote to support this.

    Ma ssey points to a mural in the Book of Hades in which there are twelve reapers. Horus is not present in this scene. For Ma ssey to make this connection he goes to a different scene within the same mural. In this scene there is a picture of a god whose name is the Master of Joy. Horus is never depicted although in other murals the artists do depict Horus. Had the artists ascribed 12 reapers in any relation to Horus all they had to do was put Horus at the scene. They did not.

    Claim #10-Both walked on water.

    Horus didn’t, or at least there is no record that I can find that he did. Ma ssey does not maintain that Hours did. Ma ssey uses wild conjecture to connect the story of fish man, Oannes, not Horus, to Jesus. Oannes came out of the sea during the day, and went back into the sea at ni ght. Ma ssey makes the two analogous because by his calculations, Jesus walked on water during the day.

    As to Acharya, she as usual provides nothing to substantiate this.

    Claim #11-Both performed miracles.

    This is true although the miracles were different in scope and nature.

    Claim #12 Both exorcised demons and raised Lazarus.

    The actual claim is that Horus raised Osiris from the dead and that the name Osiris morphed to Lazarus. It doesn’t matter because Horus did not bring Osiris back to life. There is no mention of this in any docu ment regarding the story. Horus did avenge Osiris’s death, but that did not raise Osiris from the dead.

    Claim #13-Both held a Sermon on the Mount; both were transfigured on a mountain, died by crucifixion along with two thieves and were buried in tombs where they paid a quick visit to Hell and then rose from the dead after 3 days time, both resurrections were witness by women, and both will supposedly reign for 1,000 years in the Millennium.

    These are the most damning claims if they were proven true in my opinion. Yet, I can locate none of this. No sermon, no transfiguration, certainly no crucifixion w/ two thieves, no trip to hell and no resurrection. There was an incident in which Horus was torn to pieces and Iris requested the crocodile god to fish him out of the water he was tossed into, which was done, but that’s it. I am at a loss to refute this because I can not find anything to support it.

    Ma ssey does compares a story about the Autumn Equinox related to Osiris, not Horus, as the symbolic crucifixion. There is no indication that Horus is involved in any way. There is no mention by Ma ssey of any Sermon on the Mount. No mention or any actual crucifixion, no two thieves, no burial in a tomb. Mas sey does not maintain that anything of the sort occurred with Horus.

    In short, of the claims outlined in this entry, I find the comparison between Horus and Jesus to consist of the following: they were of royal descent, they allegedly worked miracles and there were murder plots against them.

    Source: Les Jenkins (atheist)

    April 28, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Science

      No Blue chad how sad you are chad !

      April 28, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Science

      Trolling again Chad ?.........

      April 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Science

      From Soup to Cells—the Origin of Life


      No angels the pope kicked them off the team last year !

      April 28, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Tamsyn

      #18. As if this one man has the world agreeing with him, just because Chad does. Nope.

      April 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • The Decieving Chad

      So you troll through the christian apologists sites to find anything that may help your conclusion. The truth is you are a liar and a charlatan, you may state this is an ad hominem attack, no it is simply stating the truth about you, enjoy your mythical hell.

      April 29, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • Science

      The Big question is ETHICS Chad...............does religion belong in this debate ?

      The Ethics of Resurrecting Extinct Species

      Apr. 8, 2013 — At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption.


      April 30, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.