May 31st, 2013
04:19 PM ET
Baptists plan exodus from Boy Scouts
By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) - For Southern Baptist pastor Tim Reed, it was Scripture versus the Scouts.
“God’s word explicitly says homosexuality is a choice, a sin,” said Reed, pastor of First Baptist Church of Gravel Ridge in Jacksonville, Arkansas.
So when the Boy Scouts of America voted to lift its ban on openly gay youths on May 24, Reed said the church had no choice but to cut its charter with Troop 542.
“It’s not a hate thing here,” Reed told CNN affiliate Fox 16. “It’s a moral stance we must take as a Southern Baptist church.”
Southern Baptist leaders say Reed is not alone.
Baptist churches sponsor nearly 4,000 Scout units representing more than 100,000 youths, according to the Boy Scouts of America.
That number could drop precipitously.
The Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, will soon urge its 45,000 congregations and 16 million members to cut ties with the Scouts, according to church leaders.
The denomination will vote on nonbinding but influential resolutions during a convention June 11-12 in Houston.
“There’s a 100% chance that there will be a resolution about disaffiliation at the convention,” said Richard Land, the outgoing head of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, “and a 100% chance that 99% of people will vote for it.”
“Southern Baptists are going to be leaving the Boy Scouts en masse,” Land continued.
Roger “Sing” Oldham, a spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, emphasized that local congregations make their own decision on the Scouts.
But he, too, said he expects Baptist delegates, which the church calls “messengers,” to voice their disagreement with the BSA's decision to allow gay youths.
“With this policy change, the Boy Scouts’ values are contradictory to the basic values of our local churches,” Oldham said.
Several religious groups with strong Scouting ties support the new policy.
“We have heard from both those who support the amended policy and those who would have preferred it would not have changed,” said BSA spokesman Deron Smith.
Faith-based organizations charter more than 70% of Scout chapters, providing meeting space and leadership, according to the BSA.
“There have been some organizations that have decided not to renew their charters with Scouting," said Smith, "but we can’t quantify the impact of the amended policy."
The National Jewish Committee on Scouting, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which sponsors more Scout units than any other faith, all endorsed the change.
The National Catholic Committee on Scouting, which is run with oversight from a bishop, said Thursday that allowing gay youths in the Scouts does not conflict with church teaching. Each bishop will decide whether or not to allow churches in his diocese to charter Scout units, the committee added.
“We ask that Catholic Scouters and chartered organization heads not rush to judgment,” said Edward Martin, chairman of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting.
But the Rev. Derek Lappe, pastor of the Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Bremerton, Washington, has already made up his mind.
“I do not feel that it is possible for us to live out, and to teach, the authentic truth about human sexuality within the confines of the Boy Scout’s new policy,” said Lappe.
The priest told CNN affiliate FOX16 that his parish will part ways with the Scouts and develop its own programs.
There may soon be an alternative to the Scouts for social conservatives like Lappe.
John Stemberger, founder of On My Honor, a group that opposed the Scouts’ change in policy, plans to convene conservatives in Louisville, Kentucky, in June to consider forming a new Scout-like group, which could be up and running by the end of 2013.
“Churches and Scoutmasters are looking for leadership and direction,” said Stemberg, an attorney in Orlando, Florida.
A number of conservative religious denominations already sponsor their own groups.
For instance, the Southern Baptists have the Royal Ambassadors, an explicitly Christian program founded in 1908 for boys in first through sixth grade. (A similar group called Challengers equips older boys in “mission education.”)
The name comes from the New Testament, in which the Apostle Paul tells Christians to be “ambassadors for Christ.”
The estimated 31,000 Royal Ambassadors pledge “ to become a well-informed, responsible follower of Christ; to have a Christlike concern for all people; to learn how to carry the message of Christ around the world; to work with others in sharing Christ; and to keep myself clean and healthy in mind and body."
While not as outdoorsy as the Boy Scouts, Ambassadors do camp and play sports, said Land, who was a member of the group during the 1950s. But instead of merit badges for archery and bird study, young Ambassadors earn patches for memorizing Bible verses and mission work.
Southern Baptists said they are preparing for a surge of interest in the Royal Ambassadors at their upcoming convention in Houston.
“We really have an opportunity here to strengthen our RA programs,” the Rev. Ernest Easley, chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, said in a sermon last Sunday, “and to get the boys in a program where they’re going to be protected, where there’s a high moral standard and where they will have an opportunity to learn about camping, missions, evangelism in the local church.”
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About this blog
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.
bye, bye. don't let the door hit you in that cute little butt on the way out.
The church has become a tax shelter for rich folk can I get a amen.
The Boy Scouts of America will never be the large organization it once was. It will dwindle down until there is not much left. As all things that lack God do.
"As all things that lack God do."
The universe seems to be getting along just fine without a god.
Lol.. nice try – it's religion that is diminishing in the U.S.
Weld aid, and oh so true.
They didn't get rid of God. They got rid of an exclusionary tactic that Jesus would most decidedly NOT have approved of.
I meant well said. Sorry.
Yeah, because the church is doing great, right?
Yea because you obviously have no idea that one of the most influential people on this planet it the Pope. Why do you think all of our president meet him. No organization as large as this is not without it's own issues and pitfalls, but those are the pitfalls of man not the Bible or it's teachings.
"not the Bible or it's teachings."
The Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).
It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.
By your 'reasoning', the decline of your cult is gawwwwds will. Why humiliate yourself posting here?
1 Peter Chapter 4.
Ooh, a bible verse.
Your obsession with Peter is amusing...
The division of the Bible into chapters and verses has received criticism from some traditionalists and modern scholars. Critics state that the text is often divided in an incoherent way, or at inappropriate rhetorical points, and that it encourages citing passages out of context. Nevertheless, the chapter and verse numbers have become indispensable as technical references for Bible study.
LinCA..Can't see how you could be any more wrong.
You said, "LinCA..Can't see how you could be any more wrong."
Wrong about what? Care to elaborate which one of my posts you have an issue with? While you are at it, please also let me know why I'm wrong.
Just as an FYI, each root post has a "Reply" link. Please use it to leave replies, even if they are replies to replies.
I honestly feel sad for all those who miss out on the opportunity of having a relationship with God. I truly hope you are right, because if your wrong then you are missing the entire purpose of being on this planet. I say live your life as you will and only God will judge you. For those that just want to bash religion then you are not better then those you speak of hating you. If you need everyone on this planet to accept and tolerate you lifestyle then I feel sorry for you because that will never happen and that is just the way it is. On top of teaching our children to have acceptance of others it is also just as important to teach them to stand behind the morals and principles they have. To call other people ignorant because they believe in God and are religious is hilarious also. It just shows your own ignorance and lack of acceptance towards others. Maybe you should take some time and read "The question of God" and you will see that even CS Lewis converted to religion and at that point is when he wrote some of his most amazing literature.
I honestly feel sad for all those who miss out on the opportunity of having a relationship with reality.
"On top of teaching our children to have acceptance of others it is also just as important to teach them to stand behind the morals and principles they have. "
Being prejudice toward gays is not moral.
I feel sorry for people who look at everyone else as evil, and heading to an eternity of fire and brimstone. I feel sorry that you people look at everyone with pity and can't enjoy life. I am sorry that you believe that a loving god hates children who are gay. I am sorry that you believe in a god who kills little children at will and you say it is his way of showing love. I feel sorry for those religious nuts who have never been able to think for themselves and blindly follow the words of a fairy tale.
Oh please, keep your pity to yourself, and try not to be so arrogant.
Teaching children to exclude others based on your horrible old book is immoral.
Some musicians turned to drugs and wrote and performed some truly inspiring music, it doesn't mean we should worship drugs.
Translation… So you feel sorry for those who know the truth, and yet praise those who do not? Talk about the blind leading the blind...
@ Nice Try, once again you prove that you can't distinguish facts from reality. I am sure that sarcasm goes over your head because you take everything literally. I feel sorry for those "of faith" because it is based off a fairy tale. Thanks for allowing everyone to see just how naive christian people are in their thinking.
Later bigots. Way to teach your children. Last I knew it was the Boy Scouts Of America not the Protestant Scouts or Bible Scouts Of Bigotry. Maybe you can start your own club with new uniforms. Your kids can start by wearing pillow cases before they graduate to full size sheets. No more Eagle Scouts for you. Now it can be Grand Wizard Scout with merit badges of bigotry, discrimination, and incest.
I don't care what anybody says. It is a choice. They CHOOSE to live a a disgusting, degenerate lifestyle.
But enough about Southern Baptists, lets discuss gays......
colin, i would like to come to your home and change the rules, eat anytime i want, poop in the living room, sleep with your daughters just because I thinks its fair. if you wont let be wont that be a shame on you and make you a Fat hypocrit. Its your home i understand and your rules but who cares right?
You're right, it is a choice. But gays like to lie and say that it's not...
And Colin at what point exactly did you chose to be straight?
"You're right, it is a choice. But gays like to lie and say that it's not.."
Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.
All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.
Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.
In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.
The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.
On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"
Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"
But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.
This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.
The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.
Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).
Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.
I see that Nice Try is back spewing its lies.
Apparently that went right over their heads...
Colin was calling the baptists a choice and a disgusting lifestyle...the old switcheroo...honestly people, don't any of you read and then COMPREHEND what is said?
OMG....until recently the American Psychiatric labeled Gay as a mental disorder. Since Gay is no longer a mental disorder why not cast science aside and do just a simple natural experiment. Have three groups of folks, one group gay, the other group will be lesbians and the third group straight folks. Place all three groups on different islands with no access to each other or the outside world. Lets come back after 80 years and see how they thrive. Nature will be the judge. How about that.
You quack, do you think that gay marriage is going to cause the population of earth to decrease? How fvcking stupid are you? Do you think all marriages result in children? How fvcking stupid are you? Is there a requirement that people procreate? How fvcking stupid are you? Do you think gays are sterile? How fvcking stupid are you?
Instead of worrying about whether gays can have kids, we should make damn sure idiots like you don't.
"Since Gay is no longer a mental disorder why not cast science aside and do just a simple natural experiment. Have three groups of folks, one group gay, the other group will be lesbians and the third group straight folks. Place all three groups on different islands with no access to each other or the outside world. Lets come back after 80 years and see how they thrive. Nature will be the judge. How about that."
This is a great example of you can't fix stupid.
In a simulated model of your experiment, these should be the population stats for each island:
–1 (gay) – population 0
–2 (lesbian) – population 0
–3 (heterosexual – homosexual population ~ 6%.
May I say, "Duh"?
–3 (heterosexual) – homosexual population ~ 6%.
Shocking to find those who claim to be Christians use this platform to gossip and judge others. Thanks but no thanks.
The problem is not the church but those that want to change the morals of the church. if other feels strongly about their conviction they can start their own groups and not infiltrate others. This country was founded on religious principles and even the adage "In god we Trust" is sitill found in the US currency. This the nations value but yet you have all these liberalist trying to impose their selfish ideas on others and disrupt century old traditions that has not hurt anyone yet the suckers cant dare raise their voice in muslim countries and speak ofthe same. What a bunch of hypocrites.!!!
This country was founded on "e pluribus unim" or "out of many, one" i.e. people from diverse backgrounds forming one unified nation. "In God we trust" was added in the 1950's. Try again.
Ignorance at it's finest. Baptist will be forming a group for boys so that they don't have to compete with catholic priest.
In god we trust is not the nations values...it is a lie, flat out plain and simple LIE.
I am one of we the people, as are all atheist citizens (and in my case veteran)
That is the ALL inclusive we, as in we the people.
SInce I and many others do not trust in any gods, that motto is a LIE. It was added in By Eisenhower in the fifties in paranoid response to the "godless communists" and was added unconst!tutionally.
Also, they took the pledge of allegience away from we the people, and kept it for only those people that think that gods exist.
Furthermore, since NONE of the forefathers could agree on what religion should be allowed to speak, they chose to not allow any. The const!tution was written with all references removed for any gods.
Try researching before you post.
Did you lose your "s" key?
(oh, and "it's" means "it is", not belonging to it, which is "its")
Dude or gal evidently you are not acquainted with the purpose of the pilgrims who came here. You might want to research you history sir or madam or both whatever you are lol
Handy hint: The ONLY time an apostrophe is used for "it's" is when you mean "it is".
I understand why they came better than most since part of my family were some of the first to come here....to escape religious perscution was ONE reason.
Not to set up their own beliefs and them force them on others...this nation was not founded on christian values...it would shock you if you studied what christian values were in those days.
The core of the values are NOT christian, they are human. You will find the same core values in all religions in one form or another. And even we who are atheists agree that there is wisdom in the bible, but it certainly is not exclusive to the bible.
The same core beliefs, and the very idea of democracy is from the ancient greeks, and more of our foundation comes from them than anywhere, and they had never heard of your christ, he hadn't been invented yet.
It's nice to see these compassionate, caring people treating others the way they want to be treated. What's next, making Scouts ride at the back of the bus? Scouts only drinking fountains? How about hotels and restaurants that won't admit Scouts? I believe the Southern Baptists are largely African American. If Scouting did this to them, it's discrimination, but it's OK for them to do it to others. Talk about being two-faced hypocrites. Religion is such a good thing ...
Colin, how would you like me to come into your house and change the rules. Possibly eat your food, sleep with your daughers, impose my own rule because its my belief system of fairness and i dont like your rule. If you wont let me do that then you are the BIGGEST HYPOCRIT to exist.
Daqcute, where does it say they are coming into your bedroom? So classic – religious zealots assume any rule changes mean they will be forced to live by others' rules, because that is what they try to do to everyone else.
The Boyscouts will be a better organization without these hateful Baptist hypocrites. They claim to follow Jesus but only spread hate.
People like you need to stop lying on Jesus. The scriptures clearly tell us to "separate ourselves" from those who walk disorderly. I'd rather be called a hater by you and to end up in heaven, than to be considered an outstanding citizen by sinners and gays and end up in hell...
Also, the only hate I see is all the ungodly gays who hate anyone who don't believe what they believe...
"The scriptures clearly tell us to "separate ourselves" from those who walk disorderly. "
Funny since the bible also states everyone is a sinner so you better go isolate yourself from all of society.
@ Nice Try
Also, the only hate I see is all the ungodly gays who hate anyone who don't believe what they believe...
You must have forgotten that you wrote this yesterday...
We don't hate people for being different than us. We just hate whoever God hates...
June 1, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
Doobs… You obviously don't know english very well. The first statement was referring to gays who feel hate. The second statement was referring to Christians who feel hate. The two are not the same. So stop pretending they are. People like you will lie and say anything to try to prove a worthless point…
@ Nice Try
My English skills are fine. You've been caught in several lies and called out. You are a liar, a hypocrite and a bigot.
At the very least, you admit that you and your god are haters.
Nice Try, you're the one who can't figure out that the word "English" is capitalized. You know what they say about glass houses...
You can sum this whole argument up in four letters and a punctuation mark: WWJD?
He wouldn't burn people at the stake. He wouldn't foreclose on someone's house. He wouldn't support Capitalism.
The problen is that you'll get 16 different answers.
Don't let the bible hit you on your way out – hypocrites
Indeed. So much for their tolerance...
I suppose it's only fair they receive less themselves after acting in such a manner.
Rob... Trust me, it won't. Because the bible (and God) is going with us...
Southern Baptist ministers molest more boys than catholic priest, this will actually keep boys safer.
They should form another youth group that also wears brown shirts. And if they wore little red armbands with black crosses on them, everyone would be able to see their superiority. They could call themselves the 'Baptist Youth'. Maybe even have a merit badge with a closet door symbol on it.
Bravo. Excellent job.
I am in two minds about this. While I pity the Southern Baptist kids who will be deprived of doing something they like because of the old fashoined superst.itions of their parents, I love seeing religious organizations do something as publically asinine as this.
It greatly helps we atheists rid this great country of Christinaity. The Christian cult is in rapid decline and we thinking people need to put our feet on its throat and squeeze the last life out of it. In short, thanks Southern Baptists, you've made my day.
Just like Pol Pot. You must be proud
That would be the Pol Pot who went to a French funded Catholic school in Phnom Penh, right?
It took time to make them stop burning witches or throwing them in the lake to see if they sink yet they keep haing on tooth and nail to beliefs that are equally insane. They will disappear from the gene pool eventually.
@Jeme, You must be a proud follower of the clouds and wind and mystical man floating above earth, sending down tornadoes to rid the earth of those evil school children.. and amazingly none of them were reported to be gay even though god hates gay children most of all.. and watches over his beloved children.
Jeme P. Motembo,
Pol Pot = just another dictator king.
"Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." - Diderot
Khmer Rouge were amateurs compared to the Catholic Church. Read more than one book and you might actually learn something. A closed mind gives birth to a black heart.
Pol Pot might have been an Atheist but his agenda had nothing to do with Atheism. His agenda was about control. The difference between a theist and an Atheist is that the Theist has this giant book of multiple choice that they pick and choose from at random, they use this book to try to tell others how they should and shouldn't live; they use this book to explain away the natural issues of the world....Atheists don't have a book, instead Atheists weigh the pro's and cons of the situation and hope the outcome is one that is beneficial and based on ensuring the equality of everyone. When you use your belief to justify hating a specific group of people, you are causing harm to a fellow human. If the shoe were on the other foot, you would not wish to be discriminated against, so why do it? Without that book christians have no justification to dislike gays, most Atheists came to this conclusion when we realized that what we were brainwashed to believe didn't hold a lot of good in this world.
Yes, the same Pol Pot who later became an avowed atheist and radical Maoist.
I'd said good riddance, but getting rid of religious fanatics is like getting rid of bedbugs....they keep coming back once they've infested a place.
Nothing like religious tolerance, huh? Just another nail in the coffin for organized religion. Makes me proud to be an atheist.
I am not gay nor desire to be but for several years I worked closely with one who never made even the slightest advance to me. What overly religious people fail to realize is that inn the world we have all manner of temptation from scantily clad women, to booze and drugs and what ever so it cannot be avoided unless you become a hermit living 100 mile from the center of no-where; however, even that will not will keep you from the evil that lurks with in. I have no problem conjuring up images of some woman with nothing on but a big smile and I am sure these holier then thou types do as well (the females vice versa) so fleeing doesn't solve anything except to make you judgmental. And, I am wondering, hiw many church secretaries have to leave town for you know what reason?.
Did you ever consider that he didn't hit on you because you might be bugly? Try being honest with yourself sometime.
billfitt is a troll
Do you hit on every woman you meet, billfitt? Of course not.
Assuming that you're hetero, of course.
billfitt probably does hit on every woman it meets, and then calls them lesbians when they tell it to take a hike.