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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.”

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Christianity • Church • Gay rights • gender issues • Politics • United States

soundoff (10,821 Responses)
  1. Darrin

    I view this as another example of organized religion slitting it's own wrist. It's not an immediate death, just a slow leaking out of strength and energy as another Church slowly sinks below the water line of the tub...

    June 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Whatever

      Just for clarity, are you referring to the bit of organized religion that is opposing the inclusion of gay youths or the parts that are accepting it???

      June 2, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  2. Angela

    Our local Baptist preacher ended up being a child molester so if I had kids in scouts I'd want them as far away from the Baptist as I could get them. I see no problem here

    June 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Beam49

      I guess you missed the article about how many of the leaders were molesting the children in the scouts and the top leaders were covering it up! They have bigger problems to deal with then this. I wouldn't want my son in the scouts at all solely due to this!

      June 2, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Tranlation

      A larger percentage of Baptist ministers/youth ministers have been caught molesting children than catholic priest. I think it is more likely that these ministers would like to create their own boy organization that doesn't have oversight by an outside group... allowing them to continue their perversions.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Nice Try

      So you want to shield your children from all Baptist churches all due to the sins and actions of of one Baptist preacher. But yet you have no problem with allowing your child to spend time in a Boy Scout camp that filled with all kinds of gays and child molesters, is that it? I see. It seems to me you're a bad parent...

      June 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • billfitt

      We'll he's gay, so what did you expect? Put two and two together! When you put a gay around children, you're going to get molestation. Ask your buddy Jerry Sandusky if you want details!

      June 2, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  3. Tommy

    I suppress the Truth in unrighteousness.

    June 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  4. charlesesmall

    Every sin is a choice. You do not just fall into sin by accident so by saying that then it is everyone that we as Christian need to pull away from and not have anything to do with. I believe that it was Jesus that not only healed those that came to him but also those that he went to exactly where they were no matter what the popular folks were saying. I say that to say this we need to stop running from things that are not like us. They took prayer out of the school so do we stop sending our kids. Know what we do is continue pray and show up to those meetings, get involved with the teachers and our children’s activities not run and leave the school behind to burn. Same with the boy scouts. If you truly care you should be willing to stay and make a positive impact into the organization. I also doubt that because of the vote that Gay children and scout leaders will automatically grow within the organization cause I guarantee that they we already there. Just because it is not necessarily professed out loud does not mean that it is not in existence. We need to employ Love to everyone not hatred or judgment. I hope and pray that those that are planning on leaving the BSA have sought God and not themselves in this matter and even more than that I hope they are able to truly hear God and the Spirit of the Lord speak to them and not there flesh. I pray that I have not offended anyone ant that you hear the heart of what I am trying to say.

    June 2, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      You are talking to hindu secular s, ignorant self centered, they obey none other than their hindu secular, ignorant self centered god Lucifer, crook self centered of all.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • mama k

      Perhaps you have the best intentions, charles. But as much as anyone you represent a big part of the problem. You may not realize it, but your beliefs are at odds with current knowledge. This is similar to religion coming to terms with Galileo. I will make a large post above to try to explain this. Good day.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • drewATX

      Good points.. but Southern Baptists are full of hate, fear and judgement. They are hypocrites of the highest degree. I say good riddance.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Nice Try

      drewATX... They aren't any more full of hate than the hateful gays who hate God and everything the Christians believe in..

      June 2, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  5. RichardSRussell

    In the end we will all get what we wanted.

    June 2, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      with the consequences.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • JRNY

      Feck off Islam!

      June 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • jazz guitar man

      So true Richard. I see a win \ win for everyone involved. People and the groups they belong to can decide what is best for them. What they are willing or not willing to support. One is free to associated with who they wish to. So I fail to see why anyone would be angry about the choices EACH side has made (or will make) in this.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  6. JRNY

    Oh no! Not the Baptists!!! Don't let them leave the scouts. Oh no! Someone call the WAAAAAAHHHHHHHmublance! LOL! Good riddance! The Baptists are Scouting material anyhow!

    June 2, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • JRNY

      oops, in my excitement I mean to say "The Baptists aren't Scouting material anyhow."

      June 2, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      But you are scouting in your hindu secular ism, ignorant self center ism, in denial of truth absolute.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • JRNY

      And you, islam, you're a freak that deserves to be arrested as a Terrorist by Homeland Security. Want to get reported? Keep up your freak posts you disgusting troll. We get to report freaks like you under the Patriot Act.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Go for it hindu secular, terrorist self centered.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
  7. Big Joe

    Na Na Na Na!
    Na Na Na Na!
    Hey Hey Hey!
    Goodbye!

    One More Time! Everyone sing!

    Na Na Na Na!
    Na Na Na Na!
    Hey Hey Hey!
    Goodbye!

    June 2, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Colin

      Are you singing about all the qu eers dying from aids?

      June 2, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • JRNY

      Gosh Colin, you still hate yourself for being gay SO much that you wish you had AIDS? How sad.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Colin

      The question was directed to big joe as to the subject of its song. You're not gifted in reading comprehension jrny are you?

      June 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • JRNY

      LOL! Colin you sad little thing, I said exactly what I meant to say. You're obviously a little dense...as well as a sad little bigot.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Colin

      Perhaps he was referring to all the people who will die of AIDS because their religion forbids condom use.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  8. dorothy

    The religious right support controlling women's reproductive rights, protecting pastors who have illicit relations, and use all means to secure their money from lawsuits and taxes. The gays want to marry the person they love, raise their children in peace and without fear of discrimination, and serve their country in the military. Is there really any question which group is the most moral and ethical as a group? I'm pretty sure Jesus would side with the gays at this point.

    June 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • ray

      It's NOT just a WOMAN'S rights. There was and is a man and a child involved. Selfish trashy, immoral, irresponsible, self centered and self serving women are not in it by themselves. If you kill a mans child he should have every right to speak their minds. I'd love to hear you women put your money were your mouths are like do away with the child /ex wife/girlfriend support. When you girls stop wanting free money for 18 years then and ONLY then is it ALL your rights. I would not marry an American woman if you paid me.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "There was and is a man and a child involved."

      The man doesn't bear the risks of pregnancy and there's no child in a uterus. And there's not a thing you can do about gays or a woman's rights. Choke on it.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Colin

      As tom chokes on it on a daily basis

      June 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • jazz guitar man

      Dorothy; Isn't it folly for you to assume what Jesus would do in the same way it is for religious groups to assume they know what some so called god is thinking or feeling? Yes, it is.

      Neither side should try to claim some so called god is on their side.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • bill

      I thought this article was about gay scouts and some idiot church...not reproductive rights. I think you might be ranting in the wrong forum.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • jazz guitar man

      Ray, I do agree with you that since women have total control on if a child is born or NOT, they should have 100% of the financial burden for raising the child if the man decides to opt-out of support. That is real equality.

      I'm 100% pro-choice but if men were allowed to opt-out this might lead women to do the fiscally responsiblity thing; have an abortion or give the child up for adoption.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Poor Colin. You're pretty stupid, aren't you?

      June 2, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Thank you for that ignorant, misogynist rant, Ray. And you would never have an American wife, because none would have you. You'll just have a stream of mail-order brides who will use you to get into this country, then dump you the second they have citizenship. I certainly hope you don't reproduce, because no child deserves such a hateful person as a parent.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • jazz guitar man

      tallulah13, while I don't support Ray's overall views, I do believe the current system with regards to who is fiscally responsible for a child needs to be changed. A women should be the only one that decides if a child is born or NOT. Period. Only her. But with this choice she should also bear the financial responsibity. The man involved should be granted a 30 day period to opt-out of fatherhood. This allows the women to fully understand what type of man she has been involved with (e.g. I would NEVER opt-out). This is useful info for the women and her future. The goal her is too reduce single motherhood which will help all women.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @ray, If these folks were arguing against abortion of 7 month old fetuses they might have a leg to stand on. Their error is in making the argument that "life begins at conceptions" and claiming that eliminating a blob of eight cells with no neurons or specialization of any type is the same as murdering a child. You have to be deep in delusion to swallow that argument and anyone outside the delusion will either be laughing or looking on in shock.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Really-O?

      One vote for "shock" here.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Jazz, if you bring a child into this world you are responsible for it. Period. If a man doesn't want this responsibility, he can wear a condom or keep it in his pants. Why should a man get a 30-day grace period when a woman doesn't? She has to make the choice as soon as she can, and then face the hatred of guys like Ray if she has the audacity to decide that she cannot afford (mentally, physically or financially) to be pregnant.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
  9. sctaraf

    Good riddance. I can't be the only one that finds it ironic that a religion that is suppose to be about love is truly so ignorant and bigoted.

    June 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • ray

      Why would anyone with any class, morals or decency tolerate this deviant behavior?

      June 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • LinCA

      @ray

      You said, "Why would anyone with any class, morals or decency tolerate this deviant behavior?"
      The constitution of the US gives everyone the freedom to believe whatever nonsense they want. The deviant behavior of the Southern Baptists, while despicable, isn't against the law.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
  10. Just sayin

    Seems like the SBC should change their name to HYPOCRIT. They've been working towards that for a long time anyway. Just sayin'.

    Hierarchy of male supremacy
    Youth brainwashing
    Presumptively self-righteous
    Omnisciently assumptive
    Creationism deluded
    Reason incapable
    Ignorant of current knowledge
    Theologically conflicted

    June 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Colin

      Able to identify right from wrong.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • bill

      How long did that take ya?

      June 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Just sayin

      "Able to tell right from wrong" ??

      Care to discuss "objective morality" Colin??

      Care to look and see how consistent Christianity is across various "objective truths"??? Hmm???

      June 2, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
  11. Science

    It would be nice......... but.........chadie you stuck at the museum or do you take the show on the road ?

    Maybe they should not have created the wedge !!!

    The wedge strategy is a political and social action plan authored by the Discovery Insti-tute, the hub of the intelligent design movement. The strategy was put forth in a Discovery Insti-tute manifesto known as the Wedge Docu-ment,[1] which describes a broad social, political, and academic agenda whose ultimate goal is to defeat materialism, naturalism, evolution, and "reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic
    convictions.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy

    June 2, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  12. jimkon

    It's a shame that so many Bible verses sprinkled throughout the Old and New Testament are ignored while others are followed so vehemently. The number of verses regarding slaves, the subserviance of wives, the offerings that are supposed to be given, etc. FAR outnumber any that deal with a man laying with a man or woman laying with a woman, yet you don't see Christians following those verses. It all just comes down to what gives people an illusion of power. Most verses tell what Christians should do so it becomes work and labor...so they ignore those. But when it comes to things you shouldn't do, Christians follow those easy because they take no work and it does not inconvenience them.
    Then they come up with the excuse that "Oh, those rules are in the Old Testament and Christians follow the New Testament"...yet one of the first things Christians teach in church is to follow the Ten Commandments...an Old Testament proposition. All religion is just a form of crowd control when introduce to masses

    June 2, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  13. jimkon

    The completely absurd theory that all 7,000,000,000 human beings on the planet are simultaneously being supervised 24 hours a day, every day of their lives by an immortal, invisible being for the purposes of reward or punishment in the “afterlife” comes from the religion of:
    (a) The ancient Celts
    (b) Bronze Age Egyptians
    (c) Pre-Colombian Aztecs; or
    (d) Modern Southern Baptists

    June 2, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • ray

      Even harder to believe it all crawled out of a swamp.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Not when we see you, ray.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      Tom...:)

      June 2, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • frank

      Spot on Tom

      June 2, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      One thing I admit I don't know is where everything came from. I mean the utter complexity of life came from an imaginary explosion trillions of years ago?

      June 2, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Science

      B

      Remember chad........... the talking donkey you like so much might of chewed on that BONE.............that created eve.

      Stony Irons

      Ancient Egyptians Accessorized With Meteorites

      May 30, 2013 — Researchers at The Open University (OU) and The University of Manchester have found conclusive proof that Ancient Egyptians used meteorites to make symbolic accessories for their dead.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530094635.htm

      compass do not work around stony irons/chondrites Chadie !

      June 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Pete

      ray
      "Even harder to believe it all crawled out of a swamp."

      Hey, is that a redneck joke? 🙂

      June 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Pete

      RichardSRussell
      Oh, there is more than enough evidence to state with complete confidence that the Big Bang was anything, but imaginary. Remember, it was first suggested by a Catholic priest as evidence for God. The only real issue is what caused it and, at this moment, it doesn't appear that any god was necessary in that.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Richard Russell
      The Big Bang is fact...it did happen, it is no longer theory. and it was 14.5 BILLION years ago, not trillian. The cause is still under investigation, but as yet, no sign that goddidit.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Richard Cranium – "The Big Bang is fact...it did happen, it is no longer theory"

      Yikes! The "big bang" is both fact and theory. You need to be careful – you know how believers like to equivocate.

      Cheers

      June 2, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
  14. lovemyboys

    Every religious group has the right to determine whether they will or will not continue their affiliation with the BSA. And every individual parent has the right to decide if their child will or will not join the BSA. It's really not that big of a deal. Hating on the Southern Baptists (or whoever) is the same as hating on gays. It's based on the same "Yeah, but I'm RIGHT, so my mockery, hate speech and distortion of their teachings is okay".

    Don't like the Southern Baptist's teachings? Don't join them. Easy peasy.

    June 2, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • jazz guitar man

      I agree with your take here and don't understand the anger on EITHER side. While I a major supporter of gay rights, religious orgainizations can chose who they wish to associate with. The BSA has made a policy change. Groups that don't support can leave the BSA and form their own groups. This is what they are doing.

      I see a Win \ Win for all here and no reason to hate on each other because of a different POV.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Sammy

      But, are gays discriminating against any group in the same way that these Baptists are? It's the parent's choice to raise their kids with a bigotry against gays that people disagree with. People have a choice to be Baptists, even to be Baptists against the BSA on this issue, but people don't have a choice to be gay, so a little ridicule worthy of an att.itude deserving of ridicule is warranted, see?

      June 2, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • realmike

      Nice to see there are other sane people here. Agree 100% with your comment

      June 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • JACK

      WHEN THIS STORY FIRST BROKE LAST YEAR IT WAS REPORTED THAT THE BSA MIGHT LEAVE IT UP TO THE LOCAL TROOPS TO DECIDE ON THE GAY ISSUE BUT I GUESS THAT GOT LEFT OUT OF THE LATEST DECISION BY THE NATIONAL COUNCIL WHICH IS REGRETABLE.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Al

      They are singling out the BSA. Why isn't the SBC telling its families to leave other groups, like public schools? Public schools openly accept gay children.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • ray

      Bingo. Typical liberal mentality. Do as I do or else.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Sammy

      jazz guitar man
      And Baptists who see the extremity of pulling their boys out of the BSA as beyond their ability to justify can choose to associate with more liberal churches if they want to as well, correct? I somehow doubt that these churches will be gaining more members then they lose over this issue.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Len

      @ray
      "Typical liberal mentality. Do as I do or else."

      Oh, that is funny! 🙂 My irony meter just hit an 11 on a scale of 10!

      June 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • david0296

      One group is demonizing the other. It's not the same thing at all.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Len

      @JACK
      How well do you think it would have worked if the BSA did that back when it first allowed black boys to join? Besides, there is a lot of intermingling of troops at jamborees, which these southern troops would have to avoid attending if they want to stay clear of these boys. In short, it's a national organization, and the same rules on issues like who can join really have to be followed by all.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Is hating the Nazis the same as hating gay people? Hating Pol Pot? Idi Amin? I guess we should just tolerate everyone?

      June 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  15. CW

    Souhern Baptise are BIGOTS!!!! BSA will be better without them.

    June 2, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Warbler

      No, you are the hateful bigot who doesn't understand that some people won't compromise their moral values like you have.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      No, you are wrong, bigot means a hindu secular, ignorant self centered, and they are not.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • .

      "No, you are the hateful bigot who doesn't understand that some people won't compromise their moral values like you have."

      Janet

      The Biblical condemnation of homosexuality is based on human ignorance, suspicion of those who are different, and an overwhelming concern for ensuring the survival of the people. Since the Bible regards homosexuality as a capital crime (Leviticus 20:13), it clearly assumes that homosexuality is a matter of free choice, a deliberate rebellion against God. We have learned from modern science that people do not choose to be gay or straight; hence it is neither logical nor moral to condemn those whose nature it is to be gay or lesbian.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Billy

      We're not in India, Islamabot. Stay on topic.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • CW

      That is absolutely good news. The more BSA and other worthwhile organizations can get rid of these bigots, the better these organizations and our society will become. Baptist bigots, please leave the BSA as soon as you can. We won't miss you.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Warbler

      The sooner they're gone, the sooner you can wallow in your newfound immorality and bigotted hatred of Baptists.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Pete

      "the sooner you can wallow in your newfound immorality"

      Fighting for a minorities civil rights is not immoral.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  16. Sarcastro

    Someone help me here- I'm pretty sure that if there's any one message Jesus wanted to teach us it was tolerance and love of all our fellow humans.

    I don't remember him having a big "... except gays of course..." in his messages.

    Is that part of "IMadeusThisUppusToFeelBetterusAboutusMyselfus 12:17" or something?

    June 2, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  17. Gene Brady

    Remove their religion tax status.

    June 2, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      And give it brothels of hindu gay ism, filthy hind love ism of hindu secular, ignorant self centered.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Gene Brady,

      Why?

      June 2, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • jazz guitar man

      Gene, I wouldn't support removing the SBC tax exempt status for political reasons. That wouldn't be equality under the law (the key reasons gays should have equal rights). Instead I support removing the tax exempt status for ALL orgainizations. This way we avoid what we are seeing with the latest IRS mess.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Warbler

      I'm all for it. Then your evil government can no longer threaten us with loss of tax exempt staus if we don't cave to your immorality.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
  18. ray

    Good. America needs to stand up to this sickness. People who preach this deviant, disgusting lifestyle to children need to be imprisoned for life or on death row.

    June 2, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • ISLUM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTIPATION

      Ray, you look great in that dress.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • jazz guitar man

      Ray, come on; putting evangelicals in prison is too harsh. That is the group you mean, right?

      June 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Ray,

      Repentance begins with each individual.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Akira

      Nonsense.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • foodle

      I agree. All Baptists should be killed.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • FloydA

      It's not fair to call them deviant and disgusting, or to advocate for their imprisonment or death. Lots of Southern Baptists are actually decent people.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • david0296

      The 1890's called. They want to return to that time, and never return. You won't be missed.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Ray, I hope you die alone and miserable. It's what you deserve.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      I believe ray was referring to the sickness that is the baptists. Sickness indeed. The disgusting things they teach children etc.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Doobs

      I don't recall the BSA having a "How To Be Gay" badge. Wherever did you get the idea that children will be "taught" about being gay?

      On the other hand, churches have been brainwashing children into believing that it's okay to discriminate against minorities for as long as religion has been around, and that IS disgusting.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  19. Sarcastro

    Somehow I missed the part of the bible where Jesus went around healing lepers yet running away screaming "Eeeew! He has gay germs!!!!" if he saw two dudes holding hands.

    June 2, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Seems like swear case of hindu atheism, ignorant self center ism, have a pill of truth to cure your sickness please.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Warbler

      But did Jesus tell the multiple divorcee at the well to keep on sinning because it's natural and something that makes you unique? Non-Christians who don't understand theology should really stop trying to preach.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Pete

      "Non-Christians who don't understand theology should really stop trying to preach."

      A pew study in 2010 proved that atheists know more about religion than Christians.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Does your church kick those who've divorced out?

      Really, do you see how stupid you look when you say this crap?

      June 2, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Warbler

      Good luck with proving your survey. You guys can't get basic theology correct.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Pete

      "Good luck with proving your survey. You guys can't get basic theology correct."

      It's a real survey idiot. That's why you're lying which proves you don't even understand the basics.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Sarcastro,

      He offered forgiveness and healing. Go and sin no more.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • The real Tom

      And you can't figure out that it isn't HIS survey. Go look at it Warb. Maybe you'll learn not to assume that you're the smartest one here. Especially when you're not.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Do the SB kick out members who have divorced and remarried, Robert? Didn't Jesus say that was a sin?

      June 2, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Emerald

      "He offered forgiveness and healing. Go and sin no more."

      Everyone knows the story about Jesus and the woman about to be stoned by the mob. This account is only found in John 7:53-8:12. The mob asked Jesus whether they should stone the woman (the punishment required by the Old Testament) or show her mercy. Jesus doesn’t fall for this trap. Jesus allegedly states, let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her. The crowd dissipates out of shame. That story was not originally in the Gospel of John or in any of the Gospels. It was added by later scribes. The story is not found in the oldest and best manuscripts of the Gospel of John. Nor does its writing style comport with the rest of John. Most serious textual critics state that this story should not be considered part of the Bible.

      After Jesus died, Mary Magdalene and two other women came back to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus, according to Mark 16:1-2). They were met by a man in a white robe who told them that Jesus had been raised and was no longer there. The women fled and said nothing more to anyone out of fear (16:4-8). Everyone knows the rest of Mark’s Gospel, of course. The problem with the remainder of the story is that none of it was originally in the Gospel of Mark. It was added by a later scribe.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Warbler

      Tom, you are the one who's ignorance is showing. Churches would just the same stop supporting an organization that encouraged infidelity and/or divorce. People who believe they are gay are welcome in church like all sinners, even divorcees. The big difference comes in support and encouragement of immorality, Churches stand for traditional morality that you and others are attempting to destry with your bigotry and hatred of religion.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • .

      "The big difference comes in support and encouragement of immorality, Churches stand for traditional morality that you and others are attempting to destry with your bigotry and hatred of religion."

      263 Ministers Proclamation

      As Christian clergy we proclaim: the Good News concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons and publicly apologize where we have been silent. As disciples of Jesus, who assures us that the truth sets us free, we recognize that the debate is over. The verdict is in. Homosexuality is not a sickness, not a choice, and not a sin. We find no rational biblical or theological basis to condemn or deny the rights of any person based on sexual orientation. Silence by many has allowed political and religious rhetoric to monopolize public perception, creating the impression that there is only one Christian perspective on this issue. Yet we recognize and celebrate that we are far from alone, as Christians, in affirming that LGBT persons are distinctive, holy, and precious gifts to all who struggle to become the family of God.

      In repentance and obedience to the Holy Spirit, we stand in solidarity as those who are committed to work and pray for full acceptance and inclusion of LGBT persons in our churches and in our world. We lament that LGBT persons are condemned and excluded by individuals and institutions, political and religious, who claim to be speaking the truth of Christian teaching. This leads directly and indirectly to intolerance, discrimination, suffering, and even death. The Holy Spirit compels us:

      -to affirm- that the essence of Christian life is not focused on sexual orientation, but how one lives by grace in relationship with God, with compassion toward humanity;

      –to embrace- the full inclusion of our LGBT brothers and sisters in all areas of church life, including leadership;

      –to declare- that the violence must stop. Christ’s love moves us to work for the healing of wounded souls who are victims of abuse often propagated in the name of Christ;

      –to celebrate- the prophetic witness of all people who have refused to let the voice of intolerance and violence speak for Christianity, especially LGBT persons, who have met hatred with love;

      Therefore we call for an end to all religious and civil discrimination against any person based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. All laws must include and protect the freedoms, rights, and equal legal standing of all persons, in and outside the church.

      June 2, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      It would be nice if Christians knew what they are preaching. With all the interpretations, how would anyone know what is being said?

      June 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Maureen

      The whole idea of sin and some bearded sky pig that had his son die to destroy it is all rubbish. The entire Christianity think is nonsense.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Warbler

      Emerald, you have no idea what your talking about. The story I'm refering to is not the woman caught in adultery but the woman at the well. All your great wikipedia searching goes out the window at this point because you don't know the Bible like you think you do. Additionally, there are plenty of Bible scholars who believe that the pericope you erroneously refer to was an original account. You guys aren't doing a very good job of bearing out the counterfeit results of your pew study.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      The real Tom,

      I have attended some SB churches, but I really don’t know their official rules. Some Baptist churches will not marry a divorced person, nor allow those who have been divorced and remarried to serve as a deacon or pastor.
      If I understand it they aren’t kicking out people who attend their church, they are just not going to sponsor a troop or pack anymore because they don’t agree with BSA any longer.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      " Additionally, there are plenty of Bible scholars who believe that the pericope you erroneously refer to was an original account. "

      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.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Sam

      "The story I'm refering to is not the woman caught in adultery but the woman at the well."

      Give the book and scripture number of the women in the well where Jesus states go and sin no more to her at the well, I thought the quote "go and sin no more" was only found in John.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Warbler

      Smith, were you trying to address the quote? If you were, you missed the mark by a mile since the point had nothing to do with proof of history. Regardless, you are only partly correct. The Bible is both about relationship with God as well as history. To deny that the Bible sheds light on history is, well, not particularl bright.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Pete

      " The Bible is both about relationship with God as well as history. To deny that the Bible sheds light on history is, well, not particularl bright."

      No it's not the Smithsonian is the worlds largest research center and they have shown the bible is not historical. You're the one that isn't so bright. Go ahead be so arrogant, go down there and prove them wrong. What an idiot. Obviously you don't know the bible as well as you think.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Warbler

      Really Pete? LOL. You really are a hateful bigot Ren't you. Either you're willfully lying or you're just plain dumb. First, Smith ain't the real Simthsonian, right? Second, the real Smithsonian hasn't proven that the Bible is not historical. No one has proven that the Bible is not historical. In fact, the Bible is intregal to near eastern history.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Pete

      "First, Smith ain't the real Simthsonian, right? Second, the real Smithsonian hasn't proven that the Bible is not historical. No one has proven that the Bible is not historical. In fact, the Bible is intregal to near eastern history."

      You are just proving over and over you don't have a clue what you're talking about and YES they did state what was posted. Keep showing why the pew study was right. What a moron.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      warbler
      No matter how much you deny it, Hitler was one of your christian brothers. He said it many times in his speeches, he justified his actions by your christian god, and he put atheists to death along with jews, gays, and the mentally ill.
      He did not like atheists, did not understand them
      You clearly need to get back to school.

      This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief.
      Adolf Hitler

      Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: – by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord
      Adolf Hitler

      As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.
      Adolf Hitler

      Stop lying and accept the facts. Hitler was christian.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Noneya Buziness

      No, they would not "be holding hands" in those times. It was confined to bath houses in the Roman area of influence, but in Judea which was the extent of Jesus's travels, they would be stoned. Fact

      June 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Theseus

      Warbler... what about non-Christians who understand theology AND reality... and can make out the difference?

      June 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • G to the T

      Sin is choice (has to be right? free will an all that)

      Your s.e.xual orientation is NOT a choice. So how can it be a sin?

      If you were against the pre-marital thing, I could see that but how can a person who didn't chose be accused of sinning?

      June 11, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  20. I don't get it

    Wasn't Jesus gay?

    June 2, 2013 at 1:43 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.