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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. Theseus

    Now if only we could get rid of those Mormons, this world could start turning around...

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

    Buh-bye Baptist bigots. Memo to you: The BSA is NOT your youth chapter. Contrary to your belief, the BSA will get along just fine without you. You pulling your sponsorship doesn't end the BSA. It only shows that you're unwilling to treat people equally and with compassion, the same as Jesus would have. What a bunch of money-grubbing hypocrites. Religions are all the same: greed, divisiveness, deceit, fear and power. Just like our GOVERNMENT. Pot, meet kettle. Welcome to the 21st century...by the 22nd century everyone will have gone to the stars while you few will be stuck in your caves, praying for ills to be cured and squabbling over whose god is better than the other.

    June 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • VoiceOfReason

      I am quite sure that your disregard for the sacred beliefs of others makes you as bad as Hitler. He persecuted people for their beliefs too. Sucks to be the same as the type of person you claim to hate, doesn't it?

      June 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • James PDX

      VoiceOfReason, your religion persecutes non-theists for their beliefs every day. They even created a special place of eternal torture to send them. Hypocrite much?

      June 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Doobs

      I am quite sure that your disregard for the civil rights of others makes you as bad as Hitler. He persecuted people for how they were born too. Sucks to be the same as the type of person you claim to hate, doesn't it?

      June 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  3. Science

    Wow chadie.................just 4 more pages and it is tied with link below.

    http://legalnews.findlaw.com/article/0bj7cdy2zIcqA?q=law+OR+lawsuit+OR+legal+OR+%28court+AND+law%29

    June 2, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Science

      Oops only 3 now.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  4. BigJolie

    Man their going to have to change the name of the webelos now. LoL

    June 2, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
  5. Willyboy

    Good! Excellent, actually! Narrow minded Baptists are not worthy of participating in BSA – their reign of terror and blackmailing of local BSA councils etc. are over.

    June 2, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Why so much hate? Where's your tolerance...

      June 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Colin

      no duh the qu eers have pretty much destroyed scouting

      June 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Colin , of course, is lying.
      In Canada, UK, Australia, Sweden and Germany, they do not discriminate gay or straight.and their scouting programs are doing just fine.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Obvious

      troll ("Colin")

      June 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Willyboy

      Nice Try: I have as much tolerance for the hate mongering freakish Baptists as they have for gay scouts.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Colin

      hey dick head bull sh it scouting has always been about character not perversion i stand on the Truth qu eers ruin everything their filthy hands touch

      June 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • VoiceOfReason

      What about the hate mongering freakish "willyboy." You are a hateful and spiteful little man.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Willyboy

      VoR: First, your choice of name is a total hoot, you freak. Second, Willyboy isn't the one leaving BSA in a huff because those dirty hummersekshuls are now allowed to participate openly (I stress openly because BSA has had gays participating since its early days). So, VoR, go mast ur bate some more and troll someone else.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • VoiceOfReason

      Notice how willyboy knows for a fact that gays served in BSA long before they could openly...he speaks from experience.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Willyboy

      Yes, VoR, I do.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Bob Williams

      "Willyboy – Good! Excellent, actually! Narrow minded Baptists are not worthy of participating in BSA – their reign of terror and blackmailing of local BSA councils etc. are over."

      Willyboy – you conveniently forgot the "jihad" that the LGBT community has been waging on the BSA. Intimidation, coercion, attacks – the LGBT community could teach the most harden, rabid terrorist a thing or two. The LGBT community doesn't care about BSA, just the look of legitimacy that they will receive. BSA is done. BSA is over. This from an Eagle Scout and long term adult leader. God fearing people will leave and with no one else to step up, the organization will die. Oh, I hear what the LGBT community says about helping out, but most of these people are too self-centered to follow through.

      bobwilliams1950 @ hotmail com

      June 2, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
  6. Rosslaw

    Could be real interesting to see if the incidence of molestation now takes a serious plunge.

    June 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Haven't you heard, gays molesting gays don't even call it molesting any more. There is a case pending in recent news where a teenage girl molested a girl younger than she was. Had a boy done the same thing it would mean 15 years in prison. Yet, the girl wants the courts to treat her differently all because she's gay and a girl? Go figure...

      June 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Billy

      What are you yaking about now, Nice try? Something you made up like one of those dreams of yours?

      June 2, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      He's talking about this:
      http://fox4kc.com/2013/05/21/gay-fla-teenager-charged-for-underage-girlfriend/

      But it really has nothing to do with this topic...more smoke screen from the religious. By the way, the girls are christians.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Nice Try, Hve you even bothered to read the details on that case? The issue is not her se.xuality but a poorly worded law that made it perfectly all right for the two to date one day and then not all right the next, because she had had a birthday. Normally these laws are written with an "age difference" clause which prevents this from being an issue, but the law makers in Florida were apparently a bit dim. As a result, this is rarely prosecuted and what people are questioning is a) how such a badly formed law ever was written and b) why it is usually ignored in this scenario but is being prosecuted in this case. One hopes that they will rewrite the law so this doesn't happen again.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Richard Cranium. You should stop lying. It has everything to do with what Rosslaw said above...

      June 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      There's likely much more to that case than you are letting on. For example, the defense very well may be able to show that many boys are routinely let off with a relatively minor charge for a similar offense. And it is likely the parents of the younger child are in denial about their daughter's se.xual orientation, and are using, if not abusing, the law to end a relationship the daughter would not. But don't let the whole story get in the way of your bigotry and hatred. And no, I am not condoning any illegal activity – just suggesting that you are blinded by your religious delusions.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Colin

      hot air ass is spouting bull sh it our country is none of its f'n business

      June 2, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      nice try (aka lying troll)..ok I'll bite...exactly how? These girls are not in the boy scouts.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Sarawasti… What you stated is nonsense. What I stated is true. And is exactly why the case was in the news. Do some research…

      June 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Richard Cranium… You're joking right? If I have to answer that then you're dumber than you look, and you're much too dumb for me to even be wasting my time with….

      June 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Nice Try, re: "do some research" – you should take your own advice. Most likely, with very high probability, your god does not exist. After you drop your childhood fairy tales, you will be able to move past your hatred of people different than those in your cult.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      As usual, after a mild challenge to the crap they spew and a couple basic questions, the loudmouth christian begins his "exit plan" to run way from the evil atheists. . .

      June 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  7. nothing new here

    Southern Baptists are more than welcome to start their own boys clubs. A lot of these churches already have youth programs, so what is the big deal here? As it is, more troups are being sponsored by other religions, as well as private companies and individuals, so Southern Baptists can feel free to exclude themselves from the rest of society, not that anyone is raising a stink over this so-called mass exodus (laughable).

    June 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Saraswati

      They tend to prefer that their children never meet anyone different from themselves. These fundamentalists usually run schools where you have to sign a statement of belief and get a pastor's recommendation, unlike Catholic, Hindu, Quaker and Unitarian run schools which usually accept people of all. different faiths.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
  8. Patrick

    This is a good thing. There's really no good reason to have Baptists involved in scouting.

    June 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • childress

      or much else 😛

      June 2, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      This is a good thing. There's really no good reason to have Baptists. Or any other cult.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Nice Try

      God moves out. Lucifer moves in. And you call that a good thing. Only an evil person would feel that way...

      June 2, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Akira

      Nice Try: nonsense.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Nice Try, you've been spouting off about your god and other imaginary friends quite a bit. Do you have any solid evidence for your buddies, or should we just add you to the collection of delusional, mentally ill, lying believers here?

      June 2, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Colin

      hot air ass is not only evil it isn't even an American

      June 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • VoiceOfReason

      Replace when you said "baptists" with the words "blacks", "gays", or "jews" and realize how much of a xenophobic hate monger you are.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Theseus

      *NiceTry*, your "God" is fallacious, and "Lucifer" is a human creation. Your arguments are no different than referencing mythology to make a point.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  9. achepotle

    gays are in the workplace too...are Baptist going to quit their jobs en masse?

    June 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Anne

      Excellent question.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • nothing new here

      As long as they don't expect to live off the government – then again, it would serve them right. These conservatives are the first ones to complain about everyone else looking for a hand-out.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Sue

      Should be interesting to find out if they will.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  10. tony

    Sounds good. As an Eagle Scout, I always resented being "sponsored" by a Baptist religious organization. My last year in Boy Scouts after I attained Eagle, I was accused by a Bible thumper in the Church of being a dope dealer. Of course it wasn't true, he was relying on the testimony of younger Boy Scouts who were caught with marijuana in their possession by their parents, and the kids accused me of supplying it. I have always resented the way these Bible thumpers operate, using heresay as the gospel. Of course, that is what their religion is based on (heresay and other nonsense). My advice to the Baptist Church would be to STAY OUT OF OUR LIVES and quit ramming your Santa Claus fairy story down our throats. You have the right to believe in any sort of nonsense you care to believe in as long as it doesn't interfere with the peace of sane individuals. Having these Baptist freaks out of the lives of our young people is the best news I have heard in a long long time.

    June 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Theseus

      Well said, I think this is a win for anyone who no longer has to deal with a zealot Baptist.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Too bad that happened to you. That stinks. Christian's are very infamous for their "witch hunt" mentalities, so I'm sure they didn't hesitate to burn you. Once accused and unable to prove innocence, they always vote for the guilty verdict. It's a cult.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Nice Try

      You're merely a hater of God, and bound for the lake. Nothing new here.

      Psalms 37:14 – The wicked (they gays and their supporters) plotteth against the just (the Christians and all who believe in God), and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • nothing new here

      Nice Try,

      Psalms 37:14 has to do with helping the poor and the needy, but thanks for twisting Scripture around.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Ah - good ole Psalms

      Psalms 137:9 "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones."

      June 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Ellis

      "Nice Try," I don't think you're allowed to insert your own parentheses in quotes.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      tony
      It is what they are taught as christians. You are not responsible for your own transgressions...someone will take the fall for you. Jesus died for your sins, so as long as you say you're sorry to jesus, do anything you want. It is the basis for the immorality that is their religion.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Nice Try

      To "nothing new here"… Thanks for proving what I said. People like you search for scripture in an attempt to bring the righteous down...

      June 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Just because you devils can quote scripture, it doesn't mean you're saved. You're still bound for hell...

      June 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • tallulah13

      If there's a hell, I'm sure there's a special corner reserved for trolls like you, Nice try.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  11. david

    It's nice to see some people still have morals.

    June 2, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Ernie

      Yes, it's good that the BSA is taking the high road.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Theseus

      Hating a group because of something an irrational belief tells them is hardly moral superiority.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • childress

      please...BSA is only slightly less dirty and foul than the Baptists...they are only doing this because they were losing real sponsors (not hick labourers from the South)

      June 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • drbob66

      I agree. The Boy Scouts have shown, at least to a small degree, that they have morals and are an organization of inclusion rather than an organization of hatred and bigotry. If only these so called Christians would do the same, we could move forward toward inclusion and acceptance of all humans.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • tony

      Yes, I'm glad that the Boy Scouts have decided that they will not be dictated to by hate groups such as the Baptist Church.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  12. t3chsupport

    Ah, just like the Baptists, to pick and choose which sins suit them today.

    Good thing it's not gluttony, which happens to be one of the DEADLY sins, and not just some namby pamby abomination. If they did that, they wouldn't have any congregation left.

    June 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Good point! I just watched that video of the over weight minister saying they're not allowed to meet at his church anymore. Speaking with 2 chins of course.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  13. mama k

    A recent poster wrote that God hates the sin of homosexuality.

    Religions that agree with the poster's statement claim such a notion as an absolute moral truth. We know such notions are founded in ancient writings from millennia past. For many things we have learned about through science, beliefs have had to adapt to keep from looking silly and being out of date with current knowledge. This is simply another time where fundamental religions are struggling to keep up with current knowledge and throwing a hissy fit about the discomforting situation they find themselves in.

    We know that homosexuality has always been a naturally occurring feature across many species including mankind, and science is now getting closer and closer to answers on how it survives across generations. Now that the scientific research shows that homosexuality is not a choice, but formed very early via epigenetic factors (resistant to change), religions that abhor homosexuality look sillier than ever on the issue. For Christians in particular, I would also say their wildly conflicting Biblical interpretations regarding a wide array of topics including this one is just another indicator that their objective truths are anything but objective.

    For issues such as this, with the knowledge we have today, Christians need to come to the table without "scripture", and ready to discuss such issues rationally. Otherwise they will continue to face an ever increasing tide of distrust and an ultimate indictment of irrelevancy.

    June 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm |

    • ===============================================

      Psychology

      The American Psychological Association states "there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation and the reasons may be different for different people", and says most people's sexual orientation is determined at an early age. Research into how sexual orientation in males may be determined by genetic or other prenatal factors plays a role in political and social debates about homosexuality, and also raises concerns about genetic profiling and prenatal testing."

      Professor Michael King states: "The conclusion reached by scientists who have investigated the origins and stability of sexual orientation is that it is a human characteristic that is formed early in life, and is resistant to change. Scientific evidence on the origins of homosexuality is considered relevant to theological and social debate because it undermines suggestions that sexual orientation is a choice."

      The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated in 2007:

      "Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person's fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation. It would appear that sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. Sexual orientation is therefore not a choice."

      Biology

      The following is from the article:

      Homosexuality ultimately a result of gene regulation, researchers find (12/11/2012 – LiveScience)

      [ The search for a "gay gene" may be off-target, new research finds. Another process called epigenetics that switches genes on and off may explain why homosexuality runs in families.

      Epigenetics are heritable changes caused by factors other than DNA. Instead of traits getting passed down through the genes, epigenetic change happens because of the way genes are regulated, or turned on and off.

      These genetic regulators may be the reason homosexuality persists in nature despite the fact that gay people are less likely to reproduce, suggests the new study published in the journal The Quarterly Review of Biology.

      "These things have evolved because they're good for the parents, but they sometimes, not [with] high frequency, but sometimes carry over" into offspring, study researcher William Rice, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told LiveScience. In a male fetus, Rice and his colleagues write, an epigenetic change that benefited the mother may lead to "feminization" of sexual preference — homo- or bisexuality. The same may be true for epigenetic changes passed down by dad to a female fetus. (The terms feminization and masculinization of sexual preference refer to sexual orientation only — not to physical or personality traits of the offspring.)

      The findings add to past research suggesting gay men haven't died out, because female relatives of gay men tend to have more children on average than other females. The study researchers specifically found that two genes passed on through the maternal line could produce this effect.

      Hormones, epigenetics and orientation

      Rice and his colleagues focused on epi-marks, which are molecular changes that act like temporary "switches" to turn genes on and off. If a gene is a blueprint, the epi-mark is the construction foreman who makes sure the product gets built. An epi-mark also determines when, where and how much a gene is expressed, according to the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.

      These molecular switches are usually erased very early in the developmental process, but they can be passed down from generation to generation, too, Rice said.

      Some epi-marks are particularly important during fetal development, when they promote normal physical development in the sexes despite natural variations in testosterone during pregnancy. Researchers know that fetal exposure to too much testosterone can masculinize the genitals, brain or behavior of a genetically female fetus. Likewise, too little testosterone can make a genetically male fetus more feminized.

      But here's the catch: There's lots of overlap between the levels of testosterone male and female fetuses get exposed to. That means there must be another side to the story, Rice and his colleagues wrote.

      That side appears to be epigenetics, Rice said.

      "Early in development, we think these epi-marks are laid down so that girl fetuses will be relatively insensitive to testosterone and male fetuses will be relatively sensitive to testosterone," Rice said.

      Biological behavior

      Thus, if an epi-mark that kept a mother from getting exposed to high testosterone in development gets passed on to her son — the opposite sex — it could desensitize him to testosterone, contributing to his sexual preference for men. Similarly, if a male-specific epi-mark from dad gets passed to a daughter, it could "masculinize" her sexual preference, making her more interested in women.

      These findings could explain why twin studies show that homosexuality runs in families, but no "gay gene" can be found, Rice said. In identical twins, there's about a 20 percent chance that if one twin is gay, the other will be too. If genetic change were responsible for homosexuality, you'd expect a much higher match, Rice said. Epigenetics, however, can explain the heritability without the need for a specific genetic change.

      The hypothesis could be tested by examining epigenetic marks in parents of kids with gay versus straight offspring, Rice said. There are, of course, concerns that this knowledge could be used by parents who want to avoid gay offspring, Rice said, but that concern already exists around certain hormonal conditions in utero, which are known to contribute to an increased chance of offspring being lesbians.

      "That cat's already out of the bag," Rice said. He added that an understanding of the biological underpinnings of homosexuality could help emphasize that same-sex behavior is not "unnatural."

      "In fact, it's a major part of the natural world," Rice said. Fourteen percent of Western gulls raise chicks in female-female pairs, he pointed out. And 8 percent of male sheep show zero interest in fertile ewes, but get sexually excited by other rams. ]

      June 2, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Kilgore Trout

      Great post, =================

      Unfortunately, you're overlooking the original source of the problem: neither religious fundamentalists nor bigots are prone to reading to gain information.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
  14. C Dub58

    So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, goodbye!

    June 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  15. Billy

    It just shows another reason to ban religion. The church wouldn't want to be condemned for their belief but they would condemn others for theirs.

    June 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Nice Try

      So why do you gays hate anyone and everyone who don't believe as you do? Where's your tolerance....

      June 2, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Bad try

      Poor assumptions, Nice try. Are you a mind reader? I think not.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Nice Try

      You said, "So why do you gays hate anyone and everyone who don't believe as you do? Where's your tolerance...."
      You are free to believe whatever nonsense you want. It's when you try to get the sane part of society to follow your bullshit rules that we have issues.

      If the religious would keep from injecting their infantile beliefs into society, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Keep your nonsense to yourself, and you won't hear from anyone.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ Nice Try

      Still lying and hating for Jeebus, I see. Hypocrite.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • me

      The gays and the religious are both just as intolerant. At least the bible thumpers just leave. The gay lobby will attempt to destroy you and wipe you off the face of the earth. I wouldn't want my son to have a gay scoutmaster. I'm not religious but I'd probably send my kids in with the religious nuts if I had to choose. They could sing a few hymns it wouldn't hurt them. Now I'll have to duck as I wait to hear the intolerant remarks hurled at me for my intolerance. I tolerate them, I just wouldn't knowingly send my son around any gay adult males unsupervised: priests, neighbors, teachers, stepfathers, anyone. Same with my girls: wouldn't send them out with alone with an adult man either where something could potentially happen.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Duane

      The sane part of society can look at your view and look at others view and make a sane descision. So what is your point? Answer the question LinCA .. So why do you gays hate anyone and everyone who don't believe as you do? Where's your tolerance....
      Our religious beliefs is exactly that our beliefs. I will let you in on a secret. Before I became a Christian I distained all Gays. Now I would live amongst them all. As an American I can choose to move and live where I can live as my conscious directs. You don’t have to believe as I do. We only wish to assemble in a group setting guided by like minded Christians. You don’t have to believe what we do. You don’t have to like what we believe. We choose to believe as we do just as you do. You can assemble and discuss what ever you like. We choose to assemble and discuss what we like. In the matter of this issue. We are choosing to leave and start a new assembly. It will be Christ centered and ALL is welcomed. We will teach Christ daily, and practice His principles. That is right ALL is welcomed, even gay people. But the order of our meeting will be guided by our God. This is all we want. If you choose to attend then you will learn about our God. It is your choice. Just because we choose to leave and follow our God doesn’t mean we want or expect you to fail.
      I keep hearing about then why do you let your kids attend public schools. I can assure you cost is the only wall. Many have already and more follow the exodus of the public school districts. Each day the exodus is getting greater. Even then Gay people will be allowed to enter the new schools. They just will be God driven and Christ centered.
      God Bless.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Fortune holds more for the bold

      @me
      This is what I don't get on this blog. Hate speech from both sides, yet the aetheist see their response as some superior view in light of their persecuted ideas when they are doing nothing more than looking as mean and foolish as the x tians just sad really

      June 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Duane

      You said, "The sane part of society can look at your view and look at others view and make a sane descision. So what is your point?"
      The sane part of society won't make a decision to elevate a fairy tale to fact.

      You said, "Answer the question LinCA .. So why do you gays hate anyone and everyone who don't believe as you do? Where's your tolerance...."
      You assume I'm gay. What do you base that assumption on?

      I don't hate you. I just think that believers are ignorant. They base their life on a belief in a creature that is no more likely to exist than the Tooth Fairy.

      You said, "Our religious beliefs is exactly that our beliefs."
      And you are free to have them. You just don't get to expect anyone else to be just as ignorant.

      You said, "I will let you in on a secret. Before I became a Christian I distained all Gays."
      Dislike, or even hatred, of minority groups isn't the exclusive domain of the religious. Religion just makes for a very easy justification for it.

      You said, "Now I would live amongst them all."
      You very likely lived among them before, too. You may just not have realized it as in certain areas it is very hazardous to one's health to come out.

      You said, "You don’t have to believe as I do."
      I don't, and won't. I simply can't suspend my disbelief for long enough to start believing in imaginary creatures again.

      You said, "We only wish to assemble in a group setting guided by like minded Christians."
      You are free to do so.

      You said, "You don’t have to believe what we do."
      I don't, and won't. I simply can't suspend my disbelief for long enough to start believing in imaginary creatures again.

      You said, "You don’t have to like what we believe."
      I don't. It's based on bullshit. And, as long as you keep displaying your ignorance and bigotry on a public forum such as this, I will let you know.

      You said, "We choose to believe as we do just as you do. We choose to assemble and discuss what we like."
      I'm just suggesting you make it a rational discussion.

      You said, "We are choosing to leave and start a new assembly. It will be Christ centered and ALL is welcomed. We will teach Christ daily, and practice His principles. That is right ALL is welcomed, even gay people."
      Even those that are openly gay? Even those that believe they are gay because their god made them that way? Even those that have no intention to hide who they are? Even those that live with their significant others?

      You said, "But the order of our meeting will be guided by our God."
      And how does your god do that? Ouija board? Divining rods?

      You said, "This is all we want. If you choose to attend then you will learn about our God."
      I know enough about your god to know it isn't likely to be real.

      You said, "Just because we choose to leave and follow our God doesn’t mean we want or expect you to fail."
      You follow what you think your imaginary friend wants, based on your interpretation of an ancient fairy tale. All you have is your interpretation of thousands of years old folk lore. There is no rational reason to believe any of it.

      You said, "I keep hearing about then why do you let your kids attend public schools. I can assure you cost is the only wall. Many have already and more follow the exodus of the public school districts. Each day the exodus is getting greater."
      Unfortunately, US laws grants parents enormous leeway in the indoctrination of their offspring. US law allows parents to perpetuate the bullshit and keep the next generation ignorant.

      You said, "Even then Gay people will be allowed to enter the new schools. They just will be God driven and Christ centered."
      Not the smart ones.

      You said, "God Bless."
      I have no need for the blessings of your imaginary friend.

      June 2, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Duane

      @LinCA
      My point well proven.
      Thanks

      June 2, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Duane

      You said, "My point well proven."
      You had a point? I must have missed it. I did notice that you didn't bother to answer any of the questions.

      June 8, 2013 at 12:57 am |
  16. PAllen

    Southern Baptists doing what they do best: cursing the darkness rather than turning on a light; and they are the ones in darkness.

    June 2, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Nice Try

      PAllen... That is what churches are for. If gays want to be saved they should attend church, not join the Boy Scouts. The scriptures also teach us to "separate ourselves" from unbelievers and from hose who walk disorderly...

      June 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Bad try

      Poor association, Nice try; poor reasoning; poor everything.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • just me.

      2 nice try-Nice try,Did you mean hoes?

      June 2, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Just Me... I meant – "The scriptures also teach us to "separate ourselves" from unbelievers and from those who walk disorderly...

      2 Thess 3:6 – Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Deg

      Nice Try - are the Baptists also going to be leaving public school? I believe there is a non discrimination policy in public education so that may be a problem for Baptists.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Deg... God does not agree with your world concept of discrimination. God always has made a difference between light and darkness. Between those who are saved and those who are not saved...

      June 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Just sayin

      Wow – Nice try thinks it's God. Hmm – no wonder it's so judgMENTAL.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Doobs

      Nice Try is a liar and a hypocrite for Jeebus and has been called out several times.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Nahh. "Nice Try" is just a troll, metaphorically waving his arms and shouting "look at me!". Poor thing must be terribly lonely if he is so desperate for attention.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  17. Embracing Diversity

    For those who think there are no Christian Churches that affirm Gays and Lesbians, read on!

    Gay Affirming Christian Churches

    http://christiangays.com/links/christian_other.shtml

    June 2, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Yes, such churches exist. But such churches are of the devil and will send your soul to hell...

      June 2, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Just sayin

      Ah – hell. Nice try – how are you so sure? You seem to be able to read the mind of God.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Embracing Diversity

      Nice try but the fact of the matter is that anyone who embraces the LORD Jesus and worships Him, including Gays cannot be of the devil for Satan cannot go against Satan.

      "And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?" - MATTHEW 12:26 (KJV)

      Please take your outdated scare tactics elsewhere already. God loves all of those who love and worship Him. Period!

      June 2, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Theseus

      *NiceTry*... it's your fabricated Hell, why don't YOU burn in it?

      June 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
  18. Heretic

    Good, get your religious BS out of society and into your churches and homes and keep it there.

    June 2, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Such a hater of God. That's precisely why people like you will end up in hell...

      John 15:8 – (Jesus speaking) If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

      2 Timothy 3:12 – Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Atheists don't hate any god. It would be silly to hate something that does not exist. And you do know that rattling off bits of you cult's Book of Stupidity has no effect on non-cult members, don't you, other than to demonstrate the depths of your own delusion?

      June 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Heretic

      Nice try, you speak to an imaginary friend, your arguments are automatically invalid.

      June 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  19. IvotedforObama

    Funny how they have no problem with drug users, adulterers, fornicators, people who hate, drunks, thieves, etc.

    June 2, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      IvotedforObama,

      Did you even read the article. They are not kicking individuals out of their church or preventing them from coming to worship services. They are no longer going to be associated with the BSA because they disagree with their new policy.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Bad try

      It's good in the end, although I feel sorry for the children of the hypocrites of SBC.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Robert, to be specific, they disagree with a policy that doesn't kick people out.

      June 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  20. faith

    censorship reported

    June 2, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • LinCA

      @faith

      You said, "censorship reported"
      Get a fucking clue. you've been on this comment board long enough that you should know how to circumvent the filters.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • JR

      Are you drunk?

      June 2, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • faith

      Also report kfc to the authorities. they are cloning boneless chickns don't you know.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Tamsyn

      Faith, I haven't read one post from you yet where you weren't either calling people names and accuse them of being perverts, or spreading some ridiculous lie about a nationally known fast food restaurant. If you don't want to be deleted, you should stop lying about people and corporations.
      You are not being censored; CNN has every right to delete content that is deliberately inflammatory. I haven't read a post yet by you that wasn't.

      June 2, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Doobs

      "cloning boneless chicken" LOL!

      June 2, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
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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.