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.
When people follow a narcissistic deity that tortures and torments people for simply for not believing in him, then it should come as no surprise that the followers are filled with desires of ill will and hatred for those are are simply different.
There's a difference between being different and totally repugnant.But what else would we expect from liberal trash anyway. I imagine you'll come to regret your ignorance someday.
Another moron who's parents didn't raise them right. They should have taught you some respect and how to respect authority (and there is no greater authority than God). If they had, then maybe you wouldn't end up in hell...
Nice Try, I'll give your god respect just as soon as you prove he's real. Until then, fuck 'im!
Nice attempt at trolling, 'nice try'. Your mom is calling, go finish your chores.
Stupid is as stupid does. Probably likes it up the hershey highway.
big b, you talking about Nice Try? Are you suggesting he is among the 10% of heteros that engage in anal se.x, or are you saying he's in the closet still?
Actually this is not a difficult concept.
Think about the christian god.
If you are loyal to him existence is wonderful.
If you are disloyal to him existence is full of torture and torment.
Now think which human beings in positions of leadership in the last 100 years acted the same way.
Hitler, Stalin, Hussien .... Yes
The latter tortured and tormented millions of innocents simply for being on the wrong side just like god does for eternity for all of humanity.
Your god has little of any value to me....
@Nice Try your wishing me into hell proves my point exactly. Thank you!
Secular Humanist from Ohio....Why thank you 🙂
Is the function of the reply button too much for you to grasp?
My Path's View rarely answers questions. You must get permission first.
Secular Humanist from Ohio....Aww you're still around.
Amazingly so are you.
Wow religous people are really the MOST judgemental people in the world!!!
Heck yes they are...as soon as I came out, every "religious" friend I thought I had, dumped me like nuclear waste. Even 2 of my family members won't speak to me anymore, and they rant and rave that I'm going to burn. Yet, they're fat, divorced, cheated on their wives, they cuss, drink. It's baffling.
kenny; everyone on here is expressing their views and religious or not we can not help to appear judgmental when we post a comment. look at what you said about religious people and you think others are judging ? real true religious people are just the only right ones.
Don't let the HYPOCRITES get to you. They just pick-and-choose from the Bible. They prefer to PICK verses about gays rather than the MORE IMPORTANT Golden Rule.
You said, "real true religious people are just the only right ones."
How do you figure that, jim? What makes you so sure the religious are right? How do you determine which ones are true religious people? There are some 38,000 different denominations, sects and cults of christianity alone. Add to that the thousands of other religions and their sects, and you're looking at probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 different religious views. All believe they are the true religious people.
Fact is that very likely not a single one is correct. There is no reason what-so-ever, to think there is even a single god, let alone one that resembles yours or someone else's.
linca? humor? sorry I didn't think it was that disguised.
EdWeird69, I have a friend, Andrewe, who is gay, and VERY afraid to tell his father, who is an intolerant bigot. His dad isn't religious at all, so that's not the problem...the guy is just a mean-spirited d bag, if you know what I mean.
Should he come out to his dad? The kid is a real nice young man; his dad is just the insuffereable kind of guy who would probably try and beat the "gay" out of him, you know?
You said, "linca? humor? sorry I didn't think it was that disguised."
Idiotic comments often elicit laughter.
But how about answering the questions that I had?
Akira. I have talked to many gay teens and young adults about this topic and my advise is for your friend to NOT say anything to his dad. Just wait until he is 18 and then leave. Too many gays feel that their parents have to accept them. Sorry but that just isn't the case. His dad has a right to his views even if we disagree with them. So just leave. Once he is one his own he can reach out to his dad. If he is accepted great, if not he will likely have to avoid any contact with him. OK it hurts but standing up for yourself often does.
linca; my original comment was for kenny about the absurdity of it all but if I understand your request for my belief then they are all wrong to think they know it all especially what God thinks. now don't get me wrong, I believe their was a creator and if that God has a plan it is up to it to see that fulfilled and no one can talk for him or her or it or could possibly explain in any detail what that God can do or think. so any religious people that think they are more right than the next are fooling themselves. when I say really true re. people? that is only in their own mind. it will be up to "God" to have the last say and I would imagine and hope it will be a good laugh for all. now if you want to talk about the Bible? I think everyone that reads it thinks they know it better than everyone else, again, foolishness, I do.
You said, "my original comment was for kenny about the absurdity of it all but if I understand your request for my belief then they are all wrong to think they know it all especially what God thinks."
Everyone who believes in a god knows exactly what it thinks. The problem is that every god only exists in the mind of the believer.
You said, "now don't get me wrong, I believe their was a creator and if that God has a plan it is up to it to see that fulfilled and no one can talk for him or her or it or could possibly explain in any detail what that God can do or think."
You are free to believe whatever nonsense you want. There is no reason to believe that whatever you believe is anywhere in the same ballpark as the truth. It's probably not even in the same country.
You said, "so any religious people that think they are more right than the next are fooling themselves."
They're not just fooling themselves for thinking that they are more right than anyone else. They are foolish for believing in creatures for which there is no more evidence than the Tooth Fairy.
You said, "when I say really true re. people? that is only in their own mind. it will be up to "God" to have the last say and I would imagine and hope it will be a good laugh for all."
Yeah, I'm sure we'll all be in stitches having to explain to Odin why so many of us worshiped the wrong god.
You said, "now if you want to talk about the Bible? I think everyone that reads it thinks they know it better than everyone else, again, foolishness, I do."
Reading the bible is what convinced me it was all bullshit.
I don't want my kids associating with SB. So this is great.
I guess there's one group of people straight people dislike more than us gay people...Southern Baptists. I learn something new every day.
Subsequently, I was to learn that You are to be found in the lowest, darkest depths, and that all who find You are thereby transported to the loftiest, brightest heights.
...whatever their ideology may be, from the Garden of Eden onwards such dreams of lasting felicity have cropped up and no doubt always will. But the realization is impossible for the simple reason that a fallen creature like man though capable of conceiving perfection and aspiring after it, is in himself and in his works forever imperfect. Thus he is fated to exist in the no man's land between the perfection he can conceive and the imperfection that characterizes his own nature and everything he does. alcolm muggeridge
There isn't any "no man's land" there. We ALL live in a world of imperfection. 'Twas always thus, 'twilll always BE thus.
But we do the best we can all the same.
I know the Christian leaders of the BSA made this decision. As I have stated. I have no problem with gays. Just how some gays act about things and their supporters.
The BSA decided on this change. Its their organization.
I'm talking about in general, outside of this BSA conversation. The BSA did what it thought was right. The Alabama Pastor in this subject acted completely wrong in the way he "kicked out" the BSA because of their decision. I would not have done what he done. Completely ignorant.
I am not confused.
Anthony. My post was mistaken and I misunderstood your posts (unitl you made that correction).
It appears we agree here. I even understand why the SBC made the decision they did. If they feel the need to form their own boy scout type group, so be it. There is no reason for anyone to use these decisions as reasons to attack those they disagree with.
just say goodbye baptists and get them on their way, back to their hovel of hatred in the name of what they say is a loving god. my prayer is simple: may there be a god, and may that god meet every one of these bigoted coward wherever such a meeting may take place. And may their god say, well, guys – you are hateful to me because you found some of my creations hateful. so guess what – there is a hell, so get ready to hang your hat, because it's hot there, so you won't need a hat, and besides, you're going to be there forever. that's what hatred gets. eternal life sentence.
bigots in the name of god = baptist haters.
When the BSA turned away from its Christian heritage towards a secular moral view, everything changed. The BSA now says there is nothing wrong with being gay. The Bible disagrees. Allowing the BSA to continue to meet in their church would send the message that the church supports the world view over the Biblical view. Therefore the churches are correct to kick out the BSA. This does not mean that the church will stop its funding of charities, and I imagine a Christian Boy Scout organization will arise to replace the BSA, because the BSA is no longer about values and moral straightness, its about fitting in with the immoral world.
Well, Deepe, I bet there was somebody just like you who said almost the same thing when the BSA abandoned the idea of racially segregated troops. And 50 years from now, your quotation may turn up in some doctoral dissertation to demonstrate how far THEY'VE come from the Bad Old Days of intolerance and rigid adherence to ignorant superst¡tion.
Gay men shouldn't be in the scouts, as straight men should not be cheerleader coach's..
The scouts is about learning to survive in the outdoors. What difference does it make if someone is gay? They can still build a shelter and start a fire.
They're leaving because the BSA decided that gay BOYS should no longer be discriminated against.
Oh, and a funny thing...there have been been male cheerleaders at the university & high school level for decades. Famous male cheer leaders include: Jimmy Stewart, Trent Lott, FDR, Samuel L Jackson, Ronald Reagan, George W Bush, George H W Bush, Prescott Bush (Oh look. 3 generations of Bush cheer leaders),
This is the most stupid, ignorant thing I have ever read. I hope your children turn out gay and wanna play football.
Sure, just teach your children to deny reality, deny that gays and lesbians exist – that'll work out real well. More than likely, kids in the scouts know gay kids and don't have half the problem with them that their parents do.
I agree with you paul and I hope this will lead to the end of discrimination against girls being in the scouts. Times have changed and girls deserve to be taught those skills as much as boys.
Trying to reply but it will not let me!
@jazz guitar man
You said, "Trying to reply but it will not let me!"
Look for the forbidden words.
CNN uses WordPress blogs for their opinion pieces, and they use automated censoring that looks for words, or fragments of words, that are considered offensive. If your post doesn't show up, it most likely had a forbidden word in it.
On the Belief Blog, repeat posts, even those that were previously censored and not displayed, will show a message stating that you posted it before.
The following words or word fragments will get your post censored (list is incomplete):
arse as in Arsenal
cock as in cockatiel
coon as in cocoon
cum as in circumstance
homo as in homosexual
rape as in grape
sex as in homosexual
spic as in despicable
tit as in constitution or title
vag as in vague
To circumvent the filters you can break up the words by putting an extra character in, like: consti.tution (breaking the oh so naughty "tit").
The problem with that is that gay men and women are people and citizens too. Baptists are the most hate filled religious bigots on the planet. Why do christians have to be so hate filled towards people unlike them?
Tony, it appears you're not mature enough to discuss the topic. Should teen boys and girls be allowed to sleep in the same tent? Share the same bathrooms? Look at how adding women to the military has caused issues with women being attacked. We have to be mature enough to understand this. It isn't gay bashing to wonder if two gay teens should be allowed to share the same tent.
LinCA; Thanks for the tip. But I posted without any of those words and it still didn't come up. But I do see that I was able to post and say most of what I wanted.
@jazz guitar man
When we separate boys and girls it's mostly to avoid pregnancy. Besides, teenage boys do plenty of 'experimenting' even when they're straight.
Maui: I fail to see your point. How course teen will do a lot of experimenting. Are you saying that since this is the case when teen go out on group social functions the conditions should promote this? You don't address the direct question I asked. Would you allow teen boys and girls to bunk in the same tent? Share the same bathrooms? I think if this was too occur we would see increases in violence towars teen girls like we are seeing in the military today.
@jazz guitar man
I'll have to add nigra, as in denigrate, to my list.
****I DO NOT AGREE WITH GAY BASHING****** Typo
Then you do not agree with God. And whosoever is a friend of God's enemy is an enemy of God...
James 4:5 …know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
No one believes every word of the Bible. They just pick and choose what they like and ignore the rest. It's all pick-and-choose hypocrisy.
Anthony; I agree that there is no reason for either 'side' to be upset because of the BSA or SBC decisions as it relates to gays. The BSA leadership decided the time had come to make a policy change. This was THEIR choice.
The SBC decided they don't wish to be associated with the BSA because of the policy change. This was THEIR choice.
We all need to respect these choices. Each group is NOT causing harm to the other by their choice. Instead each group can go in the direction they choose.
While I'm agnostic I agree there is no reason to bash Christians over the topic of gay rights as long as they don't try to deny equality to gays and others via the ballot box (and vise versa).
Nice Try. Well I wouldn't want to be your friend even if I was paid! You don't sound like a loving or kind person, but you sure do have a lot of enemies. But of course you welcome that.
@jazz guitar man
I apologize if I have sounded hot. I am sure it can be taken that way. My view on this is that I wish everyone could stay parallell to each other and live in America freely. There will be times when discussion like this is made, such as gay marriage. I believe its not a federal issue, its a state issue. But that's my belief and all I'm going to say.
I wish for everyone to live happily in the states and for them to not have to worry about being bashed against. Gays and Christians should be able to get along just fine. That's what Jesus promoted in his teachings. For all we know, the BSA leaders done this in following Jesus teaching.
I believe you and mutually agree that we both want peace in all of this.
Ok smarty pants, in Jesus's words in the Bible, where does he says that he hates gays, or abortion or even contraceptives? You'll find it hard to do since he did not. The OT was written mainly for Jews. Then we have Paul, he invented lots of things that Jesus did not ever said.
Anthony, I also believe that SSM is a state rights issue (but I'm one of the odds birds that isn't a social conserative but still a strong state rights guy), as long as the Feds recognize the marriage (which is what the SC will rule I believe).
Maybe I'm nuts but I think most Americans have common values. We just need to learn how to communicate better.
@jazz guitar man
I believe it is a states rights thing. I believe we do have an issue in this country about communication.
The Hitler Youth program didn't allow gays either.
Neither does the biggest racist and anti-Semite organization ever started by Democrats, the KKK.
Yes, Scott, and once the Democrats started to lean more to the left, as the Republicans at the time of the founding of the KKK were. Republicans at the time of founding were the liberals of the day.
Once the Dems became more liberal, Republicans took over the KKK and have been running it, and the NeoNazi white power groups, ever since.
Isn't it funny how the conservatives of yesteryear were Democrat? Not any more.
The parties flip-flopped their ideals, and what we have today is the result of it.
That's right, Scott! And we have to hate the British, the French and Indians, the Germans, the Italians, and the Jàpanese, too, because we've been to war with all of them, and nobody ever changes, right?
It is time we embrace moral values and leave religion behind.
You cannot separate God from religion. There is no morals without God...
Hey Nice Try –
Untrue. I believe in no god, yet I have morals. I even stop to help the little turtle across the road. I have even returned to Home Depots to pay them for the lumber they missed to charge me for.
God didn't invent morals. Nice try.
People invented god.
No morals without God? Nice Try, Are you out of your mind? If you really want to go that route, you've just proven how hypocritical religion actually is. Why is the Vatican in such upheaval over molestations within their own walls? As a non believer in any God, I have more morals then you may every live up to. You are either delusional or so sheltered, you wouldn't know right from wrong if there was a map in front of you.
Nice Try writes: "You cannot separate God from religion. There is no morals without God..."
Man, there is no bottom to your pit of misinformation and lies, is there?
Hardly anybody in China or India believes in God. Do you truly think they have no morals whatsoever? 2.3 billion rap¡sts, murderers, thieves, and arsonists? Endless anarchy? Daily street riots? Boundless prost¡tution, debauchery, drug use, and drunkenness?
PS: It should be "There ARE no morals ..."
Scott in Texas… You stated, "People invented god."
Answer: Big words, and not a shred of evidence to back it up. You're nothing but talk, and nothing you say means a thing…
RichardRussel… Just how ignorant are you? You certainly don't know very much. The very concept of right and wrong came from God back in the Garden of Eden. It was not invented by man. Morals came from God. Without God laying down the foundation of laws and telling us what to do and what not to do, you wouldn't even know what right and wrong was…
Nice Try, How do you believe the concepts of good and evil developed in non-Western countries such as India and China? Are theses also derived from the Garden of Eden episode?
Nice Try, I think I asked you several hours ago for evidence for your god. Did I miss your response?
Wrong. Religion is not from God but from man. Do you think that God has a religion? Why would a power that can create Universes need to have puny humans to worship him/her/it or else he'll do horrible things? And if he created humans, why create imperfection? Just to punish it?
Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts are such for their sexualities sakes! And now they want children to become entangled in sensual promiscuities that even young adults find hard to confront!? Where is the damn manual for sexually transmissible hobnobbing? Anyone up for a good book burning? You get to choose then lose one's religiosity! 😀
What is it you think you know about the Girl Scouts, lionlylamb? They can join at age 5 or 6. Do you honestly think they are out there having sex at that age?
I don't think you know a thing about the GSA. Buying a box of cookies doesn't make you an expert.
You're aware Girl Scouts already accept gay/trans as well right?
My Cub Scout years are long ago gone to the proverbial neuronal graveyards in my mind's eyeing ways. Your right though for I now very little regarding the GSA. Beyond that, we are miles apart in our attendant mannerisms portrayals of the sculpted Word.
LionilyLamb is aware of whatever goes on in his/her/its own pocket universe, not so much this one.
Your right though for I now very little regarding the GSA.
You're right though for I know very little regarding the GSA.
Kids already go to school with gay kids what the heck is the difference? Or did you want to kick the kids out of school, too?
Kids go to school with gays!?? That's it homeschooling from now on.
Hence why Baptists are called Baptists and not Christians.
No surprise, most Southern Baptists still live in 1950 and fight all change tooth and nail.
Typo? I think you meant 1850 (the few blabtists I have to see regularly at work are still pro-slavery... seriously folks... this is one messed-up, bigoted cult)
yep, and in 1950 they were in 1890.
It is fascinating to me to read these comments full of anger, hatered, bigotry, disrespect, unkindness, exclusion, intolerance, narcissism and all around negativity comes flowing like blood from the mouths of the faithful in the face of adversity instead if embracing the challenge: In everything do to others as you would have them do to you. –St. Matthew 7,12; St. Luke 6,31. It is
There's nothing shameful about standing up for God. But for those who have sided with the Devil – you're right – it's quite shameful...
So, when people disagree with you, it's because they're in league with the boogeyman?
Turning your back on children. Yeah, that's real "christian" of you.
In the catholic church, the children's backside was turned towards the priests.
What a horribly offensive comment, Mike S. You're sure to lose the election now.
E2B it's only horrible because it's true. The hypocrisy within the walls of the church is blatant. If your neighbor was caught molesting a child, you and your holier than thou neighbors would want that person run out of town, thrown in jail, punished to the full extent of the law. But if it's a priest or someone from the church, you people back them like it's impossible for someone of their caliber to ever let that happen. TOTAL BS and you people thrive on it.
Churches playbook: Cheery pick parts of the Bible which bolster your argument, and then stand back and hope no one notices the other parts of it which refute your argument. Then while waiting, hope no one notices the other parts of the Bible many Christians casually disregard on a daily basis.
My favorite example of this is read from pretty much every Protestant pulpit in America pretty much every year. It comes at the end of the very 1st chapter of the very 1st book of the New Testament:
"(23) Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name IMMANU-EL, which being interpreted is, God with us. ...
(25) and ... she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS." —Matthew 1:23,25
Quoted over and over and over again, AND THEY NEVER NOTICE!
Aww, they were always so embracing of that whole tolerance angle Jesus was about. What happened?
The religious nutjobs showed up.
Don't let the door hit y'all on the way out.
The thing about the Southern Baptists is that the national organization doesn't dictate to the local congregations. So it's entirely possible that many, if not most, of the individual Southern Baptist churches will decide that they like their Scout troops better than their church hierarchy. That would be a welcome development, indeed.
The Southern Baptists are very much about getting people into the Pew$.
The Scouts are a very good tool for doing that.
If they close their doors people will still be scouts and go to another sponsor.
The result would be a drop in church attendance as people come to know other churches and gain friends there.
Few churches will stick with that for very long.
Body-count quotas are definitely important with this money-grubbing cult, because they have such a high loss rate. The past few years the losses have accelerated (thank you Westboro... for unknowingly doing something good). To make up for the losses, the cult did what always works for them (because their followers are salt of the earth)... start a witch hunt... OMG... the United Nations and liberals are tryin' to infiltrate our church with quaaaaaaaars! This is a surefire way to increase membership levels with the kind of 'disciples' they are looking for.