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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. Living in Virginia

    Gay, straight whatever.... When young adults enter the real world, by themselves,,, they will be exposed to every type of person. Whether you believe being gay is right or wrong, it will have not effect on who you meet in life,,, because you and our children will be exposed to many types of people at work, on the street and where you live and shop. In the work environment it's illegal to discriminate and you can lose your job because for it.... So, learning to teach your kids to be tolerant and accept the fact that there are people either like them or unlike them is important to basic survival in the modern era. The fact is at the end of the day,,, god is forgiving, god is loving and god loves gays and straight folks all the same. There is so much hate out there,,, don't you think you should leave it to god to judge? See, I don't get people who think god wants gays to burn in hell,,, when it's god who died for the sins of man... If god died for the sins of man and being gay is a sin in the eyes of some, then don't gays deserve the same forgiveness? If we are not perfect and we all sin, everyday,,, then what is the difference of a gay person,,, who is also living in sin-outside of just being gay.... The real flaw here is that we believe we are powerful enough and know enough about god to make decisions for him--let god do the judging. Don't be afraid of gay people, because if your kid isn't gay,,, then they won't become gay...

    June 3, 2013 at 1:09 am |
    • MalcomR

      That's all very nice, really, but there is an underlying fatal flaw in religion that cannot be overcome. You take a book, one with contradictory statements throughout, one that is clearly written by people of their time with no knowledge of the world beyond their horizon, and imbue it with the authority to rule men. All with not a shred of objective evidence that what it says is accurate and a reliable means of managing human affairs. In fact, it seems to be mainly a manual of what NOT to do.

      Faith and acceptance are NOT virtues. Evidence and rationalism, all tempered with a healthy dose of human compassion, is all you really need. We are moral creatures by nature. We evolved as a social species. Religion is in direct opposition to harmonious cooperation between individuals and groups.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      Well said, Malcom. You may want to copy for future reference this short take on the Big Book o'Horrors:

      "As a source of objective morality, the Bible is one of the worst books we have. It might have been the very worst, in fact — if we didn't also happen to have the Koran."
      —Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

      June 3, 2013 at 1:47 am |
    • MalcomR

      Nice!

      June 3, 2013 at 1:50 am |
  2. Chris

    I live about a mile from First Baptist Church of Gravel Ridge. On one of their signs are the words "Everyone welcome". I guess that isn't actually true.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:09 am |
    • Devin

      Big difference between sitting next to someone in a pew and that of sleeping and showering with someone who is physically attracted to your "type".

      June 3, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • MalcomR

      @Devin: Why? You keep saying it's because the bible says so. What about all of the other absurd things the bible tells you to do or not do?

      June 3, 2013 at 1:16 am |
    • Devin

      Malcolm

      "Why"? Is it not self evident ? The Bible or any religious thought aside, it is simply common sense, especially if you adhere to the concept that h o m o men have the same strong affinity for other men as hetero men have for women.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:23 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      If you think people here on this message board have been disagreeing with Baptists, you should look up the history of how Protestants have been duking it out with EACH OTHER over the centuries. About the last thing they all agreed on was when ole Martin Luther hisself nailed his 95 theses to that church door in Wittenberg. They started schisming over matters of doctrine about 5 minutes later. There are a dozen different major "confessions", "conventions", and synods of Baptists in the US alone, plus bunches of independent congregations — to say nothing of Presbyterians, Lutherans, Congregationalists, and on and on.

      None of them agree with each other. They all call themselves Christians, and most of them think everyone else is going to hell.

      The SOUTHERN Baptists in particular (like the SOUTHERN Methodists) formed a separate denomination in defense of slavery, which they said was at least condoned if not outright commanded by the Bible (the same "infallible" authority today's oppressors are citing for discriminating against gays).
       
      It's entirely possible that the Baptists down the road from you are among the more benign ones, where everybody really IS welcome. We shouldn't stereotype them as all being the same as the guys mentioned in this article.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:24 am |
    • MalcomR

      Common sense Devin? Is common sense universal? Is it common sense to ban the wearing of mixed fabrics? Is it common sense to ban the eating of certain species on certain days or if they have a different hoof shape? Regarding the bible, there is nothing common or sensible about it.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • JamesK

      Devin
      I somewhat doubt that you'd be nearly as upset with your boy being in a co-ed organization and hooking up with a girl his age, right? If that's the case then you're just being a bigot, buddy.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:34 am |
    • Devin

      Malcom

      I don't now how to make it any more simple. It's biology man. Are you familiar with any mixed boy/girl scout troops where sleeping and showering together has the stamp of approval?

      June 3, 2013 at 1:35 am |
    • JamesK

      Devin
      Then there are men who have strong attraction to girls proving that you probably have more to fear from the straight people you trust your kids with.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:41 am |
    • Devin

      JAMES

      I would be very upset with my sons (of which I have 3) if they hooked up with girls in that context and at that age. I will concur that were it another boy, there would be an added element of being"upset". This, however, has nothing to do with bigotry, but it was a nice try at trying to make a connection.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:42 am |
    • Devin

      James

      But I would not allow my daughter in tents or showers with boy scouts.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:48 am |
    • mama k

      "It's biology man."

      So Devin wants to talk "biology" with his concerns about showering arrangements, but evidently wants to ignore current biology when it's juxtaposed with various, even conflicting Biblical interpretation. Interesting. I guess everyone has their priorities.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:05 am |
    • MalcomR

      @mama K: Is this not the standard of inconsistent argument that we fully expect from the typical theist? "Science is great when it supports my position, but it's BS when it contradicts it". SOP.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:20 am |
    • JamesK

      Devin
      If you were to become more upset with your boy's choice of partner, no matter what that choice may be, boy, girl, black, white, rich, poor, what have you, then that is your prejudice, right?

      Would you allow your daughter to sleepover at a girlfriend's house even if that girlfriend has brothers sleeping under the same roof? Gay boys, if they're raised by parents involved in their actual lives, will grow up knowing that they can't ogle every guy they lay their eyes upon.

      June 3, 2013 at 8:15 am |
  3. kayamar

    Good. The fewer fundamentalists in public organizations, the better.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:04 am |
  4. fkaod

    Screw that church and their gay bashing. They only bash gays so they have someone to feel superior to. I say good riddance. The scouts are better off without them.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:55 am |
    • MalcomR

      F'in A.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:59 am |
    • Ken78

      Screw the scouts and their gay loving . They only love gays so they have someone to feel superior to. I say good riddance. The SBC is better off without them.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • Ken78

      MalcomR – I think that is exactly what the parents of a lot of 11 year old boys are concerned about.

      F your own As. Leave the As of little boys alone.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:02 am |
    • SORON

      "bash the gay away" should be illegal!

      June 3, 2013 at 1:04 am |
    • Katie

      I agree with you 100%. No one will miss them!!!! Let them take their ignorance and hate elsewhere.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:04 am |
    • MalcomR

      Oh Ken, you sad little closeted dip s.h.i.t. The words you use "loving gays" and "gay loving" tell me for sure that you are gay. I'm straight to 10 decimal places (as I like to say) and am completely comfortable with LGBTs and my own s.e.x.uality. No straight guy however is comfortable saying what you say. The very words you use give you the thrill you can't allow yourself in real life. I feel for you.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:08 am |
    • Ken78

      MalcolmR – Any dude who feels like he has to boast that he is "straight to 10 decmimal places" clearly likes it in the pooper. But please, at least tell us that you aren't a NAMBLA member.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:16 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Won't be long before Kenny warns us about slippery slopes and bestiality. . .

      June 3, 2013 at 1:19 am |
  5. mama k

    I think in the long run this separation is good. Many children that will grow up within SBC will continue to some day face the non-SBC world (most likely in shock) and hopefully they will adjust. But it will be good to know that future children of BSA will carry badges that represent original scouting ideals and not SBC indoctrination.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • Ken78

      Yes. Because h0m0____lity was definitely part of the original scouting ideals, while faith in God was not.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:59 am |
    • MalcomR

      Poor Ken. It's OK for organizations to evolve beyond their primitive beginnings. In fact, it's usually good. Recognizing that peoples s.e.x.ual preference has not a god d a m n e d thing to do with their value as human beings is good, right? RIGHT?

      June 3, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • Ken78

      Which part of "will carry badges that represent original scouting ideals" did you not understamd?

      Reading comprehension is not your strong suit, is it?

      June 3, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • mama k

      poor ken – i just hear a lot of barking, name-calling; so rational thinking is a bit of a challenge for you, ken?

      June 3, 2013 at 1:25 am |
  6. David

    Well James K, I must ask you something . Using a little common sense, if you have any. No pun intended, because alot of people these days don't seem to have any, or not much. Thats the reason the country is in the turmoil it is in these days. Question . Wouldn't it be better to believe and try to live a life for Christ and find out one day that there actually wasn't a Christ then to NOT believe in Christ and find out at the last minute that there actually was a Christ , and find out your going to a warmer climate ?

    June 3, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • Scott in Texas

      David –

      your argument makes no sense. How can I find out I was right. If I am right, no one will ever know.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • Scott in Texas

      I believe there are aliens living behind the moon. You better believe the same thing, because if you don't they won't take you to the promised land after you die.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Pascal's Wager has been debunked so many times. . .

      June 3, 2013 at 12:52 am |
    • MalcomR

      This is known as "Pascals Wager" and is one of the lamest arguments for believing in nonsense that could possibly exist. Among other things, it asks you to give up any shred of intellectual honesty you may have and roll the dice on the "christ" being the true god. What if you're wrong about that? What if it's Vishnu? or Shiva? Or one of any of the thousands of other gods currently worshiped around the world? Utter stupidity.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • DavidTX

      Every generation believes it is the generation in turmoil and that things are getting worse. What most whiny Americans conveniently forget is that our country came out of slavery, gave women a vote, fought for equal rights for all and now due to science and technology has a better life expectancy and infant mortality rate then ever before. It wasn't religion that changed it, it was science that changed medicine and let us see that it was germs not sin that spread sickness and death. If you are unable to see how much better off we are today then we were a few decades ago then you are either stupid or purposely shutting your eyes to reality.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • Scott in Texas

      @David Tx

      I agree with you, but this subject is about discrimination. No science here at all, just good old fashion ignorance.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • fkaod

      I am a messenger of God, who is really a blue toad with magical powers. If you don't lick said toad in worship every 15 minutes you will burn in agony for all eternity after you die.

      Now, you have no way of knowing for sure whether I'm right or wrong. Rather, you need to have faith. Isn't it better for you to worship said blue toad than to risk being wrong and burning in hell?

      Oh, and this toad is a female. It turns out the whole god has a p e n i s thing has been wrong all along. If you disagree you 'll burn in hell.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • RichardSRussell

      You are essentially quoting Pascal's Wager, a proposition that's so wrong in so many different ways that there are entire websites devoted to pointing out all its flaws. Read up on the subject then apply "a little common sense, if you have any".

      June 3, 2013 at 1:05 am |
    • Scott in Texas

      Richard,

      We all know about Pascal's wager. Intelligence takes us above that.

      We observe the contrary in this case.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:08 am |
    • JamesK

      Well, David, I have just as much chance of ending up in Hades, Valhalla, the Happy Hunting Grounds, or some other version of the afterlife. I could also just as easily be reincarnated and, since I'm not a bigot putting down others because of the way they were reborn, my karma would be better than these Baptists. Besides, believing in God comes at a huge price of having your beliefs dictated to you, and sometimes hurting people due to those beliefs. So, no, your argument doesn't impress me one bit.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:16 am |
  7. Scott in Texas

    Southern Baptists – continuing radical Christianity since the late 1800's.

    They are to Christians what the Taliban is to Muslims.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:36 am |
    • Ken78

      Atheists are to Americans what Hitler was to Germans.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • Scott in Texas

      Ken – not quite true.

      No war has ever been started in the name of atheism. Besides, atheist don't give a crap what you believe in. We just don't believe in fairies.

      You can – we don't care. We only care when you force your beliefs on others.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:55 am |
    • MalcomR

      Hitler was a christian. "Gott Mit Uns" god with us on all nazi belt buckles. He wrote that he was doing gods work. Look it up. And xians want to marginalize all sorts of groups just based on their lifestyle choices.

      So really xians are to America as Hitler was to Germany.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • Why?

      Ridiculously inflammatory rhetoric.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • fkaod

      So true. Thank goodness many of the founders hated religion and were smart enough to keep religion out of the government. If these crazy fundies had a military they so would go around slaughtering gays and strong women just like a christian version of the Taliban.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:04 am |
    • Scott in Texas

      Thank you, Malcom

      June 3, 2013 at 1:05 am |
    • Ken78

      Atheists have declared plenty of wars in the name of their secular humanist beliefs. Every war ever declared by Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Jung Il, Castro, Yes, civil wars count. As do the millions murdered under religious persecution by these atheists. I guess they DID care if folks believed in "fairies."

      You do not believe in "fairies" (interesting choice of words!). We do not believe in humanism and human wisdom.

      We only care about atheists when you force your beliefs on others.. Like here, when it comes to h0m0______ity, and your demands that we acccept it..

      Oh, and Hilter was an atheist who believed in no higher power than himself. Just like Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Castro, Jung Il, Obama, and most other tyrants throughout history

      June 3, 2013 at 1:12 am |
    • Scott in Texas

      Ken,

      Atheists have declared war, but never in the name of atheism. they declare war for property. It was always a territory dispute.

      Like I said, no war has ever been declared in the name of atheism. Beliefs had nothing to do with it.

      Scott

      June 3, 2013 at 1:17 am |
    • Scott in Texas

      Ken,

      I forgot to mention – Hitler was not an atheist.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:19 am |
    • Ken78

      Beliefs had everything to do with it. It is beyond laughable of you to argue that Mao, and Casto, and Lenin did not start civil wars based at least in part on their atheist beliefs – indeed, atheist beliefs that were hostile to religious faith and the free exercise thereof.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:24 am |
    • mama k

      you obviously don't understand atheism if you think it involves a belief in restricting anyone's rights, ken. extreme ideologies of any kind get people killed.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:28 am |
  8. michael Smith

    The Boy Scouts just seem to be getting better and better! How fortunate for them that the S.B.'s are leaving!!!

    June 3, 2013 at 12:31 am |
    • mama k

      I kind of figured on the last post that you were just a troll, Ken. Thanks for confirming it here.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:36 am |
    • Pig in a Poke

      WOW Ken you sound more like a junior high kid.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:38 am |
    • HotAirAce

      As many heteros engage in anal se.x as gays do. Are you as concerned about your mother's, wife's, sister's or daughter's sore butts?

      June 3, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • Ken78

      Pig in a Poke – that makes me, what, four grade levels ahead of you? LOL!

      June 3, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • Ken78

      HotAirAce – I would be if they were 11 years old and got them from some 45 year old scout leader out in the woods.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:43 am |
    • Pig in a Poke

      Isn't it past your bedtime? The grownups want to have a meaning full conversation here.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • Ken78

      Sorry, but being in third grade does not make you one of the grownups. Run along now, junior.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • HotAirAce

      But now you are shifting the conversation to pedophilia, as practiced and protected by the RCC. And pssst! The BSA is still discriminating against gay scout leaders – not that being gay has anything to do with being a pedophile – so now you are back to the status quo. How many scouts have been forcibly ra.ped by scout leaders?

      June 3, 2013 at 12:49 am |
    • Ken78

      HotAirIce – how dishonest of you. You know the next move is gay scout leaders, and you desperately want that, too. And it is pretty obvious that an 11 year old BOY scout is not likely to get that special kind of sore butt from a hetero leader.

      I love winning.

      Next.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • Ken78

      BTW, what place does the word "forcibly" have in a conversation about an 11 year old boy scout? Please do not tell me that you are a NAMBLA member.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:56 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Ken78, you need to go do some research on the se.xual orientation of pedophiles. For example, http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html concludes with:

      "The empirical research does not show that gay or bise.xual men are any more likely than heterose.xual men to molest children. This is not to argue that ho.mose.xual and bise.xual men never molest children. But there is no scientific basis for asserting that they are more likely than heterose.xual men to do so. And, as explained above, many child molesters cannot be characterized as having an adult se.xual orientation at all; they are fixated on children."

      June 3, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Ken78, you appear to be obsessed with gay se.x. . .

      I used the word forcibly because I assumed you were alleging that scout leaders r.ape scouts. I believe it is fair to characterize r.ape as forcible.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • Ken78

      OK. So if a 45 year old man psychologically pressures or seduces an 11 year old boy to engage in s_x, that is not r ape to you because it was not forcible.

      Got it. You know, if all r ape required force, then the word "forcible" in the phrase "forcible r ape" would be redundant.

      I don't bellieve that you ever answered the NAMBLA question directly. But I think you just left a BIG clue.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Kenny, you really are good at going off on tangents, which is not unusual when someone has no valid argument, but to clear up your obvious delusion, I believe only consenting adults should engage in se.x. Period. Full stop.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:36 am |
  9. CharlieJ

    Who cares what the Baptists do? I was raised in the Southern Baptist Church, but when I learned how to think, I left them behind. The Southern Baptists are so far behind the times, it will take them three hundred years to get to the twentieth century. Basically, the SBC is a haven for racists and bigots of all stripes.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • MalcomR

      Ken: Look up the definition of bigot, then apply it to yourself.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:33 am |
    • mama k

      I hear a lot of bark coming from Ken, but that's about it.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:35 am |
    • Charles Darwin

      Who cares what CharlieJ does?

      He's as much a bigot as the Baptists he whines about.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:35 am |
    • Pig in a Poke

      Ken you sound like a baptist.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:36 am |
    • Ken78

      MalcomR, I just looked up the word "bigot" in the dictionary, but all they had there was a picture of you.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:38 am |
    • MalcomR

      Hilarious Ken! Does your mother still pack your lunch for you before you go to – I'm just guessing here – 5th grade?

      It must be WAY past your bedtime.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:45 am |
  10. Rogue351

    Baptist, the same religious organization that protested American soldiers funerals. Baptist, The same religious organization that has refused to wed an interracial couple on more that one occasion. Is this the Nazi religious party. Are the rules of this religion handed down or should I say up from Hitler himself ? Since when did such acts of racism become expectable and covered under "freedom of religion". With this type of thinking you could do just about anything, not pay taxes, turn a profit and still go to "heaven". Discrimination of any type via religious organizations should be a one way ticket to loosing the tax exempt status. The pastors in the Baptist and Born again religions discriminate, promise salvation to people if they donate money. Most of the time money they do not have. All so these so called religious authorities can get rich and fly around on private jets, driving rolls royce cars in $5000 dollar suits and making comments like Pat Robertson saying it is ok from a man to cheat on his wife from time to time. Since when did Jesus or God or whoever you pray to say it was ok to lie, steal and discriminate and manipulate in his name ? If there is a heaven and hell I am sure there are very special paces down below for these people.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • MalcomR

      Ken, look up the definition of the word bigot, then look in a mirror.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:34 am |
    • Ken78

      MacolmR, I think I need to explain to you how a mirror works. It reflects the light from the object in front of it at any given time. So when I look it, I am not going to see what you see when you look into it. While you see a bigot when you look in the mirror, I do not. That is how mirrors work. No charge for the physics lesson.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:37 am |
    • MalcomR

      Interesting physics lesson. You forgot to mention the quantum nature of partial reflection, energy absorption and transmission of photons of a given wavelength, and a number of other things and turn it into "I know you are but what am I' sort of like in kindergarten.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:43 am |
    • Athy

      Oh, Ken is so clever, isn't he?

      June 3, 2013 at 12:44 am |
  11. elderfarkle

    Earlier comments expressed concerns about pedophile scout masters. That is always a danger, however, hopefully with proper screening and background checks the likelihood of this occurring should be greatly reduced. There is always the assumption that a pedophile is gay; this is far from the truth. In my home town most pedophile were white school teachers or coaches at Christian schools or involved with sports teams, public schools, pastors or youth leaders, and many had higher educations. They didn't fit the normal "profile" you would expect and they weren't gay. So all parents need to educate your children about good touch and bad touch, and that means even "Uncle Joe" who coaches the baseball team!

    June 3, 2013 at 12:26 am |
    • Ken78

      I am prretty sure that stright male pedophiles are not a threat to BOY scouts.

      BTW, I would not think it was a great idea for a man to be alone on a campout with a group of 11 year old girls, either. Of course, maybe in that case gay would be better.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:37 am |
    • mama k

      Ken, that is just utter stupidity in bloom.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:42 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Ken78, you need to go do some research on the se.xual orientation of pedophiles. For example, http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html concludes with:

      "The empirical research does not show that gay or bise.xual men are any more likely than heterose.xual men to molest children. This is not to argue that ho.mose.xual and bise.xual men never molest children. But there is no scientific basis for asserting that they are more likely than heterose.xual men to do so. And, as explained above, many child molesters cannot be characterized as having an adult se.xual orientation at all; they are fixated on children."

      June 3, 2013 at 1:45 am |
  12. Pig in a Poke

    LOL separation of Church and Scouts.....I know that churches sponsor scouts but I guess I missed the bus on them having an influence and say in to what was taught to them. I was a scout all of my childhood and never did i make a connection between the two except that we held our meetings the church basement. Never was I preached to....or I probably wouldn't have attended.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:24 am |
  13. mama k

    Devin (from original post above at 11:24): "At the end of the day h o m o s e x u al i t y remains the same, a perversion of human s e x u a l i t y."

    Then Devin side-steps a bit, annnnd then,

    Devin (at 12:03): "You misunderstand, I'm not at all "picking on gays". I've got my own personal list of sins that are no more or less egregious to God.You need to grasp this simple concept: The Golden Rule is not some carte blanche statement that precludes one from having opinions on issues of moral truth."

    Now Devin, where did you come by this "moral truth" that you keep mentioning? And why do you think it is a truth?

    June 3, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • mama k

      Hint to Devin: see the post below by Jaimie – that's one of the reasons you would look foolish claiming that you know that your particular version of a moral truth on this issue is objective (from God).

      June 3, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • mama k

      Wow – I guess Devin didn't even want to know the other reason.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:38 am |
    • Devin

      Mama

      Now that you have become a little less nebulous and a little more specific in you questioning, let's talk.

      I'm sure you already comprehend the why and where of my source of truth, but I'll play along.As a Christian, I believe there is a Being outside the natural order that has both caused our being and revealed information about Himself. I fully realize that many will dismiss this with the "sky f a i r y " mantra, but that's okay. This is all really about presuppositions.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:40 am |
    • mama k

      Yes, I think I understand about your deity, Devin. I kind of assumed that much. Now on to the "objective moral truth" Devin – did you see the reply above at 12:29 and Jaime's post below at 12:19?

      June 3, 2013 at 12:56 am |
    • Devin

      Mama

      Hint. Did you see my reply to Jamie at 12:51?

      June 3, 2013 at 12:58 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      @Devin – if you feel that humans are so complex they must have a purpose, thus God must exist giving the universe a purpose, a reason for existing, then what gives your even more complex God a purpose? If by logic you have reached him, why do you stop there? Go further, dig deeper, what you find, as well as what you do not find, might surprise you.

      I don't pretend to know how it all happened. I do know however, the time to be happy is now, the place to be happy is here, the way to be happy is to make others so.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:08 am |
    • Devin

      HAPPY

      I'm happy you're happy. It's good to be happy. If you ever want to focus on the topic at hand, I would be glad to discuss.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • Devin

      HAPPY

      That was just a little sarcasm. In retrospect, it was just a little cruel. My apologies.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:17 am |
    • mama k

      Yes I did, Devin. That only enforces the point that I have now made as a new post – Christianity is in disagreement with itself on this issue. You therefore look like a fool claiming to be God's spokesperson for something that you claim to be an objective moral truth. It also seems foolish that considering such a "moral truth" from God, that you choose to ignore what science is telling us. This would be the same as the RCC ignoring Galileo, but eventually being unable to avoid the facts before them.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:33 am |
  14. Jaimie

    A true church of God would accept anyone know matter who you are. Those that don't are not following what Jesus taught.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:19 am |
    • Pig in a Poke

      Right on.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:26 am |
    • Ken78

      Does that include pedophiles, ra pists, murderers?

      Does a true church which accepts everyone also accept folks who do not accept others? If so, and the majority of the folks that such a true church accepts turn out to be folks who do not accept others, is it no longer a true church?

      Have you ever actually thought through any of this, or did you just think it sounded good when you said it?

      June 3, 2013 at 12:26 am |
    • mama k

      Well, Ken there are millions of American Christians that evidently have thought through the issue and are welcoming – even many other Baptist churches. If I can plainly see this as an atheist, then what is your problem?

      June 3, 2013 at 12:34 am |
    • MalcomR

      Poor Ken. You are so confused. Yes, a church should accept everyone, as would Jesus, since the mission of the church is to spread the word and support people in their redemption in Christ. You are not a very good xian. You should repent a little, ask forgiveness for your sins of intolerance, and re-read what Jesus actually (sort of) said.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:39 am |
    • Devin

      Can we please just once and for all clear this little, although purpose serving, misconception up. Jesus Christ was the embodiment of love and kindness. This concept never negated his demand for holiness. Please try to grasp this concept, it's very critical to proper thinking.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:51 am |
    • mama k

      And who made you His spokesperson, Devin? You know, over say a spokesperson from the ELCA?

      June 3, 2013 at 12:58 am |
    • Devin

      Mama

      Read the biblical text of the gospels. Even a cursory reading will reveal the character of Jesus. I have no interest in what a particular denomination has to say on the matter.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • mama k

      LOL – the Gospels?? LOL. I think one really has to decide whether or not they believe the earliest letters of Paul. But the Gospels?? As one poster said, they were "messed with more than a San Diego hooker when the fleet is in."

      June 3, 2013 at 1:35 am |
  15. Ruby

    Did you ever pick your nose and then couldn't shake the bugger off your finger? That is what the Baptist church is to this country; got it and now can't shake the thing off. Go Scouts!

    June 3, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • Ken78

      I don't pick my nose. I use a tissue. YMMV.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • Flooby

      I wish there was a 'like' button.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:23 am |
  16. Flooby

    Religion makes me laugh. It just pits everyone against each other with silly mythological BS...'Jesus' said this and 'god' said that. People are so stupid.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • Ken78

      Atheism makes me laugh. No atheist ever thought through the logical implications of the ridiculous idea that she/he is nothing more than another animal.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • sqeptiq

      The greatest enemies of jesus christ are found among christians.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:24 am |
    • Flooby

      Ken: Science and evolution.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  17. fandancy

    When I was a kid (1950's), my parents attended a Southern Baptist church and the Catholics were the most "preached against" group in those days.
    It sounds like the gays may have caught up with the Catholics on the Southern Baptist's hate scale.
    Their stance toward trying to keep gay kids out of Boy Scouts doesn't suprise me at all. Most of the regular "church goers" I knew were huge hypocrites and most never practiced what they preached but were very judgmental of others. It sounds like nothing's changed and it's business as usual. The only times I have been back in their church since I was a teenager was to attend my mother and dad's funerals. It's so sad that a religion can control people's minds like this.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:11 am |
    • Athy

      Good post, fandancy. I agree completely.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • Ken78

      You sound like a bigot.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:17 am |
  18. Observer

    Inaccurate,

    You are amazingly IGNORANT of the Bible.

    It gives rules for how badly you can HURT your slave without punishment.
    It gives rules that women are not allowed to teach men.
    It says that God doesn't want handicapped people in his church.

    Read a Bible someday.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:11 am |
    • Flooby

      I love it!! If you don't follow the 'rules' , you're gonna get some heavy guilt thrown on you. What a crock of BS for the weak minded.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:21 am |
  19. Adam

    Hey Pastor Walker: You're wearing a pink shirt.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:06 am |
  20. mk

    bigots

    June 3, 2013 at 12:02 am |
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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.