May 31st, 2013
04:19 PM ET

Baptists plan exodus from Boy Scouts

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(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. Alias

    Let's all remember the good old days – way back when Disney made movies. Remember? Back before the Southern Baptists boycotted Disney and put the mouse out of business?
    Too bad the BSA will slowly wither and die without the Southern Baptist church supporting them.

    June 3, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • These Pretzels Are Making Me Thirsty

      Put the mouse out of business?

      Yeah because Disney is in soooo much financial trouble. When there's a 10 minute line to buy a $10 hot dog, I'd say the mouse is very much in business.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • LinCA

      @These Pretzels Are Making Me Thirsty

      I think Alias forgot the sarcasm tags: <sarcasm> </sarcasm>

      June 3, 2013 at 11:31 am |
  2. Joe Schmoe

    Arguably all the Baptists leaving the boy Scouts could be seen as a good thing! I guess all these Boy Scout Fathers who have virgin daughters wouldnt mind offering them up as they suggest in the Bible.

    June 3, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  3. hubert39

    I was raised a Southern Baptist, and went to church for over 20 years. Then I escaped! I got tired of the hate, mean sayings, gossip, lying, etc.
    When I started out their were about 15 of us who to went to a Baptist church. From around 7 years old to around 30 plus. Now only one remains. And people wonder why the Baptist, Christian faith is losing members? So much hate!

    June 3, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Alias

      Ditto from a former catholic.
      The only catholics I know who still go to church are the ones who went to catholic school.
      I wonder why ....

      June 3, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • JJ

      I hope you left all these man-made cults all together not only because they are hate groups but also because the beliefs are so absurd.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:35 am |
  4. TheDerf

    What I find most disturbing, is that the baptists are more sickened by open gays being allowed into the scouts than they are about the Scouts hiding hundreds of known pedophiles and not turning them over to the police to save face.

    June 3, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • JamesK

      Pedophiles have an attraction to children. Some may be gay, but a lot are straight. For pedophiles, it isn't the gender so much that attracts them, but the fact that the kids are young. It's a category separate from being either gay, or straight, and a completely different issue. I have no doubt that the vast majority of gay people here in America, like the vast majority of straight people, want children protected from pedophiles. Gay people have their own children and share your exact same concerns. Why bring this up here in this discussion?

      June 3, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • tb63

      Right you are James. I'm gay and can't fathom it. Of course I want all children protected from abuse. I'd be devastated if anything happened to my grandson.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:46 am |
  5. faith

    and he answers our prayers in ways exceedingly abundantly above all the we can ask or think

    June 3, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Fred

      That's why all those Christians are picking up their blown out houses in Oklahoma because your god doesn't exist nor does it answer peoples prayers.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • snowboarder

      when faced with a problem it is better to have one man with a sharp mind and a strong back than one thousand men on their knees in prayer.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  6. John/kc

    Just cause some kid says he is gay, the Baptists throw out the whole Boy Scout organization. What a bunch of losers!

    June 3, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Galactus93

      You should respect their beliefs.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Billy

      Why Galactus93? Should we respect the terrorist for his beliefs?

      June 3, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • JamesK

      The same basic people kept black kids out of the scouts until the 70s. Do you respect the people who still think that black kids should be kept out? These folks have a bigotry, and I am repulsed by bigotry in all forms. if it's not wrong to be intolerant of racists then why should it be wrong to be intolerant of h0m0phobes?

      June 3, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • snowboarder

      @galac, should we respect the beliefs of racists or faith healers? of course not, because they are based on ignorance, just like the persecution of hom ose xuals.

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


      You said, "You should respect their beliefs."
      Bullshit. I'll respect their right to hold their beliefs. Their beliefs deserve nothing of the sort. If they want their beliefs respected, they should start by having rational ones.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      Should someone who believes the earth to be flat have their belief respected? No. They should be politely informed that if they choose to cling to flawed bronze age beliefs they deserve to be laughed at and left behind as the world moves forward to new discoveries.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • sam stone

      why should we respect their beliefs? should we respect the taliban, or the KKK?

      June 3, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • hatin' fer the J man

      RE: "You should respect their beliefs."...
      No person should show an iota of respect for the bigoted cult that vociferously supported slavery, segregation and more privately supported much worse. The cult-of-Westboro is using it's usual recruiting tactic: find a witch that we can burn... the mobs of morons will come. It is a vile organization... as crass and hate-filled as ever. To get respect, you have to deserve it.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  7. M.E.

    I nearly spat my drink out when I saw that the LDS church had voted to repeal the ban. I was most certainly not expecting that on. Perhaps it's not only to Boy Scouts who are starting to turn with the times. This seems like a very good way for the mormons to stick a pinkie toe in and test the waters on allowing gay folks to be normal members. It's not like they haven't changed before in similar ways. It is the one nice thing about newer-fangled religions, they can move a lot faster than the ancient monolithic churches.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Adam

      There are several churches that support gays and lesbians rights including marrying them.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Just wondering

      looks like you missed the part were the Catholics sided with the scouts too.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  8. chuckie

    What is less desireable: having closeted gays in the organization or having them come out?

    June 3, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  9. albie

    The only thing worses than a gay is a baptist – hey baptists, can you please not only leave the scouts, but this country, most of us dont want you around

    June 3, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Billy

      Engrish much?

      June 3, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  10. Humanist11

    Milk from my cereal came out of my nose because I laughed so hard from reading this!

    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.”

    June 3, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  11. flatpicker

    For the Record – Where did I say that gays created HIV/AIDS ? I said the gay community is responsible for its wide spread infection here in the USA. They brought the disease here and caused it to spread like wild fire. TOM – Case in point. Just "GRAMMAR" remarks and name calling. Great come backs! Way to avoid the truth.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Observer


      AIDS is spread by gays AND heteros. How do you "know" that it was a gay who brought it here first?

      June 3, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • DinIndy

      No. Please site your sources for this erroneous and defamatory accusation.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Fred

      Who gives a shit about what spread AIDs in the US, it affects everyone not just one group idiot. Plus we don't discriminate against people based on diseases like you moron.

      Oh, and since you so stupid they've been able to cure it in a child and in monkeys and it should be released within 5 years, so then what are you going to use as an excuse to be prejudice toward gays.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • The real Tom

      There's no truth in your posts to avoid, flatliner. The fact that you aren't even embarrassed by your ignorance is evidence that you're country dumb and proud of it.

      AIDS is a disease that is communicated by both straights and gays. Always was. It wasn't "introduced" by gays, which is what you said and are now attempting to backpedal about, you dimwit.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Jase

      Flatliner, there is no evidence that gay people spread staph and strep infections any faster than heteros. That IS what ytou were talking about, right?

      June 3, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      You seem awfully worried about the disease...worried that you might get it by touching or being near a gay person? While I do not deny that unprotected sex is one of the greater reasons for transmission of the disease, it is not only gays that spread it nor are they to blame. Anyone foolish enough to have unprotected sex-something the church encourages, is prone to an STD of any form.
      So if you want to lay blame, we can put it on the Catholic church for discouraging the use of condoms.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • flatpicker

      TOM – I am not back peddling anything. It was "Introduced" here in the US by gays! Not sure of your age but I remember the news back then. San Fran was freaking out because all the gay men were getting the disease. It is unfortunate that it also affected straight people. I am sure there is another one just around the corner.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Fred

      AIDS is NOT a gay disease no matter how you are trying to spin it idiot. The only thing you're proving is how uneducated you are about the disease because AIDS doesn't discriminate like you do.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Jase

      What was introduced, flatliner? Speak it, coward.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • The real Tom

      Are you truly proud of your stupidity, flatliner? You can't even read and regurgitate, can you? It's not "back peddle", you dumbbell.

      Can you cite ANYTHING that backs up your ridiculous assertion? Do so. You are wrong. If you had any evidence, you'd have produced it by now. You can't because your claim is false.

      AIDS has nothing to do with gay marriage or scouting. Nothing.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • Doobs

      Could you be any more evasive? "San Francisco was freaking out" is not exactly hard evidence.

      Either you can cite studies that prove your assertion or you can't. You hazy recollections of thirty years ago don't count.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      If you're actually interested in knowing science, instead of hearsay.

      'How it began: HIV before the age of AIDS'


      June 3, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      You need some lessons in cause and effect relationships.
      The primary reason that the virus spread among gays is because they were not using any form of birth control (IE condoms) becasue there was no threat of pregnancy. There was a threat of other STD's but most were not as life threatening, so was considered a lower priority.That dynamic has now changed once people were educated about the spread of infectious disease. It has nothing to do with the h0m0$exuality itself or any sort of condemnation from any gods.

      The most common way that aids virus is spread now is different. Keep up with current information.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • yew cain't cure funda-"mental"-ism

      Only a fundamentalist could believe something so ape-stupid, Cletus. You should get tested. Odds are, your daddy got infected with HIV from your simian mother.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:54 am |
  12. fsjunkie

    Well, not sure what the big revelation is here (no pun intended). Christianity is at odds with it. You can't force everybody to think the same or believe the same things. The Boy Scouts have made their stand, and now the church must make its stand. It's a necessary move for both of them. If the church wants to start its own similar scouting legacy, they are free to do so...without any government funding.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Humanist11

      I agree. It is also a good way to determine what organizations are bigoted, arrogant and intolerant.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • fsjunkie

      @ Humanist11.

      Yeah...but i'm not sure that "bigoted" covers it anymore. The term "bigoted" itself is far too socially defined. Hard to apply the concept to religion. Bigotry seems to strike more of a tone relative to choice...a willful ignorance; for many people, religion ISN'T a choice...it's population behavior control...a gun pointed to their heads that they would be afraid to even describe as such. That's what makes the issue so explosive...that's the same perspective on s#xual orientation...it's not a choice.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  13. Humanist11

    “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.”

    I bet they said the same thing about letting the slaves free after the civil war.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • DinIndy

      You know it was the late '80's before the Southern Baptists apologized for supporting slavery? The NINETEEN-eighties.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Miss Demeanor

      When a Blabtist gets caught being a (well, a blabtist) and realizes he looks like a (well, a blabtist)... his favored approach is to loudly and confidently claim that hate is love, that a lie is the truth. THey know that most people will be too baffled to reply.This self-appointed religious 'authority' is classic cult-of-Westboro blabtist. What a shameless, hate-promoting (well, a blabtist).

      June 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  14. 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 be 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 3, 2013 at 10:47 am |

    • 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."


      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 3, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Humanist11

      We don't usually see such informative and well-written posts on CNN comments. Great post and I agree with everything you said.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:01 am |
  15. faith

    just think. we can communicate with the one who created the whole shootin match.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • sam stone

      one click away, filth. one click away

      June 3, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Science

      from Bing the legal end.

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      CNN logo CNN 3 weeks ago
      When Christians become a 'hated minority'
      Hey Buffy..............from Bing.

      When Christians become a 'hated minority'
      The point where religious speech becomes hate speech is difficult to define, though, scholars and activists say. The Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama is a nonprofit civil rights group that combats and monitors hate groups. Three years ago, it... Full Article at CNN


      Hey Vic and Chadie

      Faith-Healing Churches Linked to 2 Dozen Child Deaths

      by Vince Lattanzio posted on May 25, 2013 02:45PM GMT



      June 3, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • snowboarder

      communicate with whom?

      June 3, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Humanist11

      You are just talking to your own mind. The answers you hear are formulated in your own mind too. The mind can play tricks on itself. Think about it.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • dogpatchnews

      Notice all of the citations use the verbiage, "therefore, we think, added to other research..." They don't know. The science community is really trying hard to make theory fact. Empirical evidence used to be the standard. Global warming consensus has really given them the idea they can just state theory as fact.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:15 am |
  16. Robert Brown

    First clean the inside of a cup, and then the outside will also be clean.

    Outside you look good, but inside you are evil and only pretend to be good.

    You are nothing but snakes and the children of snakes! How can you escape going to hell?

    June 3, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Hell Avoidance 101
      1) Psychically contact the Creator of the Universe and let Him know you're ready to accept that you're a horrible person.
      2) Have a Shaman ritualistically drown you
      3) Smugly condemn this and that from a fiery puplit, sure of your salvation and superiority.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Fred

      Really snakes have human children huh? Well that just proves the stupidity of the bible.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • sam stone

      there is no hell, robert. get off your knees and try to not be such a snivelling sycophanyt

      June 3, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • snowboarder

      what kind of nonsense is that?

      June 3, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Words of Truth

      June 3, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Adam

      "Outside you look good, but inside you are evil and only pretend to be good."

      The fact you are on here spreading hatred and prejudice shows you are evil pretending to be good, it's why YOU were drawn to that saying. You are talking about yourself.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:11 am |
    • snowboarder

      @robert, sorry, but that is just plain nonsense.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • LinCA

      @Robert Brown

      You said, "Words of Truth"
      If there ever was a better argument for universal healthcare, I'm not sure what it would be.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Robert Brown


      Is it hateful or prejudice to share beliefs? Did I claim mine own innocence?

      I am guilty of most every sin and forgiven of them all, not because I deserve it, but because of his mercy and grace. Praise God.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • sam stone


      you are a slave.

      back on your knees, b1tch

      June 3, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • ryan

      I am a brother to the dragon and a companion to the owl. Job 30:29 or some crap

      Point is, you can keep your snakes. I CAN FLY, BIATCH.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  17. mama k

    I believe the church has every right to do as they wish with their relationships and affiliations. That being said, many of us also have the right to point out the incredible ignorance revealed as many posters here echo their opinion that they claim as a belief that being gay is a "Christian" judgment of perverse "sin". What has occurred to me is that it is a level of ignorance, but also hypocrisy that is very deep and wide because we know three things to be true:

    1. The type of Christian that has the belief described above is out of step with current scientific knowledge from biology and psychology about homosexuality. This is similar to when the RCC didn't believe Galileo's claims at first, but had to reckon with science evenutally.

    2. The type of Christian that has the belief described above is in disagreement with other Christians. Each think they are the spokesperson for their God and yet they disagree.

    3. The type of Christian that has the belief described above does not treat all moral "sins" in the same way. Look at issues from the Bible on divorce for instance.

    It's pretty obvious that it looks foolish to claim that one knows a Christian objective (from God) moral truth on this issue in light of the ignorance of current scientific knowledge, inter-Christian conflict, and hypocrisy. Quite simply, Christians no longer have a leg to stand on in their judgment of gays.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:44 am |
  18. bobaboohee

    This is great news for the Boy Scouts and America. They'll be a much better organization without them These religious zealots are going the way of the dinosaurs, just not fast enough for reasonable people. Good riddance.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  19. John Q Public

    I think these churches need to step back and look at some of the positive things these kids have done for the churches.. Such as fundraising and renovations to their buildings. At no time, do I recall having a meeting as a former scout where we discussed if we were to be in relationships with women or even men (it just didn't matter), it seems that alot of people have forgotten the idea of what scouting is about.. We learned life skills to help become better people. So I hope one day these churches slowly start physically falling apart due to the fact that they stopped giving to the scouts and hopefully the scouts will stop giving to them. Their weekly donations will only take them so far!

    June 3, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  20. gitarbob

    As a Bible-believing Christian and member of a Baptist Church, I have to say that we are making a huge mistake on this one. It's clear that on some very important matters, we default to denominational doctrine rather than biblical truth. For the SBC, there appears to be a few things that fall into a "special kind of sin" category; gay being one of them. Having read the Bible, cover to cover multiple times, it's clear to me that sin is simply sin; and being gay is no more sinful than arrogance, pride, gossiping and a whole bunch of other stuff that we all do. Our commission is to share the love of Christ with all nations, so by shunning gay boy scouts, we have purposely NOT done what Christ told us to do. It's blind ignorance and open disobedience pure and simple. I understand that SB's are doing what they think is right, but shame on the SBC Leadership for missing yet another opportunity to show the love!!

    June 3, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Observer

      We need more Christians that think like you do.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Independent Voter

      I feel the EXACT same way as you do. There is no point system for sins. A sin is a sin is a sin. Being gay is no more of a sin than gluttony or greed or fornication.

      To demonize CHILDREN who happen to be gay is very wrong to me. Do people think that CHILDREN choose to be gay? That a 13 year old boy will CHOOSE to be gay, when he knows that he will be bully and taunted by his peers?? NO ONE chooses that.

      I have peers that I grew up with "in the church" so to speak, that have been gay their entire lives. I may not have known what gay when I was younger, but I knew they were different although they tried their hardest to fit in with everyone else. When they came out, it was no shock, because in my heart I knew what they were. I also know that they love God, and that many of their Christain "brothers" have turn their backs on them. Very sad that other Christians push them away instead of showing love like Christ instructed us to do. Leave the judging to God.

      I was very conflicted before, we wanted our son to join scouts, but we could not in good conscience allow him to join an organization that discriminates against gay children. What would it be next week/month/year? Brown skin children? Jewish children? poor or rich children? My son will be the age to join scouts in the next year and I WILL let him join now.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • LinCA

      @gitarbob and Independent Voter

      Now if we could only get over homosexuality being a sin.

      Rational evaluation of human sexuality shows that there is nothing wrong with being gay. It is no more wrong than having a favorite color, or liking Brussels sprouts.

      The only thing that calling homosexuality a sin highlights, is that religion is wrong on the subject.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:10 am |
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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.