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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. nicoly

    Who Cares??? Let them leave. I'd rather not have kids exposed to their hypocrisy, hate and lack of compassion for anyone who doesn't agree with their fairy tales. Deluded fools. If Jesus actually comes back to Earth, they will be the first ones in line to lynch him again.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • CarrotCakeMan

      While I believe most of the boys will refuse to quit the Scouts, there will be a few totally obsessed anti-gays who will quit Scouting–and Scouting will be better off without them.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Nice Try

      nicoly… So what you're really saying is that, you're rather not have the kids exposed to Christian hypocrisy but yet you have no problem with them being exposed to gay filth, being molested by gays, and being indoctrinated into the gay collective, is that it? Even worse, you have the nerve to speak about people lynching Jesus if he comes back and yet you're lynching him now by standing with his enemies. No ye not that whosoever is a friend of God enemies is an enemy of God...

      June 3, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Roger

      "Nice try" on previous page says "biology is wrong"

      What an idiot. No wonder he has odd ideas about gays.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @try, there is nothing wrong with being hom ose xual. the irrational fear of hom ose xuals by the religious needs to end.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • .

      "but yet you have no problem with them being exposed to gay filth, being molested by gays, and being indoctrinated into the gay collective, is that it?"

      Sociologists and psychologists hold that some of the emotionality in prejudice stems from subconscious attitudes that cause a person to ward off feelings of inadequacy by projecting them onto a target group. That's right folks homophobic people like this are just insecure and immature.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      At least the Jesus myth is based on actual people--about fifty to a hundred or so walking around Judea at the time in question and claiming to be "the messiah" of the jewish people. God is completely invisible, undetectable, and irrelevant.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Roger... LOL. Is that the best you can do? Try again. Any fool can say I'm an idiot. But proving it is another matter altogether...

      June 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • .

      ""Nice try" on previous page says "biology is wrong""

      Erik

      All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

      Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

      In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

      The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

      On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

      Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

      But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

      This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

      The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

      Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

      Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • CarrotCakeMan

      No matter how many times "Nice Try" shrieks anti-gay Hate Speech, no one will be fooled.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Roger

      @Poor try: Is that the best YOU can do "..try"? You're the one who said biology is wrong. How is it wrong?

      June 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'but yet you have no problem with them being exposed to gay filth, being molested by gays, and being indoctrinated into the gay collective, is that it?'

      And there we have the 'no bearing false witness' commandment broken.
      I would also point out......1 corinthians 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

      Revilers....or those that hate.
      You my friend are a reviler, and a speaker of lies. You are a hypocrit and by your own bible condemned to hell.
      no my rules you understand, dont blame me.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  2. danimal

    What a bunch of hipocrits. So much for love thy neighbor and do unto others. I can't imagine Jesus supporting the Baptists on this one.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Nice Try

      danimal… And why so much hate coming from you? Where's YOUR tolerance, hypocrite?… Secondly, you speak of a Jesus you know not. You have no cue what he would do…

      June 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Pete

      "And why so much hate coming from you? Where's YOUR tolerance, hypocrite?… Secondly, you speak of a Jesus you know not. You have no cue what he would do…"

      A pew study in 2010 showed that atheists know more about religion than Christians. What an idiot.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • CarrotCakeMan

      Sorry, "Nice try," we DO KNOW what Jesus DID. Jesus affirmed a gay couple. Read Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10. From our days in Sunday school, many of us are familiar with the Gospel story where Jesus healed the servant of a Roman centurion. In the original Greek, the word that the Roman centurion uses in this passage to describe the sick man – pais – is the same word used in ancient Greek to refer to a same-gender partner.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Pretty Simple

      smh...its been written for literally thousands of years. All you have to do is open this age old book and see what Jesus SAYS!. Changing views of what is and isnt ok doesnt change what was written.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Gary

      Jesus wasn't around for most of the bible, and it doesn't reflect what he said.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Roger

      LOL – see the previous page where "Nice try" says "biology is wrong"

      what a dork.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • Wow

      "All you have to do is open this age old book and see what Jesus SAYS!. Changing views of what is and isnt ok doesnt change what was written."

      Wow are you really this stupid, the churches have changed it's views on what has been written in that bogus book for years. It's why there are so many denominations and interpretations. You have no clue what you're talking about.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Pete

      ""Nice try" says "biology is wrong""

      It's the same troll using multiple handles.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Nice Try – danimal… And why so much hate coming from you? Where's YOUR tolerance, hypocrite?… '

      unless danimal claims to follow a doctine whereby 'love thy neighbor and do unto others' is claimed as one of its teachings then no, he isnt a hypocrit.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  3. Fundies Gone Wild!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0-04VDrCbM&w=640&h=360]

    June 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
  4. Who Cares

    Don't let the tent flap hit you in the backside on your way out...

    June 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  5. sparks2000

    they say it is their right to be gay......cool,be gay.Its also people's own rights to accept it or not......nobody can force someone to accept their belief as the only truth.....it is a choice,as being gay is a choice.Its that simple.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Roger

      Wrong. You are out of touch with biology. Being gay is not a choice.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • .

      "it is a choice,as being gay is a choice.Its that simple."

      Erik

      Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

      All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

      Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

      In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

      The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

      On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

      Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

      But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

      This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

      The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

      Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

      Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Sane Person

      You should probably stick to subject matter you have a clue about. It is no more a choice than being born with blue eyes or right handed.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'it is a choice,as being gay is a choice'

      i dont know how many times this has to be said but apparently still more......being gay is no more a choice than being straight is a choice.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • sparks2000

      wrong?I dont think so....thats the biggest load of bologna that has come out of society today.......no,it is a choice.The true answer is that people dont want to accept responsibility for their actions.That,is truth.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • Hillcrester

      Believe whatever you want, history is passing you by. In five years, you would not say that in public.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Roger… Biology is wrong. Being gay has nothing to do with biology. It has to do with the spirit. And it is your choice if you allow that evil spirit to take over you...

      June 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • sparks2000

      being gay,as with anything we do in life is a choice.....stop making excuses for the sin,and accept your own choices

      June 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • .

      "being gay,as with anything we do in life is a choice.....stop making excuses for the sin"

      James

      James

      The scriptures actually say nothing about homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. Our understandings of sexual orientation are distinctly modern ones that were not present in the minds of Scripture writers. A few passages of Scripture (seven at the most) object to certain types of same-sex expressions or acts. The particular acts in question, however, are sexual expressions which are exploitative, oppressive, commercialized, or offensive to ancient purity rituals. There is no Scriptural guidance for same-sex relationships which are loving and mutually respecting. Guidelines for these relationships should come from the same general Scriptural norms that apply to heterosexual relationships.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "being gay,as with anything we do in life is a choice.....stop making excuses for the sin,and accept your own choices"

      Please feel free to provide ample evidence that being gay is a choice. Until then, your statement is nothing more than speculative opinion, kinda like the existence of a christian god.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • .

      "wrong?I dont think so....thats the biggest load of bologna that has come out of society today.......no,it is a choice."

      YeahRight

      The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      Like their heterosexual counterparts, many gay and lesbian people want to form stable, long-lasting, committed relationships. Indeed, many of them do and that large proportions are currently involved in such a relationship and that a substantial number of those couples have been together 10 or more years.

      Research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners closely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty, and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Research examining the quality of intimate relationships also shows that gay and lesbian couples have levels of relationship satisfaction similar to or higher than those of heterosexual couples.

      A large number of gay and lesbian couples raise children. Children and teenagers whose parents provide loving guidance in the context of secure home environments are more likely to flourish – and this is just as true for children of same-sex parents as it is for children of opposite-sex parents. Based on research findings, mental health professionals have also reached a consensus that the quality of relationships among significant adults in a child’s or adolescent’s life is associated with adjustment. When relationships between parents are characterized by love, warmth, cooperation, security, and mutual support, children and adolescents are more likely to show positive adjustment. In contrast, when relationships between parents are conflict-ridden and acrimonious, the adjustment of children and adolescents is likely to be less favorable. These correlations are just as true for children of same-sex parents as for children of opposite-sex parents.

      Assertions that heterosexual couples are inherently better parents than same sex couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children of heterosexual parents, have no support in the scientific research literature. On the contrary, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterosexual parents has consistently shown that the former are as fit and capable as the latter and that their children are as psychologically healthy and well adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Roger

      The Nice try says "biology is wrong".

      LMAO! That is rich.

      Nice try, "Nice try".

      June 3, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'sparks2000 – being gay,as with anything we do in life is a choice.....'

      you have people in countries where being gay is punishable by jail and still they are gay.
      you have had people in the past actually beaten and k illed for being gay, and still they were gay.
      you have lesbians being r aped as 'cures' and still they are gay.

      you still think they choose to be gay?
      when did you choose to be straight?
      do you think you could actually be gay if you chose to be?
      force yourself to be attracted to someone of the same s ex?

      June 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • chuck

      @Sparks2000
      How difficult was it for you to choose? How would you rate your strongest same-gendered crush/love with your strongest opposite-gendered crush/love. How old were you when you made your choice? What was it about your same-gendered experience that made you decide on opposite-gendered?

      June 3, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • mnfolkgirl

      How is it that the religious right always thinks they know more than those who devote their lives to research using scientific method?

      It. Is. Not. A. Choice. Period. First off, it is illogical that a person would "choose" to be the subject of discrimination. Secondly, there are far too many LGBT people who don't fit into the right's idea that they are going through a phase or are rebelling or wallowing in sin because they are weak. They come from normal American families. They are doctors, lawyers, executives, etc. Many never had a rebellious bone in their bodies. The idea that these totally "normal" people would "choose" to make their lives harder by being gay is absurd.

      There's a theory that it actually originates during infancy as a baby begins to learn about gender and gender roles. Some brains process gender differently and it has nothing to do with whether or not dad is a manly man or mom is a girly girl. This processing becomes hard-wired and is unchangeable. This would also explain why reparative therapy is so damaging – it's essentially brainwashing. When you think about it, identifying someone's gender through sight or by hearing a name and using correct gender language when referring to someone is nearly instinctual – it's not something that you actually have to think about most of the time. That's because gender and gender roles have been hardwired in your brain since you were a few months old. Imagine the difficulty you would have if you were told that what you've always thought of as the color green is wrong and have to undergo "therapy" so that your brain automatically registers leaves and grass as purple. Brainwashing. Also, scans comparing straight and LGBT brains have shown slight differences in the areas of the brain that process gender, indicating a relationship between brain structure and "gayness" and cannot be so simply brushed off as an individual making a simple choice to live, as so many like to assert, sinfully.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
  6. Jaybo

    They are going to be a lot better off without the negative influences of a bigoted church.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Right. Now they'll be influenced only by the Devil. So much better...

      June 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Yes, because only the SBC's inclusion kept your imaginary evil-doer at bay. Time to take responsibility for your own actions. When you are an ass, the devil did not make you do it, you're just an ass.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Pete

      "Right. Now they'll be influenced only by the Devil. So much better..."

      There is no devil, what an idiot.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Captain Cassidy

      Exactly. What's going to make these hateful bigots the most butthurt is that nobody's going to be upset about their mewling little boycott. And considering their stance is exactly the reason many Christians are leaving their ranks (nobody wants to be part of the Stupid Party, let's face it), they're just going to lose more people. So I say let them flounce. The rest of us will ask "You're leaving? Is that a promise? Can we get that in writing?" - and we will be free to progress without them kicking and screaming and whining the whole way.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Pete... That's funny. Because right now Lucifer is laughing himself silly at your ignorance....

      June 3, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Nice Try

      inSane Person… You stated, "Yes, because only the SBC's inclusion kept your imaginary evil-doer at bay."..

      Answer: How can something that's truly "imaginary" commit evil? That tells me right there you're ignorant and don't have a clue….

      June 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Nice Try

      You said, "Because right now Lucifer is laughing himself silly at your ignorance...."
      Actually, Lucifer is having tea with the Tooth Fairy at the moment. Pete is off the hook.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Pete

      "Pete... That's funny. Because right now Lucifer is laughing himself silly at your ignorance...."

      Really you're friends with this lucifer enough to know what it's doing huh? Wow the stupidity of people is just amazing. Dude check yourself into a pysch ward.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Papa Smurf

      Nice Try,

      And right now Gargamel, Lex Luthor & Hannibal Lector are cackling and ROFLTAO at you!

      June 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Nice Try – Answer: How can something that's truly "imaginary" commit evil? That tells me right there you're ignorant and don't have a clue….'

      er, talking of ignorant and without a clue.......its obviously you either didnt understand what he said, or deliberately chose to misunderstand it.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  7. jimkon

    all the prayers and faith and looking towards god are so depressing and vacant. It is man that is in control of these events, and it is to men that we must look for solutions. Our national deviation and inaction by seeking help in faith only delays our ability to deal with violence in our natures, in our society....

    June 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  8. GreyBeard2

    I'd love to hear how these "parents" will explain this to their kids? "Yes little Billy, you can't go to Scouts anymore because we hate some of the people that have been your friends for a long time. And you should hate them too. I don't care if you played with them for most of your life, we just found out they are very, very bad people." Real nice.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  9. Bubba

    And the Scouts will be better for it. Although, where are all those KKK members going to learn to tie knots????

    June 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Nice Try

      God moves out. Lucifer moves in. And all you can say is they'll be better for it. Only an evil person would say something like that...

      June 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Oh, so now the SBC is "god." I see. You are seriously delusional. Seek professional help.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Nice Try – God moves out. Lucifer moves in. And all you can say is they'll be better for it. Only an evil person would say something like that...'

      and yet there are plenty of church groups that are saying this will make no difference to them, so i guess in your eyes, these church groups are in fact controlled by the 'devil' right?

      June 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
  10. sparks2000

    if you don't stand up for something,you'll fall for anything.....good job to the church for standing up for what they believe in.It takes guts to go against the crowd,against what the mainstream is telling us is socially acceptable or not.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • GreyBeard2

      Another closed mind.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Alias

      Like letting those colored people drink from our water fountains.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • sparks2000

      two different issues,friend......sorry

      June 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'if you don't stand up for something,you'll fall for anything......It takes guts to go against the crowd,against what the mainstream is telling us is socially acceptable or not.'

      sounds like the history of the gay rights movement in a nutshell there. glad to see you support such a struggle sparks.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  11. Logic

    Waiting to see the anti-gay hate mongers organization that is going to rise to fill the void.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
  12. Jakuho Raikoben

    Does God really teach such hate and intolerance? Doesn't he love all people? Those people are sorry excuses for Christians.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
  13. JLG

    ....yeah it was also a baptist minister that told his congregation to beat the gay out of their kids a few months ago.....way to stick to your morals.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
  14. Mike

    I'm pretty sure the Boy Scouts are better off without the small minded backwards thinking Baptist religious nuts.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Hillcrester

      Absolutely!

      June 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Doobs

      @Hillcrester

      Do you have a farmer's market near the DMV on Sunday mornings? I think we may be neighbors.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  15. jimkon

    There is no god. The concept of a god or gods is a whimsical foolishness based entirely on the dogma of clerics and the gullibility of people....

    June 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  16. Pam

    Let them leave in droves!!
    Apparently they only want to be Scouts if all the rules are their rules!
    Too bad though....Boy Scouts should teach tolerance and compassion – not discrimination ahd hate!

    June 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  17. GreyBeard2

    But it is a hate thing. You hate gays.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  18. weezer

    buh-bye.

    Too much Jesus around the campfire, anyway.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
  19. Jeff

    I love how they choose one versus from the Bible to base their decisions on instead of looking at all of them. I mean after all the Bible contradicts itself. So why choose this one and not the positive ones?

    And who cares if they leave. They have the right to live life according to their beliefs. We are not guaranteed that we will get everything we want in life.

    June 3, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • SpeedRacer

      Where exactly does the Bible contradict itself?

      June 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Uh, heres a few.

      1. God is satisfied with his works
      Gen 1:31
      God is dissatisfied with his works.
      Gen 6:6
      2. God dwells in chosen temples
      2 Chron 7:12,16
      God dwells not in temples
      Acts 7:48
      3. God dwells in light
      Tim 6:16
      God dwells in darkness
      1 Kings 8:12/ Ps 18:11/ Ps 97:2
      4. God is seen and heard
      Ex 33:23/ Ex 33:11/ Gen 3:9,10/ Gen 32:30/ Is 6:1/
      Ex 24:9-11
      God is invisible and cannot be heard
      John 1:18/ John 5:37/ Ex 33:20/ 1 Tim 6:16
      5. God is tired and rests
      Ex 31:17
      God is never tired and never rests
      Is 40:28
      6. God is everywhere present, sees and knows all things
      Prov 15:3/ Ps 139:7-10/ Job 34:22,21
      God is not everywhere present, neither sees nor knows all
      things
      Gen 11:5/ Gen 18:20,21/ Gen 3:8
      7. God knows the hearts of men
      Acts 1:24/ Ps 139:2,3
      God tries men to find out what is in their heart
      Deut 13:3/ Deut 8:2/ Gen 22:12
      8. God is all powerful
      Jer 32:27/ Matt 19:26
      God is not all powerful
      Judg 1:19
      9. God is unchangeable
      James 1:17/ Mal 3:6/ Ezek 24:14/ Num 23:19
      God is changeable
      Gen 6:6/ Jonah 3:10/ 1 Sam 2:30,31/ 2 Kings 20:1,4,5,6/
      Ex 33:1,3,17,14
      10. God is just and impartial
      Ps 92:15/ Gen 18:25/ Deut 32:4/ Rom 2:11/ Ezek 18:25
      God is unjust and partial
      Gen 9:25/ Ex 20:5/ Rom 9:11-13/ Matt 13:12
      11. God is the author of evil
      Lam 3:38/ Jer 18:11/ Is 45:7/ Amos 3:6/ Ezek 20:25
      God is not the author of evil
      1 Cor 14:33/ Deut 32:4/ James 1:13
      12. God gives freely to those who ask
      James 1:5/ Luke 11:10
      God withholds his blessings and prevents men from receiving
      them
      John 12:40/ Josh 11:20/ Is 63:17
      13. God is to be found by those who seek him
      Matt 7:8/ Prov 8:17
      God is not to be found by those who seek him
      Prov 1:28
      14. God is warlike
      Ex 15:3/ Is 51:15
      God is peaceful
      Rom 15:33/ 1 Cor 14:33
      15. God is cruel, unmerciful, destructive, and ferocious
      Jer 13:14/ Deut 7:16/ 1 Sam 15:2,3/ 1 Sam 6:19
      God is kind, merciful, and good
      James 5:11/ Lam 3:33/ 1 Chron 16:34/ Ezek 18:32/ Ps 145:9/
      1 Tim 2:4/ 1 John 4:16/ Ps 25:8
      16. God's anger is fierce and endures long
      Num 32:13/ Num 25:4/ Jer 17:4
      God's anger is slow and endures but for a minute
      Ps 103:8/ Ps 30:5
      17. God commands, approves of, and delights in burnt offerings,
      sacrifices ,and holy days
      Ex 29:36/ Lev 23:27/ Ex 29:18/ Lev 1:9
      God disapproves of and has no pleasure in burnt offerings,
      sacrifices, and holy days.
      Jer 7:22/ Jer 6:20/ Ps 50:13,4/ Is 1:13,11,12
      18. God accepts human sacrifices
      2 Sam 21:8,9,14/ Gen 22:2/ Judg 11:30-32,34,38,39
      God forbids human sacrifice
      Deut 12:30,31
      19. God tempts men
      Gen 22:1/ 2 Sam 24:1/ Jer 20:7/ Matt 6:13
      God tempts no man
      James 1:13
      20. God cannot lie
      Heb 6:18
      God lies by proxy; he sends forth lying spirits t deceive
      2 Thes 2:11/ 1 Kings 22:23/ Ezek 14:9

      June 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • SpeedRacer

      soooo...where is the contradiction? I see you copied and pasted from somewhere. Try enlightening yourself and actually reading the Bible.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Typical fundie. Ask for proof, receive it, still deny it. Run along little sheeple, some holy man needs your money.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      " Try enlightening yourself and actually reading the Bible."

      The Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. it was not a book of history, poetry, economics, or science. It contains all sorts of literary genre, which are used to teach about the relationship between God and mankind. Even biblical history is edited history: events were chosen to illustrate the central theme of the Bible. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah" (or Israel).

      It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy. The only "proof" to which it can be subjected is this: Does it correctly portray the God-human relationship? In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • ezra

      Speedracer:

      I can take any book and pull out a few words to make contradictions. I hope you fooled yourself so there will be some gain in your efforts.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • SpeedRacer

      There is nothing contradictory about what he copied and pasted. He simply took verses out of context and therefore they are contradictory? Before you judge and resort to making things up yourselves, dig a little deeper. Historically, there is plenty of evidence, but as you all say, you are choosing to deny it. I see that I am being persecuted for taking a stance on something I have faith in, so it looks like the tables of hypocrisy and bigotry are turned. Good luck with your new and improved Boy Scouts!

      June 3, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Pete

      " Historically, there is plenty of evidence,"

      The bible is not a historical because there is not plenty of evidence. You can't use the bible to prove the bible true idiot.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • SpeedRacer

      Wow, Pete, true insight! Thanks! Also, name calling helps any and all discussions.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  20. Resources Galore

    Don't feel ostracized! Here's plenty to do!

    Christian resources for family and friends of gays and lesbians

    http://www.gaychristian.net/familyfriends.php

    June 3, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.