home
RSS
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. joe800

    Its actually good news. Now there will be less a chance of baptists infecting young scouts with ridiculous ideas about magic men in the sky....

    June 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Right. And a greater chance that all those impressionable young boys will be turned into gays and wind up in hell. Lucifer would love to have as his spokesperson...

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

      " And a greater chance that all those impressionable young boys will be turned into gays and wind up in hell"

      More stupid postings by the uneducated troll. You can't convert someone into being gay moron.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Roger

      My favorite quote from "Nice try" earlier: "biology is wrong". LOL

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

      They converted Pete, but I doubt that was very difficult.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • only god could have inspired this

      RE: "impressionable young boys will be turned into gays ..."

      There you have it folks. The cult-of-Westboro makes its fortune by playing to such unbelievably dumbfluck beliefs as this.
      Dear Cletus: yew cain't 'catch' gayness and you can't decide one day yer gonna feel any such attractions. It is genetic (what that means, Cletus is that yew are borned thet way. Sheeeesh. I hope you don't vote or breed.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Ann

      What do you expect from someone who talks as if "Lucifer" was a real person?

      June 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  2. Jason

    Bye Baptists.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • billfitt

      Bye Ho mos!

      June 3, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • .

      "Bye Ho mos!"

      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 1:32 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Jason... What you really mean is "Bye, God", and "Hello, Lucifer." Bye the way, Lucifer says "Hello" back to you...

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

      "Nice try" earlier: "biology is wrong" (just so you know where this trolls head is)

      June 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Pete

      "What you really mean is "Bye, God", and "Hello, Lucifer." Bye the way, Lucifer says "Hello" back to you..."

      Oh look this poster is now speaking for their devil too.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  3. AverageJoe76

    The problem with blind faith is you don't question the actions of your God(s). God made everything. God made sin. Yet, God hates sin. THEN..... God makes it virtually impossible to avoid sinning. I sneeze, BAM!..... I've sinned somehow. Attracted to a woman? Want to have relations without marriage...... BAM! I've sinned. If you even THINK about it........ BAM! I've sinned. So basically God has made life synonymous to a rigged game at the carnival......... great. If that God is really God, can I wait until the next reality, because this one obviously blows.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • tb63

      People somehow also don't question that Adam and Eve had two sons. Um, where did their kids come from?

      June 3, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • billfitt

      Are you saying that they had bu tt babies, and you're trying your best everyday to replicate that feat?

      June 3, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • tb63

      No. I'm saying that maybe they were the first MF'ers. How else do you explain it?

      June 3, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Nice Try

      AverageJoe... God did not create sin. it was Lucifer who created sin. Sin is without God, and there is no sin within him...

      June 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      AverageJoe76,

      Everyone who believes, believes for a reason or they don’t believe for long. Faith is not blind.

      Your animal urges are natural, you can’t help it. You were born a human animal and you will be a slave to your flesh until you die, either figuratively or literally. God is a spirit that is why he said you must be born again, born spiritually.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      " it was Lucifer who created sin."

      And who created lucifer? lol.........smhl

      June 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "God is a spirit that is why he said you must be born again, born spiritually."

      Please feel free to provide proof of this using sources other than the bible, which is a book written by MEN over 1500+ years, then edited by more MEN over more time. Until you can provide ample evidence, your statement is nothing more than speculative opinion.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • LOL!

      "God did not create sin. it was Lucifer who created sin"

      So when the bible states God created everything it was lying huh? "for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see–such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him."

      June 3, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • billfitt

      So that created the in bred gene which was passed down through the generations and led to gaiety? Interesting hypothesis.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • tb63

      Still questioning how we supposedly descended from Adam & Eve if they had two sons over here. Anyone?

      June 3, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      tb63,

      Read Genesis chapters 3 & 4. It doesn’t tell us where Cains wife came from, so all anyone can do is speculate. It obviously wasn’t his mother because Cain left the area and went to the land of Nod. It also doesn’t say where his brothers and sisters spouses came from either. Maybe this is where creation met evolution, who knows?

      June 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Nice Try and Robert: Are you both off your meds again? Come on boys, we've explained to you before that only children have imaginary friends, it is time to grow up now!

      June 3, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • tb63

      I'm an evolution fan myself. Could there be intelligent design behind it? How the hell should I know? The Genesis stories (there are two different ones last I checked) don't make any sense.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • tb63

      Two creation stories that is.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Robert Brown - So why did God basically set us up with animal bodies to have us fall to the urges? Then God is upset with us for giving in to the body's design. Doesn't it sound cruel to hold us responsible?

      June 3, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      tb63,
      It isn’t really two, chapter 1 is the overview. Chapter 2 and on are more details regarding the human family.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      AverageJoe76,

      What would be really cruel is if he didn’t offer us redemption. The only thing you will ever be responsible for is your response to the call of Jesus Christ.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
  4. 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 1:26 pm |

    • Psychology

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

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

      The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated in 2007:

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

      Biology

      The following is from the article:

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Hormones, epigenetics and orientation

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

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

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

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

      That side appears to be epigenetics, Rice said.

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

      Biological behavior

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

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

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

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

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

      June 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      – I know your intentions are good... but the christards are not going to read this... so you're probably wasting your time posting this again and again.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • mama k

      It's a front-page article. I don't care if the usual trolls here read it.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  5. Thomas Jefferson

    Whenever... preachers, instead of a lesson in religion, put [their congregation] off with a discourse on the Copernican system, on chemical affinities, on the construction of government, or the characters or conduct of those administering it, it is a breach of contract, depriving their audience of the kind of service for which they are salaried, and giving them, instead of it, what they did not want, or, if wanted, would rather seek from better sources in that particular art of science.

    [If] the nature of... government [were] a subordination of the civil to the ecclesiastical power, I [would] consider it as desperate for long years to come. Their steady habits [will] exclude the advances of information, and they [will] seem exactly where they [have always been]. And there [the] clergy will always keep them if they can. [They] will follow the bark of liberty only by the help of a tow-rope.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  6. mama k

    Bill Moyers recently interviewed Daniel Dennett, an American philosopher, writer and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, science & biology. He is the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University.

    Dennett says that not for all, but for many, the dangerous thing about religion is that "it gives people a gold-plated excuse to stop thinking."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUeQXmYVamA

    This video is just an interview. Do yourself a favor and watch some of Dr. Dennett's lectures available on youtube. They are excellent.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm |

    • [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUeQXmYVamA&w=640&h=360]

      June 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "You don't get to advertise all the good that your religion does without first scrupulously subtracting all the harm it does and considering seriously the question of whether some other religion or no religion at all, does better." – Daniel Dennett

      June 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • netprophet

      Dennett and Moyers are both atheists. Why would they argue any differently? Some of the most brilliant people whoever lived were Christians including many of the early scientists like Maxwell, Boyle, Copernicus, etc. They argued based n observtion and an understanding that the universe has order and design for their theories. By contrast, Dennett beleives the universe popped into existence completely on its own – more absurd than a rabbit popping out of a hat. Just watch any debate between WIlliam Lane Craig and Dennett and then tell me if you can still say he is "excellent".

      June 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • mama k

      Wrong – Moyers is not an atheist.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Ryan

      You win the spam award! Congrats! Media spin cycle, rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. You've been reported.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      LOL. The fact that you reference anything by Craig as credulous information proves (at least to me) that you are poorly educated and not worthy of further conversation.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
  7. cvg22

    Sad but not surprising from a group that preaches "once saved always saved". Contradictions in their own brand of Evangelical Christianity is what its all about with the Southern Baptist Convention. Twists in doctrine are commonplace with that crew..pedofiles, adultry, graft, money laundering, political influence pandering, tax evasion...geez, you'd think they were the Catholic Church. Seriously, when folks in these churches wonder why people leave their flocks, they never look inside themselves. The :"head in the sand" mentality and isolationist tendancies "them vs us" do nothing but reinforce a negative perception of the Christian faith. The BSA is not preaching a "go be gay" agenda. They've only said that they will no longer banish children that identify themselves as gay. The church is preaching to their congregations and to their children to HATE other children...not an organization..OTHER CHILDREN. I for one will not set foot in another Southern Baptist church...they in my mind and heart are NOT CHRIST-LIKE and it is an offense to acknowlege their faith as Christian, They preach biggotry, hypocracy and intolerance, all the while living their sordid lives behind closed doors. Beware those pearly gates reverends...you may be in for the surprise of your twisted lives.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  8. carlosthejackle

    Why would God support a person who chooses to be gay when most of you are so arrogant and unwilling to accept God? God accepts you, he just doesn't support the filthy things you do with your anus, or the other unnatural things you do.

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

      "God accepts you, he just doesn't support the filthy things you do with your anus, or the other unnatural things you do."

      You're such an idiot, straight people have the same kind of sex moron.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • .

      "God accepts you, he just doesn't support the filthy things you do with your anus, or the other unnatural things you do."

      Janet

      The Biblical condemnation of homosexuality is based on human ignorance, suspicion of those who are different, and an overwhelming concern for ensuring the survival of the people. Since the Bible regards homosexuality as a capital crime (Leviticus 20:13), it clearly assumes that homosexuality is a matter of free choice, a deliberate rebellion against God. We have learned from modern science that people do not choose to be gay or straight; hence it is neither logical nor moral to condemn those whose nature it is to be gay or lesbian.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Tony

      Santa Claus accepts you also, and he's just as real!

      June 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • .

      " unnatural things you do"

      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 1:21 pm |
    • Nice Try

      carlosthejackle… Amen, Carlos. And don't let the evil unbelievers deter you. When they hate you, it means you are saying the right things….

      June 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'When they hate you, it means you are saying the right things….'

      well using that logic then the gays are right because carlos obviously hates them.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Roger

      "Nice try" – the bozo who said earlier "biology is wrong". LOL

      June 3, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Dallas

      @Pete – I'm straight as a ruler and I do NOT do those sorts of filthy acts!

      June 3, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Tamsyn

      Jesus himself built his ministry around acceptance of the marginalized, who the Jewish rejected. Jesus was alllll about inclusiveness, jackle; you'd be wise to remember His teachings before you open up your bigoted mouth again. You are precisely the type of person Jesus was railing against. Hypocrite.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Pete

      "When they hate you, it means you are saying the right things…."

      Saying the right things when that idiot doesn't even comprehend that straight people have the same kind of sex. Plus you've been lying about gays since you started posting, so "Christian" of you.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      "When they hate you, it means you are saying the right things" hahaha... You are a buffoon.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      BTW – If you are using the handle of an international terrorist... at least spell "Jackal" correctly.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Pole dancing for Jesus

      why would anyone pay attention to anything you say when you can't spell your name right?

      June 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  9. Sad Day

    Oral Roberts’ gay grandson speaks out | Dallas Voice

    http://www.dallasvoice.com/oral-roberts%E2%80%99-gay-grandson-speaks-out-1032465.html

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

      Well, there are some Baptist boys that I knew that would have preferred to have been in Brownies or Girl Scouts anyway. . .Snap>snap!

      June 3, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • FoldingCouch

      Is his name Anal Roberts? giggle

      June 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  10. Joseph Bleaux

    Religious people have to be the most gullible people in the world.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • solange82200

      Amen. Let them leave.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  11. 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 1:14 pm |

    • Psychology

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

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

      The Royal College of Psychiatrists stated in 2007:

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

      Biology

      The following is from the article:

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Hormones, epigenetics and orientation

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

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

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

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

      That side appears to be epigenetics, Rice said.

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

      Biological behavior

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

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

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

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

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

      June 3, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  12. open minded/close minded

    if GOD is quoted in reference to gays........let GOD judge them when they meet with him.....and not us!!!!......"AMEN".......

    June 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  13. WASP

    @chad from an earlier page: what we would accept as proof is in your bible, lmao funny i know right. 🙂

    1 KINGS 18: 30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down.
    31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.”
    32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs[a] of seed.
    33 He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.”

    34 “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again.

    “Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.

    36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.
    37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”

    38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.

    REPLY: have your god prove himself to 400 of us none believers, as he did with elijah; surely you are as important to your god as elijah to be able to ask for him to prove himself? XD

    June 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      There was a really good experiment performed on tv last week where they recreated that and showed it could be done with chemicals known at the time, including naptha, which can look just like water.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
  14. chuck

    Good mittens!

    June 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  15. CP in Tampa, FL

    I cannot wait for the day when people realize that religion is the oldest scam. Religious people will use any part of the bible, which was written by man, to justify their hatred and bigotry. Religious people read out of their book of fairy tales and tell others that they will burn in hell if they do not believe that nonsense written in the bible.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  16. The Real Reason

    Straights Can't Stand Gays huh? Well now, let's talk about the Chosen Ones like King David of the Bible.This is a site that all of you reading this Need To Visit! Thank you.

    The Real Reason Straight Americans Can't Accept Gay Americans

    http://epistle.us/articles/straightamerica.html

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

      Fortunately, we all know MOST Americans support and love their family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers who are LGBT, and that anti-gays are exceedingly rare. Anti-gays are just SHRIEKING louder than ever as they see their anti-gay agenda has already been defeated.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Nice Try

      CarrotCakeMan… Be careful whom you support. No matter who you are, if you support then gays, then you are an enemy of God. Know yet not that whosoever is a friend of God's enemies is an enemy of God. And all enemies of God shall be cast into the lake….

      June 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • .

      " Be careful whom you support. No matter who you are, if you support then gays, then you are an enemy of God"

      Janet

      The Biblical condemnation of homosexuality is based on human ignorance, suspicion of those who are different, and an overwhelming concern for ensuring the survival of the people. Since the Bible regards homosexuality as a capital crime (Leviticus 20:13), it clearly assumes that homosexuality is a matter of free choice, a deliberate rebellion against God. We have learned from modern science that people do not choose to be gay or straight; hence it is neither logical nor moral to condemn those whose nature it is to be gay or lesbian.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Pete

      "We have learned from modern science that people do not choose to be gay or straight; hence it is neither logical nor moral to condemn those whose nature it is to be gay or lesbian."

      "Nice Try" the troll, doesn't use logic and doesn't know the true meaning of moral, which is why they are trolling here using multiple handles to spread their hate toward gays.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'No matter who you are, if you support then gays, then you are an enemy of God.'

      so much for love and forgiveness.
      and why does your god get so mad? the ultimate all powerful being in the universe and he gets p issed by gays? you would think he would be a bit above all that nonsense.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      " if you support then gays, then you are an enemy of God."

      LOL first, using sources other than the bible (created by men, edited by men), please feel free to provide proof of said god.

      Until then, stop using scare tactics that work on 5 year old. Free thinking adults know better than to be fearful over what a bunch of men have to say about something no one has any clue about.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  17. Alias

    Wow. These comments are happening so fast I'm having a hard time keeping up and insulting everyone who dissagrees with my way of thinking, my way of living, and my beliefs.
    I appreciate you all helping though.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
  18. CarrotCakeMan

    This is what their paid spokesmodel says. Their sons will put up their backs and remain in Scouting, and this "defection" will turn out to be nothing but another time this Southern Baptist Political Action Committee has shrieked anti-gay HATE SPEECH.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  19. jimkon

    religions serve to divide us and foment most violent confrontations between groups of humans. One of the problems facing schizophrenics is that 75% of the US population claims to believe in things that are no less crazy than whatever is rolling around in the psychotic brain. It might be a bit easier for ordinary people to pull off the feat of the hero of "A Beautiful Mind" and identify which of their thoughts are delusions if talking snakes, invisible Gods, and all manner of paranormal insanity were not taken so seriously by so many

    June 3, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  20. RM13

    Pharisees

    June 3, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • I'm sorry

      that word is not in the last issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology

      June 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • In Response

      Sadducees!

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

      Amputees!

      June 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154
Advertisement
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.