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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. Joe Rockbottom

    The biggest mistake people make concerning religion is to believe that a religious "leader" has any answers or authority. Usually a religious "leader" is just someone who reinforces whatever dogma a person was indoctrinated with at a young age. The most successful religious "leaders" are, therefore, those who express that dogma most rigidly and resist any change in the dogma. Outside knowledge, even that which everyone (including those in the religion) understand to undercut the basis of a given religion often serves to strengthen the resolve of the most dogmatic because they simply have internalized the dogma and made it the center of their entire lives. They cannot live without the dogma even if it is completely false.

    That is where many religions are today – existing a world in which their entire reason for existence has been proven false. Their central tenets are proven false (ie, belief in a supernatural being, etc); Their "values" are proven to be false (ie, certain traits that they have been taught are "wrong;" Their world view is now a complete fantasy.

    So, what do they do? Naturally, being dogmatic humans, they retrench and hide out from society. Soon (decades) they will disappear and some new dogma will take over in the ongoing cycle of human life.

    June 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Chris

      Nothing has been proven false, if so, where is this proof? Would think it would be a little more mainstream, don't you, if the supernatural being were PROVEN false?? Why don't you make a valid argument instead of conjecture, or better yet, find Jesus.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • norman

      Chrsi-fool-the bible has been proven false in many areas-the genealogy of Joseph for one differs betwen gospels, the erath is not flat, the sun does not rotate around the earth, etc

      June 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Facts

      Why don't you try proving that the world came from NOTHING first, and then we can have a conversation.

      That is before you even go on to explain how a complex human being with a genome of 3 billion bits of information tied in an exact sequence came together!

      June 3, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Alverant

      Chris
      First the burden of proof is on the believer. The fact you have no proof of an unnatural being like Jesus is proof one does not exist.
      Second it's easy to disprove the existance of an unnatural being, you just hold it up to the hype. They always fail.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Joe Rockbottom… The biggest mistake people make is believing all that nonsense you just wrote and the lies of Lucifer. Lucifer wants you to feel that way so you'll end up in hell. It's true, not all churches or church leaders are of God. Nonetheless, one is. And you must continue searching until you find that one church that is true. If you do not, then you only resign your soul to hell…

      June 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @factless, no one except the religious suggest the world came from nothing. yours is just more mindless drivel driving by baseless religious beliefs.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • snowboarder

      @try, lucifer. hell. lol! fear is christianities greatest tool.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Facts

      @snowbrooder,
      Explain where the world came from?

      June 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  2. JRNY

    So is anyone missing the point with these "Royal Ambassadors?" Boy Scouts are all-American. These royal ambassadors sound like a theocratic monarchy. So is that what baptists would rather have? It is easier to control people in a theocratic monarchy. Ask the Saud family in Saudi Arabia...

    June 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Facts

      Blah...blah...blah...it's called choice...DOLT.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Squeezebox

      JRNY, the only person missing the point is you. Haven't you ever read the Bible? It says that the faithful are first and formost members of the Kingdom of God and secondly citizens of whatever country they were born into. Therefore they are Royal Ambassadors (or another group, the Royal Rangers which is also religion based).

      June 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  3. allens

    what a hateful and bigoted bunch these southern baptists are. maybe it is better for the scouts to be rid of that hateful group

    June 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • wrong is wrong

      are we hateful?Or do we just stand up for what is right?the only ones being hateful here are the ones attacking the church

      June 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • JRNY

      Wrong IS wrong...yes, you are being hateful.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • In Response

      My friend, you have a remarkable grasp of the obvious! Thank you!

      June 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Robert G

      I dont think they (baptists) are being hateful. They are just acting on something they believe in. The same as you are. So please do not call names nor cast judgement. Remember, they believe it is wrong as you believe it is okay.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • .

      Wrong is wrong degenerates to:
      "Nice Try" degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Thinker23" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"
      This troll is not a christian..

      June 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • sam stone

      wrong is wrong: your OPINION is duly noted

      June 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • @chad

      the only ones being hateful here are the ones attacking the church

      If the church would keep its bigoted opinions to itself, there would be no need to attack it.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • norman

      robertg -dont be such a stypid sheep. It is OK to take a stand, coward! these bigots look at gays as less than them-that it is ok to condemn them to hell because they were brainwashed by their parents into thinking something is wrong with gays-its wrong and wicked-we know better-we know through scienece that beign gay is a normal variant in orienattion-they are bigots and they need to be called out!

      June 3, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Nice Try

      allens… To follow God is never hate. I'd much rather follow God and be called hateful and a bigoted by you, and to end up in heaven. Than to be deemed an outstanding citizen by the gay community and the demons in the pit – and end up in hell…

      June 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • On Same Par

      "I dont think they (baptists) are being hateful. They are just acting on something they believe in."

      That must have been exactly how those who conducted The Inquisition felt therefore justifying their actions, Robert G, as well as those who discriminated against Blacks who made them sit at the back of the bus, hosed them down, placed signs that were prejudiced against them and held them as slaves. It's No Different!

      June 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Nice Try

      On Same Par… The gays and their supporters are not looking for logical justifications – unless it justifies THEM…

      June 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Nice Try

      @chad… And if the gays would keep their bigoted opinions and hatred to their self, we wouldn't be having this conversation now would we?…

      June 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      "To follow God is never hate"f

      Really? The folks who flew the planes into the towers were just "following god"

      "I'd much rather follow God and be called hateful and a bigoted by you, and to end up in heaven. Than to be deemed an outstanding citizen by the gay community and the demons in the pit – and end up in hell…"

      The picture you paint of god is one of a vindictive pr1ck. Enjoy eternity on your knees

      June 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  4. downbytheriver

    I haven't attended a SBC church in over 10 years, but my parents recently let me know that my name was still on the membership roll. I'll be fixing that this week. In their own words, it's not a hate thing, it's a moral stance.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • JJ

      It's a moral thing? Do they feel the same about divorce or is baby Jesus ok with that one?

      June 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Downbytheriver... It's nice to see someone standing up for God. Your reward is in heaven for it...

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

      "it's not a hate thing, it's a moral stance."

      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 2:03 pm |
    • Sam

      The fact that Nice Try is on here constantly posting only on this subject shows they are just a bigoted troll without a life.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • just me.

      I beleive downbtriver is being facetious.If I don't miss my guess,he will be withdrawing his name from the membership roll in protest.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      looks like some misunderstood what downbytheriver was saying.
      He was saying he is going to remove his name.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  5. For Equality!

    Here's a truly wonderful organization that works for Equality that everyone should support!

    PARENTS, FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF LESBIANS AND GAYS

    http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=194&srcid=-2

    June 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  6. Person of Interest

    "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. "

    Catholics got it right, just like allowing liars, theives, etc. into church isn't against Church teaching. You don't have to agree with the way someone else acts but you do have to live by the Golden Rule. In fact, allowing the lowiest people into faith based organizations is how it should be. If you feel something is wrong, you don't walk away from it, you walk towards it and live by the wrong as an example.

    The Baptists know this which is why it is a "non-binding" resolution. Cause if it was binding, people still wouldn't listen.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  7. Miss Demeanor

    I can't find the comment I read earlier but it made me wonder: what is the difference between any Fundmentalist zealot groups? I think they are all identical. Cult-of-Westboro = Taliban. Westboro would stone people of burn witches if they could get away with it.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Miss Demeanor… Rest assured, Lucifer would label even the real church a cult to deceive you and to keep you from finding it. By no means are all churches of God. But rest assured, one is. So if you were to assume that all churches were evil and then turn your back on all of them, you'd only seal your own fate and end up in hell. Which is exactly what Lucifer wants…

      June 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Jeff

      Miss Demeanor just ignore the troll Nice Try, they're full of crap just like the bible.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • who is this Lucy Fur

      RE: "Nice Try...Miss Demeanor… Rest assured, Lucifer would... "

      My cat is named Lucy Fur... but imagining I can talk to her would be just craaaaaaaaazeeee. Dew yew talk to this invisible friend of yers often

      June 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • beelzebubbles

      RE: "So if you were to assume that all churches were evil ..."
      I read the comment you refer to but there was no mention about "all churches being evil". I thought cult-of-Westboro wimmin were supposed to shut their pie holes unless they got permission to speak from a man (and now I see why). Shut yer pie hole.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Miss Demeanor… Be not deceived. Whenever a devil speaks up and tells you to ignore something, that's the time when you should really pay close attention. Because the devil is trying to deceive you, to steer you away from the truth, and to send your soul to hell. If my words were lies, then the devil wouldn't even bother with it...

      June 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  8. PushingBack

    It's these types of situations that turn people like me from a common, ordinary atheist into a raging, militant atheist!

    June 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Nice Try

      So you're saying Lucifer gets you excited. That's new...

      June 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • .

      "Nice Try" degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to;
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Thinker23" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian..

      June 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Nice Try

      So you're saying Lucifer gets you excited. That's new..'

      well as an atheist he wouldnt believe in the devil so, no, thats not what he is saying.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Lily

      I don't get the rationale of your thinking at all. Not the bit about you being an atheist. . . I say more power to you. But the thing I don't get is that you would not support the freedom of individual conscience. This is why I will never be an atheist – because your line of thought is tyranny.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  9. Clarence Pridgen

    I don't understand why the church would feel it can no longer support the boy scouts.They continue to support the USA and our military even though many of our policies are in direct opposition to many church policies including allowing gay americans to serve in the military. No acceptance,no tolerance,seems so hypocritical.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • PushingBack

      They're just being stupid.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Clarence… If you feel that way then you don't know truth. Know ye not that whosoever is a friend of God's enemies is an enemy of God. Thus, if you support the gays, then you're an enemy of God. Thus, the Baptist are merely obeying the commandments of God...

      June 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  10. 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 1:42 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 1:43 pm |
    • Lily

      Mama K, you are right that Christians should not judge gays. But, they do have every right to their freedom of conscience. The Baptists are no more judging gays than you are, honestly. They truly believe that they are showing love to gay people and all sinners (like themselves) by taking a stand against things that God will judge. (If you do not believe in God, then this will not make sense to you.) Would you tell your child to quit doing drugs or abusing alcohol? Why? Because you are judging them? No. Because you actually love that child. People don't like to be told that their behaviors are wrong. . . they will do anything, including attempting to control the consciences of others, in order to avoid any personal conviction.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  11. Katie McGee

    Christian hypocrasy at its finest. Abandoning BSA because they won't discriminate against gay youths. maybe the Baptists are better off sponsoring the K-K-K.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Nice Try

      And your response is gay hypocracy at it's finest. So what's the difference...

      June 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Roger

      what is "gay hypocracy "; oh I should have known the troll can't spell.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  12. 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."

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

    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 1:41 pm |
    • billfitt

      No thanks. I'd rather not watch a gay atheist buffoon, who influenced you to turn out the way you have mamagay.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Roger

      Dan Dennett gay? Wow you're batting 0/0 today, billfitt.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      He's way too boring and intellectually vapid to be gaay

      June 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • billfitt

      It does not mean that he';s hetero just because he rejected your overtures. You flatter yourself WAY too much.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Lily

      That man is a mere human being. I don't let other men think for me. We all know this is untrue. There are a lot of religious (and Christian) men in history who have contributed to the expansion of fields of academia – including science and math. I would avoid following the words of a man like that. Think for yourself. Test the Truth yourself instead of just going by his word. He's a mere human, full of bloated pride.

      June 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
  13. denman838

    From the news article – "There may soon be an alternative to the Scouts for social conservatives like Lappe."
    They've done this already. It was called the Hitler Youth movement.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • snoozie

      Interesting point

      June 3, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  14. Science

    You know creationists...........ID believers.....chad..........The Bone !..............E =mc2 = splat.

    Messed-Up Bible Stories – 2 – Adam and Eve

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

    June 3, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  15. Eli Cabelly

    Good. Another reason to let my son join Boy Scouts.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • billfitt

      Think he'll hook you up with some hot little ones huh? Thought so.

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

      "Think he'll hook you up with some hot little ones huh? Thought so."

      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 1:42 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Eli Cabelly... If you feel that way then he has already joined them (is already gay). You just don't know it yet...

      June 3, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • Nice Try

      billfitt… LOL. That's a good one.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Pete

      "f you feel that way then he has already joined them (is already gay). You just don't know it yet..."

      And the stupidity of this poster continues. Again moron, you can't convert someone into being gay and since gays only make up 10% of the population the chances of their son being gay would be small. Get a real education.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " If you feel that way then he has already joined them (is already gay)."
      Most unintentionally funny post by this dolt yet. The arrogant presumption and condescension are astounding.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Doris

      "Good one"? Childish is what immediately comes to mind.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • .

      "Nice Try" degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Thinker23" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian..

      June 3, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • billfitt

      10%? LOL!!! You're WAY to optimistic about the population of your potential playmates.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  16. middletown

    Thats right, its all the Christians fault.
    nothing to see here..
    "i feel so empowered. "

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

      *Eyeroll*

      June 3, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  17. Mr. Bo

    They will have to change their motto. We will only help those you follow our relgion

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

      I'm pretty sure they didn't say that.

      But, to those on the Left, "we will support only those who believe as we do", right?! In other words, the values of the Baptists are wrong, because they differ from yours. FYI, I am NOT a Baptist.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • chuck

      In other words, the values of the Baptists are wrong, because they differ from yours.

      No, they are wrong because they want to deny equal rights to a group of people based on their orientation.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  18. jimi

    Good riddance.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Nice Try

      That's funny. That's precisely what God will say to gay lovers when they are cast into the lake...

      June 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • .

      "That's precisely what God will say to gay lovers when they are cast into the lake..."

      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 1:33 pm |
    • Roger

      "(poor) try" earlier: "biology is wrong".

      Bumper sticker: "Science too hard for you? Try religion.."

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

      "Bumper sticker: "Science too hard for you? Try religion..""

      Based on "Nice Try" posting their religion really made them stupid.

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

      Nice try, if you don't love your fellow man, even a gay one, as you love yourself, you re not following the teachings of Jesus Christ, and shall be cast into the lake of fire yourself.
      Be careful of the blasphemy your spew, sir. You, yourself will be judged just as harshly, per Mathew 7, hypocrite.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "That's precisely what God will say to gay lovers when they are cast into the lake..."

      Please feel free to provide evidence of said god using sources other than the bible.....

      June 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Pete

      "Be careful of the blasphemy your spew, sir. You, yourself will be judged just as harshly, per Mathew 7, hypocrite."

      Nice Try isn't really a christian, they're a troll who posts on this blog under multiple handles.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Crysallis… You don't know scripture. Try again. And for starters, know the following: Know he not that whosoever is a friend of God's enemies is an enemy of God. Thus, if you're a friend of gays, then you're an enemy of God…

      June 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Roger

      Scripture may support your belief, but you'll be called out on it when current knowledge shows such scripture to reflect antiquated science. You can come out of the cave or be forgotten.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • .

      "You don't know scripture. Try again. And for starters, know the following: Know he not that whosoever is a friend of God's enemies is an enemy of God. Thus, if you're a friend of gays, then you're an enemy of God…"

      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 1:53 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Know he not that whosoever is a friend of God's enemies is an enemy of God.'

      how does a god have an enemy exactly?

      June 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Crysalis

      Nice try, you do not know the ministry of Jesus Christ. You do not live it. You can *quote* all you'd like, but not living it makes you a Pharisee. You are a hypocrite. You, not I, will burn.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  19. Guest

    No problem. I know you libbers will be glad to pick up the slack.

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

      Any Methodist church will. They are not so hypocritical.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  20. susan

    we need to stop accepting the Baptists!

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

      As a lifelong Baptist, I can assure you I have been dealing with the bullying of liberal progressives and gays my entire life. You are a persecutor. So be it.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • NESTLE FOUNDATION OF OVALT INE

      Lily must be a POE.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      " I can assure you I have been dealing with the bullying of liberal progressives and gays my entire life."

      LOL wanted equal rights and protections under the law is hardly bullying.....stop crying.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Nice Try

      Susan... You've already done that when you started accepting gays...

      June 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Maranatha

      God bless the baptists. At least a few denominations will still stand up for what's right and oppose what is wrong.

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

      "You've already done that when you started accepting gays..."

      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 1:46 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Lily

      As a lifelong Baptist, I can assure you I have been dealing with the bullying of liberal progressives and gays my entire life.'

      in what way have you been dealing with it?

      June 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      " At least a few denominations will still stand up for what's right and oppose what is wrong."

      the only thing "wrong" is discriminating against people based on their orientation.

      June 3, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • .

      "God bless the baptists. At least a few denominations will still stand up for what's right and oppose what is wrong."

      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 1:48 pm |
    • Crysalis

      Nice Try, you are a hypocrite and shall be judged as harshly as you judge others. Are all Georgians as ignorant of Jesus Christ's teachings as you are?

      June 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • yeppers

      Have happily lived blabtist-free for decades now. Their twisted cult is finally beginning to slink away into the shadows...

      June 3, 2013 at 1:55 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.