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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
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - For Southern Baptist pastor Tim Reed, it was Scripture versus the Scouts.

“God’s word explicitly says homosexuality is a choice, a sin,” said Reed, pastor of First Baptist Church of Gravel Ridge in Jacksonville, Arkansas.

So when the Boy Scouts of America voted to lift its ban on openly gay youths on May 24, Reed said the church had no choice but to cut its charter with Troop 542.

“It’s not a hate thing here,” Reed told CNN affiliate Fox 16. “It’s a moral stance we must take as a Southern Baptist church.”

Southern Baptist leaders say Reed is not alone.

Baptist churches sponsor nearly 4,000 Scout units representing more than 100,000 youths, according to the Boy Scouts of America.

That number could drop precipitously.

The Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, will soon urge its 45,000 congregations and 16 million members to cut ties with the Scouts, according to church leaders.

The denomination will vote on nonbinding but influential resolutions during a convention June 11-12 in Houston.

“There’s a 100% chance that there will be a resolution about disaffiliation at the convention,” said Richard Land, the outgoing head of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, “and a 100% chance that 99% of people will vote for it.”

“Southern Baptists are going to be leaving the Boy Scouts en masse,” Land continued.

Roger “Sing” Oldham, a spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, emphasized that local congregations make their own decision on the Scouts.

But he, too, said he expects Baptist delegates, which the church calls “messengers,” to voice their disagreement with the BSA's decision to allow gay youths.

“With this policy change, the Boy Scouts’ values are contradictory to the basic values of our local churches,” Oldham said.

Several religious groups with strong Scouting ties support the new policy.

“We have heard from both those who support the amended policy and those who would have preferred it would not have changed,” said BSA spokesman Deron Smith.

Faith-based organizations charter more than 70% of Scout chapters, providing meeting space and leadership, according to the BSA.

“There have been some organizations that have decided not to renew their charters with Scouting," said Smith, "but we can’t quantify the impact of the amended policy."

The National Jewish Committee on Scouting, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which sponsors more Scout units than any other faith, all endorsed the change.

The National Catholic Committee on Scouting, which is run with oversight from a bishop, said Thursday that allowing gay youths in the Scouts does not conflict with church teaching. Each bishop will decide whether or not to allow churches in his diocese to charter Scout units, the committee added.

“We ask that Catholic Scouters and chartered organization heads not rush to judgment,” said Edward Martin, chairman of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting.

But the Rev. Derek Lappe, pastor of the Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Bremerton, Washington, has already made up his mind.

“I do not feel that it is possible for us to live out, and to teach, the authentic truth about human sexuality within the confines of the Boy Scout’s new policy,” said Lappe.

The priest told CNN affiliate FOX16 that his parish will part ways with the Scouts and develop its own programs.

There may soon be an alternative to the Scouts for social conservatives like Lappe.

John Stemberger, founder of On My Honor, a group that opposed the Scouts’ change in policy, plans to convene conservatives in Louisville, Kentucky, in June to consider forming a new Scout-like group, which could be up and running by the end of 2013.

“Churches and Scoutmasters are looking for leadership and direction,” said Stemberg, an attorney in Orlando, Florida.

A number of conservative religious denominations already sponsor their own groups.

For instance, the Southern Baptists have the Royal Ambassadors, an explicitly Christian program founded in 1908 for boys in first through sixth grade. (A similar group called Challengers equips older boys in “mission education.”)

The name comes from the New Testament, in which the Apostle Paul tells Christians to be “ambassadors for Christ.”

The estimated 31,000 Royal Ambassadors pledge “ to become a well-informed, responsible follower of Christ; to have a Christlike concern for all people; to learn how to carry the message of Christ around the world; to work with others in sharing Christ; and to keep myself clean and healthy in mind and body."

While not as outdoorsy as the Boy Scouts, Ambassadors do camp and play sports, said Land, who was a member of the group during the 1950s. But instead of merit badges for archery and bird study, young Ambassadors earn patches for memorizing Bible verses and mission work.

Southern Baptists said they are preparing for a surge of interest in the Royal Ambassadors at their upcoming convention in Houston.

“We really have an opportunity here to strengthen our RA programs,” the Rev. Ernest Easley, chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, said in a sermon last Sunday, “and to get the boys in a program where they’re going to be protected, where there’s a high moral standard and where they will have an opportunity to learn about camping, missions, evangelism in the local church.”

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Christianity • Church • Gay rights • gender issues • Politics • United States

soundoff (10,821 Responses)
  1. Brian

    'It's not a hate thing' then, 'We want to protect our children from them and teach them high moral standards' I wonder if they ever listen to themselves.

    May 31, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • ellid

      Of course it isn't a hate thing, any more than the Southern Baptists seceding from the American Baptists over the right to own other human beings was about bigotry and racism. *rolls eyes*

      May 31, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • kenny

      if they did they would hate themselves ... so ... yeah...

      May 31, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
  2. B

    "But instead of merit badges for archery and bird study, young Ambassadors earn patches for memorizing Bible verses and mission work."

    Yeah that's a great life skill. Terrific. ::facepalm::

    May 31, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • ForReal

      Actually it is more of an Eternal Life skill... And in the past 200 years Christians have done more for America than atheists ever will. However gays simply redefine words to suit themselves, rewrite history to make argue for perversion,...just think... The worst is yet to come!

      June 2, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • geekgirl42

      @ForReal: you should just put on your tinfoil hat and start building your bunker and let the rest of the world move on.

      June 2, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • Jim

      @ForReal So how did gays rewrite history?

      June 3, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • Pete

      It really makes me mad when I hear the gay lobby trying to claim that the British won the Revolution.

      June 3, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • dr__D

      You should take a listen to "Intolerance of Tolerance, Don Carson" on youtube. The problem is not that you disagree, it is that you must stifle and attack an individuals right to have an opinion that differs from the one that you have.

      June 3, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  3. Katie McGee

    Good Riddence you crazed Baptists, your extremist views and uneducated power-mad patrons will not be missed.

    May 31, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Jeff Givens

      AMEN!!!!!!

      May 31, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • miss muji

      If they don't agree with your viewpoint they stink ...... right. YOU are a loser.

      May 31, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Saraswati

      miss muji, can I assume you think all opinions are equal and that anyone who said good riddance to the Nazis was being unfair?

      May 31, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • KneonKnight

      @miss muji

      If they cannot agree with treating people equally, then yes, their viewpoint "stinks" and they are losers, not Ms McGee. And if you support the decision to stop supporting these young men, I submit you are a loser too, with a bronze age morality in a 21st century conversation.

      May 31, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Um....I agree with you, but you might want to check your spelling before you accuse someone of being uneducated......it's "riddance", not "riddence".

      June 1, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Brad76

      So, anyone who doesn't agree with you is extremist. Gotcha!

      June 2, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • Virus

      Just because I don't want to associate myself with with gay people does not mean I *hate* gay people. Gay supporters have a very extreme way of thinking that everyone who does not love gay people are haters of all things equal and blah blah blah. I just think that the choice or being gay is a disease that we inherited from our ancient alien ancestors. Most of our universe as we know it, acts on keeping a normal balance, heaven & hell, positive & negative, night & day, yin & yang, fire & ice. Not every, but almost all species that ever existed on the earth kept to a male/female relationship for survival. We humans have a very sick and perverted mind which will be our ultimate undoing. NONE of the written religions are celestial or godly, but are plainly written to help prolong our survival as a human race.

      June 2, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Chaos

      "Just because I don't want to associate myself with with gay people does not mean I *hate* gay people. "

      Everything you said afterward was an explnation of why you hate them.

      June 2, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • Steve

      Virus: if its a choice, can you pinpoint the day tha you made the choice to be straight?

      June 2, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
    • Frank

      It amazes me what BS this Gays come up with to justify this defiance. Utterly amazing.

      June 2, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Jim

      Just because I don't want to associate myself with with gay people does not mean I *hate* gay people. Gay supporters have a very extreme way of thinking that everyone who does not love gay people are haters of all things equal and blah blah blah. I just think that the choice or being gay is a disease that we inherited from our ancient alien ancestors. Most of our universe as we know it, acts on keeping a normal balance, heaven & hell, positive & negative, night & day, yin & yang, fire & ice. Not every, but almost all species that ever existed on the earth kept to a male/female relationship for survival. We humans have a very sick and perverted mind which will be our ultimate undoing. NONE of the written religions are celestial or godly, but are plainly written to help prolong our survival as a human race.

      Wow...this must be the most psychotic explanation of why people are gay I have ever read. Where is the nearest nuthouse and do you need a ride there?

      June 3, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • These Pretzels Are Making Me Thirsty

      @Saraswati

      You're comparing Baptists to Nazis? I'm not a Baptist, but that's a pretty extreme statement.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:34 am |
  4. Confused

    Confused, because I was always taught growing up in the church that sin is sin, no mater what the sin was. So if you are a Christian and you believe that being gay is a sin.. then why dont you live exactly to the 10 Commandments? I guess the way that some people sin can be overlooked?

    May 31, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • QS

      No doubt! Following that logic these "churches" should have disassociated from the BSA long ago for allowing people in who eat lobster!

      May 31, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • stasisonline

      Eating lobster isnt a sin. Jesus said so. It's only a sin for those who follow the old testament without the new testament.

      June 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Is that the 11th commandment, "Thou shalt not be gay"? Musta missed that one.....

      June 1, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • G to the T

      Stasis – go back to the Bible and try to support that assertion ONLY using the words of Jesus and NOT those of Paul... I think you'll be surprised... Jesus was a jew remember...

      June 3, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  5. DMR

    Sadly, this is about nothing more than hate. Hate by a religious organization that for over a century has preached hate. They will twist or re-write or re-interpret anything in The Bible to fill their need. It is time for the Southern Baptists to be so self-righteous.

    May 31, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • MagicPanties

      Yes, time for a mass exodus from the southern baptists.

      May 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • AbbyM

      It's time they exited the country and formed their own. Then they can fight amongst each other. That's usually what happens when people who don't know how to appreciate the planet they live on or the people around them.

      June 2, 2013 at 7:42 am |
    • Jim

      You are messed up in the head. The only one here that is full of hate is you you anti-Christian bigot.

      June 2, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • CHhrisINF

      So AbbyM, you are saying that Baptist Christians must leave our country because of our beliefs?! And if that doesn't happen then what, concentration camps?! You have just shown the true agenda behind what is going on here. If the Christians don't bow down to the LGBT agenda are suggesting some "final agenda"? You are disgusting!

      June 3, 2013 at 6:25 am |
    • CHhrisINF

      My mistake: AbbyM isn't suggesting a final agenda but instead a "final solution" to the pesky Christian problem, right Abby?

      June 3, 2013 at 6:27 am |
    • Jim

      @CHhrisINF Really? She suggests that we don't need people who just spread hate for a group of people and your immediate reaction is to jump to Concentration camps?? Huh????

      June 3, 2013 at 10:10 am |
  6. handerwyc

    GOOD RIIDDANCE! I would not want my son influenced by the likes of Southern Baptist, Mormons, and Assemblies of God.

    May 31, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • momx5

      The Mormons support this policy and are staying with the Boy Scouts. The article uses their official name The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Sorry to burst your bubble.

      May 31, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • Jim

      @ momx5 Mormons are backing it because it looks good for them. In reality they regularly excommunicate gays, blocked gay marriage in a state they don't even live in, and considers gays to be absolutely detestable. This is just them saving face. Sorry to burst your bubble.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:12 am |
  7. ron

    Why do you always invite two Southern Baptist friends to fish?
    Cause if you only invite one he'll drink all your beer.

    May 31, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
  8. A_Long_1

    This is the reason I fell apart from my church. Don't get me wrong, I still believe in God. But I believe God will judge me and others for the impact we've left on this earth. The bottom line is He wants us all to get along and be civil with each other, help each other, love one another. These people are using the Book for the opposite. I left my church because I was tired of being surrounded by hypocrites. I saw adulterers giving advice on marriage. I knew people cheating on their taxes, yet were against stealing. And most disgustingly, I saw racists spreading the word of God. I'm done with religion. I will however teach my kids to follow the true message, and that's to be the best person you can be. Help others and respect others, no matter what differences you may have. And most importantly, I will teach them to love life because life is precious.

    May 31, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • QS

      Religion creates only division, not unity. As long as it exists we will never all get along.

      May 31, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Dennis

      Santa will judge you on Christmas Eve and Odin will Judge you on the Solstice.

      You are still Mythtaken.

      May 31, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Vivek Chaudhary

      This is the problem in the world. People like you have double standards, one for the church and other for the world. You said that you left church because of people. Come on, you go to church to seek God, not people and if you're looking around you would find fallible people. You have to be that light, let people see and learn from you.

      So since you have left the church, you have found that people outside in the world have no issues at all. I must be living in a different world.

      June 1, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Maui420L

      It's funny how the Bible is a collection of writings, written long after the event... and only some of these writings are published and the church went to great lengths to destroy all the others...
      Also, there are no written reports from the era from any scholar reporting history for that era... you'd think parting of the sea, bringing back the dead, rising from the dead would be written somewhere... but oddly nothing....
      So what happened to all the relics from that era, Chalice, Ark fo the Covenent, anything....
      As the Baptist, evangelicals and Rome pack their pockets with sweat and blood money from it followers, building mosolium churches and Golden Houses of Worship.... really sick group...

      June 1, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • beachgalone

      amen! living in florida with all these bloated old white men and subservient "career" women has been difficult. I work in insurance where it seems a marketing ploy to say "christian based". Well, i can tell you first hand that as a woman the double standard is so extreme! Finally went to work for myself.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Sue Zahnd

      Same here...I'm a UU...We believe in the "inherit worth and dignity of all human beings". Jeus' way of emphasizing how we treat each other in almost gone in most "Christian" groups. Having said that...there ARE still some who emphasizing his teachings, thankfully.

      June 2, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • trussell

      That is the main reason I gave up on religion. They preach one thing and do the opposite. Also, when a preacher and several church members go to court with a pedophile against little girls that was molested to keep him out of prison, I knew I had made the right decision.

      June 3, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Jim

      @Vivek Chaudhary Sorry but if one seeks to find god they do not need to go into a building built by man. You can find god all around you. You go to church to listen to a man claiming to be the speaker of god and that is not the true way at all. Like you said man is fallible.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Aflo

      I agree wholeheartedly. The same thing happened to me. I can't say that there are no good people within the confines of religious organization, however there were too many facades. Too many evil people claiming to be righteous and knowing. I couldn't reconcile it.

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

      Cool story, bro.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
  9. MarkinFL

    So this pretty much makes it a win/win for the BSA.

    May 31, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
  10. ron

    Don't let the door hit ya in the ass on the way out.

    May 31, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
  11. scarf

    In a related development, the Southern Baptist Convention announced the formation of an organization for young males called the "Manly Scouts of America." A major activity of the new organization will involve shooting guns. A girls auxilary is planned, the members of which will be responsible for cooking and cleaning during campouts.

    May 31, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Erik

      That sounds awesome. Where do I sign my kid up?

      May 31, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • brad

      my wife would rather shoot the guns and tell you to do your own damn dishes.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:22 am |
  12. Mark

    It should be noted that Baptist are NOT protestants. Baptist come from Ana-baptists and were never part of the catholic church. Additionally, because Baptist do take a stand -the real haters of the world do not like them and call them bigots. When Baptist tell the truth and stand for God's word – the bible teached that we will be hated among men. I say that I rather be on God's side. Haters will never like the truth of god and can not stand in the light of his word.

    May 31, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • MagicPanties

      It should be noted that my invisible pink unicorn is not affiliated with those damn leprechauns.

      May 31, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • ced1968

      @Mark – to the point of the article, which version of the Bible? In fact, that is often the problem with organized religion, how many versions of the Bible are there? Pretty sure God didn't keep clarifying what he said, he only said it once. The Bible is a book written by MEN derived from the teachings of other MEN. And as pointed out early on in the Bible, MEN are deeply flawed. Rather than rely so heavily on the Bible (which also condones slavery, murder, and the ownership of women), perhaps you should listen closer to the words of the main character, Jesus Christ, "And everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die."

      May 31, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • toydrum

      Not exactly. The Anabaptist movement began at the same time as the Protestant reformation and those that became Anabaptists were formerly Roman Catholic. While they aren't Protestant in the historical sense of those churches that formed under the reformation principles, in the sense that they left the Catholic Church in protest of some of their ideas (although not the same ideas that formed the Protestant Reformation.

      May 31, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Spinner49

      Wait a minute, so since the bible says you will be hated and reviled you're going around manufacturing reasons for folks to hate and revile you? Doin' a heck of a job there!

      May 31, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Skeeve

      Hated? I don't hate idiots, I pity them

      May 31, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • TNPatriot

      Mark, I am so sorry that you are misinformed, misguided and just plain WRONG. You and your fellow SB's rally around, "the word of god" yet you keep quoting from a selected interpretation of a book that has many authors, none of which was named god. So, are you posting blasphemy or just plain ignorance?
      Like Muslims in the middle east, southern baptist are the fear, hate and LIE mongers of southern America.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • Yup - fer sure

      @ced-1968 question for you... how do you explain First John 2:4-5

      June 1, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      It should be noted that the rest of Mark's post is pure nonsense.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      JUDGING (har) by the grammar and spelling I vote for a 3rd or 4th grade edumacation. Anybody disagree?

      June 1, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Kip Oliver

      Kind of like when Alex Jones predicts economic collaspe/war/martial law...as he has done at least 30 times in the past ten years...then when it doesn't come true, he says its because he spread the word and say he was able to stop it. Yeah, the thing about truth is in order for it to be truth, you have to be able to prove it. If you aren't able to prove it, it's called "faith". And I believe God said something along the lines of "I refuse to prove I exist because proof erases faith and without faith I am nothing." By insisting it's truth, you're basically killing God.

      June 1, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
    • Kristina

      Mark, I'm not sure what they're teaching you in your church, but Baptists are Protestants. The Protestants separated from the Catholics during the Protestant Reformation, when a guy named Martin Luther got really upset over the way Catholics believe that in order to converse with or seek forgiveness from God, you had to a priest to do your talking for you. The Protestants believe we could seek the mercy and grace of God through direct prayer and we are personally accountable for our sins. John Smyth was an early Reformation figure from England who is sometimes credited as being an early Baptist. Unlike Catholics, who believe a baby must be baptized early in life, he believed in adult baptism as a means for seeking salvation. Early Baptists had settled in America by the 1630's; many of these Protestants left Europe to escape religious persecution for being against the Catholic church. William Screven is credited with starting the first Baptist church in the South Carolina in the late 1600's. By the 1830's the Southern Baptists realized they had different concerns than Northern or Western Baptists, so they formed their own convention to support Southern missions. Regardless of the split, Southern Baptists are still considered Protestants (as opposed to Catholic).

      June 1, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • your prized book

      You remember how at one of yer Baptist Brethren conventions a Westboro-like youth group performed a skit that mocked the Episcopal church? Well, yew better sit down, Cletus, cuz I got some news fer yew.
      Yew know that there King James version of the bible that yer Westboro-cult worships? It was written expressly for the... wait for it... Anglican (Episcopal) Church. Are yew alright there... hello... Cletus...

      June 2, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • AbbyM

      This is why your prophecy is self-evident. You throw your bible around in people's faces and you are asking for 'hatred' because you say 'well you are going to hate me anyway'. If youre 'god' has any sense, then 'god' would remind you not to fight 'gods' battles and allow you to fall flat on your face so you understand that bullying people is a poor way to get them to listen to you.

      June 2, 2013 at 7:46 am |
  13. Grinning Libber

    Good rid. More KKKristian haters.

    May 31, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
  14. Reality

    Dear Southern Baptists,

    o "Abrahamics" like yourselves believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    1. The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological 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 heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    2. "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    3. See also the From the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”
    "Most scientists who study human se-xuality agree that gay people are born that way. But that consensus raises an evolutionary puzzle: How do genes associated with h-omose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?"
    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/evolution/Gay-gene-deconstructed.html

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions supposedly abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    May 31, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Scott

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! My Book written thousands of years ago says it's not true!!!!! I ignore everything else the book says that I don't like but I believe that one part!!!!

      May 31, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Pat Douglas

      I have always believed this but could not have said it as well. Who would choose to be gay. There are a few in our immediate family and they are normal people to us and we do not belittle them. We supposedly were all created by God (if you believe) so he made them the way they are. I don't think God knew to much about science back then. I compare this subject to trying to talk to gun nuts also.

      May 31, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • devlspawn

      So how do we explain identical twins where one is gay and the other is straight (ala the Collins twins in the NBA)? I am a firm believer in equal rights and right to marriage for gay people, I am genuinely curious though how to square those examples of identical twins with the straight biological explanation.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:26 am |
    • Reality

      Once again, read http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/evolution/Gay-gene-deconstructed.html

      June 1, 2013 at 6:48 am |
    • Atul C.

      If your gene theory is right why can't doctors tell parents that your child has a third gender called gay. Keep your BS with yourself. It is a curable disease. That's why they have gone after those clinics in California which were successfully doing reverse therapy.

      June 1, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Dani

      Atul C. if doctors "diagnosed" the wrong Christian couple's child as being gay they would probably abort the baby. It is not a disease, and those people aren't "cured" they are just too afraid of rejection to be themselves.

      June 2, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Steve

      Suicide is not a cure, LOL.

      June 2, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • Gman10

      Looks to me like you need a reality check. Psycholgical babble.

      June 3, 2013 at 9:45 am |
  15. Chris

    Royal Ambassadors pledge “to become a well-informed, responsible follower of Christ; to have a Christlike concern for all people*"

    *j/k no gays LOL. WWJD?

    May 31, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • omeany

      People hate what they fear and religion has always provided a convenient hiding place for bigotry. By claiming God disapproves of the gay lifestyle you can be an upstanding bigot with the full approval of the community because God will approve of your brave stand.

      Of course this is the same God they believe created all of us (including gay people). The bottom line is statistically gay people are no more deviant than straight people. Christians are quickly running out of the last safe excuse for bigotry.
      Hopefully, this will force them to really think about what Jesus would really do when it come to loving their neighbor as they do themselves.

      May 31, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  16. omeany

    Well ok then, bye bye!

    May 31, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  17. wizzard

    So much for the tolerance and loving in religion. The great thing about the bible is that it can support most any position a believer decides to take. I found it striking that the baptist preacher CNN interviewed claimed it was the Boy Scouts decision that the preacher's congregation no longer allow the scouts to use their church because Scouts adopted a policy of tolerance.

    Frankly I think Scouts will be much better off teaching leadership, morals and values without the delusion of religion thrown into the mix.

    May 31, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  18. QS

    “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.”

    Nope, it's hate, plain and simple. Justify your hatred of others with your religious conveniences all you want, the rational people in the world see right through you.

    Hate masquerading as morality...the epitome of the religion corporation.

    May 31, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Miss Demeanor

      Bingo... except it's ALL fer money...

      June 2, 2013 at 12:25 am |
  19. Dyslexic doG

    These are quotes from the Bible. The book every Christian must Obey. The book that is the word of God:

    Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. – Isaiah 13

    Or this:

    Samaria shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword, their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open. – Hosea 13

    Or this:

    Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. – Numbers 31

    So Christians, you just keep telling yourselves this isn't just a book written by bronze age barbarians... your loving God wrote this book.

    What a joke.

    May 31, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Mark

      Quotes taken out of context do not help you. I doubt you have every read the whole bible or even understand how those verses apply to the Christian. Haters like you have harden hearts and will never see heaven unless you repent and accept Jesus. I will pray for you and hope you will come to understand God and his message to man before you face eternity.

      May 31, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • The Truth

      You do know those were commands given during specific events and only applied to those specific events right? It would be equivalent of all Americans need to continously bomb Dresden because an order was given once in WWII to bomb Dresden. Learn and know what you are citing.

      For the second comment about sons not obeying. All I can say is too bad, it was pretty effective keeping the prison population and crime rate down. Ahhh back in the days when your father's threat of "I brought you into this world and I can take you out" was not just a threat.

      May 31, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Taken out of context? Really?!!! and specific events?.....

      In what context could you put those verses, that would make somebody say " oh well in that case I understand! it is perfectly ok then"

      And Truth... no it isn't the same at all.....killing children and targeting women directly with that mind set is vastly different than destroying a major industrial hub of your enemy. Sword in hand a foot away from your victim with total control over what YOU do vs 25000 ft in the air hoping that your bomber holds together long enough to hit a factory........

      May 31, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • RL

      You are quoting Old Testament Jewish text, not Christian's New Testament text.

      May 31, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • brad

      How are those out of context. I thought that every syllable was the living word of god?

      June 1, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • Jesussaysgoodriddance

      The same book of Leviticus that bans gays also band tattoos and commands that adulterers be put to death. Not individual cases – but laws to live by according to the Bible – so will I see you at the Stoning Social after church?

      June 1, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • mark

      to Mark
      taken out of context? Always an excuse of the Bible. Bible is a fairy tale book which will become irrelevant in 50 years. But brain washing is a powerful thing.

      June 2, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • Evangelical Rule of Thumb

      Evangelical Rule of Thumb:

      If a Bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally.

      If a Bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical or metaphorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is an ancient cultural anomaly; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; is a mystery of god or not discernible by humans; or is just plain magic.

      June 2, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • Jim

      @Evangelical Rule of Thumb – Thank you. You said that perfectly!

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

      OK. Since people railing on Christianity are taking quotes out of context and then trying to use them to further their anti-Christian arguments (I don't care who you are, that's funny) let me offer up what should be a simple summary:

      The Christian Bible consists of two sets of books: The Old Testament and The New Testament.

      Now, prior to God sending his son Jesus down to offer salvation for mankind, The Old Testament was the law of God. This set of books is usually misquoted by folks railing on religion, and it The Old Testament was, in a word, harsh.

      God knows us all and loves us all from the get go. No one can "prove" that one way or another, you either believe it or you don't. No brow-beating necessary either way.

      Anyhoo, when God sent Jesus down to teach us how to be redeemed in God's eyes, ultimately through the sacrifice of his own life to save ours, these teachings were written down as The New Testament. Very few anti-Christians quote from the New Testament because they don't read The Bible on their own, they just pick up on the catchy Old Testament verses.

      So, in summary, Christians live by The New Testament of The Bible, under the overarching principles of spreading joy to their fellow mankind, teaching love and helping those who are ready to accept the Word of God to understand how to live by that Word so that they will live eternally in Heaven.

      Just don't see what all the fuss is. Either you choose to believe it or you don't. Personally, I know that everyone I meet is already loved by God and if they choose to learn more, am glad to teach what I can. If they don't, well, they simply believe something differently than I do.

      June 3, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • G to the T

      And I contend that anyone reading the bible for the first time in isolation would NEVER come to this conclusion. Please prove your point using quotes by JESUS and not one of the later "apostoles" that spoke in his name. If it's obvious that Jesus was changing the rules, he should have stated as such. What I'm hearing are a lot of extra-biblical interpretations that have just been accepted by people without really questioning where the idea came from...

      June 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
  20. Dyslexic doG

    If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father and mother, who does not heed them when they discipline him, then his father and his mother shall ... say to the elders of his town, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the town shall stone him to death.
    – Deut 21

    Get to work on your teenagers Christians. Every word of the Bible must be obeyed right?

    What a joke!

    May 31, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Robert

      Dyslexic doG, your ignorance is incredible. That was a civil law givin to the nation of Israel. We don't practice that these days because we do not live in a theocracy. However, the law was given to Isreal because God is Holy. We're experiencing much more patience now, but in the end, when you stand before the judgment seat of Christ, if you are still in your insulance and rebellion you will hear Christ say "I never knew you. Depart from me all you who practice lawlessness, into the lake of fire prepared for the Devil and his angels." (Matthew 7) It also says, "Be not deceived, God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows, that will he also reap." You are mocking God and you are deceiving yourself if you think you're going to get away with it Scott free.

      May 31, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • sam

      Robert, nothing you're saying is anything more than "Just wait until my dad gets home". It's embarrassing.

      May 31, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • LauraSecord

      I agree with Robert's comment that we reap what we sow. The Baptist Church is sowing intolerance, hatred and discrimination. Reap that.

      May 31, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • Skeeve

      In other words Robert, you pick an chose what to follow and what not to follow in the Bible. So, Are you a god then? I am sorry, but it is either or. if you CHOSE what part of the Bible is convenient for you and what isn't then it is not a holly book, and there is absolutely no logical reason to follow it at all.

      May 31, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • Jesussaysgoodriddance

      The fallacy of rational people trying to reason with brainwashed zealots is that somehow showing the logic of your argument will persuade them. These are people deeply invested in self-deception and they have long since sacrificed reality in favor of whatever benefit their fantasy belief system instills in them. In fact it's kinda cruel to keep baiting them since some part of them must understand they are deluding themselves – like telling a 4 year old Santa isn't real. Except these four year olds have adult responsibilities like raising kids that aren't bigoted.

      June 1, 2013 at 10:11 am |
    • thecat

      Jesussayss – this is EXACTLY what gays say about being GAY – FAIL

      June 2, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Jim

      thecat

      Sorry but it is in no way the same. Saying they fail without providing any facts or logical arguments does not mean you win. You are clearly just as ignorant as the baptists.

      June 3, 2013 at 11:06 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.