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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. oneSTARman

    NOW – If we could Just get the Baptists to March into the SEA Demanding that it PART Before Them.

    June 1, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
  2. GoodRiddance

    Good riddance, Southern Baptists! Door let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya!!! LOL!

    June 1, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  3. SG

    So the Baptist church decided that it should be the one to cast the first stone....
    Way to exercise the will of Jesus......

    June 1, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • doe_john2

      How did they 'cast the first stone'? As consumers in this country they can choose or discontinue whatever service they want. Please don't take scripture out of context to serve your own position. I'm guess you won't be attending church tomorrow – does that mean you're 'casting the first stone'?

      June 1, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • really ironic

      RE: doe_john2 "...don't take scripture out of context to serve your own position...."
      Priceless Blabtist irony. Cuz, that's the last thing a Blabtist would ever do, right?Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaaahhhahahahahahahahahahhhahahahahahahahahahaha. (gotta catch my breath here) hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahaah. Hahahahahaahahahahahahahahahaahahhaahahahah.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • doe_john2

      That is quite the intelligent response, but then again I shouldn't have expected anything different from your side.

      I'm the first to admit that many people take scripture out of context ... it shouldn't be done – by anyone.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
  4. V Block

    As a Baptist myself....good riddance. I can't stand holier than thou Christians and never could.

    June 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • doe_john2

      How is someone pulling their child from a program they do not endorse being 'holier than thou'? This isn't about being 'Baptist' btw.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      A little salt is needed to your understanding of Jesus' truth.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      doe_john2: Are you so ignorant that you can't see what this type of thing does to children? It teaches them arrogance; it teaches them hate.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • doe_john2

      Truth Prevails 🙂 ... So you are the authority on how things effect children? You know for sure that this kind of action teaches them arrogance and hate? Show me some solid studies please.

      Like lots of things in life it is not what is done but how and why.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • jake

      to joe-don:

      if that were the case, then there would be less of a problem. but the sbc is making that decision for the parents. if they were really sure of their faith, then they would leave the programs in place and brim with pride as the church members pulled their kids out. but what if the parents left their kids in?

      June 1, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      doe_john2: Wow, way to twist it! How the hell is not obvious? I'm not an authority on anything, unlike you who believes that his one book that is 2000 years old and has never been updated holds all the answers for EVERYONE and in turn you think that book gets to dictate the world...by excluding children in this manner you harm them...stats are not needed for that, it should be obvious but once again, you have a book that entitles you to hate. The following is an example of what happens when children bully due to religion...a school actually allowed this and if I recall correctly, this has been overturned. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2011/11/05/michigan-senate-says-its-ok-to-bully-if-its-in-the-name-of-jesus
      How the hell is that right?
      A belief does not make you better, especially when it is used to divide humanity.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Doe says:"So you are the authority on how things effect children?"

      First off, it's "affect", not "effect", and secondly, are you an authority on it, doe? Is the church?

      June 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • doe_john2

      Truth Prevails 🙂

      What is humorous is that you say a book 2000 years ago cannot hold truth for all people ... but you, even by your profile name, claim to hold truth for everyone?

      We will discount studies, research and stats [that's typically what people of faith get blamed for not doing, right?] and go by what you believe – because you are now universal truth, says so? Huh, interesting.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • doe_john2

      The real Tom

      Thank-you for the grammar lesson ... I suppose you walk on water – but I don't, so I apologize.

      I'm not claiming to be 'the' authority. I do get frustrated, however, when hypocrisy is in play ... by any side btw.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I don't believe anyone ever walked on water. I get weary of people accusing those who advocate for equality "hypocrites" and using the bible as their excuse for excluding people who aren't just like them.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      no idiot, what I am going to do is dismiss what is not based on evidence. I didn't say that book did not hold any truth-even Harry Potter holds some truth, I will say though that it does not hold the truth when it comes to the issue of being gay, that fact, when used by your belief has been proven wrong. I do not claim to know everything and my moniker simply means that the facts as they are based on evidence will prevail. I choose to believe that which is based on evidence. You chose to believe on faith-defined as belief without evidence.
      In the end it doesn't matter, you are not going to change the way the world is going...gays people are not going away an they will have the same rights as all of us do.
      I have chosen to be open-minded, you should try it...it's quite enlightening!

      June 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Studies, research, and stats show that children are harmed by being told that they are "sinning" because they are gay. Studies show that orientation is no more a choice than is hair color or height. There are plenty of studies that show that children parented by gays are just as healthy and well adjusted as those in traditional families.

      You seem to be ignoring them, doe.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • doe_john2

      The real Tom

      See we share differing worldviews and hence our conflict.

      Last time I looked Scouts was neither a political or religious group. People, as consumers, can pay for their children to go or not. Are you telling parents how they should spend their money? Doesn't that seem contrast the American way? They are not 'forcing' their beliefs on anyone .. put your child in or not as you choose ... they are choosing not to invest their hard earned money into a program thay cannot support.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • doe_john2

      Truth Prevails 🙂

      Yes, this tends to happen with people who are 'enlightened' ... when people dont subscribe to their brand of thinking they start to become frustrated and call names – like 'idiot' ... are you not supposed to be the loving, accepting and advanced ones? Perhaps it is just me but that kind of sounds intolerant and hypcritical?

      June 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • LinCA

      @doe_john2

      You said, "Last time I looked Scouts was neither a political or religious group."
      While they are not a religious group, they do require a belief in a god. They still restrict their membership to those that do. They also still restrict membership based on a particular interpretation to restrict their adult membership.

      The BSA is a private organization and are allowed a lot of leeway in their policies. They are free to discriminate in their membership policies.

      Asking them not to discriminate is the right of everyone.

      You said, "People, as consumers, can pay for their children to go or not."
      True.

      You said, "Are you telling parents how they should spend their money? Doesn't that seem contrast the American way?"
      Suggesting they don't spend it on organizations that act contrary to the good of society IS the American way.

      You said, "They are not 'forcing' their beliefs on anyone ."
      True, but that doesn't mean they can't improve and change their ways.

      You said, "put your child in or not as you choose ... they are choosing not to invest their hard earned money into a program thay cannot support."
      Most do support the program and most of the things it can teach boys. The value of the program is in no way diminished by allowing all boys to participate. Trying to make all the good that the BSA does available for all boys, is a very good cause.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      I called you an idiot because you are making assumptions. Your beliefs do not rule our world; they are not the only beliefs held and probably most importantly, without that book your belief would not exist. My beliefs are based on evidence and I care about that. Gay people do no harm to my life and until one gives me reason to dislike them, I refuse to judge them. My gay friends tend to be some of the most loving adults and their children well adjusted-well mannered-they care about their education-they care about life and they do not judge based on sexual orientation.
      If you not directly affected by a gay person, then do the proper thing and mind your own business...you wouldn't want them saying it was wrong for you to be hetero.
      I'm done with trying to get through your bubble, you simply don't care. Stay ignorant, stay in the past but don't expect the rest of the world to.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • doe_john2

      Truth Prevails 🙂

      So again, unless I believe what you believe than there is something wrong with me? Again, hypocrisy on your part, but then again I suppose I'm not enlightened like you.

      Hey, I asked you for evidence before and your refused. I like evidence, when it is supported.

      June 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  5. Seyedibar

    Baptists are vile. I just got woke up by one going door to door trying to sell her god to strangers.

    June 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • TheTruth

      #I just got woke up by one#

      Ok, that explains everything.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Seyedibar, I seriously doubt that a Baptist would go door to door,

      June 1, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • California Granny

      HeavenSent
      "I seriously doubt that a Baptist would go door to door,"

      They do in my town... not at often as the JWs and the Mormons, but maybe twice a year. They hand out their church pamphlets, so I know for sure that they are Baptists.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I try to be polite to the religious salespeople that come to my door. Usually they are elderly, and I was taught to respect those who are older than me. All I do is thank them, but politely refuse.

      When the little Mormon "Elders" come to my door, all bets are off. I try to be nice, but I don't pull my punches about my atheism or why I think what they believe it a big pile of nonsense.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • California Granny

      Tallulah13, well, very, very few are older than I am! I still try to be polite, though. One time they caught me in a grouchy mood and I countered, "I think that you need to take another look at the stuff you believe", and she literally ran away down the walkway!

      June 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Good one! And not impolite, just uncomfortably direct.

      My dad used to counter with "Jesus is coming back in a UFO." It generally stopped them in their tracks.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  6. bilbo boomer

    Leave it to those Southern Baptist to use the Bible for evil; guess they're too brainwashed to help themselves-sad....

    June 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • TRIKIYA

      you putting all southern baptist in a bad boat together is beyond ignorant. and the fact that half of the world thinks just like you sickens and saddens me. this day and age is so filled with hate and strong judgemental tendencies. you and half of the people on here are letting what baptists or any other religion that you do not agree with turn you into monsters. the things people like you say aare horrible and i hate that we live in the type of society that just passes judgement on everyone without knowing anything about what they are talking about. ugh i have 0 hope in humanity.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  7. Rosslaw

    So the baptists believes God creates gays just so he can send them to hell. Interesting view of God as a psycopath. And 16 year olds decide to turn gay because they can't get a date to the senior prom. I think Marcus Bachmann is the man (?) you want to talk to about that theory.

    June 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • kpkpkp

      Excellent comment. I must remember this one.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • Jesus freaker

      God is psycho this I know
      For the Bible tells me so.
      Man is born so God can kill
      Torture chamber he must fill

      Yes God is psycho
      Yes God is psycho
      Yes God is psycho
      The Bible tells me so.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      God creates all of Life in whatever forms made viable by Gods' husbandries. People's socialisms are the evolutions of mankind's hierarchies from the lowly Christians to the socially inept and spiritually convoluted aspects within redundant humanisms of which atheism and gayness are held captivated in fulcrums' ambient follies. I am but a lowly Christ believer who sheds my Word which bleeds across the landscapes of human religious dignities and humanely convoluted spiritual indignations of tormented fomentations bridling around those being fervently gay and others' atheistically faithless and most commonly held as being immorally bankrupt in mindedness inclusions of societal fruitiness issues. Give the bone to those dogs who willingly need it and want it. God created our bodies and God cannot change our body's will nor even our willing wants.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
  8. Mon

    Jesus was far more outspoken about the "sin" of divorce. If the Boy Scouts are to adhere to Christian principles, It would make sense for these Southern Baptists to have pulled out their children knowing there were divorced scout leaders.

    June 1, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • devin

      On a certain level you have a valid point.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Dan

      Don't forget to ban anyone who's eaten shrimp scampi!!

      And what are those Boy Scout Uniforms made from? A cotton and polyester blend? Uh Oh!!

      June 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • tallulah13

      On every level it's a valid point. Christian hypocrisy is legendary.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • kpkpkp

      Yes. it is valid on ALL levels. I am enjoying the psychologist or therapist who says that rampant fundamentalism is a mental illness that can be cured. Do you think Baptists can be cured?

      June 1, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Genesis 4:7

      If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

      Amen.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  9. devin

    Truth. You misunderstand. I was not referring to YOU specifically, personally. I assumed that was obvious. I was referring to your ( not specifically you) bent on understanding ethical behavior and how it's derived. I don't care what you do in your bedroom. I do care that boys who are s e x ually attracted to other boys ( you know, innate, from birth, they say) are being enabled to sleep and shower with those who they are attracted to. Why was I never able to cohabit with girl scouts? This is the issue.

    June 1, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Timothy

      Well as much as some of these kid's wouldn't mind being brownies, I think much like public schools which have both boys and girls together, the Boy Scouts should be able to handle the issues of having some kids be attracted to other kids.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • devin

      Perhaps times have changed, but I can't recall sleeping or showering with girls at my public school.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • The real Tom

      No, it's not, dev. If it were, then you'd be in favor of ejecting gays from public schools, too. They do shower after gym classes, you know. They participate in sports like wrestling and football.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Did you think the reason you couldn't shower with girls was because you were attracted to them? What part of wearing clothing is a mystery to you, dev? People don't like exposing themselves to the opposite gender unless they choose to do so–it's a matter of privacy, not orientation.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      devin....morality is nothing but a preception. Many cultures DO treat children as uni-$ex. Many countires do not teach their children that their bodies are bad. Many other go to the other extreme, hiding the entire body.

      It ids just the perceived maorality that is dictated by the society you are in. I know a musician who is free with her body, and has no issues with nudity, but she still has the respect for others who do not share her perceptions.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm |

    • Privacy isn't the obstacle. I get an erection when in the presence of naked attractive females. If that doesn't bother you we can shower together.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • Nudist are the most honest people

      Religion has created the perversions they despise most by making everything taboo. We are just like Muslim countries in regards to covering womens bodies, we just accept less cover. You can see plenty of skin nowadays but let a ni p p le slip on TV, dear God! The children! It's the same as a hijab, cover up so that I will not be tempted by thee! Sad, uneducated, unrefined pigs squealing at the sight of a twisted tail.

      Grow up you silly children.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • tallulah13

      These are children, Devin, and children are teachable. You can teach a child that boys can like boys or boys can like girls and that girls can like girls or girls can like boys, and that it's okay to like who you like. Or you can teach them that some people are bad because they are different, and because they are a minority it's okay to treat them poorly.

      Would you automatically force yourself on a woman if you shared a public shower? Or would you avert your eyes and mind your own business? Can you understand that men who are attracted to men aren't automatically attracted to you?

      I think you just like the status quo because it's comfortable for you, but the world is changing whether you like it or not.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • devin

      Richard What are you talking about? I have no problems with nudity and do not view the human naked body as bad or evil. Stay on topic man. I'm simply stating that is fundamentally common sense to realize that children who are physically attracted to each other shouldn't be sleeping and showering together. This isn't rocket science

      June 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • The real Tom

      dev, you seem to miss the point. It has nothing to do with physical attraction. It is an issue of privacy. In Japan, there are many places where the sexes DO bathe together. It's cultural and has nothing to do with attraction or orientation.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • JohnC

      The concern about them sleeping together is overblown by a few. First the few times showering even comes up it's generally with some privacy. But in general the biggest issue with boys and girls together is when they BOTH want to get frisky or experiment. By and large a gay boy would not try to "come on" to a straight boy and in fact would likely "lay low" even when permitted to be in the scouts. At worst case a bay boy might think "ah, too bad he's straight, but oh well". So if you happen to know a rare case of TWO gays scouts in one troop then maybe have them in separate tents. Get over it and move on.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • devin

      John. I will do my best to be kind while I dismantle your logic. If in fact h o m o s e x u a l i t y is innate and the physical attraction is no less intense than that of hetero's, you are delusional if you think young teenage boys can sleep and shower with other boys without a degree of insanity. I know that if I, and all my teenage hooligan friends, were sleeping and showering with the girls, well, let's just say, well, let's not.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • tallulah13

      So Devin, you and your teenage friends would be attacking and harassing girls against their will if you showered together? Wow. You're a creep.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • devin

      tallu. If you would have seen me in my teenage years would have realized it would have never been " against their will"

      June 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • JohnC

      yes it does sound like you're saying that now or when younger you would have been all over some girls even if they plainly said to leave them alone. Thank god most boys and men are not that way. Most gay boys would be even less that way because even if allowed in the scouts most don't want to be too public (especially since most are still trying to figure themselves out).

      June 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • JohnC

      "If you would have seen me in my teenage years would have realized it would have never been " against their will"". So they were willing. I agree not to have two willing sorts sleep together. But that's not what we're talking about. We're mostly talking about a gay boy and a straight boy and the gay boy knows the other is straight and also doesn't want to be overly open at that age. So just don't let two gay boys sleep together.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "tallu. If you would have seen me in my teenage years would have realized it would have never been " against their will""

      What a dick.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Wow, so not only is devin a creepy bigot, he still pines for the glory days when he thought he was irresistible. I wonder how many girls he grew up with would agree with his self-assessment. I wonder how many mocked him behind his back, because that kind of arrogance is funny and unattractive.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • The real Tom

      No kidding, tally. He's probably fat and bald now, but still the same azzhole he was at 15.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • devin

      tallah. Do you have absolutely no sense of humor and sarcasm?. I thought you guys on the left were a little more hip. You remind me more of some of my stiff conservative friends. Next time I'll put a little disclaimer before I inject humor.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • The real Tom

      You're about as funny as a crutch.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • JohnC

      sorry, I didn't get the humor either. Glad to hear you're not a womanizer and understand that likewise the gay boys aren't suddenly going to go chasing after straight boys.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • tallulah13

      devin, there's funny, and then there's creepy. I don't know if you are aware of this, but teenaged girls around the country are being sexually assaulted, filmed and exposed on the internet by teenaged boys who think that they are irresistible.

      Without visual reference, without vocal inflection, what you think is funny can easily be interpreted as creepy.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • devin

      talluh. You must be a riot at a party.

      June 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  10. Allie

    They'd better pull their kids out of school too, since there are certainly gay kids there.... and let's be honest, education will be largely wasted on most of their offspring anyway.

    June 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Al

      The kids should stay home. Eating from the tree of knowledge leads to a loss of faith. We can't have any of that.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
  11. Tim Jordan

    In the past, Southern Baptists were one of the last churches to decry slavery. Likewise, they fought integration and equal rights for women. Perhaps they'd be happier in Iran?

    June 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Alice

      Hi Tim, If I remember correctly, the things you say about the SBC are true. I'd like to think that in this case they have learned from that history and are being leaders in an issue that is a critically important tenet of faith.
      Some times people are so closeminded! Sometimes they are so open-minded that their brains fall out. You must understand that while you may disagree, they-and many others-are exercising their faith, and their rights as Americans. Please don't demonize that.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • kpkpkp

      Alice sweetie, The Southern Baptists are more than exercising their beliefs. If that was all it was that would be fine but they also try to tell others how to live, what to believe in and how to behave. So NO they should be demonized for their hypocrisy and their invalid belief system.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • Sense0326

      Alice, you realize Neonazis are also exercising their rights as Americans when they display swastikas and so are Klansmen when they burn crosses. Just because somebody has a right to do something doesn't mean they should nor do they have the right to be free from criticism for their actions.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Sense0326

      I guess you could also say Tim is exercising his rights as an American by criticizing the Southern Baptists.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  12. The real Tom

    "God's word says homosexuality is a choice."

    God's word also said that the world was created in six days, that the entire planet was flooded, and that shellfish and cloth of mixed threads were abominations.

    You morons who use the bible to excuse your hate are disgusting.

    June 1, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Hillcrester

      Southern baptists keep reminding us that some groups of people are beyond satirizing–their very lives are self-satirical.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Robert Smith

      good demonstration if poor reading comprehension.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • The real Tom

      No, Robbie, dear, my reading comprehension is fine. Your writing, however, sucks the big one.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tom, hate is not informing folks of His truth.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • The real Tom

      It isn't anyone's truth except yours, HS, you and idiots like you who use the bible as an excuse for hate. You hate gays. You hate atheists. You hate anyone who isn't just like you.

      June 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  13. Hrdwrknjoe

    Maybe they'll (So. Baptist Cult) will follow the path of their fairy tale about the Jews exodus from Egypt and wonder the desert for 40 years. This will give time for the old intolerant bigots to die off and the young bright inclusive enlightened to inherit the promised land of love and truth.

    Don't think any of your Gods/Deities are too happy with any of you at this point. Duck and cover!

    June 1, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  14. PR

    Well why would they support the Boy Scouts anymore? You have to teach bigotry at a very young age, if they are not able to get to these kids anymore, why would they continue to fund Boy Scouts?

    June 1, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
  15. albie

    i have to say ... i dont like gays but I like any sort of christian less

    June 1, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • SkepticalOne

      An equal opportunity hater. It must suck to be you.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  16. Cliff

    Wow, I wonder how many of these posters were boy scouts? Few at best. It was a good group to be associated with people, now it's going to be marginalized by maybe losing half of its membership or even we may be seeing the end of it., all on the account of someone making it a target of gay rights, (why the boy scouts I have no idea) Well, I hope your happy, the only ones you hurt were the kids.

    June 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • The real Tom

      So it wasn't hurtful to gay kids to exclude them?

      June 1, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Cliff

      BTW, before you ask, I was a boy scout, and gay "anything" never came up from what I remember, we were kinda too young (to a point) and to busy having fun and learning stuff.
      Sometimes things should be left to evolve on their own, rather than being forced. Like I said, the only ones hurt here were the kids, enjoy your "victory".

      June 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • PR

      So you are saying the bigotry should continue so the Boy Scouts can have money to fund more bigotry? Just trying to make sure II have it right...

      June 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Mark Marcie

      I did not need Boy Scouts to teach me anything, I needed quality parents.
      It is a private club, they chose to do it.
      You should not be so defensive, you should support your group.
      I on the other hand, do not mind if someone does not want to have their genes live on, makes it more possible for mine to live a better life. So the more gay people are allowed to be gay people, the better chances my children have to be productive member of society in the future. I do not need a old fairy tale to tell me what to believe, I have instincts.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Tim Jordan

      Was fondled by a scoutmaster, does that count?

      June 1, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Dan

      Right Cliff, go ahead and start whining about it now "reverse discrimination! reverse discrimination! Boo Hoo! We discriminated for decades but now that you want to integrate we don't get our clubhouse all to our morally superior selves anymore so it's not as fun, boo hoo...

      June 1, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      When I joined scouts, I lasted three weeks before I was excluded for being an atheist. It was probably just the local troops leaders, but it was apparent I was not welcome. Two of my friends in the troop continued for years...they were gay, hid it well and came out in college.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Cliff

      Wow I am really surprised, several people posted responses, and didn't get the point of my comment, it was neither against nor for gay rights. It was the point that a good group that helps kids has been damaged by being targeted for a political/social action, when maybe it shouldn't have. The old fashion think before you act? (and to some of the comments, you were fondled, what the heck am I supposed to say to that, sorry or at a boy?!? Replacing yer parents, where did ya get that, and the rest, get real.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Cliff, you should grow a thicker skin.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • tallulah13

      If people are pulling their children and their sponsorships from Scouting because they are no longer able to discriminate against children, then perhaps what emerges will be something more wholesome and supportable. While they lose religious support, they stand to gain from secular groups, families and businesses who were avoiding Scouting because of their policies.

      And I was never a Girl Scout. I was a Brownie, but by the time I was old enough to move up, our local Troop had been disbanded because the leaders had stolen our dues to buy coffee for themselves. It was fairly scandalous stuff, back in the day.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  17. Maui420L

    From Texas, moved to Dallas in '86.... Apartment owners refused to rent us a one bedroom Apt. because we were not married...
    Refused to rent to mixed race couples.... They are a very sick group of Hypocrites....

    June 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Dan

      They don't like to admit it, but many of those old bigots who voted against interracial marriage are still alive today, the great grandparents of some of these kids, and they are determined to keep their bigotry alive. "If it were good enuf fer my pappy, racism, se xism and bigotry are good enuf fer me!"

      June 1, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • J-Pap

      In my neck of the woods that would be discrimination and you could raise it with the residential tenancy board.

      June 1, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  18. Dave

    Former Boy Scout here – Life (never made Eagle ...). Scouting seems to have become something that is more prominent in more conservative, or at least tradition-oriented, families. Suspect the BSA will bake a huge hit here.

    I'm pro gay marriage – but don't believe this is necessarily a bigoted perspective. Misguided, IMO, but not necessarily bigoted. All part of a society working out it's norms.

    June 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
  19. Dan

    Discrimination is a choice.

    Hate is a choice.

    Se.xual Preference is not a choice.

    You do the math (unless being raised a Christian left you unable to work out simple math problems).

    June 1, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  20. telecomjunkie

    Pathetic. Use your brain and stop following an ancient book of fables.

    June 1, 2013 at 11:57 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.