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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. jcraig1957

    Any chance you get to be rid of the freaking Baptists is a GOOD thing!

    June 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  2. Over 40,000 sects of insanity

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one (over 4,000,000 members) in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage. One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags". Many of these sects are equally divergent on the roles of women in society.

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri. Some believe the Pope is the Antichrist. Some believe Obama is the Antichrist.

    Some believe that celibacy is the only option for certain people, or for people in certain positions. Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but pretend not to understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease.

    Recently we learned from CNN of a child dying when their parents, members of a Christian sect in Philadelphia, as part of their faith, refused medical care.

    Conflicted right from the start, Christianity continues to splinter, creating more and more extreme divisions, with each division trying to assert itself as some true messenger of the word of the Christian God.

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    (Thomas Jefferson, from Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785)

    June 1, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • mama k

      The conflicted nature of Christianity alone is enough to consider any notion of objective morality laughable.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • Raider

      Yep, they're a messed up bunch all right.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • lol??

      Still stuck on Konflicted, mama K?? An XX will never get it. Ask yer hubby fer help on it.

      June 1, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • ..

      So which of the 40,000 variations on absolute "truth" are you lol??? Go pound sand – you're better at that.

      June 1, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Joe

      Christianity isn't splintered. There is a consistent truth. Jehovah's Witnesses deny the Jesus of the Bible, changing the book. Mormons deny the truth of the Bible, with their own book. Catholicism has all kinds of rituals and beliefs that are not biblical. Real true Christianity is consistent with what the Bible really teaches. All religions are not, and all religions differ, including those that pass themselves off as " Christian". Christianity is not a religion. All religions are based on man's works, and his own ability to be good enough. True Christianity is different from all of them. It's not some silly belief system or philosophy. Most people who claim some kind of "Christian" belief, really are not.

      June 1, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Chris

      Joe: What books of the Bible are real? Why exclude the ones you do? Why include the ones you do? The "standard" Bible does not include nearly all the possible books.

      June 2, 2013 at 5:11 am |
  3. M

    The Southern Baptist Taliban.

    June 1, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  4. Sean T

    buh bye hate mongers

    good riddance

    June 1, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • jetfuel4

      yep....at least you can save a 100k youths....to bad we can't save more

      June 1, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  5. texasnotea

    Being gay and being a Pedifile are two completely different things. But when you are misinformed and forced by the church to believe lies,it is expected. Shame on the Baptist Church for turning away from God's children.

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

      Matthew 5:29-30

      Amen.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • ..

      Don't they have toys that recite Bible verses? It seems HS is just a toy.

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

      Only little toys refuse what God commanded in Genesis 1:22.

      June 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
  6. I'm Outside

    Ignorant, hateful, backward fools. Please, pull all your support and then we can build the Boy Scouts back up from the ground without your bigoted input.

    June 1, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • lol??

      Where were you at the start?? You didn't build that.

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

      Typical unbeliever, destroy what others have built, steal their ideas, call it something else, and claim it like you did something to create.

      June 1, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Sure, HeavenSent, like all those evil modern citizens who believe in women's right of self determination and racial equality stole the US from those who built it. They should just have gone off to found a new country.

      June 1, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Saraswati, you are a coward. Christian women are the backbone of civilization. Not to mention bringing forth new generations. You don't know what womens lib is.

      June 1, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @HS, If I'm a "coward" exactly what is it I'm afraid of?

      June 1, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  7. SkyKing169

    Nah nah nah nah,
    Nah nah nah nah,
    Hey hey hey,
    Good bye!

    June 1, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  8. Texan

    Baptists men in Texas have always had there own scouts ...http://www.texasbaptistmen.org/Ministries/RoyalAmbassadors/tabid/143/Default.aspx

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

      Their, not there. Don't they use English in Texas?

      June 1, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  9. SkyKing169

    Well, Baptists, the New Testament of the Bible recounts the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The Old Testament, before he was born, is full of hate and killing and retaliation. Then along came this man about 2000 years ago, who introduced the concept of Grace, that His Father, who created us, loves us all, as you love your children. It is agape love, without condition. You need only be reminded of Jesus's actions that were recorded by the physician Luke, in his encounter in Jericho with the reviled and disfigured Zacchaeus. If you forgot, you'll find it in Luke 19:1 – 10. 'Jesus received him joyfully. And when they [people like you] saw it, they all murmured, saying that he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.' Acting as Jesus did is real Christianity.
    So, Baptists, Good Bye. Don't let the door hit you on the . . .

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

      Jesus said,

      Matthew 5:29-30

      29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell.

      30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell

      Amen.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  10. Texan

    Baptists men in Texas have always had there own scouts ....https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/31/southern-baptists-to-urge-churches-and-members-to-cut-boy-scout-ties/?hpt=hp_t2

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

      Their, not there. Don't they use English in Texas?

      June 1, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  11. texasnotea

    BYE!

    June 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  12. Mikey K.

    I wonder how many of the people who support gays in the boy scouts have big families and fly american flags in their front lawns?

    June 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • The Deist

      What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

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

      @Mikey K.

      You said, "I wonder how many of the people who support gays in the boy scouts have big families and fly american flags in their front lawns?"
      Why wouldn't they? Equal rights and equal access is the penultimate American value.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Mikey K.

      I just realized that people who support gays in the Boy Scouts are not the people who share the same values as the people who founded the Boy Scouts.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Chet Huntley

      And those that don't have bed sheets with eye-holes cut in them.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Mikey K.

      It's true though right? None of you guys fly American flags or have big families..... am I right? I am running through my list of lib friends and I can't think of a single one with a lot of kids.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • Chet Huntley

      How many is considered a big family? 15, 20 is the mommy also their aunt?

      June 1, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • Mikey K.

      I was thinking like 4 kids or more. Anyone? How about the flag thing? Any libs flying American flags out there?

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

      The two obviously gay guys that live half a block from me fly a big American flag on a real flagpole in their front yard, though for obvious reasons they don't have a big family. Not to stereotype, but I will say they have the nicest yard on the block though 🙂

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

      Mikey,

      The average fertility in the US is down to to 1.89 children per woman. The world has changed and people are having fewer children than their parents and grandparents due to very simple economic, environmental and lifestyle realities. Those few people having more children tend to be less educated and care relatively little for the costs they bring to their neighbors and the environment.

      June 1, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Mikey K.

      You said, "It's true though right?"
      No. It's only your perception.

      You said, "None of you guys fly American flags or have big families."
      I fly the flag every day. I don't have a large family, but that is by choice. There are plenty of people in the world.

      Large families was a way of ensuring enough of them survived to adulthood to take care of the parents in their old age, and keep the farm in operation. Now, with the advances of modern medicine, just over two children will do the trick.

      The practices of the time were written into the holy texts. It's dumbfucks that today still put stock in that.

      June 1, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Mikey K.

      Point taken with the nice lawns. The gay people I know are some of the cleanest people around. I guess my point was that families and Patriotism are being eroded over time.... as is the Boy Scouts. I see a future without many parents who stick together, smaller families, people joining the military for the perks. Wonder what the future holds for the good 'ol US of A?

      June 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm |

    • The Mushroom War, Mikey.

      June 1, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @LinCA – "Equal rights and equal access is the penultimate American value."

      I don't think I understand. ??

      June 1, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Mikey K.

      I just had another interesting thought. I wonder how libs versus cons see the future? Maybe that is why libs don't care about the family, etc. Because they think the world is sucking and heading for demise anyhow? First time I had this thought.

      June 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Mikey K.

      Have you ever considered that most things are not binary and reality is usually intricately nuanced?

      June 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Mikey K.

      and here we had a semi interesting conversation going without any caps or weirdos....

      June 1, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Mikey K. –

      Was your "weirdos" comment directed at me. Am I to take from that comment that you have never considered that not everything can be pigeonholed into one of two categories?

      June 1, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Mikey K.

      You said, "I just had another interesting thought."
      Careful. Don't hurt yourself.

      You said, "Maybe that is why libs don't care about the family, etc."
      You seem to equate a large family with caring about your family. Noting could be further from the truth. If that were the case, conservatives would soon have an absolute majority, as there is a strong correlation between someone's political leanings and their upbringing.

      You said, "Because they think the world is sucking and heading for demise anyhow?"
      That is actually pretty prevalent among fundamental christians, who are also almost exclusively conservative.

      June 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Mikey K.

      I could have mistaken you for a weirdo when in fact you are just someone who uses ridiculously complicated words during their every day lives. If so, I apologize.

      June 1, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
    • Mikey K.

      @LinCA

      I didn't mean "care for their family" I meant care for "the family". I know a lot of libs who love their kid. I meant for the idea of the family in general... as for what it used to stand for, (man and women parents who stick together through thick and thin and have lots of kiddos)

      June 1, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Mikey K. –

      You've used the term "lib" five times in this thread. I wonder if you would mind giving the precise definition for the term as you use it...that might be helpful.

      June 1, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Really-O?

      You said, "I don't think I understand. ??"
      The founding principle of the US is that all men are equal. There is no nobility. There is no ruling class (in principle, anyway). It was the guiding principle for the formation of the republic and at the core of the bill of rights.

      Supporting equal rights for everyone, and equal access to everything, is at the core of the US. Denying equal rights and equal access is un-American.

      June 1, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • Mikey K.

      I don't have a precise definition. To me it means "left leaning".

      June 1, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Mikey K. –

      Fair enough. What do you mean when you say, "left leaning"?

      June 1, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Mikey K.

      You said, "I didn't mean "care for their family" I meant care for "the family"."
      Families come in different shapes and sizes. A family with two dads and an adopted child is just as much a family with a catholic mom and dad with twelve biological children, even if they don't all share the same dad. Care for "the family" isn't limited to those that are large, or religious, or opposite sex.

      You said, "I know a lot of libs who love their kid."
      Or kids. There are also large families that ave liberal views.

      June 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @LinCA –

      Got it, thanks. I assumed as much – I was just confused by "penultimate" (I'm sure you meant to type "ultimate").

      Cheers

      June 1, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Mikey K.

      Hockey game is about ready to start. What I have learned from this conversation:

      1) It is possible to have a semi interesting discussion in a CNN soundoff.... difficult, but possible.
      2) There are left leaning folks who fly American flags.
      3) I won't be putting my 4 year old boy in the scouts. Had planned to but will find some other orgs like 4H or something like that. Kind of a bummer cause I was in the scouts and had fully planned for my kid to be in the scouts. But, as you all have said... "Times are Changing". I agree that times are changing but I am not sure it is for the better =(

      Anyhow, Mikey out,

      Go Kings!

      June 1, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Really-O?

      You said, "Got it, thanks. I assumed as much – I was just confused by "penultimate" (I'm sure you meant to type "ultimate")."
      Shit. I completely missed that. Twice. I suspect I had a typo and accepted the suggested correction without reading it. Goes to show that there is always room for improvement.

      Thanks.

      June 1, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Saraswati, you posted to Mikey, "The average fertility in the US is down to to 1.89 children per woman. The world has changed and people are having fewer children than their parents and grandparents due to very simple economic, environmental and lifestyle realities. Those few people having more children tend to be less educated and care relatively little for the costs they bring to their neighbors and the environment."

      Answer: Denying God's truth in:

      Genesis 1:22
      And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

      Genesis 7:15
      And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein [is] the breath of life.

      Romans 7:7
      What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

      Galatians 5:16
      [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

      James 1:15
      Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

      1 John 2:16
      For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

      Amen.

      June 1, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @HS, and that is precisely why I wouldnt trust the future of this planet to a fundamentalist Christian?

      June 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
  13. Jean

    Not a First Baptist.....but seriously I do not blame them. AFTER WHAT HAS GONE ON IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCHES AND LETS NOT FORGET "COACH SANDUSKY".......IT IS A GREAT LIABILITY TO HAVE AN ALLIANCE WITH AN ORGANIZATION THAT IS SETTING THEMSELVES UP FOR A SEVERAL LAWSUITS. Pe-rverts come in all packages.....but lets face it....many are drawn to this type of set up. The Boy Scouts of America are about to make the most stu-pid, politically correct decision in the history of their organization....allowing g-ay adults. Have worked in childcare most of my life......do not have words for the stupidity being shown by these decisions

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

      You're not a well spoken and well informed person.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • The Deist

      They're allowing scouts who identify as gay, not scout leaders. Go bury yourself.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • mama k

      Supervision of children is supervision of children.
      Gays are gays.
      Pedos are pedos.

      If you don't know the difference between the items above, then you probably shouldn't be working with children.

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

      I can understand not being well-spoken, but being willfully ignorant of human nature does take some doing.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Someone who is gay is not the same as someone who is a pedophile. And a bibliophile is not a pedophile either, for you Roy Comfort followers.

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

      Jean <-- The ignorance is strong with this one

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

      mama k, your parents lacked that supervision quality. Look how you turned out.

      June 1, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Chris

      Most pedophiles identify as straight, actually.

      June 2, 2013 at 4:01 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Jean: Maybe this will shed some light on your ignorance: http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html

      June 2, 2013 at 4:05 am |
  14. oldowl

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

    And there's a 100% chance that the Boy Scouts of America will be better off without this false religion.

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

    Good. Don't let your twisted version of the Bible hit you in the @ $$ on your way out! Go start your own cesspool of bigotry, maybe you can join up with the KKK; they would love to have your ilk.

    Southern Baptists have been trouble makers first and foremost wherever they have gone, and they are still up to no good. If it's Neo-Cons and Swastika lovers you're looking for, look no further than your local Southern Baptist "Convention/Clavicle," whatever.

    These stinkers are rabid and venomous. I know, b/c I came from a family that was infested by them. They truly, truly, truly SUCK!

    June 1, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  15. M

    If only the Southern Baptists could see their future, with more moderate and reasonable congregation members slipping away, leaving them with more and more extreme members – the Souther Baptist Taliban. I already feel more members slipping away to the "nones" category, and they are welcome!

    June 1, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  16. The other part of the story.

    If men were willing to come out with the fact that they had same s8x experiences as a boy, young man by way of experiment and raging hormones but were always hetro and the deed did not turn them gay. This also happens with most abused children the horrible act does not change their orientation.

    June 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • M

      Your religion has shriveled your mind, and unfortunately your choices has been to do nothing about it. Shame on you.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  17. mama k

    A poster below wrote that God hates the sin of homosexuality.

    Religions that agree with devin's statement claim such a notion as an absolute moral truth. We know such notions are founded in ancient writings from millennia past. For many things we have learned about through science, beliefs have had to adapt to keep from looking silly and being out of date with current knowledge. This is simply another time where fundamental religions are struggling to keep up with current knowledge and throwing a hissy fit about the discomforting situation they find themselves in.

    We know that homosexuality has always been a naturally occurring feature across many species including mankind, and science is now getting closer and closer to answers on how it survives across generations. Now that the scientific research shows that homosexuality is not a choice, but formed very early via epigenetic factors (resistant to change), religions that abhor homosexuality look sillier than ever on the issue. For Christians in particular, I would also say their their wildly conflicting Biblical interpretations regarding a wide array of topics including this one is just another indicator that their objective truths are anything but objective.

    June 1, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Southernsuga

      Romans 1:25

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

      There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

      Amen.

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

      Southernsuga, you should have included Romans 1:26 – 31 as well.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • The Deist

      Matthew 22:39

      June 1, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • mama k

      I see, so rather than discussing an issue of discomfort, bloggers that have responded can do no better than circle back into their scripture. Very telling.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • oldowl

      BTW re: the statement in the article: "'God’s word explicitly says ho mo se xu al it y is a choice, a sin,' said Reed, pastor of First Baptist Church of Gravel Ridge in Jacksonville, Arkansas" ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE in the Bible does it say that ho mo se xu al it y is a "choice" and therefore it is a "sin." NOWHERE! While some Baptists build their houses on the sh a me of judgementalism, God knows that ho mo se xu al it y is NOT a choice! So, I would challenge Mr. Reed or anyone else to quote me the infamous passage in Bible that says ho mo se xu al it y is a choice. Take all the time you want: it isn't in there like the lying preacher tried to slip it in to those who don't know what is and what is not in the Bible. So, absent PROOF that the Bible does say that, then I will conclude that he, representing the Baptist Church is a liar as they all are, who don't come forward to correct him and expel him from the so-called church for being a false prophet, a liar and the father of lies. On your mark, get set, GO!

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

      OMG! They're quoting the bible!

      *smacks self in forehead*

      [sarcasm] We should all be chrisitians [/sarcasm]

      June 1, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • ES0724

      I'm guessing you didn't include Romans 1:32 in your recommendation because it condones putting them to death. How shameful of you to try to hide the truly disgusting violence in the book you use to justify your bigoted opinions.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Genesis 1:22
      And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

      Genesis 7:15
      And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein [is] the breath of life.

      Romans 7:7
      What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

      Galatians 5:16
      [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

      James 1:15
      Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

      1 John 2:16
      For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

      Amen.

      June 1, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
  18. Walt

    I was born and raised a Baptist.

    I was taught, both in Sunday School and during church services, that the doors of the church (a Baptist Church) are open to everyone, and that includes even those we might perceive as being sinners.

    The BSA is simply following the very teachings of the Baptist Church. The BSA is NOT advocating boys being gay. It is welcoming/accepting those boys who just MIGHT be gay.

    June 1, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Walt

      You said, "I was born and raised a Baptist."
      You were born an atheist. You were indoctrinated as a baptist.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • M

      Actually, we're born not knowing anything – neither believer nor non-believer, but we're definitely not born as sinners.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • lol??

      Pro 15:28 The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • lol??

      Gen 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart [is] evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Athy

      How can you be born a Baptist? Is it some kind of genetic disease?

      June 1, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Revelation 21:8

      But the fearful, and u.nbelieving, and the a.bominable, and m.urderers, and w.horemongers, and s.orcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

      Amen.

      June 1, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
  19. GREAT NEWS!

    This is great news! I hate to hear about young kids being brainwashed by religion anyways. I just wish this had happened sooner. No religion should be "affiliated" with anything to do with kids. Just look at the catholic church.
    Another reason I'm happy to be an athiest!

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

      Yes, the lost do everything backwards.

      June 1, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  20. Thee Ox

    Thee agrees: Leave the Boy Scouts, AKA The Rump Rangers ASAP or sooner. The Boy Scouts are supposed to teach boys how to be MEN, not sissys. Whats next" A New Badge for properly applying the Vaseline?

    Drop 'em like a bad habit.

    June 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • The Deist

      Just another woman fearing redneck...nothing to see here.

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

      Genesis 1:22
      And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

      Genesis 7:15
      And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein [is] the breath of life.

      Romans 7:7
      What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

      Galatians 5:16
      [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

      James 1:15
      Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

      1 John 2:16
      For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

      Amen.

      June 1, 2013 at 6:21 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.