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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. Bill

    The Baptists choose to punish honesty rather than to support and reward hypocrisy. As I recall, hypocrisy was called out as a sin as well, and in the New Testament too, by Jesus himself, not just in the Old. By taking this policy, the Baptists will be formally saying that they would rather gay scouts sit down and shut up so they don't have to be recognized. They know they exist, they know they are not going away, they just do not want to "see" them. Since that can't work anymore, the Baptists will punish the Scouts for being honest (a core Scout and Christian precept). Good job!

    June 1, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Bill,

      Where lays the "Girl Scouts" in all this manliness tirade of youthfully ever younger brazen sexual encounters to come to an end?

      June 1, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • Jabo

      Should gay male join the girl scouts and gay female join the boy scouts. That way you don't have gays hitting on straights.
      Which is the main conflict. Peace !

      June 1, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • Bill

      Girl Scout policy is they leave this up to the girl and her family. They do NOT ban anyone for being straight or not.

      June 2, 2013 at 12:58 am |
  2. Tony A

    Did I miss something? Is anyone surprised? This is the same organization that was against the civil rights movement and only recognized integration of African Americans in the early nineties. How do you think they would react to an organization and gay rights? Scouting will be stronger without their polarizing opinions.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
  3. jimkon

    Tell a devout Christian or Muslim that his wife is cheating on him, or that frozen yogurt can make a man invisible, and he is likely to require as much evidence as anyone else, and to be persuaded only to the extent that you give it. Tell him that the book he keeps by his bed was written by an invisible deity who will punish him with fire for eternity if he fails to accept its every incredible claim about the universe, and he seems to require no evidence what so ever.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Gadzooks

      Good definition of faith.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • G_Edwards

      Given that they don't believe those books were "written by an invisible deity," that pretty much invalidates your entire argument.

      You may want to earn about something before you attempt to criticize it.

      .

      June 1, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • Rick

      The Bible was written by approximately 40 different people over a 1600 year time span with over 600 fulfilled prophecies along with archaeological evidence with a central theme of the redemption of sinful man by a Holy God. You have the right to refute the Truth. Have you every sinned? Against who did you sin? God places guilt on you for you to realize that you need a Savior.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • jimkon

      I am fine with be punished eternally in Hell. Bring it on Satan.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • bj

      Jimkon: the bible itself defies 'faith' in what is unseen not in what does not exist. 11 apostles, separated by distance and time never reneged on their testimony and neither did the women who verified the resurrection of Christ. In a jury the testimony of 2-or 3 would be sufficient and we have both Christian and non-Christian testimony and dozens of witnesses and folks whose lives changed dramatically–who were martyred for a faith that in no way was a hallucination. We know the bible is 98.5 or above accurate from the earliest manuscripts and science knows the more versions one has the better. We believe in God because He supplied 2000 years of Jewish witnesses and over 200 'predictions' of a Jesus who 'fit the bill' and whose friends and enemies wrote of His ;power' and wrote of his 'witchcraft' (miracles). WE believe in the science of THE HISTORICAL RECORD AND THE TESTIMONY OF EYEWITNESSES. WHERE IS THE BODY? AND WHY DID THEY WILLINGLY DIE? HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN JESUS' FULFILLING OVER 200 PREDICTIONS? it's called historical fact. Faith is not a 'belief' like the magickal ridiculous belief of atheists in a a world and universe developing OUT OF NOTHIG (NOW THAT IS 'FAITH' LOL) BUT IN HISTORY AND RECORDS AND TESTIMONY.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
  4. Billy

    Sounds like yet another reason to ban organized scouting. And religious scouting alternative groups. Can't have nice things? Fine burn it all down... Seriously, what second grader even thinks about this stuff except those told what to think by their fanatic parents. This goes both ways people.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
  5. Dana R

    We will eventually infiltrate every organization except for the Muslims. We are afraid of them.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • .

      muslims kill your kind on sight but no matter as your kind is already killing themselves

      June 1, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • bj

      Hahhahahahahahahhh funneee Dana...heeeelarious...a knee-slapper. And yes, you should be afraid of the Muslims...very very very afraid...

      But more than that: you need to fear God and listen to Him.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
  6. Libsrtyrants

    Secular Humanist from Ohio said this:
    "Morality is not absolute. If it were slavery would still be ok."

    My response;
    Slavery was never OK in the sense that you think it was. And...
    Slavery is still morally, "OK", in certain situations.

    Morality is absolutely absolute.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Is that like being on double secret probation? Absolutely absolute!

      June 1, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Do tell, when is owning another person moral?

      June 1, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • Libsrtyrants

      When my enemy has conquered my people and almost completely exterminated them. I'm dead and my wife and kids beg the victors for their lives. It's either death or slavery. In that case, which happened over, and over, and over again in the ancient world, are you telling me slavery is not moral?
      Answer, please.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Death or slavery? Both are immoral. In each case the victims are the losers. Slavery may be preferable but it's still wrong. Stop trying to redefine what moral means.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      Either I choose to die or be a slave? Slavery based on the pain of death is not moral. If faced with the choice I would chose slavery but that does not make slavery moral.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      In fact, that comes under coersion, which is not moral.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
  7. Bill

    I agree the sooner they exit the Boy Scouts the better off the organization will be. Who cares if the leave it will only improve Boy Scouts without the religious nonsense shoved down the members throats. Maybe the Mormons will exit next.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • Dana R

      Wait until we get pedophilia legalized!!!!!

      June 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
  8. Jeremy B

    Don't let the Doorknob hit you where your good lord split you...

    June 1, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
  9. G24U

    It just shows the narrowed mindedness of the Baptist Church and how out of step they are with the real world. Same for Catholicism, which is a non-political organization when the IRS comes knocking at the door, but a different story come election time.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Fred

      When the Boy Scouts elected to become a freak show it was time for right-thinking people to disassociate themselves from the corrupted organization.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • G24U

      We will not mention Muslims because we are afraid of what they will do to us.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Libsrtyrants

      I know, right!
      Those crazy Christians, not being in step with the world.
      James 4:4
      John 7:7
      John 15:18-19
      Romans 12:2

      June 1, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • jazz guitar man

      We all need to accept that we are narrowed minded; i.e. we each have our beliefs. This is where I agree with conservatives that feel they are being attacked for their POV. By law we have the freedom to associate with those that we wish. There is nothing wrong about the Baptist Church cutting ties with the BSA. Just like there is nothing wrong with the BSA for changing their policy. Each should be free to go their own path (as long as that path isn't illegal).

      June 1, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
  10. bj

    Again, to the truly ignorant: the BSA are a private organization that has used public lands (which up until the haters changed things), like all private groups used to be able to do. The SBC IS UNDER NO OBLIGATION (TAX EXEMPT STATUS OR NOT) TO SUPPORT A PRIVATE GROUP. Get a grip haters. They do NOT have to support the BSA and their liberal agenda. And that is NO cause for them to lose their tax exempt status. They are a church, espousing their beliefs. You disagree....but you cannot change the law just because YOU insist they support YOUR love of certain kinds of behaviors and beliefs.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • jazz guitar man

      My POV is that all organizations should be taxed. Churches are businesses and they should be taxed. We see the stuff the IRS was pulling with regards to determining which groups should be taxed or not. It is folly to think the government can determine what a legit non taxable organiztion is or isn't. Thus I say tax them all.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
  11. jimkon

    all the prayers and faith and looking towards god are so depressing and vacant. It is man that is in control of these events, and it is to men that we must look for solutions. Our national deviation and inaction by seeking help in faith only delays our ability to deal with violence in our natures, in our society.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • Fred

      This ignorant comment of yours shows just how wrong you really are. America was great, number one in the world until the liberals decided we don't need God any more. Liberal judges removed prayer and the Bible from school and what has replaced them? Armed guards, metal detectors, and probation officers.
      What's America now? Aren't we somewhere around number twenty-three? Good job, libs.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • jimkon

      We are just getting what we asked for.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
  12. Jack

    I think this will eventually be good news for The Boy Scouts of America.
    With the religious organizations giving up the ideal of it becoming The Boy Creationists of America, perhaps Scouting can develop into what it should be, teaching boys and girls how to have a relationship with nature.

    I was a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Venturer, and Rover in Canada. The only religious instruction received during my time in Scouting was a veneration for the mythologies of the original peoples of North America. Their cultures described civilizations in balance with nature, and by providing the methods to respect all of nature, it allowed a young Scout like me the awareness that I was part of the natural world.

    In a world where the conquest of nature is proving to be a conceited idea with dire consequences, the world needs the ethics of Scouting more than ever.

    By teaching children to respect the natural world it teaches them to respect our future, that's what Scouting is all about.

    In the 21st century it's becoming obvious that no one is coming to save us from ourselves.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
  13. ChristianKoolaidFree

    I need no meds.. I just need christianity to go away so people can live and be free of judgement for things that shouldn't matter. We have so many more importamnt things to worry about in our lives beside whos gay or straight, who worships what, what cloro someones skin is, etc... Its all nonsense!

    June 1, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • bj

      Hey koolaid: who are YOU to judge what matters? I mean you just said you wished / thought Christianity should go away so that the world could be free of judgment. You know you just 'judged' Christianity right? And you set yourself up as knowing more and better what matters. Therefore you seem to have a god-complex. You think you are god and know what is good, right and relevant...and that Christians don't. So why are you judging others if judging is so bad????

      June 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Libsrtyrants

      bj,
      You shredded. Nicely done.
      The person who actually believes the outrageously shallow interpretation of "judge not", cannot ever correct a judgmental person (whether rudely or gently), for they would be breaking the command themselves.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
  14. Mac

    Ok then it is up to we secular humanists, atheists, agnostics etc etc to step up to the plate and sponsor these boys! You all can post thousands of comments bashing the Baptists (which of course they deserve) but that won't help the kids. Find a troop that is being dropped and help them out. Why because it is the right thing to do. Just give the BSOA in your city a call. Simple.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  15. Bob Life Scout 1980's

    was a scout, started with cub and went all the way to life, was 6 merit badges away from Eagle I found girls and lost interest. I had ADHD and English grammar was not my best of things, where I had to write some extreme papers to get my
    Eagle Scout. I have Gay family members who I will love no matter what. My main issues are that the gays need symbols or recognition. They took over my daughter’s favorite symbol from God which is the Rainbow. They seem to now take over my favorite Knot in boy scouts the Square Knot, meant to tie to different ropes of different sizes together. My main issue with this is symbolism. Not so much the choice of an individual. I was raised Baptist and seen what that has done to family members who are gay. I meet a first cousin when I was 18 year old who lived no more than 20 miles away for the first time at a family reunion that I had never seen before. I seen him sitting at the table and said, you look like someone I should be related to. Who are you... he told me his name and said I am your first cousin. I said WHAT! You are my FIRST! Cousin and I have never met you before? I said do you live far away and he said no. He lived in the next biggest town away. I was like SAY WHAT!... I could see my family giving me the eye and nodding their heads like trying to tell me stop asking... I said THIS IS NOT RIGHT! You are my first cousin who lives 20 miles away and I have never heard your name or ever seen you.... come to find out when they pulled me away that my first cousin was gay. The "Southern Baptist" family I came from bring his parents rejected him and shun him like some Amish out cast. I said to my mother, I do not care that he is gay... He is my first cousin and I should be able to know him and love him for being my cousin. Not that the choice he makes on what he does in private has nothing to do with him being my relative. I say to those who judge as Jesus has thought us not to judge others who are without sin. Jesus died for all men and woman people.. Strait, Gay, Atheist, we are all forgiven. I say to those who hate, if you had no other choice and felt only love for a man being a man or a woman loving a woman. Let God judge and forgive or accept. Not for us to decide we are only human and we are not God. So do not try and understand God... just because you read something that a man wrote down on paper means it is the only word of God.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • jimkon

      One problem – there is no god

      June 1, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
    • Fred

      Jesus also said, "Go and sin no more." That's the thing about gays: they want to ignore that part. They want to paint a picture of a Jesus that supports their sin.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
    • EVOLUTIONisTruth

      Get over yourself – your God beliefs are stupid and the fact your daughter doesn't like rainbows because they may be used as a symbol by gays is f'ing retarded

      June 1, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
    • Lee McBride

      Bob Life Scout 1980's – The Bible is the Word of God "breathed" through men and protected by God throughout the centuries. Not just written by a man – but transcribed by MANY men. We believe this through faith in God – that He wants us to know His Will in this evil world. 2 Timothy 3:16 says: "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right." Also, the more we read the Bible, the more our faith will increase: "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ." (Romans 10:17) It's easy to diminish the authority of the Bible by taking its verses out of context or by simply saying it's all B.S.. On the other hand, James 1:5 says, "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." The only requirement is an open and sincere heart.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
  16. Edweird69

    There is, no worldview more reprehensible in its arrogance than that of a religious believer: the creator of the universe takes an interest in me, approves of me, loves me, and will reward me after death; my current beliefs, drawn from scripture, will remain the best statement of truth until the end of the world; everyone who disagrees with me will spend eternity in hell… An average Christian, in an average church, listening to an average Sunday sermon has achieved a level of arrogance simply unimaginable in scientific discourse — and there have been some extraordinarily arrogant scientists.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
    • bj

      I'm sorry who's 'arrogant" Edweird? I think you need to reread your hateful post. Really. Maybe then you can see what is clearly wrong

      June 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • Edweird69

      @BJ – If I could only be half as hateful as believers, I'd be so proud of myself. These judgmental freaks think that anyone who doesn't believe like them deserves to be tortured forever and ever, via the most horrific, painful way as can be imagined. Anyone, with any common decency, would find that repulsive.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • bj

      Edweird: your statement is patently false. It has nothing to do with 'mind control' and group think. Christianity's message is very clear: you (and I) and every one is a sinner (the world and life proves that) in need of saving. You can't save yourself and need God's mercy. Simple. and Powerful. The truth: man is dead in sin. I don't care what people think. We all have the same disease: sin. God is not a tyrant. He is teling us the truth and we stick our fingers in our ears and go "NO"! ...but in side we know the truth. You don't have to agree but stop portraying a false evil view of Christianity. It's hateful and ignorant.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
    • Lee McBride

      Edweird69 – Why is it so hard for you to believe that the Creator of the universe (or universes for that matter) would not have any regard for what he has created? Is that truly arrogance for man to believe that... or a phony humility on your part?
      The scripture says that God even notices when a sparrow falls to the ground. (Matthew 10:29) Perhaps it's just easier for you to believe in some nebulous, apathetic creator (or none at all) than one you might have to be accountable to some day.

      June 1, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
  17. Hairy walrus

    Good deal! The Babs are haters of the first degree. And please don't come back.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • .

      Truth is not hate qu eer is hate

      June 1, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • Hairy walrus

      I am fine with ending up in Hell. We are going to party like crazy with Satan.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • .

      hell is a solitary confinement there will be no one to party with you will spend eternity in an unending torment with full knowledge that you alone are responsible for your predicament you will be broken and uncontrollable within nanoseconds no human being should ever go there it has been prepared as a punishment for disobedient spiritual beings of which you are not

      June 1, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • JR

      Calling anyone queer os the epitome of hate. And extremely juvenile. Grow up.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
  18. Michael

    So organizations that take a pro-gay stance can be hailed as heroes for standing up for what they believe in. Now we have an organization that stands up for what they believe in and they're vile bigots?

    I'm not a Southern Baptist, but if they want the opportunity to do what they believe is right shouldn't they have it? Calling names and talking about how wrong they are is the same as them telling you how wrong you are for allowing it. Neither is right.

    I see a lot of people on here that call for equal rights, fairness, and the right to believe in what you want...so long as it's the same belief as theirs.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • Edweird69

      Michael – Not at all. They have every right to do what they're doing. Nobody's stopping them. However, if they're going to be political, they must pay taxes. They should lose their tax exempt status, then they can do whatever they please.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • Fred

      Poor Edweird (emphasis on weird). Churches are tax exempt and he can't stand it. Doesn't matter if he wears his tin foil hat forwards, backwards, or sideways, it won't change that.
      You can't shut up the church and you can't shut up religious people. Deal with it.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Edweird69

      @Fred – and I emphasize RED. You are a red neck moron. My post makes complete sense, and you don't have an intelligent rebuttal.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
    • Fred

      I did give you an intelligent response. I'm not the moron here: you must have me confused with your family members.
      Christians have a right to speak up and remain tax exempt. No amount of name-calling on your part will change that.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Jan

      No one is saying that those who oppose gay behavior should not voice their opinion. However, the Southern Baptists are showing the world what flagrant hypocrites they are. The scouts have said that a person can be openly gay without being kicked out. That does not mean that those scouts are necessarily engaging in gay behavior. Being gay is not a sin, but they might believe gay behavior is, so they are kicking out straight scouts (on average 9 for every one gay person) just because the gay scout can let people know he is gay (not that he is necessarily engaging in gay behavior). They site the scripture as the reason. Scripture also says it is immoral and sinful to get a divorce. It also says it is not right that women speak in church, that it is not moral for a person to look on another with lust in their heart. So, will they get rid of those church leaders who have been divorced? or get rid of the mouthy women? or throw out all the fornicators who think lustful thoughts? Probably not. They have chosen the gay hobby horse to ride for a while.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      If you subst.itute "pro-integration" for "pro-gay" in that post, maybe, just maybe, you'll see what's wrong with it. Although I doubt it.
      And it's not "pro-gay". It's pro-equal rights.

      June 3, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
  19. EVOLUTIONisTruth

    Religion is Evil. Only in the name of religion will a normal person do wicked evil things. Rid yourself of religion and behole the truth will set you free.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • .

      is behole a qu eer thing

      June 1, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • bj

      Yeah cuz we all know how 'religious' Pol Pot, Stalin, Khmer Rouge, and gasp Obama are...LOL

      June 1, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • Hairy walrus

      I am going to party with you and Darwin in Hell.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  20. jimkon

    Incompatible religious doctrines have balkanized our world into separate moral communities, and these divisions have become a continuous source of bloodshed. Indeed, religion is as much a living spring of violence today as it has been at any time in the past. Religion has been the explicit cause of literally millions of deaths in recent decades.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • .

      atheists have brutally tortured and murdered more innocent people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries

      June 1, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • bj

      Yes, and the statistic seem to show that up to 50-200 million Chritians have been killed for their faith in the 20th Century alone....

      June 1, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      bj

      Go back to the sandbox, you're not ready to play with the big boys .

      June 1, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • KMDAB

      Prove it, ".".... I'll save you the time, you can't.

      June 1, 2013 at 9:17 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.