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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
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(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. FloydZepp

    Baptists certainly don't follow the teachings of Christ.

    June 2, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • BO

      Neither do atheists.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • Mirosal

      Bo, why would an Atheist follow the teachings of someone who might or might not have even existed, and if he did, he sure wasn't divive by any means of the word.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • critical

      True, Bo, but Atheists don't clam to.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:57 am |
  2. Shawn

    Baptists believe that ANY sin is a sin. If you do the smallest of sins, then you have sinned and will go to hell. To judge others is a sin. Yet they so openly judge others (in this case gay what group is next on their list? African American? Veterans? "Gay people are allowed into the military now, so military will no longer be allowed in the Baptists church." Sounds like that's already a rule if you ask the Westborough Baptist Church.
    What is truly amazing to me is how stupid the Baptists, especially the Southern Baptists sound and yet they can't hear how obviously flawed their thinking is. Well, if they are right and any sin is a sin, they should all enjoy each other’s company in Hell.

    June 2, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • Chris

      Are you listening to yourself? Your comments are far from the truth.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • Attack of the 50 Foot Magical Underwear

      @ Chris: explain, please. Shawn's comments sounded pretty accurate.

      June 2, 2013 at 9:01 am |
  3. Rebecca Gray

    Baptists are showing their true colors. I am sure there are many other groups and churches who will gladly sponsor the Boy Scouts.

    June 2, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • Ed

      why is it when a faith practices what it believes its called hate sure there are some people in the church who hate gays. but a true Christian hates the sin and not the sinner. I would not want my son around openly gay kids. for the fact that it would give them the mind set that gay is ok. where as in the bible it is not ok to be gay it is also not ok to hate the gay person. No other faiths will not come running to the scouts.

      June 2, 2013 at 9:06 am |
  4. David DeForge

    'It's not a hate thing,'...

    No, it is a hate thing. Perhaps try acting like Christ for a change?

    I know, what a concept huh...

    June 2, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • BO

      Like when Christ kicked the crooks out of the temple. You mean like that?

      June 2, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Ed

      Christ would of healed them from being gay dude. its not ok to hate gays. but its not ok to be gay either. it is a choice. a false spirit, a delusion. when God sends a strong delusion so that you should believe something else it a strong one.

      June 2, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • Grams

      Ed: how do you KNOW Christ would "heal them from being gay"? Just like he healed all our Vets who lost a limb in our wars? Just like he made the seven children who drowned in their school during the tornado on OK?

      June 2, 2013 at 9:24 am |
  5. Andrew

    KKKristianity is baaaaack.

    June 2, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • Bruce

      you do know there is a black president...of the southern baptist denomination

      June 2, 2013 at 8:59 am |
  6. BO

    If you want to eat manpole and stuff anuses – join NAMBLA.

    June 2, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • .

      "If you want to eat manpole and stuff anuses – join NAMBLA."

      Sociologists and psychologists hold that some of the emotionality in prejudice stems from subconscious attitudes that cause a person to ward off feelings of inadequacy by projecting them onto a target group. That's right folks homophobic people like this are just insecure and immature.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • BO

      And by the way, don't tell me it isn't a choice. I was gay for years, but have been straight for 18 months now. No more manpole for me.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • RichardWad

      Sounds like you've been fantasizing a little TOO much.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Jon O

      Well, that explains your behavior at least. Repressing your real desires for 18 months will lead anyone to think they're cool on the internet by trolling.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Pete

      "I was gay for years, but have been straight for 18 months now. No more manpole for me."

      Then you weren't gay moron, you're a bisexual.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • hannah1

      YOU ARE SICK!

      June 2, 2013 at 8:55 am |
  7. downinfront

    Good.

    June 2, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • M

      The Southern Baptists' replacement for the scouts – the Camping Crusaders for Christ (CCC). Boy that has a nice KKK ring to it. Onward my Christian soldiers.....

      June 2, 2013 at 8:54 am |
  8. hannah1

    The Baptist KKKers will hate forever. Who would WANT to join an organization full of hateful bigots anyway? Some cultures will NEVER evolve! The South is filled with HATERS of all kinds.

    June 2, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • Ben Johnson

      Hmm, well who would want to join an organization with clear christian morals as its basic tenet? Boy, do you sound stupid.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • SoThisIsNews

      So you hate haters. That makes a whole lot of sense.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • Bruce

      i think there are haters in all groups of the world. it doesn't mean that you should hate the entirety of the group or what they stand for. you would be a good example of a blindly hateful leftist, but i don't assume all leftists are like that.

      June 2, 2013 at 9:05 am |
  9. Perfect

    Seriously – perfect, let them go. Any group that isn't willing to exist in the real world in a reality-based space and chooses to segregate themselves from the larger society is free to do so. Sadly, for irrationally fear-filled parents you are stripping away your child's future ability to exist comfortably in the WORLD. You are stripping away their future ability to understand differences in people and cultures, you are setting them up for failure in business, education and personal relationships. Gay people ARE REAL, they, to follow the Baptist style of life – were ALSO CREATED BY GOD (GOD/GAY – epically similar words....) and in the end these scared folks will define a smaller and smaller and smaller world for themselves and they will ultimately become extinct. Which is fine by me. We as a species have far more important things to worry about than if a few of you don't want to play nice with the rest of us. Best of luck to you.

    June 2, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • danit

      The real world God created and man is not the one to change it on the behalf of the way they run their personal lives. Churches are operated according to the bible so therefore why would the gay have rights to change the faith of a religion. Create your own church and faith.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:52 am |
  10. Robin Bray

    Baptists are the most boring small minded apes on the planet. Drown them all and let science work it out.

    June 2, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • Ben Johnson

      *lafs* Yeah, you show how to be civil and tolerant sweetheart.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • hannah1

      I absolutely love you!

      June 2, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • MoreGoodNews

      ...and we are supposed to be tolerant of you?

      June 2, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  11. chris688

    I don't understand. I thought Jesus taught to accept and love everyone, and to leave judgement to God.

    June 2, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • Ben Johnson

      Yes. So don't judge the Baptists for their beliefs. Practice what you're attempting to preach.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • chris688

      Where did I judge anyone in my post?

      June 2, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • Andrew

      They evade property taxes and have officially become a hate group. Their law is for them. It's totally used out of context and skips all the other Ancient Jewish Law, conveniently.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • Bruce

      how does not being part of a group show no love? are you part of peta? if not, then you must hate animals.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • chris688

      Bruce, of course they have every right not to be part of the group. Their reasoning is what I am questioning.

      June 2, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • Bruce

      the group gave their reason. you can choose to believe it or not. but, i don't think it's fair to believe it's motivated by hate since hate is such a strong word. they don't agree with the policies of the boy scouts so they chose not to be part of it.

      June 2, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Ex-Scout supporter

      You are so right. Christ taught us to love thy neighbor as we love ourselves. I'd like to have these "Christians" to show me where Christ taught us to hate Gays.
      What really upsets me is we had gay Scouts in my troop in the 60s – 70s. I also had a gay adult leader at one time. It wasn't until so called Christian churches started throwing their weight around that this became an issue. It's these churches that are destroying the Boy Scouts with their intolerance. It is adults that are doing this. I've given my Eagle Scout award back to the BSA, as I want nothing to do with them, their intolerant rules, their giving in to hate groups.
      By the way who do the Baptists want out of the Scouts next? Muslims? Mormon? Catholics? It sounds like they want it the Baptist Scouts of America or better yet the Bigot Scouts of America!

      June 2, 2013 at 9:15 am |
  12. Bob C.

    LOL – God's word. That's a laugh. He means some man's word saying it's God's. Ridiculous.

    June 2, 2013 at 8:48 am |
  13. David Thompson

    Southern Baptist Convention is the single largest population of mentally ill adults, who in turn are making mentally ill children. The BSA is by far better off without those sick SOBs. Good riddance.

    June 2, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • dt

      SOUTHERN BAPTIST = AMERICAN TALIBAN

      June 2, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • Ben Johnson

      Somehow I don't think they will. While they may continue for awhile, I don't think you'll find the dedication from membership like we've seen before. Because of its newfound ambiguity with regards to religious foundation, it will now be forced to be supported by those that my not have the same conviction or dedication to its basic principles. I think we're seeing the beginning of the end of the scouts.

      June 2, 2013 at 9:04 am |
  14. Thomas Paine

    I know how subtle intimidation works. Let me guess, gay groups social media each other about a story and collectively come here trying to take away freedom of choice by way of intimidation and reverse hate speech. Have at it.
    Baptists are free to choose. Like it or leave the USA.

    June 2, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • Robin Bray

      Loser.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • Jon O

      Intimidation?

      Go eat it.

      The BSA changing its policies after a democratic vote among its voting members is them changing due to the social tide in the world – and America, which is actually lagging behind – changing.

      It isn't intimidation at all, any more that businesses who lost business for continuing to be segregated magically deciding not to discriminate anymore.

      They made a choice – after a VOTE.

      Now run along, you make-believe oppressionist. I know you people hate to see democracy at work, easier just to blame all the scary stuff on evil conspiracies and nasty boogie men.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • M

      Pretty brazen to use the name "Thomas Paine." You might want to read some of what he wrote so you understand the man

      June 2, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • Pete

      "Let me guess, gay groups social media each other about a story and collectively come here trying to take away freedom of choice by way of intimidation and reverse hate speech. Have at it."

      You probably would have said the same thing to African Americans or women when they were fighting for their civil rights.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • Jon O

      "Freedom of choice."

      Hey look everyone, the basement dwelling hero here thinks a "vote" is taking away freedom of choice.

      What's it like to be the most stupid person on the planet? Takes real gall – real feal-monger bigotry – to redefine a VOTE as being anything other than a CHOICE.

      Derpity doo, silly nazi.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • David Thompson

      Yes the baptist are free to choose. Let's hope they choose mass suicide. Yep 16 million dead SBC would be a good start. Is that politically correct enough.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • Thomas Paine

      No. Jon O, M or Pete. You "guys" are so full of anonymous intimidation. Pettifogging the story and reader comments to support your narrative.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:59 am |
  15. JJ

    Yes, it is hate, and no, it has nothing to do with christianity. The bible says a lot of other things, such as the fact that any woman who marries and is not found to be a virgin will be stoned to death. To the baptists, I say "Don't let the door hit you in the ass." The country does not need your hateful, vile souls.

    June 2, 2013 at 8:46 am |
    • Bruce

      why do you think this is motivated by hate? i'm a member at sam's club, but if the stores didn't continue to sell the items i wanted or give the services i needed, then i would no longer want and need to be a member. it wouldn't be motivated by hate.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:52 am |
  16. RichardWad

    I thought the goal of Southern Baptists was to evangelize "sinners". I didn't realize it was to sequester themselves from anything they feel is wrong. If Jesus and the apostles had behaved this way, there would be no "southern baptists" today! Christians are becoming more passionate about maintaining their righteous status and LIFESTYLE than they are about their alleged mission. They say they believe the Bible but they certainly don't seem to believe in the parts that inconvenience them!

    June 2, 2013 at 8:46 am |
  17. Mike in SA

    Good for them. I love how the Left, the LGBT's, and others rant and rave over something like this where there is a clear violation of a church's tenet (regardless if you believe in the church or not) and when a company like Staples refuses to allow a law abiding, veteran run, gun-shop from participating in an event, it's great and they are doing the right thing with the evil gun industry.

    Can you all not even see the level of your hypocrisy?

    June 2, 2013 at 8:45 am |
    • M

      The Southern Baptists' replacement for the scouts – the Camping Crusaders for Christ (CCC). Boy that has a nice KKK ring to it. Onward my Christian soldiers.....

      June 2, 2013 at 8:46 am |
    • .

      "a clear violation of a church's tenet "

      James

      The scriptures actually say nothing about homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. Our understandings of sexual orientation are distinctly modern ones that were not present in the minds of Scripture writers. A few passages of Scripture (seven at the most) object to certain types of same-sex expressions or acts. The particular acts in question, however, are sexual expressions which are exploitative, oppressive, commercialized, or offensive to ancient purity rituals. There is no Scriptural guidance for same-sex relationships which are loving and mutually respecting. Guidelines for these relationships should come from the same general Scriptural norms that apply to heterosexual relationships.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • RichardWad

      You seem to be confused about the definition of hypocrisy. An example of hypocrisy would be claiming to be a "believer" yet still stockpiling weapons for your fantasy "race war". Now waddle back to the kitchen and get that hot grease off the stove before you burn down your trailer.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • G. W. Bush

      You are a steaming pile of shi┼.
      To hate someone for who they love is sickening.

      June 2, 2013 at 9:03 am |
  18. gardengirl

    I just may sign my child up now even though they discriminate against atheists, which I find reprehensible. I support gay rights 100%. Straight as can be and my child is, too. no problems with him being around gay people. I'm sure some of his school friends are already.

    June 2, 2013 at 8:45 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Now if only more people were like you the world would be a better place.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:50 am |
  19. Joseph Bleaux

    Wrong. It IS a hate thing. He's a lying p.o.s.

    June 2, 2013 at 8:45 am |
  20. BO

    All this fuss over a genetic disorder.

    June 2, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • .

      "All this fuss over a genetic disorder."

      YeahRight

      The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      Like their heterosexual counterparts, many gay and lesbian people want to form stable, long-lasting, committed relationships. Indeed, many of them do and that large proportions are currently involved in such a relationship and that a substantial number of those couples have been together 10 or more years.

      Research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners closely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty, and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Research examining the quality of intimate relationships also shows that gay and lesbian couples have levels of relationship satisfaction similar to or higher than those of heterosexual couples.

      A large number of gay and lesbian couples raise children. Children and teenagers whose parents provide loving guidance in the context of secure home environments are more likely to flourish – and this is just as true for children of same-sex parents as it is for children of opposite-sex parents. Based on research findings, mental health professionals have also reached a consensus that the quality of relationships among significant adults in a child’s or adolescent’s life is associated with adjustment. When relationships between parents are characterized by love, warmth, cooperation, security, and mutual support, children and adolescents are more likely to show positive adjustment. In contrast, when relationships between parents are conflict-ridden and acrimonious, the adjustment of children and adolescents is likely to be less favorable. These correlations are just as true for children of same-sex parents as for children of opposite-sex parents.

      Assertions that heterosexual couples are inherently better parents than same sex couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children of heterosexual parents, have no support in the scientific research literature. On the contrary, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterosexual parents has consistently shown that the former are as fit and capable as the latter and that their children are as psychologically healthy and well adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:45 am |
    • BO

      So if it's not a genetic disorder it's a choice right?

      June 2, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • .

      "So if it's not a genetic disorder it's a choice right?"

      Erik

      Being gay is not a choice science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

      All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

      Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

      In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

      The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

      On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

      Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

      But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

      This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

      The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

      Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

      Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • Secular Humanist from Ohio

      It's a genetic disorder like brown hair is a genetic disorder.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:54 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      BO: Being genetic does not make it a disorder. It is not any more a choice than being hetero is. Try reading what was posted in response to you instead of sounding like a bigoted ass.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • HeavenSent

      One word. Denial.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:59 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.