June 12th, 2013
02:32 PM ET

Big Baptist group urges ouster of Boy Scout execs

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
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(CNN) - The Southern Baptist Convention, the country's second largest church, said Boy Scout executives who pushed to allow openly gay Scouts without properly consulting members should be ousted from office.

In a resolution approved Wednesday at their annual meeting, Southern Baptist leaders stopped short of urging churches to cut ties with local troops in protest of the Scouting change, but didn't encourage them to stay, either.

Either way, the historic decision to allow gay Scouts could "complicate basic understandings of male friendships, needlessly politicize human sexuality, and heighten sexual tensions within the Boy Scouts,” the Baptist resolution says.

The Boy Scouts of America initially planned to lift its longtime ban on openly gay youth without canvassing members, Southern Baptists charged in a resolution that passed overwhelmingly.

The executives behind that plan should be removed, the Baptists said.

With 16 million members in some 45,000 congregations, the Southern Baptist Convention is the country’s largest Protestant denomination.

Baptists as a whole, including several smaller denominations, sponsor about 4,000 Scouting units representing 100,000 youths.

“We have a deep respect for the Southern Baptist Convention and its churches that use Scouting in their youth ministries,” said Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America.

“Scouting’s youth member policy is not about the BSA condoning homosexuality, or forcing its chartered organizations to do the same.”

After BSA leaders floated the idea of allowing gay youths in January, more than 60% of the BSA's 1,400-member national council approved the change in May. It takes effect Jan. 1.

The BSA will continue to prohibit any sexual conduct - heterosexual or homosexual - among its youth. The ban on openly gay leaders continues as well.

Membership in Boy Scouts has declined nearly 20% since 1999. About 2.7 million young people now participate nationwide.

Boy Scouts to allow gay youths to join

Smith said opening membership to gay youth “allows Scouting to be more compassionate in its response to a young person who expresses a same-sex attraction.”

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

Several of the largest religious sponsors, including the Mormon church, the United Methodist Church and the Roman Catholic Church, have indicated that they do not plan to disaffiliate from the BSA.

Still, many conservative congregations, particularly Southern Baptists, have pledged to cut ties with local troops, and some pastors on Wednesday called on the entire denomination to do likewise.

“We should stand firmly and keep ourselves from having to revisit this issue in future years,” Pastor Mike Janz of First Baptist Church of Rosamond, California, said Wednesday at the Baptist meeting.

Janz’s proposal to urge all Southern Baptists to disaffiliate from the Scouts was handily defeated Wednesday.

Still,  some top Southern Baptist leaders predict that congregations will leave the Scouts "en masse."

Baptists plan exodus from Boy Scouts

Pastor Charlie Dale of Indian Springs First Baptist Church in Alabama said churches and Scouts should help, not bar, boys who believe they are gay.

“Such a boy needs love,” Dale said. “So let’s bring him in and show him what biblical manhood and real love is about.”

Affiliating with Scout troops  also provides an avenue for evangelism, said Pastor David Uth of Orlando.

“We are very happy to partner (with Scouts) because it gives us access to more families and more boys to share the life-saving gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Russell Moore, the new head of the SBC’s powerful Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, called Uth’s approach “wise and gospel-focused.”

“This isn’t Disney redux, as some media predicted,” Moore tweeted.

The Southern Baptists' resolution encourages churches to consider the denomination's homegrown Scouting alternative, the Royal Ambassadors, a Christian group dedicated to developing "godly young men."

Meanwhile, liberal churches pledged to sponsor troops disowned by conservative congregations.

For every host organization that has decided to sever ties with their troop, eight to 10 new ones have invited the Boy Scouts into their community, according to Jeff Fulcher, spokesman for the Atlanta Area Council of the BSA.

"This membership issue is a sensitive issue with a lot of people in our community,” Fulcher said. “Some can't continue supporting the scouting programs. But the vast majority of the Scouts in our organization still want to continue scouting, and we've had a wide variety of churches, places of worship and civic organizations reaching out to us because they want scouting programs in their neighborhoods.”

One such church is the One World Spiritual Center in Marietta, Georgia, where the community extended an invitation to Boys Scout troops soon to lose their meeting place.

The Rev. Stephanie Seigh, head of the One World, said the church decided invite the Scouts after learning that Southern Baptists nearby refused to continue hosting their troops.

“We teach our children that God is in everyone and everything. We don't discriminate," Seigh told CNN.

CNN's Mayra Cuevas contributed to this report. 

- CNN Religion Editor

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

soundoff (1,409 Responses)
  1. Science

    Hey dot.............you know the gang/list !

    Captain Dazzlecat Q. Charmwhistle


    June 16, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply


    Hey dot


    MESSENGER False Color Mercury Globe Spin


    June 17, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • Science

      You know dot ..............where is chadie and his buddies ...............is it not the ICR and the RCC ?

      June 17, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Science

      Hey dot/Captain ass hat................where is your buddy the red horn-y devil ?

      Remember Adam had to poke himself hard with his BONE to create Eve ?

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      June 7, 2013 — The first-known definitive case of a benign bone tumor has been discovered in the rib of a young Neandertal who lived about 120,000 years ago in what is now present-day Croatia. The bone


      The bible is BS !!!

      Biblical Marriage Not Defined Simply As One Man, One Woman: Iowa Religious Scholars' Op-Ed


      Is it chad ?

      June 21, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • science

      Hey Chad

      The crickets ?

      June 21, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Secret - 666

      Old money crickets ?

      Shocking! CNN actually covers Bilderberg conference



      June 21, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • Science

      Hey dot ass hat chad.................take the test...............how is it hanging chad at the creation museum ?

      DNA tests reveal Prince William's Indian ancestry

      By Peter Wilkinson, CNN

      updated 12:48 PM EDT, Fri June 14, 2013


      June 22, 2013 at 7:22 am |
    • Science

      Chad are you trolling today for the ICR over on the other head you know don't you ?

      June 23, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • Science

      Or this cult.

      What a joke below !!!


      June 25, 2013 at 6:33 am |
  2. Science

    Oops forgot doogie and asstin................buddies for sure aye dot ?

    June 17, 2013 at 10:30 am |
  3. Science

    Hey . (dot)

    Is vic and faith.............your buddy too ?

    June 17, 2013 at 10:22 am |
  4. Science

    Just wondering dot................is Bill Deacon, Chad , jboom , ICR and the RCC your buddy ?

    June 17, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  5. Science

    Hey . (dot)

    What other handles are included ?

    June 17, 2013 at 8:51 am |
  6. .

    im a ass hole i admit it

    June 16, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
  7. Bootyfunk

    baptists, moving away from the human race one mile at a time...

    June 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • LOL


      June 16, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
  8. .

    is the best way to load dead qu eers in a cart is still pitch forks

    June 16, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
  9. The real Tom

    Gays have been here since the beginning of mankind, idiot. They're not "made." Why is it you can't buy a clue?

    June 16, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  10. .

    there's a dead qu eer in the middle of the road
    dead qu eer in the middle of the road
    roll up the windows and cover your nose
    there's a dead qu eer in the middle of the road

    June 16, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
  11. tallulah13

    Let's try that again...

    Not believing in something does not equal hate, just as believing in something does not make it real.

    June 16, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Oh for pete's sake...

      that was meant for the post below.

      June 16, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      C'mon tallulah13...a little early to be hitting the bottle isn't it?

      June 16, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  12. .

    on the other hand qu eers are the filth of the earth

    June 16, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  13. Miguel Caron

    Who cares what Christians think about moral issues? They're CHRISTIANS, meaning they have a warped view of morality based on the child-like whims of an omnipotent being who causes more harm than good.
    That's like caring what a junkie thinks about drug laws.

    June 16, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • HM8432

      'Warped'? More like the morally correct view. It's society that's become warped, and it was man, not God, who messed-up his otherwise perfect creation.

      June 18, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  14. Randy

    God wants you to come to his son Jesus as you are, he deals with the individual not as a group, he wants you to go to the alter repent of your sins and then ask him to save you from sins and if u believe it in your heart he will do just that, he does not embrace that gay type of life style because its sin he wants to save you from that life style and u have to claim him as your savior and that's just the start of salvation then he have to sanctify wholly and baptize you with the Holy Ghost, now that's the way it have to be done, God does not approve of a gay life style that is a sinful way of living and he have to save you from that if u plan on going to heaven.

    June 16, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  15. NavinJay

    When i was in the Boy Scouts, on day one they handed me my Prejudice badge. Just joining means you earned it. Since atheists and gays aren't allowed. Well, they are fixing this slowly.

    June 16, 2013 at 1:26 am |
    • HM8432

      Atheists and gays are the worst bigots of them all, they are intolerant of any views except their own.

      June 18, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      I presume you have some sort of evidence to back this up...or is it just another lie?

      June 18, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
  16. Lilie

    Im watching the news, as i type at 7h36 am. & i hear the pastor denying access to the boy scouts. It saddens me that, a Small minded Pastor like this one, is a figure for god. Its people like him in the world that makes alot of us, feel that we dont all have a voice. Its 2013, but yet we are still not living in a free world 🙁

    June 15, 2013 at 7:42 am |
    • shepschultz

      Hey, were you sad when the Unitarians decided to deny boys the BSA emblem of faith? Seems like the pro-gay-scouting crowd is not quite as tolerant as they would have your believe.

      June 20, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
  17. Hmmm

    Brings a whole new term to "brotherly love"..but hey atleast they won't reproduce right?

    June 14, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
  18. Your Baptist Dad

    Yes son it is, but it's where I met your mother.

    June 14, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
  19. Science

    Hey Bill................think of The King James version as Humpty Dumpy Sat on the Wall another classic fairytale from England.

    June 12, 2013 — To World War II soldiers, "The White Cliffs of Dover" was a morale-boosting song that lifted spirits in dark times. To geographers,


    June 14, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
  20. Rick Wired (Butt Naught Kneeded)

    I am God 2.0. Who wants to pray to me?

    June 14, 2013 at 11:32 am |
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About this blog

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.