Southern Baptists condemn Boy Scouts policy on gays

The statue of a scout stands in the entrance to Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Irving, Texas, February 5, 2013. REUTERS/Tim Sharp
The statue of a scout stands in the entrance to Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Irving, Texas, February 5, 2013. REUTERS/Tim Sharp

The Southern Baptist Convention on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to voice opposition to the Boy Scouts of America decision to admit gay members, saying that homosexual conduct is contrary to a scout’s oath to do his duty to God.

The Southern Baptists, the nation’s largest protestant denomination, approved a non-binding resolution expressing opposition to the policy at its annual convention in Houston. The resolution requires no action by member churches, with churches left to decide individually whether to stop sponsoring scout troops.

Some other U.S. religious leaders are severing their relationships with the Boy Scouts of America, saying they will no longer permit scout troops to meet at their churches.

The Boy Scouts has deep ties to churches all over the country, with about 70 percent of the group’s more than 100,000 units chartered by faith-based organizations.

Some 108,000 Boy Scouts in nearly 4,000 units are sponsored by Baptist churches, according to the Boy Scouts website.

It is “ungodly and unacceptable,” for young boys to be exposed to homosexuality, Wes Taylor, pastor at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Newport News, Virginia, said during the debate at the annual convention. “I am very sad to say that it seems as though (Boy Scouts) are moving away from the principles they were founded upon.”

The Boy Scouts of America decided on May 23 that no youth may be denied membership based on sexual orientation alone. The organization still prohibits openly gay adult leaders.

Some of those attending the Southern Baptist conference said the denomination should embrace gay members of scouting, arguing that churches should seek to guide them toward a more Christian life.

One pastor argued that a young boy who claims to be gay is most likely the victim of abuse or otherwise needs guidance, and that the church or scouts should not abandon him.

“Such a boy needs our love,” said Charlie Dale, pastor of the Indian Springs First Baptist Church in Indian Springs, Alabama. “So let’s bring him in and show him what real Biblical manhood is about.”

The Southern Baptist resolution urges churches that decide to continue with the Boy Scouts to work toward the reversal of the new membership policy and to advocate against any change in leadership and membership that “normalizes sexual conduct outside of the biblical standards.”

The Southern Baptist Convention has more than 45,000 churches and church-type missions with nearly 16 million members nationwide, according to the group’s website.

A representative from the Boy Scouts was not immediately available for comment on the resolution.

The resolution calls on churches that decide to sever ties with the Boy Scouts not to abandon their ministry to young boys and to consider expanding a “Royal Ambassadors” ministry, a Southern Baptist missionary organization to develop “godly young men.”

The resolution also declares “our love in Christ for all young people regardless of their perceived sexual orientation.”

Some religious organizations have accepted the Boy Scouts’ new policy. The Mormon Church, the largest sponsor of scouting troops nationwide, with about 430,000 youth members, expressed support for permitting gay scouts. The United Methodist Church, the second-largest sponsor, also plans to continue its role in scouting.

The national scouting committee for the Catholic Church, the third-largest sponsor of scouting troops, has noted that the policy change on gay members does not take effect until next January, providing “adequate time to study its effects.”

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Breaking: Local

Judge rules Tsarnaev can view victim autopsy photos

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev can view the autopsy photographs of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Local

Police warn of attempted assault on woman near…

Police in Cambridge issued an alert after a woman said she was the victim of an attempted sexual assault after leaving Porter Square early Wednesday.…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

NBA

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery…

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery odds with loss

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

MLB

Injury bug tearing holes in Red Sox

Red Sox fans will recall that last year the bullpen was decimated by injuries. From Franklin Morales to Andrew Miller, from Craig Breslow to Andrew…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.