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
Local

Interfaith leaders denounce anti-Muslim harassment in Brooklyn

Community leaders of all faiths gathered in Brooklyn on Tuesday to push back on what they described as hateful acts against the local Muslim community.

National

Parched Texas town turns to sewage water to…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - When the going got tough due one of with worst droughts in a century, the parched Texas city of Wichita…

International

NYPD: Robber makes elderly man drive to Queens…

A robber grabbed an elderly man's neck outside a Queens supermarket, stole his wallet and made him drive to ATMs for withdrawals last week, police said.

Local

Tattooed, bearded suspect sought in Williamsburg bike theft:…

The suspected thief faces grand larceny charges after investigators said he entered the building on North 5th Street in Williamsburg.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

Arts

Theater: “Love and Human Remains” is like a…

"Love and Human Remains" is the worst show we've ever not walked out of.

Movies

Review: 'A Most Wanted Man' works better when…

In one of his last roles, Philip Seymour Hoffman headlines the John Le Carre adaptation of "A Most Wanted Man," about the pursuit of a Chechen refugee.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

NFL

5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.

Parenting

Buy gently worn back-to-school clothes with Kidizen

Kidizen allows parents to buy and sell gently worn back-to-school clothes.