Baptists Set to Ditch Boy Scouts

CNN is reporting that the Southern Baptist Convention will be abandoning the Boys Scouts of America over the BSA’s decision to allow openly gay youth to participate in Boy Scout units.

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 longtime 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.

Who are the groups who are sticking with the Boys Scouts?
CNN, again, reports the following list:

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.

As a Mormon liberal and a liberal Mormon, I am ecstatic to see my church listed along with many of the churches that I view as some of my favorite allies in the fight for social justice.

As a parent of two Boy Scouts, all I can say to the Southern Baptist Conventions is…well…see ya.

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Chris Henrichsen has moved Approaching Justice off of Patheos. Find his latest posts and the new Approaching Justice. Thanks!

  • Clifton Brown

    In this as well as in other areas, I hope that we are witnessing a schism between the fundamentalists of the so-called Religious Right and the Latter-Day Saints.

    Frankly, such exclusionary fundamentalism seems to be more in line with the behavior of the Pharisees rather than true Christianity. The further we can get away from all of that, the better.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/approachingjustice/ Chris Henrichsen

      I am hesitant to read this as part of a larger schism between Mormons and the religious right. I would love to see it, but I just don’t…anytime soon.


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