Boy Scouts will no longer ban gay leaders

The Boy Scouts of America will now allow gay leaders, a decision made by its Executive Board led by former Defense Secretary, now BSA president, Robert Gates.  The action applies to corporate employees.  Local troops, many of which are sponsored by churches, can make their own decisions.  But churches are worried that this just kicks the liabilities and possible discrimination charges down to their level.

Read the news report after the jump.  Then read the Family Policy Institute of Washington post entitled “New Boy Scout Policy Makes Host Churches Liable?”.   The group offers this legal guide: The Legal Ramifications to Churches of BSA’s New Membership Policy.

Some churches are apparently considering dropping their Scouting programs.  Here is a statement from the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, which is convening a meeting in August to consider the issue.  (Hey, maybe this could be the catalyst for a rapprochement between the LCMS and the Wisconsin Synod, which has never approved of Boy Scouts!) [Read more...]

Don’t expect religious exemptions from gay laws

Some Christians have said that the way to accommodate the new pro-gay laws is to accept them, but build in religious exemptions.  That is not going to be acceptable in the gay rights juggernaut.

Indiana has passed a religious freedom law, allowing individuals to claim an exemption in the courts when government action “substantially burdens” their religious beliefs.  Now thousands are protesting and boycotting the state, claiming that the law will enable people who have religious objections to homosexuality to discriminate against gays.

Christians need to realize that gays want to be accepted exactly on a par with heterosexuals, and they demand acceptance precisely from those who haven’t accepted them before.

I suspect that even among the general public anti-discrimination laws will trump religious freedom laws every time.  So will pastors who refuse to conduct gay weddings be charged with illegal discrimination?  I can see that happening.  Can you? [Read more...]

Religious liberty vs. LGBT Discrimination

Gordon College, a respected Christian institution, is under fire for asking for a religious exemption from the president’s executive order that no one doing business with the government may discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.  The Hobby Lobby decision allowing a religious exemption for Obamacare contraception coverage explicitly said that the ruling did not apply in cases of discrimination.  David Skeel, in a discussion quoted after the jump, says that the Gordon College controversy would be the next major religious liberty issue.

The administration has made it clear that the president’s executive order  does NOT exempt religious groups.  A previous policy allowing an exemption for grants still stands.  World Vision and various other ministries receive grants, rather than contracts, so they would not be affected.  The president’s order did, however, leave intact a provision allowing religious groups to have a preference for hiring those who share their religious beliefs.  Perhaps that could include  religious beliefs about homosexuality.  [Read more...]

Obama’s order to hit religious charities?

President Obama has signed an executive order forbidding anyone with a federal contract from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  The effect may be to cut off faith-based charities and institutions from participating in government projects or receiving federal funds.  After the jump, what this may mean from a Catholic point of view. [Read more...]

How Fred Phelps helped the gay-rights movement

The late Fred Phelps with his Westboro Baptist Church, who picketed funerals of soldiers killed in action and proclaimed “God hates fags,” created such a negative impression of Christians who disapprove of homosexuality that he actually played a major role in advancing the cause of gay rights.  So say a number of gay activists and other observers. [Read more...]

Boy Scouts accept gay members

The Boy Scouts of America voted to accept gay members.  The ban against homosexual scout masters and other adult leaders remains in place.  According to gay ideology, sexual identity is innate, not formed, so it makes sense to  speak of homosexual children. [Read more...]