So, AP does its part to pin Nazi salute on Trail Life boys?

I doubt that many news consumers who do a quick read of the recent Associated Press news feature about the growth of Trail Life USA — a small, explicitly Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts — will hear loud warning sirens. But the main photo that accompanied that story? That’s another matter. You simply must [Read More...]

Ghosts haunt AP story on Boy Scouts of America

When my oldest son was a Boy Scout, the entire experience was couched in church settings. His pack meetings took place in church halls,  and ceremonies were scheduled in church sanctuaries and auditoriums. His pack leaders often doubled as congregational lay leaders, and the boys were asked once a year to don their uniforms and [Read More...]

Boy Scouts: Hollywood vs. some vague army of Americans

On one level, the recent Reuters “special report” on the financial issues haunting the 10,600-acre Summit Bechtel Family National Reserve in West Virginia breaks quite a bit of new and important ground about the current challenges faced by the Boy Scouts of America. It’s a must read and it’s clear that this expensive project is [Read More...]

In Kentucky, ‘Shiite Baptists’ and the crazy old uncle

Thou shalt not write an inflammatory newspaper column. Hell, it seems, hath no fury like a community — or a congregation — scorned in print. One of the favorite stories I wrote for The Associated Press during the 2004 presidential campaign involved the publisher of Republican George W. Bush’s hometown newspaper endorsing Democrat John Kerry: [Read More...]

Pod people: ‘Mass exodus’ from the Boy Scouts?

One of the wonderful things about writing is the ability to type something, decide it’s not precisely exactly what you wanted to say, delete it and start over. Alas, when you’re recording a podcast — let’s say, with Todd Wilken of “Crossroads” — you don’t have that luxury. Instead, you’re responding to questions off the cuff [Read More...]

Seven questions about Boy Scout gay policy coverage

Headlines over the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to allow openly gay members are still flying fast and furious. There’s been so much recent coverage, actually, that it’s impossible to critique all of it in a single post. So I thought I’d ask seven questions related to the decision and news coverage of it. 1. [Read More...]

Churches dumping Boy Scouts over gay policy … or not?

Godbeat pro Bob Smietana wrote a story this week exploring whether churches will keep sponsoring Boy Scout troops or drop their affiliation given the organization’s new gay-friendly membership policy. It’s a timely, logical religion angle. (Others who have covered that angle include ABC News and the Birmingham News.) The lede: For the Rev. Ernest Easley, the [Read More...]

Asking the Boy Scout questions that matter the most

If you know anything about the politics of gay rights, you know that there is absolutely nothing that the Boy Scouts of American can do right now that will not lead to major divisions in their organization. The key force that will cause a future split is, of course, the deep divide among mainstream religious [Read More...]


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