Alabama pastor announces his opposition to the Golden Rule

For decades, the Boy Scouts of America excluded boys who were gay from participating in scouting.

This was cruel and unfair, as Greg Walker describes:

“It’s hard on a personal level to say to a troop of young boys who have done nothing wrong and to the leaders, ‘You’re not welcome here,'” Walker explained. “I didn’t make the decision. Boy Scouts of America made that decision.”

Walker pinpoints exactly why the scouts’ policy of excluding gay boys was unjust.

It is simply wrong — unjust, unfair, uncouth, inhospitable, immoral, sinful — to say to “young boys who have done nothing wrong … ‘You’re not welcome here.'” And that’s exactly what the Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policy said to gay youth for many years.

Unfortunately, the blissfully obtuse Walker wasn’t referring to the BSA’s recently overturned policy of arbitrary discrimination.

He was describing his own response to that policy — which was to ban Boy Scouts from meeting at his church, the First Baptist Church of Helena, Alabama.

If Walker isn’t allowed to single out gay youth for exclusion, then he feels he has no choice but to exclude all youth.

Pastor Walker seems not to realize that the Golden Rule is a commandment. He also seems to have forgotten about Rule No. 1.

More and more I’m convinced that the universal cartoon caption also applies as a universal response to public statements by Southern Baptist leaders.

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  • Wow. What a way to misrepresent what I said. Intent isn’t magic. But this started out with the insinuation that the buddhists were wrong in their interpretation of the credo, and the Scouts were also wrong in their interpretation of the credo, and the One True Arbiter of what the credo actually means is a third party who is neither a buddhist nor a scout.

    Intent isn’t magic. (But thanks for whipping out everyone’s favorite “accuse the other person of saying intent is magic to automatically win the argument”) Intent is intent. The Boy Scout Oath fails to say what it means. But if you try to say that it doesn’t mean what they mean for it to mean, you’re saying that they don’t believe what they believe, which is nonsense. You’re not accusing them of having a poorly written or inaccurate creed; you’re accusing them of believing your interpretation of the meaning of their creed.

  • Beroli

    Oh? By all means, then, Ross. Explain how “no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God” can be nonsectarian. Without referencing anyone’s intent this time.

  • Step 1: Ask a boy scout “Suppose I belong to a religion which believes in higher powers but objects to characterizing them as a ‘god’. Am I in violation of your oath?”

    Step 2: Wait for the boy scout to say “Nope”

  • dpolicar

    Is there a Step 3: figure out whether that particular Boy Scout’s answer reflects the understanding of the organization?

    Or is it safe to assume that the replies given by any particular Boy Scout (or perhaps given by the majority of Boy Scouts for a statistically representative sample? given by a plurality? unanimously given?) represent the attitudes of the organization?

  • drkrick

    Is the uncertainty about whether the use of the singular term “God” is meant to exclude polytheists or that it’s meant to exclude atheists? Because my understanding is that it is not intended to exclude the former but they’re perfectly upfront about their intent to exclude the latter.

  • drkrick

    When Caterpillar is on your left on LGBT issues, you’re really on the wrong track …

  • EllieMurasaki

    Is the objection that using the singular term “God” excludes polytheists or that it excludes atheists?


  • Otrame

    There is nothing stone cold about being an atheist. In fact, I would argue that you have to be stone cold to be Southern Baptist.