According to a CNN Belief Blog article, Baptist churches sponsor nearly 4,000 Scout units representing more than 100,000 youths. As such, 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 Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
Conservatives seem to funnel similar issues as John Stemberger. Mr. Stemberger’s issue is that, “Sex and politics have no place in the Boy Scouts, and allowing open homosexuality will lead to myriad bad consequences.” The new policy will rob parents of the sole authority to raise issues of sex and sexuality with their own children. Parents have the exclusive right to raise issues about sex and sexuality with their children in their own way, not brought up by other older boys around a campfire.
In responding, I have several thoughts. First, last time I checked, the BSA does not “facilitate open heterosexuality“ among its members. I’m positive the BSA would not make an exception for homosexuality. I can’t envision an eight or nine year old, sitting around the campfire with peers and mentors alike and openly discussing “…issues about sex and sexuality.” Secondly, these are children. They are like most children. They want to be openly accepted and honored.
By the numbers, recent estimates claim gay and lesbians represent only 4% of the population. How many are teenagers remain unclear, as many do not define themselves as either ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian.’ How many of those young teens will openly declare their sexuality is even less. How many of the openly gay teens will actually join the BSA? Even Less.
Statistically speaking, how many of the remaining gay minutia (of the total) would actually be capable of destroying the entirety of parental and BSA values? The odds equal to that of being hit on the back of the head by an errant meteorite while standing in St. Peter’s Basilica, in Vatican City attending a papal enclave.
Thus, contrary to religious conservative opinion, gay members of society have not in fact destroyed society. My parents, having been married for 50 years, did not declare, “We are divorcing because a gay couple moved in three doors down.” Looking out my window, I can honestly state that much of society is the same today as it was yesterday. All the buildings are there. And while it’s an overcast sky, I’m going out on a limb to presume the sun continued to rise in east and will probably set in the west. Had it not, I presume someone in the “lamestream” media would have considered such an event noteworthy.
Most forms of Buddhism have no problem with homosexuality. Homosexuality is treated the same as heterosexuality, whether one is lay follower or monk. What I do refer to are prohibitions against adultery, underage partners, or partners otherwise in some relationship. I believe those values are beautified in Buddhism, Christian and the BSA alike.
The true message of BSA is nurturing a “Duty to God, Duty to Others and Duty to Self.” In truth, gay and lesbian friends are a big part of our life and culture. They are part of me, as I am part of them. God is in all of them, as He is in me.
Religious ignorance, intolerance and secularism require renouncement. That’s exactly what Christ did.