Friday, May 24, 2013

Yesterday's Boy Scouts' Decision: A Selection of Responses

At The New Civil Rights Movement, David Badash helpfully offers the complete text of yesterday's Boy Scouts' statement accepting gay Scouts (but barring gay Scout leaders). And then Badash also helpfully provides a selection of responses to the Boy Scouts' decision.

In addition to those Badash includes, I've read responses this morning from Southern Baptist leaders Frank Page, Richard Land, and Russell Moore. (They're "agin" the new policy, and Page says, astonishingly, after he met with the Boy Scouts and tried to bully them into toeing his line, that they've succumbed to pressure! The Southern Baptist spokespersons addressing the new policy are, in short, threatening to take troops sponsored by Southern Baptist churches out of the Scouts, and as the Arkansas Times reports this past week, at least one Arkansas Baptist church--though I'm not sure it's Southern Baptist--has already taken that step.)

There's also an editorial statement in today's New York Times, which finds the acceptance of gay Scouts a move in the right direction, but concludes,

The Boy Scouts organization — by tolerating a loathsome belief, pressed by religious activists, that equates homosexuality with deviance — has committed itself to rejecting good, dedicated leaders. It should understand that scouting’s mission does not have to dovetail with right-wing agendas and bigotry. The scout movement was built a century ago simply upon interests “universal among boys” — outdoor skills and adventure — and on values of citizenship and decency. It’s a shame the Boy Scouts have allowed bigotry to tarnish this tradition.

As Chris Morley points out in a comment here yesterday, at least no U.S. Catholic bishop signed onto a recent minatory statement by religious-right leaders instructing the Scouts to hold the hard anti-gay line, though read the thread responding to Richard Gaillardetz's National Catholic Reporter article on Dolan, gays, and the Scouts that I discussed yesterday, and you can see abundant evidence that some U.S. Catholics remain adamant about wanting to inform their gay brothers and sisters that they're unwelcome in Catholic churches as gay folks; that gays are singular representatives of moral decay; that gay sin deserves unique attention within the churches today; that adult gay men molest children; that gay sex is dirty and gays are to be equated with dirt, etc.

We continue to have much work to do.

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