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Scouts' future uncertain if ban on gays is dropped

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The Boy Scouts of America's proposed move away from its no-gays membership policy has outraged some longtime admirers, gratified many critics and raised intriguing questions about the iconic organization's future.

Will the Scouts now be split between troops with gay-friendly policies and those that keep the ban? What will a National Jamboree be like if it brings together these disparate groups with conflicting ideologies? Will the churches long devoted to scouting now be torn by internal debate over the choices that may lie ahead? A top official of the Southern Baptist Convention, whose conservative churches sponsor hundreds of Scout units that embrace the ban, was among those alarmed that the BSA is proposing to allow sponsoring organizations to decide for themselves whether to admit gays as scouts and adult leaders.

"We understand that we are now a minority, that it is not popular to have biblical values, not popular to take stands that seem intolerant," said Frank Page, president of the SBC's executive committee. "This is going to lead to a disintegration of faith-based values."

In North Carolina, news of the possible policy change was welcomed — cautiously — by Matt Comer of Charlotte, who said he was forced out of his Boy Scout troop at the age of 14 after troop leaders confronted him over being gay.

"It was very intimidating," said Comer, now 26. "The scoutmaster said, 'If you choose to live that lifestyle, you choose not to be a Boy Scout.'"

"I lost a lot of good friends when I had to leave," Comer said. "I really did enjoy Scouts. I wanted to get my Eagle Scout and go on to be a Scout leader."

Now, he has mixed views about the proposed change, and anticipates there could be problems when troops with different stances mingle at jamborees and summer camps. http://news.msn.com/...gays-is-dropped

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Posted

"We understand that we are now a minority, that it is not popular to have biblical values, not popular to take stands that seem intolerant," said Frank Page, president of the SBC's executive committee. "This is going to lead to a disintegration of faith-based values."

poor homophobe :(

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Posted

So much ignorant hate. I cant take it anymore.

Good for them though if they drop the ban.

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Posted

Our church actually turned away the Boy Scouts and the much needed funding based on their views.

And while I support my churches decision as it aligns with my beliefs and morals I couldn't help but think we were stooping to the scouts level of exclusion by turning them away.

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Posted

Turned them away how, Panthro? Did you bar individuals, or just the organization? If your church has banned anyone involved in the Boy Scouts, that's... extreme, I think. but if instead, your church refuses to deal with the organization itself, that is quite a bit different from what the Boy Scouts are doing, IMO. I don't think anyone is asking the Boy Scouts to organization to organize gay rights protests and the like (not that I would object), but exclusion of the individual for things out of his control is really unfair, I think.

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Posted

Changes like this would have been unthinkable only a few years ago. Our relatively cloistered existence prior to the internet has hopefully been relegated to the dust bin of history.

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Posted

I know Matt Comer, really good guy. He wrote a column for a university newspaper (back when I was an entrenched college republican blogging about towelheads) and had several fundamentalist Christians write editorials calling him out in the name of the holy trinity for claiming to be a Christian in spite of his wicked buggery. Glad to see he's still a voice for change on an even larger level.

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Posted

Saw this on a bumper sticker yesterday: "Tolerance is a Lack of Conviction" I doubt anyone that has read this article would say Matt Comer lacked conviction or was intolerant.

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Posted

I'd actually say "Intolerence is a lack of conviction."

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Posted

Won't surprise me if the Southern Baptists and others kick the Boy Scouts out and start their own "scout" groups... or, if there is not a split in the Boy Scouts over this.

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Posted

i'd say conviction is a lack of perspective.

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Posted

If ending a discriminatory policy causes the BSA to fall apart then good riddance.

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