Religious-Right Groups Launch Campaign to Pressure Boy Scouts to Keep Gay Ban

UPDATE
Late Thursday the haters at the right-wing Texas Pastor Council sent out an email promoting a “Save Our Scouts” rally on Wednesday at the Boy Scouts of America national headquarters in Irving (near Dallas). The message promotes the smear that gay people are inherent threats to children and churches:

Pastors, if the scouts fall, the church is next in the sights of the activists committed to forcing their immorality on society – WILL YOU COME?

Fathers, if we allow our boys to be targeted by those who believe there is no moral code and no definition of gender – WHO WILL DEFEND OUR CHILDREN?

Mothers, your voice of courage and protection of the virtue of our children is desperately needed – WILL YOU STAND ALSO?

The email includes a link to a website where activists can get phone numbers (provided by the American Family Association) for each board member for the Boy Scouts of America. The website encourages activists to insist that board members not “allow homosexuals to serve with boys.”

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News that Boy Scouts of America is considering whether to end its national policy banning gay scouts has sent the religious right into a foaming rage nationally and in Texas, where the organization is based. A Boy Scouts of America official says the policy — if adopted — would allow local units to continue discriminating, but the national organization would no longer require the ban. Religious-righters have launched a campaign to keep that policy from being adopted.

The Texas Pastor Council, for example, is circulating an email from the American Family Association calling on religious-right activists to contact and pressure board members and other leaders of Boy Scouts of America on the issue. From the email:

“The question is whether or not the BSA will choose to be bullied by homosexual activism or will tighten its boot straps and vote to remain “morally straight.”

See: A PLEA TO SCOUTS: DON’T LET THE ‘BAD GUYS’ WIN

Tens of thousands of phone calls and emails have flooded the BSA National Council offices. By an overwhelming margin, the BSA is being encouraged to stand firm with the current policy of prohibiting homosexual men from serving as mentors and leaders of young boys.”

You might recall that Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked the American Family Association — which the Southern Poverty Law Center categorizes as a hate group — to organize his prayer extravaganza in Houston’s Reliant Stadium in 2011 just before he announced his ultimately disastrous bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Another group, Liberty Institute Texas Values, sent out a similar appeal on Wednesday. From that email:

“The [Boy Scouts of America] has been instrumental in building the character of tens of millions of boys in our country, including countless boys right here in Texas, and developing them into men. The organization has led by example and stood on principal in resisting the constant bullying efforts of the homosexual activists looking to undercut the values and mission of the organization.

Retreating from their long-held and principled policies would be devastating to the organization and would undercut the values that have allowed the organization to successfully develop the character of so many boys. In addition, many Scout Groups meet at local churches. How will this potential change impact churches and the ability of Scout Groups to meet? And despite the attacks on the Boy Scouts from homosexual activists and the media, recent surveys have shown that only 42 percent of Americans support changing the policy to allow homosexual scout leaders.

The BSA Board plans to meet next week and could decide as early as Monday. It is critically important that they hear from those that share our values and stand with them regarding their current policy on homosexuality. Please call the Boy Scouts of America at their national office in Irving, TX at 972-580-2330 and tell them you support the organization standing firm on their moral values and that they should not change their policy on homosexuality.”

A Concerned Women for America email calls on readers to “save the Boy Scouts of America!”

“The Scouts are being bullied by homosexual activists who are putting pressure on the Scouts’ corporate sponsors to force the BSA to finally embrace homosexuality as normal and moral. . . . We must not let this moral institution that has brought so much good to our nation be corrupted by a radical fringe who insist everyone else approve of their behavior. Christians, especially, must stand up now, for little by little our religious liberties are being taken away while we remain silent.”

From Mat Staver, the head of the odious group Liberty Counsel:

“People like Jerry Sandusky should not be permitted to be Scoutmasters. To allow homosexual Scoutmasters or homosexual Scouts will put young boys at risk. The mere thought is ridiculous.”

Of course, kids should be protected from child rapists of any sexual orientation, but it’s never surprising when religious-right groups still trot out the old discredited smear that gay people are all pedophiles. Bigotry rallies around such nastiness.

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7 Comments

  1. Charles
    Posted February 1, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Steve’s right. From a Biblical perspective, hailing back to the parable of Adam and Eve, the basic message is that all of us humans are brothers and sisters. Most young people of today know that. Many of them learned it in church while they were watching their parents pee on it with the things they did and said about people who are “different” in one way or another in life.

    I have the pleasure of knowing that all of their parental sins and bigotry will die with them while their children create a world more in line with what Jesus would have us do towards our fellow men and women.

  2. Steven Schafersman
    Posted February 1, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I must have cut off my last sentence before posting. Here it is.

    “Slowly the Boy Scouts themselves will change as Scouts gradually replace their fathers as Scoutmasters in the future.”

  3. Doc Bill
    Posted February 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    None of these groups – none of them – has ever donated a penny, an minute of their time or voiced any support for the Boy Scouts. They only “support” the BSA at this time to push their own hateful, bigoted agendas.

    I oppose the BSA being a pawn in their games.

  4. Steven Schafersman
    Posted January 31, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    The bigoted policies of the Boy Scouts against gays and atheists (preventing them from being Scouts and Scout leaders) are well known. The reason is also known: the Boy Scouts of America leadership is composed of Mormons and Catholics who both have a long history of discrimination. The bigotry is is so long-standing that small alternative organizations exist for boys who want to engage in scouting activities but avoid the bigotry of the Boy Scouts. Also, we have the Girl Scouts, which has a totally separate origin and history and does not discriminate based on religion or sexual orientation. I should add, however, that many Boy Scout troops do not discriminate againsts gay and atheist scouts and leaders because these troops are not sponsered by Christian churches but by secular organizations. This tolerance is known in scouting circles but not generally publicized. The new rule will simply make this local tolerance officially permitted if not encouraged.

    As many readers know, I live in Midland which must be the most bigoted and sanctimonious city in Texas. Since the practice is so common here, bigotry against gays and atheists is open and tolerated because the citizens who are open about it don’t realize they are bigoted. Is the BSA’s mission to promote bigotry? Yes, according to the scoutmasters quoted today in our local paper. Jim Andrews, scoutmaster of a troop sponsored by St. Anne’s Catholic Church, said “Scouts are held to a higher moral code than an average person. I don’t believe gays are permissible to be part of a Christian attitude of Scouting.” John Nelson, scoutmaster of a troop sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Midland, said he is concerned that gay Scout leaders may “recruit” children to live gay lifestyles or engage in inappropriate conduct. Billy Priebe, scoutmaster of a troop sponsored by First United Methodist Church, said he is not comfortable with his children having a gay Scout leader because of his religious beliefs. But the best comment is left to the area Boy Scout Council executive director, David Chapman, who said the Council will work to ensure the Scouts’ best interest. Among other things, Scouts are taught “tolerance” with education remaining the organization’s main goal. “I’d hate to see Scouting’s mission get lost because of [this issue],” he said.

    You can’t make up parody better than this. Irony has long been dead in Midland. Fortunately, racism, homophobia, sectarianism, and xenophobia in general among young people have been disappearing as multiculturism has increased due to improvements in interpersonal communication largely due to social networking and texting on the Internet. Slowly the Boy Scouts them

  5. Coragyps
    Posted January 31, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    ‘Cause we all know there’s never been a gay Boy Scout over the last century of scouting….

    The BSA had rules at least 25 years ago to guard against child abuse. The issue of “gay Scoutmasters” is a non-starter, anyway. Even if it did have a damn thing to do with child-molesting Scoutmasters.

    Odd, too, that three of those quotes mention “bullying.” I wonder who is writing their scripts?

  6. Charles
    Posted January 31, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    I am trying to grasp something here. When did the “limp wristed set”become “bullies”?

    Maybe they have been watching to much of this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmNJ03s2ZuM

    But,but but:

    Is this how they bully:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOOwGhaFpVk

    But, but, but:

    I thought it was gay people that usually get bullied:

  7. Rhonda
    Posted January 31, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    I look forward to living long enough to see all these so called “christians” put in their place. They are nothing but bigots and should NEVER call themselves “christians” period. The Boy Scouts will finally get it correct when they realize gay and lesbian people are simply people who should be allowed to live their lives free of the bigotry of others.

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