I honestly did not think that the "evolution" of the Boy Scouts of America was going to be such a drama. As it is unfolding now, it seems that there has been enough division and controversy that their decision about allowing every American boy to try scouting has been shelved.
Today as I watched my news programs I saw commentary to the effect that the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church, the United Methodists and other denominations have nothing against the inclusion of gay scouts or scoutmasters. Let's see, that leaves...hmmm, what churches could it be who frown upon gay scouts?
Yes, it's the evangelicals. As various commentaries have been posted on the Internet, I have seen several articles on the Christian Post, from low-information evangelical writers, who seem to be determined that the drama will not let up on this issue as long as they can write about it.
I say that these authors are "low-information," by which I mean ignorant and naive both, because they either leap to dazzling, unrealistic conclusions or seek to create hysteria by making absurd overstatements about the Boy Scouts. So just to get some hard information out there, both the membership numbers and those of their scout clubs have declined in recent years. I'm sure it was the falling membership that led the BSA to consider becoming more inclusive in the first place, because now that they are considering it they are intimidated by evangelical preachers and their mouthpieces from the Christian Post.
Dan Delzell, who can always be counted upon to jump to ill-informed conclusions, writes that the BSA is "struggling to define sexual morality." Really? I thought they were just considering whether to have openly-gay members and/or scoutmasters. Who knew that the board of the BSA had embarked on the task of defining sexual morality? And do they think that I have the slightest interest in their conclusions?
There was an article that was intended to be soul-searching on CP from a Greg Quinlan, who is self-described as a "former homosexual" who was molested during his childhood. Not that he was molested in the Boy Scouts, but because of his unfortunate experience, he warns CP readers that all gay men are child molesters. I'd like to see his research results; most child molesters are actually heterosexual.
You can also read Jim Dennison, who asks, "How can Christians influence the Boy Scouts?" Wow--like they aren't influencing the Scouts right now? Like un-Christian evangelicals are not threatening to pull their funding?
And I wonder if Penny Young Nance is truly as hysterical as she sounds when she warns us that the BSA is on the verge of "embracing homosexuality," when in fact the only thing they are doing is considering the admission of non-closeted scoutmasters and gay scout candidates. Is Nance under the impression that closeted gay scouts and scoutmasters are not involved with scouting already? I wonder if she is Catholic--but then she couldn't be, because if she were she would know from personal experience that the Catholic Church will ordain gay priests...as long as they are firmly barricaded in their closets.
It has finally come home to Ken Connor that evangelical un-Christians are on the receiving end of rejection for their bigoted views, and he is whining that they (and he) are being demonized for their views. I wish I had his nerve; Connor has a lot of chutzpah to claim that Christians are being demonized after the last four years they have spent demonizing President Barack Obama, his wife and even his children. The string of contradictory and insulting lies has been nonstop from the Religious Right, while the CP follows the antics of people like Dinesh D'Souza with breathless delight--or they did until he got caught with his pants down, like Benny Hinn (another of their superstar preachers).
There has been no limit to the despicable things that the Religious Right will say against our lawfully-elected President. They have been doing this for four years. Now they are shocked--shocked--to learn that Americans have not actually bought into their lies. They did this knowing that the President is an evangelical Christian like they are, but they turned like a herd of lemmings to follow Candidate Mitt Romney and brushed aside their abiding disapproval and rejection of the LDS Church because, after all, Romney is a white man.
This is Ground Zero of the pressure against the BSA; the major denominations of the mainstream Christian Church of America are not participating in it. An incident that is in today's news might be illustrative.
There was a letter that was sent to an evangelical preacher last week from the parents of a gay teen. When the pastor got the letter, he read it out loud at Sunday services, outing the teenager. At that, the boy's grandmother stood up, denounced the pastor and walked out, abandoning the parish and returning all the things that she had worked on for the church organization. This is the state of mind of most Americans--it isn't a matter of my opinion, it is a matter of interviews, research and statistics. America has changed and if the bigots won't give it up, they can keep their churches and their sick, closeted pastors who are only too ready to toss the letter into the trash and start beating the gay out of the children.
The Episcopal Church Welcomes You! Check out the Episcopal Church of St. Michael and All Angels, Grace St. Paul or St. Philip in the Hills right here in Tucson for people who don't ask you to fill out a form to find out if you are worthy of their fellowship. You can also visit the Rincon Community Church, the Good Shepherd United Church of Christ in Sahuarita, or any United Methodist or Lutheran church in Tucson, among many others.
For more info: read the entire story about the grandmother and her gay grandson here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/06/grandmother-gay-grandson_n_2625...