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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Religious conservative icon: scouting is all about homophobia

Raw Story:

Dr. Richard Land, who is in charge of addressing social, moral, and ethical concerns as president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, says that dropping the ban on gay members and LGBT leaders will be a “catastrophe” for the Boy Scouts of America because excluding homosexuals represents the “heart and soul of scouting.”

“What they’ve said to us and to other religious leaders is, ‘We’re doing this under pressure and we’re going to give people, basically, what amounts to a local option,’” Land explained to CNN on Tuesday. “You can’t have a local option of a core conviction.”

“Yes, we live in a democracy and people can make this choice, but if they do, it’s going to be a catastrophe because Baptist scouts and Catholic scouts and Mormon scouts and Methodist scouts, many of them are going to vote with their feet and they’re going to leave the scouts,” he added. “What they’re doing is to appease their left coast and right coast appendages, they’re cutting out the heart and soul of scouting in the rest of the country.”

I remember scouting somewhat differently. For me, the heart and soul of scouting was an appreciation of the outdoors and a respect for nature, along with some physical fitness and civics. I don’t remember an Intolerance or Homophobia Merit Badge, but I suppose that’s because the Scout leaders in my area (who included my father) were godless hippies and communists or something. Of course, I don’t remember that either.

Mostly I remember making rope and tying knots, hiking and biking state trails, camping, cooking over an open fire, learning first aid, selling tickets to the Boy Scout Jamboree — stuff like that. I don’t recall a lot of gay hating, but that probably means we were just doing it wrong.

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