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Southern Baptist Convention Poll More Bad News for Anti-Gay Activists

The Southern Baptist Convention’s polling arm LifeWay is out with a new poll revealing widespread support for gay rights, particularly among young people. According to the survey, a clear majority of Americans believe that “homosexuality is…

Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission appeared yesterday on Istook Live, the Heritage Foundation radio show hosted by former Congressman Ernest Istook, to discuss why the Boy Scouts of America…

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Ever Classy, FRC Says VAWA’s Cost to Taxpayers Is the ‘Real Abuse’

Last night, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to to proceed on a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, despite strong opposition from the Religious Right. But as the legislation moves to the House, the fight is far from over. The Family Research Council has joined Religious Right activists and organizations including Phyllis Schlafly, Gary Bauer, Concerned Women For America, the Southern Baptist Convention, in opposing the reauthorization because it includes new provisions protecting LGBT people, immigrants and Native Americans. In an email alert last night, the FRC denied the positive impact of VAWA, which has contributed to a dramatic decrease in intimate partner violence, and said that the “real abuse” is VAWA’s cost to taxpayers.

Last year, when it first came up for reauthorization, Democrats intentionally loaded the bill with provisions the GOP cannot support–like millions more in spending and special rights based on certain sexual behavior. Their goal was to make the legislation so objectionable that Republicans would be forced to oppose it and fuel the lie that the GOP is anti-woman. Sen. Pat Leahy’s (D-Vt.) version, which leaders will vote on this week, is a five-year extension of the Act. Among the bill’s most egregious parts is a provision that would ban funds to grantees who may have religious objections to homosexuality–even if no documented case of refused services has been found. It also includes special assistance for homosexual victims.

Although Sen. Leahy promises to have a 60-vote block of support, FRC has warned the Senate that we will be scoring the vote. You can help by contacting your Senators and urging them to vote against VAWA and end the real abuse of taxpayer dollars.

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The Southern Baptist Convention is warning that its members may boycott the Boy Scouts if they drop their national prohibition on gay members, even if the new policy would allow local troops to have the autonomy to either end or maintain the ban.

Frank Page, the president of the SBC’s Executive Committee, argued in a conference call with Boy Scout leaders that any shift “will be a death blow to Scouting.” SBC official A.J. Smith warned that “such a move is fraught with danger and is an affront to their core convictions on human sexuality.”

“Many Baptist charter organizations and Baptist parents will decide not to send their youth to such camps for fear of them being exposed to persons advocating a homosexual lifestyle,” Smith said. “This move appears to fly in the face of both the Scout Oath and Law.”

The Baptist Press reported on the call:

The Boy Scouts released a new statement Monday describing the proposal, saying that the national policy would be rescinded in favor of a policy allowing local councils to determine their own policy. That means that in each city, one council might allow gay leaders and another might not. The Boy Scouts board is expected to vote on the proposal next week.

Page told the Scout leaders that although the new policy might allow the sponsoring organization to set local policy, such autonomy would disappear when there is a national or even regional meeting.

“National policy will always trump local autonomy” in such situations, Page said. “I believe this will be a death blow to Scouting. … I think this is a self-inflicted wound.”

Meanwhile, the president of Association of Baptists for Scouting — A.J. Smith — says passage of the proposed policy “will likely be viewed as an affront by most Baptist church leaders.” He also is urging people to voice their position to the national Boy Scouts office (see below).

“Such a move may result in a loss of units chartered through Baptist churches as well as a loss of Baptist youth currently registered through other charter organizations,” Smith said. “It will, no doubt, be argued that under the proposed new guidelines the charter organization will have greater liberty in determining membership standards, and that would be true. Some Baptists will be more agreeable to that, certainly. Still, the move opens the door for hiring practices at council and national camps that would allow homosexuals in those settings. The BSA will have no legal recourse to prevent such applicants from filing discrimination suits if their applications are denied. In light of that, many Baptist charter organizations and Baptist parents will decide not to send their youth to such camps for fear of them being exposed to persons advocating a homosexual lifestyle. In short, from a Baptist perspective, such a move is fraught with danger and is an affront to their core convictions on human sexuality.”

Many people, Smith said, will wonder if current Boy Scouts leaders “are truly committed to the principles and values of Scouting as envisioned” by Scouting founder Lord Baden-Powell.

“The goal or aim of Scouting is to instill in youth the ability to make moral and ethical decisions over a lifetime by a careful application of the Scout Oath and Law. However, this move appears to fly in the face of both the Scout Oath and Law.”

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After news reports came out that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) may drop its national policy banning openly gay members in favor of “passing any decisions on gay membership to the local level,” outrage among Religious Right activists has just begun.

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The Religious Right continues to push back against the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to reconsider their sweeping ban on gay members, many resorting to unfounded claims that homosexuality is tied to child abuse.

Talk show host Janet Mefferd pointed to a major sex scandal and cover-up in the BSA as a reason to maintain the prohibition on gay membership, and then agreed with a caller who compared letting gays serve as troop leaders to “letting the fox watch the hen house.” 

Later, Mefferd attacked LGBT rights advocates for “trying to silence and trying to shame” supporters of the anti-gay policy and said that any shift in position will “decimate the Boy Scouts.”

WorldNetDaily’s David Kupelian wrote that “a little bit of America will die” if the Boy Scouts rescind their sweeping ban on gay members, and warned that the Scouts will lose the trust of the public and God. He also pointed to the Catholic Church as an example of how open homosexuality leads to sexual abuse, which is an odd choice seeing that the church, like the BSA, already has a prohibition gays in positions of authority.

Now the big question in all this, of course, is the following: With these sex-abuse cases within the Boy Scouting organization, just as those within the Catholic Church, are we dealing with actual “pedophiles” or with predatory homosexuals?

America is in a time of great crisis on many fronts, and much that is good we are in danger of permanently losing. The Boy Scouts of America is one of the most important and loved and truly valuable organizations in American history. It is literally a sacred trust between one generation and the next. The Supreme Court is on their side. Public opinion is on their side. God is on their side.

Why on earth would they trade all this away by giving in to pressure from people who detest them and everything they stand for?

A little bit of America will die if the Boy Scouts organization gives in to the pressure and makes this decision. You might want to let them know how you feel. You can reach the Boy Scouts of America at 972-580-2000. Tell them how much you appreciate them – and tell them to stand strong.

Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality accused the Boy Scouts of “capitulating to immorality” and promoting “deviant sexuality among the boys.”

“If you take all that and you still come out strong, that’s a victory,” he says. “But if you allow all of that pressure to then change your values — which is what they’re doing here — to accommodate homosexuality, then you’ve given in. You’ve let the bad buys win.”

“It’s very sad to see the Scouts cave on this,” he continues. “If you capitulate to the homosexual lobby, you’re capitulating to immorality; and you’re not being morally straight as the Boy Scout creed says.”

According to LaBarbera, parents do not want homosexual Scoutmasters going with their boys on campouts. “And you don’t want homosexual Boy Scouts either because you don’t want to have one homosexual Scout going around telling everybody about his homosexuality and how he’s out and proud and everything. You don’t want that influence of deviant sexuality among the boys itself.”

“… Parents need to contact the Scouts and say Stick to the original policy … Keep the Scouts morally straight.”

Southern Baptist Convention vice president Sing Oldham claimed that the Boy Scouts are “spelling their own death knell.” SBC president Fred Luter warned that churches may withdraw their sponsorships of BSA troops:

“If that is what the leadership is doing, then I think it will be a sad day in the life of the Boy Scouts of America,” Luter told Baptist Press. “This is a tradition that so many of us across the country grew up in. We were in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in elementary school, and this organization has always stood for biblical principles — all the things that grounded our lives as a young kid growing up. To now see this organization that I thought stood on biblical principles about to give in to the politically correct thing is very disappointing.”

Luter also said he believes the Boy Scouts will “lose a whole lot of our support,” with Southern Baptist churches choosing instead not to sponsor a unit.

“A lot of them will just pull out,” Luter said. “This is just something we don’t believe in. It’s unfortunate the Boy Scouts are making this decision.”

Oldham even said that the SBC is ready with a replacement for the Boy Scouts, called the Royal Ambassadors:

“Churches of all faiths and denominations, including Southern Baptist churches, will be forced to reevaluate whether they can, in good conscience, continue to host Scout troops given that the Scouts appear poised to turn their backs on this clear biblical and moral issue,” Oldham said. “If the Scouts adopt these changes, I anticipate the SBC Executive Committee will issue a statement at its February board meeting expressing its deep dismay at this decision of the Scouts. This move may result in a boost for the convention’s Royal Ambassador program as churches scramble for an alternative boys organization that remains grounded in a consistent, biblical worldview.”

The American Family Association in an action alert for members asserted that any policy change “will destroy the legitimacy and the security of this iconic institution.”

Next week, the Boy Scouts of America will decide on whether it will keep a long standing policy of not allowing homosexuals to serve as volunteer leaders, or to change that policy and allow open homosexuals to participate in the scouting program. See our story at OneNewsNow.

If the BSA departs from its policies on allowing homosexual scoutmasters and boys in the program, it will destroy the legitimacy and the security of this iconic institution.

While news articles conclude the latter as a forgone conclusion, the final decision has not been made.

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While the Religious Right reacted with apoplectic rage following the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the lifting of the ban on women in combat has brought dejected but relatively subdued responses from conservatives.

American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who in December spoke out in favor of the ban by lying about the Israeli military’s policy on women in combat, tweeted that the decision was part of Obama’s plan to “feminize and weaken the U.S. military.”

Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness said that “lives could be lost unnecessarily” by the new policy, which “will harm men and the mission of the infantry as a whole.” “The administration has a pattern of irresponsible actions like this using the military to advance a social agenda,” she said, “This kind of a social experiment is a dangerous one.”

Faith and Freedom Coalition head Ralph Reed maintained that the Obama administration is “putting women in combat situations is the latest in a series of moves where political correctness and liberal social policy have trumped sound military practice.”

Richard Viguerie’s group claimed that “Obama’s plan to introduce women into frontline combat roles in the U.S. military is a dangerous and irresponsible social experiment, not an opportunity for women to serve their country and advance in their chosen profession.”

Radio talk show host Janet Mefferd on her Facebook page wrote that the move is further proof that the Obama administration is “intent upon undoing this great country” and will “stop at nothing to achieve it.”

Family Research Council vice president Jerry Boykin, who was reprimanded by President Bush after he made anti-Muslim and political speeches while in uniform, called the decision “another social experiment”:

The people making this decision are doing so as part of another social experiment, and they have never lived nor fought with an infantry or Special Forces unit. These units have the mission of closing with and destroying the enemy, sometimes in close hand-to-hand combat. They are often in sustained operations for extended periods, during which they have no base of operations nor facilities. Their living conditions are primal in many situations with no privacy for personal hygiene or normal functions. Commanders are burdened with a very heavy responsibility for succeeding in their mission and for protecting their troops.

This decision to integrate the genders in these units places additional and unnecessary burdens on leaders at all levels. While their focus must remain on winning the battles and protecting their troops, they will now have the distraction of having to provide some separation of the genders during fast moving and deadly situations. Is the social experiment worth placing this burden on small unit leaders? I think not.

Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America said that the “majority of women” don’t care about the ban or want its elimination:

News of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s intent to lift the long-standing ban on women serving in direct combat is further proof that this administration simply does not care about the issues about which the majority of women care. Once again, their interest on women issues is driven by special interest groups. The point of the military is to protect our country. Anything that distracts from that is detrimental. Our military cannot continue to choose social experimentation and political correctness over combat readiness. While this decision is not unexpected from this administration, it is still disappointing. Concerned Women for America (CWA) and its more than half-a-million members around the country will continue to do all we can to see that our men and women in uniform are governed with the respect and resources needed to do the hard task of fighting for and protecting our freedoms.

“God help us,” lamented Denny Burk of the Southern Baptist Convention, who seemed to suggest that women shouldn’t be in the armed forces at all:

Are the fortunes of women in our country really enhanced by sending them to be ground up in the discipline of a combat unit and possibly to be killed or maimed in war? Is there a father in America who would under any circumstance risk having his daughter shot or killed in battle? Is there a single husband in this country who thinks it okay for his wife to risk being captured by our enemies? To risk becoming a prisoner of war? Is this the kind of people we want to be? Perhaps this is the kind of people we already are. I would sooner cut off my arm than allow such a thing with my own wife and daughters. Why would I ever support allowing someone else’s to do the same? Why would anyone?

What kind of a society puts its women on the front lines to risk what only men should be called on to risk? In countries ravaged by war, we consider it a tragedy when the battle comes to the backyards of women and children. Why would we thrust our own wives and daughters into that horror? My own instinct is to keep them as far from it as possible. Perhaps this move makes sense with an all volunteer force, but what if the draft is ever reinstituted? Are we really going to be the kind of people who press our wives and daughters to fight in combat?

Everyone in America ought to be scandalized by this news, but I’m wondering if it will even register on the radar of anyone’s conscience. To the extent that it doesn’t, we reveal just how far gone we are as a people. God help us.

Aaron Ahlert of FrontPageMag said the move is “sure to have deadly consequences” and represents the Obama administration “forcing gender radicalism down America’s throat.”

It didn’t take long for the Obama administration to advance a pernicious piece of its promised radical agenda. Two days after the president laid out his far-left vision during the inauguration, senior defense officials announced that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will lift the military’s ban on women serving in combat. The move overturns a 1994 provision that prohibited them from being assigned to ground combat units. Panetta has given the various service branches until 2016 to come up with exemptions, and/or make any arguments about what roles should still reman closed to women. Thus, another bit of gender radicalism has been shoved down the nation’s throat through executive fiat — and this one is sure to have deadly consequences.

It stretches the bounds of credulity to believe that sexual tension, regardless of the legitimate or illegitimate motivation behind it, would be lessened under front line, life-threatening combat conditions. Nor is it inconceivable to think that close personal relationships of a sexual nature would make some soldiers take the kind of unnecessary risks to save a lover that might not only endanger themselves, but their entire unit.

Once again, elections have consequences. Barack Obama has made it clear that part of his progressive agenda includes forcing gender radicalism down America’s throat, absent any input from Congress. Once, the United States military was all about projecting lethal power around the globe to protect America’s interests. Now, it is all about promoting diversity, inclusion and equality of outcome, irrespective of military readiness and cohesion. For progressives, who have elevated political correctness above all else–national security included–such radical egalitarianism is cause for celebration. For Donnelly and countless other Americans, it is anything but. “No one’s injured son should have to die on the streets of a future Fallujah because the only soldier near enough to carry him to safety was a five-foot-two 110-pound woman,” she contends.

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Richard Land, who always prided himself on his "24-year tradition of not exercising my right as a private citizen to endorse a candidate" has now broken that tradition to endorse Mitt Romney because "this election is that important.&…

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Truth in Action Ministries regularly produces slick documentary-like videos filled with Religious Right leaders warning that activist judges are destroying the country, gay rights is turning America into a "lawless" nation, and how the United…

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Recently, Christian television host John Ankerberg sat down with Janet Parshall, Frank Wright, and Richard Land to "examine the moral issues surrounding the upcoming election," during which Wright, President and Chief Executive Offi…

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