UCC Condemns Boy Scouts

on August 24, 2012
The Scoutmaster by Norman Rockwell

The United Church of Christ spoke out as the newest detractor of the Boy Scouts of America. The official website of the fast-declining mainline church published an article critiquing the BSA’s reaffirmation to exclude homosexual leaders and members. This decision resulted from a thoughtful two-year process; the policy had first been established in 1999. LGBT activist groups had been putting pressure on the Boy Scouts to not only allow for openly gay Scoutmasters, but also teach sex education with an “open and inclusive” perspective. Scout leaders, on the other hand, are encouraged to avoid sexual instruction, leaving this responsibility in the hands of parents. This issue gained massive media exposure thanks to the Supreme Court case Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale.

Now an old Protestant denomination has leant its voice to the pansexual outcry. The article extensively quotes Pilgrim United Church of Christ lay member Brooke Willis, an active member of the LGBT community. “This whole situation is extremely unfortunate,” he proclaimed, “Kids are kids –– they need guidance, and leadership, and adventure, and activities. Who cares if they are gay or straight? The Boy Scouts should accept everyone.” He also stated, “Gay scout leaders are not interested in sexual orientation…They are interested in providing direction and leadership and giving kids something to do year-round. So many kids have no other role models –– why would you turn away volunteers who are trying to make a difference?” Eagle Scout Jonathan Helmick of First Grace UCC had a more even keel: “The BSA is an organization whose grand design is to give young men and boys a place to go, a place to learn essential skills, and to be better people and leaders…To close your doors to a cross-section of the population is a disservice to the intent of the organization and to future scouts.” Despite the blatant vilification of the organization in the pansexual community, Helmick still found the BSA commendable. “I still believe in the organization with my whole heart,” he confessed to UCC News, “Regardless of their decision, they are still doing good in the world. Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes you have to love unconditionally. When the Boy Scouts are ready to welcome us back, we’re ready to welcome them back.”

The article also included some interesting UCC policy facts: The UCC issued a statement at General Synod in July 2003 opposing the BSA’s policy, stating that “discrimination against anyone based on sexual orientation is contrary to our understanding of the teachings of Christ.” The UCC continues to offer full support to congregations who wish to sever their ties with the BSA, as well as those who wish to remain connected to the organization. There currently are 1,200 UCC-sponsored Boy Scout troops throughout the United States. Interestingly, UCC leadership decided it unwise to expell the BSA from church property. No doubt many members would have expressed outrage at such a measure.

As an Eagle Scout myself, I consistently resent revisionist attacks against this wonderful institution and its prudent decision. An overwhelming majority of parents wanted the BSA to persevere in its stance. They had problems with their sons going on long camping trips in the woods with openly-gay men. No, homosexuality is not the same as pederasty, nor does this policy prevent all abuse. But in the post-priest scandal and post-Sandusky age, concerned fathers and mothers are wary as ever when it comes to potentialities. And there are stronger potentialities. A comparable situation would be for straight men to go on camping trips with Girl Scouts (whose standards, one must admit, are much more progressive). A man may mean well and never cause trouble, but the potentiality would be enough for parents to worry.

Furthermore, as has been established by SCOTUS and many other thoughtful articles, the Boy Scouts has every right to enforce this position. It is a free, non-governmental entity. Leadership on the lower levels is entirely dependent on volunteers who must exhibit a life and character that is consistent with the Scouting way. And it is that way—so succinctly presented in the Scout Oath and Law, Slogan and Motto—that I swore to uphold for life eight years ago.

  1. Pingback by UCC Condemns Boy Scouts | BiltrixBoard | Scoop.it on August 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    […] The United Church of Christ spoke out as the newest detractor of the Boy Scouts of America.  […]

  2. Comment by Dan Trabue on August 24, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Do you understand that, IF the BS were banning priests from being leaders, or banning Baptist ministers from being leaders, how it would be unwise and harmful discrimination – making the suggestion that somehow THIS GROUP (the detested gay, or priest, or Baptist men) were more likely to abuse children?

    Discrimination is discrimination.

    Brooke Willis questions remain quite salient and rational…

    “Kids are kids –– they need guidance, and leadership, and adventure, and activities. Who cares if they are gay or straight? The Boy Scouts should accept everyone.” He also stated, “…So many kids have no other role models –– why would you turn away volunteers who are trying to make a difference?”

    The BS are making an unwise and harmful moral choice, here.

  3. Comment by jz on August 27, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Actually your post is quite telling. Are you aware that the vast majority of cases of priest sexual abuse were committed by homosexual priests against boys over 10 years old? For this reason if the priest, or anybody else for that matter, is gay, they should not be allowed to be in charge of young boys in situations where they might be alone with them.

    Thank you for giving such a great defense of the BS policy.

  4. Comment by Rev. Albert W. Kovacs, UCC on August 28, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    The possibility of abuse has such tragic consequences that the Boy Scouts cannot afford to err, and their position is absolutely correct. … A former Boy Scout – Rev. Albert W. Kovacs, UCC

  5. Comment by Chip Watkins on August 29, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Dan Trabue: I was a Boy Scout. My two sons have been Boy Scouts, and one of them is an Eagle Scout. You and I agree that boys need guidance–and the BSA, recognizing that it is making a moral choice, has chosen (wisely, in my opinion) to guide boys away from leaders and peers who are homosexuals. There are plenty of good leaders and role models who are not engaged in homosexual activities–the BSA evidently believes that it can recruit sufficient leaders who are heterosexual.

    If the UCC wants to start a boys group that has homosexual leaders, it is free to do so, but it should recognize that it is both promoting conduct that violates the clear and consistent teaching in the Bible, and discriminating against boys who want to be free from homosexual influence.

  6. Comment by eMatters on August 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    This is one of those “I can’t believe we’re having this conversation” topics. Even if you are part of the apostate UCC or some random fake Christian who spouts pro-gay theology, you should see the wisdom of not having males who are attracted to males camping with boys. Gee, what could possibly go wrong? Lawyers would have field days suing the Boy Scouts when abuses would occur (“They knowingly let gay men spend time alone on camping trips with boys — what were they thinking?! Please make that multi-million dollar, Boy Scout-bankrupting check out to ______”).

    Your references to Sandusky and the priests are apt, as is the obvious analogy to men camping with girls.

    The one good thing about this topic is that those like the UCC are basically screaming out that they could care less about God’s word and common sense. They just want to advance the gay agenda and try to destroy the Scouts.

  7. Comment by freedomactionnow on August 26, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    “Lawyers would have field days suing the Boy Scouts when abuses would occur …”

    As they have, with not only the Catholic Church, but a certain Pennsylvania college.

  8. Pingback by Shocking: Apostate UCC condemns Boy Scouts for having common sense | Wolves in Sheep's Clothing on August 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    […] By which I mean, not shocking at all.  See UCC Condemns Boy Scouts « Juicy Ecumenism. […]

  9. Comment by Dan Trabue on August 24, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Neil…

    you should see the wisdom of not having males who are attracted to males camping with boys.

    Um, because in your circles, men are attracted to boys and might try to seduce them?

    Doesn’t happen in my circles, but maybe that’s a conservative thing…

    (zing!)

    Maybe the BS should ban conservative males from being leaders, since Neil has just testified that they have a thing for boys…

    (zing! 2)

  10. Comment by freedomactionnow on August 26, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    Unfortunately, your so-called “zings” fall short. Your argument (if we can all it that) is logically vacuous.

  11. Comment by Dan Trabue on August 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Hello, “freedom now.” Those were, of course, just silly little jokes I made (albeit with a good point). But by all means, let’s talk about my argument. It goes like this…

    Gay folk aren’t more likely to assault children than straight folk.
    Catholic priests aren’t more likely to assault children than non-priests.

    Therefore, it is harmful and wrong to stigmatize and ostrasize one group for no good reason. It is immoral and slanderous and wrongly discriminatory to suggest one group (“the gays”) should be banned from service based on their orientation.

    Where specifically in my actual argument would you find anything “vacuous.”

    It’s easy to simply make charges, but let us reason as adults, and Christian adults (if you are a Christian) and take the high road to respectful conversation.

    As with Brother Neil, I extend to you my hand in Christian goodwill, waiting to have a conversation if you so desire.

    What say ye?

  12. Comment by eMatters on August 24, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    My one-time response and prebuttal to anything said to me by blog-stalking false teacher Dan Trabue. You can ban him from your blog, have his unwanted emails sent to the junk folder and ask him not to follow you around the Internet and respond to you, but he’ll ignore all that and even contact your pastor (seriously). I offer this warning out of love for my neighbors, though only reluctantly because, as his follow-up comments will show, it only feeds his malignant narcissism. I will not read any of his comments or mention his name again on this thread. Blessings to you all, and thanks to the IRD for exposing bad theology and false teachers!

  13. Comment by Bart Gingerich on August 24, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    I dunno. I kinda like how Dan’s comments boost the number of responses on my posts, which makes me like I wrote something significant. I must be a dialectical ambulance chaser, because I perversely enjoy watching Dan’s consistent logical trainwrecks. I don’t see his rights being revoked any time soon.

  14. Comment by eMatters on August 25, 2012 at 8:34 am

    LOL. I’ll concede that some commenters will boost your traffic and that watching self-refuting theological Liberals does have a peculiar entertainment value at times. If they weren’t so unique and prolific I’d fear that our opponents would accuse us of making them up as straw men..

    To be clear, I’m not asking you to revoke anyone’s rights. I just do a simple copy/paste when creepy faux-Christian blog-stalkers continue to rebel against the most simple request imaginable: “Please don’t respond to me — anywhere.” It is a classic sign of a stalker to deliberately and repeatedly ignore such a request.

    Some “Christians” act is if they’d make great sacrifices for the Lord but can’t simply abstain from unwanted interactions. What could be easier than cooperating with requests such as, “Don’t comment on my blog,” “Don’t email me” and “Don’t follow me to other blogs and respond to my comments” — not to mention the obvious “Don’t waste my pastor’s time by writing him about how I am not interested in talking to you.” But like most people who make gods in their own image they rationalize away their rebellion and un-loving behavior. It is like some weird addiction where they like being humiliated in public.

    Keep up the good work, Bart. You and IRD are doing something significant in exposing the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

  15. Comment by eMatters on August 25, 2012 at 8:42 am

    P.S. One more “Captain Obvious” thing to note: It is amusing that when a blog-stalker denies my simple request and replies to me on blogs he followed me to, he then claims I’m bearing false witness by pointing out that he replies to me after I’ve asked him not to. His behavior proves my point, but he is blinded to it.

    Sadly, we’ve once again fed the narcissistic beast.

  16. Comment by Dan Trabue on August 25, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Where is the love? Where is the grace?

    I sadly rebuke you in the name of Christ our Lord.

    Repent my brother. Give up this bitter trail you’re going down, it is only harmful to you.

  17. Comment by Dan Trabue on August 24, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Those who gossip and slander are not part of the Kingdom of God, Neil. Be careful, dear brother.

  18. Comment by Dan Trabue on August 25, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Bart, I would appeal to you as one of the folk responsible for this blog: Neil is posting an off-topic link to a site where he spreads false witness and slander and does so in a forum where I can’t even defend myself. This off-topic, ad hom attack has nothing to do with the post and it is shameful, disgraceful, UN-grace-full that he does this, I would ask that you remove this link as a matter of Christian decency.

    Would it be okay if I set up a site to demonize and slander Neil and not allow him to correct my false charges/defend himself and then link to it here, completely off topic? No, of course not. And I wouldn’t do it. It is not Christian or even adult behavior. It is craven, cowardly, base and evil. Remove the link, please.

    As to the ON-topic of the post, I will always gladly talk on topic with you if you’re up to it. While you at least allow me to make my points and defend my actual responses, you generally choose not to.

    Which is your option. But if you can’t defend your position, if you can’t answer simple questions that point to holes in your argument, then you can’t reasonably expect people to be swayed by your reasoning (or lack thereof). Come, let us REASON TOGETHER, as the good book says.

    ON topic, the fact is that groups who work with kids have a responsibility to vet their volunteers/employees and we absolutely ought not place pederasts or child abusers in charge of our children. But being gay is no more closer to pederasty than being straight is.

    Growing up, the one den master in my neighborhood who was found to have a thing for boys was a married straight guy. Does that mean that we ought not have any straight guys work for the BS? That would be stupid. The ideal is not to have child abusers work with children.

    There is no evidence that gays or lesbians are more likely to be child abusers than straight folk, although I would trust my daughter with a lesbian much more readily than I would with straight guys. I know straight guys and they too often are willing to cross lines if “the girl is hot.” My lesbian friends wouldn’t dream of such a thing.

    Go where the evidence leads, NOT where petty cultural biases scare us into going.

  19. Comment by Chatfield Glenn on August 28, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Just for the record, Neil is NOT bearing false witness against Dan. I am a witness to everything Neil has stated. Dan has indeed be identified on my blog as a false teacher and rank heretic, as well as a promoter of everything homosexual.

  20. Pingback by Roundup | Eternity Matters on August 25, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    […] Via UCC Condemns Boy Scouts – shocking!  By which I mean, not shocking at all. […]

  21. Comment by eMatters on August 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    “Where is the love? Where is the grace?
    I sadly rebuke you in the name of Christ our Lord.”

    Sorry, one last comment.

    Thoroughly documented blog-stalking false teacher Dan Trabue claims that he views me as a brother in Christ and love me. When one considers how love manifests itself, it usually involves some sort of sacrifice — giving of time, giving of money, or sacrificing health, safety or even life itself. At least that’s how Christians throughout the century showed love.

    Now carefully consider what I have asked Dan Trabue to do to show his “love”: Nothing. Literally nothing. I don’t mean I didn’t ask him anything. I did ask make a request of him: Do nothing. Do not comment on my blog, do not email me, do not reply to me on other blogs.

    So has Dan the “loving, tolerant brother-in-Christ” demonstrated his love by adhering to my simple request to do nothing? Nope. He continually responds to my comments even though I never address him.

    So here we are once again, wasting valuable time because Dan cannot perform what is literally the easiest request ever made in the history of the universe: Don’t reply to my blog comments.

    So prove me wrong, Dan. Don’t respond to this comment or to any other comment I ever make, and I’ll do the same for you. What could be easier? Just do nothing and you will have exhibited the tiniest amount of evidence that you can accommodate the simplest and easier request for love ever.

    If you type so much as an “OK” in response or if you ever reply to me again then I’ll update the post on my blog and re-post it, noting how “loving” Dan Trabue literally couldn’t bring himself to do nothing in response to a request from someone he insists is a brother-in-Christ to him. (If you want to complain about me on your blog, then by all means do that. I don’t read it so I don’t care. I just don’t want to interact with you, ever.)

    Will you comply with the easiest request in the history of man to give the slighest bit of evidence of your alleged love, or will you prove yourself a hypocrite for all time? Your call! I’m good either way.

  22. Comment by eMatters on August 25, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    The last question was rhetorical, of course. I don’t want a written answer.

  23. Comment by Dan Trabue on August 25, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Neil, there is a difference in kind to your request. I am simply asking for human decency – that you cease talking ABOUT me (and others), that you quit your gossip and slander and false witness. These are objectively bad things you are engaged in and, while it does me no harm, it harms you and it harms polite public discourse.

    I, on the other hand, am merely offering opinions about your comments. You say X and I might ask a question about X or ask if X is reasonable. I’m not speaking about you, I’m speaking about IDEAS and IDEALS.

    So your request that I quit offering opinions about matters when you’ve offered them is not rational, but my request that you quit gossiping ABOUT me and, if you’re going to gossip and spread false witness, then have the decency to allow me (and others like me) to defend myself/ourselves.

    But I’ll tell you what: I’ll meet you in the middle: IF you will remove your false reports about me and others, if you will give up this sinful practice of gossip and objectively false witness and slander, THEN I will, from that point on, cease to comment directly to your comments. I will not cease to comment about ideas, this is a free country and that would be an unreasonable and slightly childish request. But I will cease commenting directly about your comments.

    As soon as you either remove your false witness, gossip and slander (and apology would be appreciated, but is not necessary), THEN I will cease responding directly to you, my brother.

    Will you do the decent thing? I pray so, I hope so, but I doubt it.

    And my brother, just because you may not accept me as a brother does not make me a brother. I am objectively a Christian, saved by God’s grace and a follower of Jesus our Lord. If you also are a Christian (and I assume you are, poor conduct notwithstanding), then you are objectively my brother in Christ. You don’t have to like it, but that’s just the facts.

    What of it, my brother? Meet me halfway? Will you do the right thing?

  24. Comment by eMatters on August 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    It is hard to believe, but blog-stalking false teacher Dan Trabue — who claims he loves me as a brother-in-Christ — has failed yet again to comply with the simplest request for love in the history of man: Do nothing. By that I mean that he was asked not to reply to my comments (just as he was asked not to comment on my blog and not to email me — after which he literally wrote to my pastor to complain!). You’ve been warned, people. Dan has proved yet again that he is a fraud.

    Dan, everything I’ve said has been 100% true and I have the evidence for it. You commented on my blog after being told not to, you emailed me after I told you not to and you follow me to other blogs and make stupid comments after you’ve been told not to. And you even wrote my pastor, you freak. You and I both know these are 100.000% true, so I’m not sure why you lie about it here and claim I’m bearing false witness. Oh, wait, I do know why — because you are a non-Christian, blog-stalking false teacher!

    The Bible warned against false teachers like you many times because of how vile and dangerous they are. Exposing them like IRD does is the loving, Christian thing to do.

    Bart, again, my apologies — I’m done on this thread.

  25. Comment by freedomactionnow on August 26, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Being condemned by the UCC is a sign they’re on the right track.

    “It is a free, non-governmental entity…..”

    There are many advantages to not taking money from the government. (I was going to say “taking government money”, but the government’s principal source of revenue is the taxes citizens and corporations pay.)

  26. Comment by Donnie on August 27, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I’ve always found something sinister about the secular left’s infiltration of mainline churches. If these leaders simply wanted to help people without the “baggage” of Christian dogma, they would give money and/or volunteer at their local soup kitchen or similar secular charity.

    There is no question that the leaders of the UCC (and other mainline denominations) are striving to create a godless church that is simply a social club for doing good. Nothing wrong with helping the poor, the widow, the hungry, etc (in fact, I believe all Christians are called to do so), but it’s evil when it’s at the expense of (small o) orthodox Christian teaching.

    Doing trendy things like condemning the Boy Scouts only further cements this notion.

  27. Comment by MichGuy on August 27, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Geez … don’t know why the Boy Scout would want to be careful, outside of the fact that there were 2,000 cases of sexual abuse reported in the U.S. before 2004 and many more in scouts around the world. This isn’t saying that all were by gay scout leaders, but when you go through that kind of trauma as victims, parents and an organization, you tend to want to want to really be careful about who you allow your kids to be with. I think they have every right to determine their leadership, as as someone with a scout son, I know even today’s leaders are not allowed to be alone with any single scout.

  28. Comment by Dan Trabue on August 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    This isn’t saying that all were by gay scout leaders, but when you go through that kind of trauma as victims, parents and an organization, you tend to want to want to really be careful about who you allow your kids to be with.

    Michguy, do you see the randomness of this bias? “There were 2000 abuses that occurred in the US. Therefore, let us ban gay folk…”

    ??

    Based upon what?

    In fact, given that they already ban gay folk from participating in scouts, is it not reasonable to say that ALMOST NONE of these abuses involve instances of abuse by gay folk? That perhaps 99% of these abuses were perpetrated by straight men? If you want to ban some whole group, wouldn’t straight men be the reasonable group to ban, based upon actual behavior?

    Wouldn’t it logically make sense to blame the, you know, actual abusers rather than a randomly selected group of innocent bystanders?

    Where is the morality or logic in that?

  29. Comment by MichGuy on August 28, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Dan – I didn’t say if they were “openly” gay or not, but based on the number of cases of sexual abuse between leaders (men) and boys (scouts), it’s safe to say that there were predators with male-male tendencies (married/straight/bi, whatever). This wasn’t a situation where there were female leaders going after boys. That said, the organization has every right to be careful with who is allows in leadership, based on past experience. If they chose not to allow openly gay leaders, that is their choice. That’s not saying there wouldn’t be good leaders who are gay. But the organization has every right to create regulations.

  30. Comment by J S Lang on August 28, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Speaking as a former Boy Scout, and son of a Scoutmaster, my take on the issue is: We don’t let make straight men be Scoutmasters for Girl Scouts, and by the same token let gay men be Scoutmasters for Boy Scouts. It’s hardly “discrimination” to require that the person sharing tents and showering with children NOT be attracted to them.
    Btw, rumor has it that lesbians working with Girl Scouts is a settled issue–as in, it happens all the time yet no one complains about it. Might be a productive subject for some ambitious reporter.

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