Sunday, June 2, 2013

More Jokers...

Skull Clock by paynehollow
Skull Clock, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.

(CNN) – For Southern Baptist pastor Tim Reed, it was Scripture versus the Scouts.

“God’s word explicitly says homosexuality is a choice, a sin,” said Reed, pastor of First Baptist Church of Gravel Ridge in Jacksonville, Arkansas.

So when the Boy Scouts of America voted to lift its ban on openly gay youths on May 24, Reed said the church had no choice but to cut its charter with Troop 542.

“It’s not a hate thing here,” Reed told CNN affiliate Fox 16. “It’s a moral stance we must take as a Southern Baptist church.”

Southern Baptist leaders say Reed is not alone.

Baptist churches sponsor nearly 4,000 Scout units representing more than 100,000 youths, according to the Boy Scouts of America.

That number could drop precipitously.

The Southern Baptist Convention, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, will soon urge its 45,000 congregations and 16 million members to cut ties with the Scouts, according to church leaders.

=====

What I'm wondering is how this makes any sense at all? Are the BSA endorsing gay sex? Are they going to be actively recruiting boys into "the gay lifestyle" and endorsing "the gay agenda..."?

By accepting boys who happen to have a homosexual orientation, is that an endorsement of sex of any sort? I mean, they accept boys with a heterosexual orientation, does that mean that they endorse boys having straight sex?

Even if the Southern Baptists tend to think that gay sex is wrong, this is not an endorsement of that. It's just accepting kids into their group, just like they accept boys who might have premarital sex with girls or just like they might accept kids who have (or will tell) lies or cheat on a test.

Acceptance of people into your company is not an endorsement of all their behaviors and the Southern Baptists (and others) can't start excluding folk WITHOUT appearing hateful and intolerant. This is blind and irrational discrimination and it's wrong. Shame on them.

Even so, Southern Baptists will still be tolerated in my company. Disagreement does not have to lead to empty-headed and grace-less exclusion.

39 comments:

Alan said...

If the Southern Baptists intentionally want to decrease their possible opportunities to influence young boys and young men, I'm all for it. I think the less influence that Southern Baptists have on anyone, the better off we all are. :)

Parklife said...

"It’s not a hate thing here," Reed told CNN affiliate Fox 16. "It’s a moral stance we must take as a Southern Baptist church."

haha.. its not hate.. just our morals.

Well done! Sometimes that line between hate and morals can be blurry.

Marshall Art said...

Only for you, Parklife.

This is a serious and sensitive issue for the Scouts who, like many in our culture, are hounded by immoral people to accept that against which they sought to stand.

I don't know that the BSA would routinely turn a blind eye away from Scouts who engaged in pre-marital hetero sex, so I don't know what you mean by that. If any Scouts are covertly indulging in immoral behavior, I don't know that one can hold anything against the BSA. Are you suggesting that they know of boys acting immorally and doing nothing about it?

This idea that it would be hateful discrimination is ludicrous. But they are between a rock and a hard place by having to ride that line between accepting someone who acknowledges a disordered attraction and/or one who acts on it. The Scouts swear to do their duty to God. For a boy to carry on even an "innocent" relationship with another boy (in the same manner a hetero boy might with a girl---hand holding, kissing, but no sexual activity) would still be acting in conflict with that idea of doing one's duty to God.

Yet, I have no illusions concerning how difficult it would be to simply turn away a kid who struggles with such a thing, just as it would be difficult to turn away any kid who struggles with sinful compulsions of any kind. But the activists don't give a flying rat's ass about any of that, so long as the Agenda That Doesn't Exist is furthered in any way possible. Screw the kids who struggle with immoral compulsions and the good Christian adults who would seek to guide them properly. All that matters is that this wickedness is regarded as goodness and light by all.

As far as churches bailing on the Scouts, it is a terrible thing. But we know that they are no longer allowed to teach God's truth and must once again pull up stakes and split. May God have mercy on the BSA and those who put them in this spot.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

This is a serious and sensitive issue for the Scouts who, like many in our culture, are hounded by immoral people to accept that against which they sought to stand.

"Hounded" to accept sinners?

Here's the apt analogy:

At my church, we disagree with some of modern Southern Baptist teachings. A local SB congregation may, in fact, come out with a policy - "We will not accept gay people in our congregation."

And, at my congregation, we may come out with out own policy - "We DO accept all folk, gay or straight, in our congregation."

What we WON'T do is come out with a policy, "We won't accept any Southern Baptist people into our congregation." We may disagree with a particular POLICY or VIEWPOINT, but that viewpoint or policy does not mean we won't accept the people.

The SB are trying to bully the BSA into not accepting people.

That is the difference and the problem.

You disagree with behavior X? Then DON'T TAKE PART in behavior X! But unless you're going to ban all people who disagree with your opinions, you'd do well to try the more grace-full and tolerant path. Otherwise, you'll be sitting in your pew all by yourselves, like the man who farts in church.

Parklife said...

Yes Marshall. Thank you for explaining your pov for the millionth time. Its still hate.

Its unfortunate that religion has invaded the Scouts. The organization should be focused on helping little old ladies cross the street, rather than deciding these types of cultural issues. They would benefit from a little soul searching and might find a stronger organization when they finally learn to love all of its members.

Craig said...

Parklife,

Religion has not "invaded" the BSA. It has been a significant part of scouting for decades.

Dan Trabue said...

Indeed, the problem is not religion - it is religious values that the led the BSA to be honest, to help old ladies across the street, to care for Creation, etc - it's BAD religion and its application in negative ways.

Alan said...

I get a bit tired of the word "bully" used as a synonym for the word "disagree."

Those churches that want to disengage from the BSA over this are under no obligation to continue to support the scouts, and the scouts are under no obligation to allow the SBC to decide BSA policy.

I doubt the troops affected by these decisions will have a hard time finding a new place to meet. And in the meantime, the SBC will have that many fewer young people being influenced by their religious ideas -- ideas that the scouts don't value.

It's a win/win, if you ask me.

If only the SBC would continue to withdraw from the larger culture in these ways! The more that the fundies cut themselves off and become even more insular, the better off we all are.

Parklife said...

"It has been a significant part of scouting for decades."

umm... did I say otherwise?

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Your analogy would be more "apt" if Baptist churches were refusing homosexuals into their churches. I don't think they do this. I'm aware they have dealt with splits and such over the issue. But these things happen due to a segment insisting that practicing homosexuals can be blessed, married and generally treated as if they were not furthering the homosexual agenda. One cannot blame a true Christian church for having issues with this, and it is quite Biblical to cast out unrepentant sinners. No church can be blamed, then, for not wanting to be equally yoked with unrepentant sinners. This is the case with Reed and others like him. I doubt he does it with a joyous heart.

But most churches accept sinners of all types as saving souls is kind of their business.

Now, you may not reject SB types from your church, but then, you have no Biblical reason for doing so. They've done nothing wrong in this case. But YOU'RE doing something wrong in suggesting that they are bullying the Scouts into not accepting people. This is clearly not true. They have stepped aside from them and allowed them to do what they want to do. They can't fight it because they don't have a vote in how the BSA runs their organization. But in light of the BSA decision, they are well within their rights to withdraw support, just as you would withdraw support form a business or organization whose decisions you don't like.

It's extremely sad and a real lose/lose situation with the real losers being the kids. Moral corruption is now infecting the BSA and the SB can't do anything about it. Worst of all are those kids struggling with this disorder who now have fewer moral influences guiding them. The activists and their enablers don't care. They are all about silencing and/or marginalizing proper Christian teaching.

Craig said...


"Its unfortunate that religion has invaded the Scouts."

Why yes, it appears you did. Or at least implied it.

Parklife said...

ugh.. Craig.. Guess we will have to agree to disagree.

Craig said...

It's your quote, not mine. But really, disagreeing about all one can hope for from you is isn't it?

Craig said...

OK serious question.

Now that the BSA has made this change, what would the response be if a group of folks wanted to start a new private organization that was similar to the BSA but restricted it's membership to heterosexuals? Would that group be allowed to exist or would there be people who would feel compelled to force this new group to include non heterosexuals? .

I don't have any plans or anything, just curious.

Alan said...

It would be no different than my undergraduate alma mater, a private religious institution that will not grant tenure to anyone who is not a member of the denomination that owns the school.

I am not a lawyer, so I don't know where the public/private line gets drawn, but there are still plenty of restricted country clubs in this country that refuse to admit people of color, Jews, or anyone else who isn't a WASP.

Would there be people who would feel compelled to force this new group to include non-heterosexuals? Yeah, no doubt. Would the law support them? Again, I'm not a lawyer, but I'd bet it would if it were truly a private organization, and I'm guessing this legal area has been hashed out about a gazillion times already.

Alan said...

subject and object in that last paragraph got a bit confusing...but to simplify, yes, people would complain, no, a truly private organization would not be made to admit non-heterosexuals.

Craig said...

Alan,

Thanks for the answer. I agree, that it should be legally possible, and that it should be legal. But it seems as though there is a subset of the (for lack of a better term) "gay community" that is pushing for inclusion in groups that seemingly should be able to restrict their membership. I'm less curious about the legality, than the mindset (if that makes any sense).

Alan said...

Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't have a problem with people seeking redress in the courts if they feel that they have been illegally harmed. Doesn't mean the courts have to agree with them.

As I've read more about these issues, one of the problems is where the line between public and private gets drawn and it seems (from my limited reading) that the line is murkey. For example, The Boys and Girls Clubs used to be The Boys Clubs, but the courts ruled that it wasn't a private enough organization to be allowed to descriminate, and thus they had to allow girls.

Somehow, the BSA is "more private" than the Boys and Girls clubs, so in 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that they could not be forced to allow LGBT scoutmasters.

The Wikipedia article on BSA v. Dale is pretty useful in describing the court's ruling about such associations.

In general, the more restrictions a private group places on membership, the less likely it is to be found to be a public accomodation. This is why, for example, LGBT people cannot sue to have a denomination ordain them, or sue because a church refuses to marry a same sex couple (regardless of the hysterical rhetoric from the chicken-littles among us.)

But if an association is worthwhile (and I don't think any of us here would argue that the BSA is not) why would we be surprised that some people would want to join, that the group itself may want to exclude? And why would we be surprised that those people, who want to enjoy the benefits of that worthwhile association, might turn to the courts?

Personally, I'm more of a "change from inside" kinda guy anyway as I think getting the group or association (or denomination, *ahem*) to change its own rules is much more effective than having them be forced by the courts (if such a thing were possible, which the above cases demonstrate that it usually isn't.)

Alan said...

(I would point out that the courts did not "force" the BSA to change their rules, they changed their rules of their own accord. And, as their rules still do not allow gay scoutmasters, it was only striaght people who head up the organization who made the decision to allow LGBT scouts.)

Craig said...

Alan,

Thanks for the answers, I appreciate your thoughts on this.

Marshall Art said...

Alan's understanding of the BSA situation matches mine. The irony here is that the issue relates well to a previous post regarding so-called discrimination by business owners. This BSA issue is really no different because it is not a public institution, or more precisely, a gov't based organization. Neither is a business. Because it is private, it is within its rights to "discriminate" as it sees fit.

And just like the private business owners previously discussed, this BSA issue is one of behaviors more than some unchangeable characteristic. What was likely a position that was of the "taken it for granted" variety has been forced upon them by virtue of those who self-identify as homosexual demanding acceptance. I don't believe that, like most Christian churches, it is a matter of self-identifying, but a matter of what they think about the identity. Is it something they themselves reject or hope to live out? How could the BSA possibly know for sure and without such knowledge, how could they refuse a kid who identifies in this way? Take any other negative behavior and the BSA would stand firmly. But with this behavior, cultural pressure has caused many to cave. This is complicated by the fact that it revolves around kids. What a nightmare for the BSA!

Alan said...

The difference, MA, between the Boy Scouts and a business is that we are guaranteed freedom of association in the Constitution. There is no right for a business to discriminate. You may think there should be such a right, but it does not exist.

Marshall Art said...

Alan,

I do not believe what you said is in the Constitution. That is, we do indeed have freedom of association, but that right is not enforced if a business is forced to serve anyone, anytime regardless of their known intentions. I would say that it is more accurate to say that there is no restriction on the right of a private enterprise of any kind to discriminate in the Constitution, but that laws and/or SCOTUS decisions may have mandated such a thing contrary to Constitutional intent.

That's the thing about the Constitution: it was intended to restrict the federal gov't, not the people.

Alan said...

A business is not, by definition, private.

Dan Trabue said...

Well now, to be fair, there ARE those business owners that only sell to themselves. What's that word for them?

Oh yeah, Outof, as in Outof Businesses.

Marshall Art said...

A business, by definition, is not a gov't entity, but a private enterprise.

Alan said...

I know, MA, that your kneejerk response to everything is "Dadgum Gubmint Bad!!" But no one here has mentioned "The Government" about anything here at all.

A business sells stuff to the public. Public. You know, other people.

Do you know of businesses that are owned by people who only sell their goods or services to the people who own that business? Because otherwise, they serve the public.

Marshall Art said...

Then, Alan, like Dan, you don't understand the concept of public and private. Just because I deal with the public as I go about my life doesn't mean I'm a public figure. Just because I run a business that sells to the public doesn't mean I'm a public business. Thus, my mention of gov't in the previous comment was to distinguish between that which is private and that which is public. This shows that I don't have "knee jerk" responses, but responses appropriate for the comments that provoke them.

Now, this is not to be confused with the distinction between private business and public business, the difference being whether or not the shares of stock are offered to the general public (the latter business). But both are still private in the sense that they are part of the private sector, which is us, as opposed to the public sector, which is the gov't.

Both privately held AND publicly traded businesses might deal with the public from which they acquire their customers, but they are both private in the sense of being part of the private sector and not subject to the restrictions and prohibitions aimed at government by the Constitution (based on the intent of the authors).

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Art, that same Constitution says that Congress has the power "to regulate oommerce". Your local municipality can determine through zoning where your business can and cannot be conducted. It can even decide whether or not you can conduct business at all, by denying you a license.

I could go on, but this idea that being in business is some magical zone free from public concern is both ridiculous and impractical. Before you even open your doors, the state has a whole series of demands that are both sensible and necessary.

Because you are serving the public, as Alan has said. The public through its elected representatives at all levels has insisted on these regulations in order to ensure that business is done ethically and in the public interest. I'm not sure what your word salad in your last comment means. As usual, I'm pretty sure you don't either.

Alan said...

I'm not going to try to decipher whatever it is that MA is attempting to say. But I think the difficulty lies between what he wishes was the case (businesses should be able to discriminate against anyone, and no law is constitutional that infringes on that right) and reality (as Geoffrey pointed out, the constitution gives Congress the right to regulate commerce and the 14th Amendment offers equal protection.)

I wish we had hover boards, moon bases, and a decent toaster that toasts evenly on both sides, but I don't confuse my wishes with reality.

Bubba said...

The Constitution permits Congress only to regulate INTERSTATE commerce, and the equal protection of the law does not ensure equal access to private institutions.

"The public through its elected representatives at all levels has insisted on these regulations in order to ensure that business is done ethically and in the public interest."

Ethical business practices can be ensured simply by enforcing contract law and the prohibition of crimes such as fraud, theft, assault, property damage and intimidation.

And it's not necessary that every business be run in the public interest: it's not anyone else's business if no greater cause is served by my work, so long as my customers are happy and no one else is harmed.

It's largely unnecessary for "the public" to make its will known through regulations, since "the public" can make its will known through its buying behavior and purchasing power. Supply and demand is usually a sufficient -- and EFFECIENT -- reflection of public will, and regulation is invariably an attempt to short-circuit those market forces.

After all, if "the public" in NYC really didn't want Big Gulps, Nanny Bloomberg wouldn't have to regulate them out of existence: everyone would simply avoid buying them, and stores wouldn't be able to afford to offer them for long.

And notice I mention "everyone." That's the beauty of the free market, that it does allow room for minority opinion. There are individuals who would want to go to a bar that permits smoking and entrepreneurs who would want to cater to smokers at the expense of turning off everybody else.

The regulatory model imposes the ruling elite's Vision of the Good Life on everybody else.

And the argument for the regulatory model is based, in part, on the logical fallacy of equivocation, of playing games with multiple meanings for the same word.

The word in question is "public."

"Do you know of businesses that are owned by people who only sell their goods or services to the people who own that business? Because otherwise, they serve the public."

A business that thus "serve[s] the public" is STILL a private institution because it is privately owned.

It is part of the private sector of the economy, which "consists of privately owned enterprises" rather than the public sector of "state-owned institutions, including nationalized industries and services provided by local authorities."

Do some here deny the legitimacy of the private sector of an economy? They should be more honest, then, about their belief in a command economy, where all economic institutions are ultimately agents of the state even if they are privately owned in a nominal sense.

Alan said...

tl;dr

I'm sure it was fascinating though.

Marshall Art said...

I typed the following and never hit the publish button. In the meantime, Bubba published his comments that cover similar territory.
--------------------------------------

First off boys, "word salad" is Geoffrey-speak for, "I can't counter your clear and sensible comment, so I'll pretend it makes no sense." Alan does the same by declining any attempt to "decipher" what needs no scientist to explain. Simply put, for you intellectuals apparently need things simply put, my last was meant to define the terms I was using and then to distinguish them from other common usages. As my explanation clearly shows, I used public in reference to gov't run entities, and private for anything not run by the government, but by private individuals or groups of same. Then, I distinguished this from ownership, as private corporations do not sell stock to the general public for generating investment capital. Publicly traded corps. do.

If either of you wish to cement your pretense of honesty and tolerance, simply asking for clarifications would serve you better.

As to the rest, like so many others on your side of the divide, you seem to think that what is established in law settles any question for all time. If this were so, we'd still have alcohol banned, slavery intact and Japanese interred.

But the issue is not what the law says, but whether what the law says is just and in line with the Constitution. Public accommodation policies and civil rights laws have been horribly abused for quite some time. Laws that force people to run their businesses in a manner that conflicts with their right to religious expression are unjust and un-Constitutional, even regardless of what SCOTUS says at the moment.

Parklife said...

"even regardless of what SCOTUS says at the moment."

lol.. Game... Set.. Match.

Marshall Art said...

Perhaps, Parklife, you could point out exactly where you see the game won and by whom. Do you even know how the quote of mine you highlighted fits in to the discussion? Please enlighten.

Parklife said...

Marshall.. Im pretty sure you won a long time ago. But, this has to be the end. Right?

Marshall Art said...

Just as I thought and feared. Parklife has nothing to say.

Parklife said...

lol.. you "thought"

Marshall Art said...

lol.. you never have.