Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention – based in Nashville – say they are “deeply saddened” with the decision to accept openly gay youth in the Boy Scouts of America.
In a statement, president Frank Page says the denomination’s sadness “cannot be overstated.” He calls pressure from homosexual activists “unrelenting.”
Baptist leaders say a claim by the Boy Scouts to be a program that develops character and values-based leadership “suddenly rings hollow.”
Baptist ethicist Richard Land predicts a “mass exodus” from scouting among religious organizations.
“Frankly,” Land says, “I can’t imagine a Southern Baptist pastor who would continue to allow his church to sponsor a Boy Scout troop.”
The newly adopted rule accepting openly gay scouts takes effect January 1st.
The Middle Tennessee Council’s seven delegates on the 1,400-member National Council planned to vote against the proposed change. They conducted a survey of parents and community members that found a majority favoring the current “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gay youth.