Published June 13, 2013
Ernest Easley was among numerous Southern Baptist leaders who expressed dismay over the Boy Scouts’ move to open its ranks to openly gay participants in the weeks before the vote.
SBC Executive Committee President Frank Page, who had met with Scouting leaders and urged them to maintain the current policy, said he was “deeply saddened” that the BSA overturned its “constitutionally protected expressive message that homosexual behavior is incompatible with the principles enshrined in the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
“We know that the pressures exerted against the voting members of the 1,400 chartered organizations by homosexual activist groups have been unrelenting,” Page said. “We are grateful for each voting member who voted in the minority, but our sadness for the Scouting organization as a whole cannot be overstated.”
Page said the vote “ushers in a sea-change in the credibility of the Boy Scouts of America as a viable boys’ organization for millions of Americans who believe strongly in the principles of biblical morality. To claim that the Boys Scouts is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training suddenly rings hollow.”
“We continue to pray for our country. We believe we are in desperate need of a genuine spiritual awakening that will transform lives through the power of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Page said.
Southern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter called it “a sad day in the history of an organization that for years stood on Christian principles, particularly for the thousands of Southern Baptists who grew up as Boy Scouts like myself.”
“My prayers,” Luter said, “go out to the parents and churches who have been forced to make decisions about being a part of the Boy Scouts organization. As Southern Baptists, our commitment to the Word of God and Christian values must take priority over what is ‘politically correct.’”
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