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Monday, July 8, 2013

Denied the Opportunity to Exclude

Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, Jul 8, 2013 at 10:29 AM

A church in a small town in Georgia kicked the scouts out after the scouts stopped kicking gay kids out. Jason Rains wrote an amazing editorial for the LaGrange Citizen in response. It's required reading:

The principles that the Scouts actively teach certainly seem in line with those of the church: honesty, integrity, dependability, self-reliance, religious devotion, and so forth. That would handily explain why so many churches host scout troops in the first place. The Scouts’ mission adds value to the community by building skills and promoting positive ideals, so of course the church adds value by providing a venue to facilitate that mission. For the church to stop sponsoring the scouts, one would have to surmise that the new policy undermines all that good in a profound and fundamental way.

But it doesn’t. This is where my stomach begins to turn as I try and comprehend the thought process of the adults who made this decision at First Baptist. They’re not just saying that a kid who is gay—or more precisely, a kid who admits to being gay, since the Scouts have never prohibited closeted homosexuals from participating—doesn’t deserve to be exposed to that positive influence. They’re saying that there’s greater value in denying that influence to all boys than in tolerating the possibility of even one gay boy receiving the same. They’re saying that exclusion for exclusion’s sake is, to use Rev. Baxter’s own words, “an integral part of building character and integrity.”

I get it: the church believes homosexuality is wrong. They’re entitled to that belief. But you don’t have to think too long and hard to see the absurdity of drawing a line in the sand over this one issue.

Go read the whole thing. The last two paragraphs are just amazing. Read it.

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