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Update: Gay teenager denied Eagle Scout award, as he doesn’t adhere to ‘duty of God’

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  1. So, the BSA is a religious group now?

    1. Christopher in Canada 9 Jan 2013, 3:01am

      Not in Canada. What will they do at Jamboree?

      For that matter, what did US troops do at NATO before the DADT repeal?

      How RIDICULOUS is the US going to become?

    2. Yes, the US Supreme Court has found that the BSA is a religious group, and thus may exclude people for religious reasons. In the US, the scouts are largely an arm of the Catholic and Mormon churches.

      Accordingly, some governments in the US have stopped giving scouts free or subsidized access to public facilities, and some corporations have stopped donating to the scouts.

      However, Girl Guides in the US do allow lesbians. In some other countries, the scouts are not religious and do allow gay scouts and leaders.

      1. Sadly it has become that way. In recent years, declining membership has allowed the Mormon church to gain undue influence over the organization due to their growing proportion of membership. The church has threatened to require mormon scouts to leave the organization if the BSA moves towards equality.

      2. Not just lesbians, there are some troops who accept trans-girls too.

      3. In the UK, the Scouts are religious and do allow gay members.

    3. douglas in canada 9 Jan 2013, 3:21pm

      Is there no International BSA that could withdraw the credentials of the American BSA, for its attitude and actions? Or does each national group operate on its own?

      At some level, you’d think there might be a higher accountability.

  2. As a gay scouter myself, I was encouraged when I came out to my Ventures. they said they were hardly suprised. I will gladly send this guy my QSA badge.

  3. John Jones 9 Jan 2013, 7:33am

    The Boy Scouts of America is a private organisation and as such can set up its own rules. Since the beginning the International Scouting movement has required some form of belief in God (Duty of God principle). If you don’t like it, don’t join it … It’s like a vegetarian complaining about his/her local burger joint. Frankly, seeing that this person doesn’t have to be a Scout, there is no obligation for him to be a member, and he freely chooses to want to be one, then surely his behaviour could be seen as being a bit antagonistic?

    1. Well taking it back to the Bible, god’s word or whatever it is supposed to be, it does not have a single word to say on the subject of homosexuality, a term not ‘invented’ until many many hundreds of years after he Bible was compiled. It does however contain certain passages that condemn male rape, and promiscuous sex between males.

      What those interpreting the Bible have chosen not to do is distinguish regular sex between to men in a non-promiscuous, non-rape setting with the rape/promiscuous settings referred to in the Bible.

      It does however seem to not have the same problem with viewing heterosexual sex.

      I’m guessing Ryan doesn’t have any problem adhering to Biblical text, but his problem is that intolerant bigots have twisted ‘God’s word’ for their own ends.

      I hope the Boy Scouts of America (a private organisation) have every cent of public money stripped from them until they can until they can adhere to the Bible’s teaching of tolerance and understanding.

      1. Irrelevant, since ‘duty to God’ makes no specific reference to the idea of God required (Muslim? Zoroastrian?). It seems in the BSA that ‘God’ is simply a very vague rationale for selective bigotry.

        1. Although there does seem to be some cross over between Muslim and Christian beliefs …the story of Lot I think is a perfect example always hailed as an example of God’s condemnation of homosexuality. The rape of angels who were guests in Lot’s home, seemingly overlooks the forced sex, and the importance placed on the sanctity placed on guests in a home that prevailed at the time, or in fact that the angels were there to inform Lot of the impending descruction of the town as a result of God’s wrath. Instead both faiths read this as God destroyed the town because of all the homos.

        2. In the UK it is open to people of ALL religions as long as there is duty to a God. Although saying that there was very little religious context in my district apart from the Christmas and renewal of promise service.

    2. John Jones has made one of the silliest comments I have ever read here. Many scouts – including Ryan – join when they are young children. They will not know that they are Gay as such. Perhaps he is suggesting that as a young man becomes aware of their sexuality and is perhaps struggling with it, the should admit to not being clean enough for the association and leave the movement. Turning their back on all the friendships that scouting has nurtured over the years.
      The BSA may be a private organization but it is an established part of society and must not be allowed this policy any more than they would be allowed a colour bar. Mr Jones you are a pathetic bigot.

      1. They would also not know if they believe in god or not. Kids in church are just going through the motions. No one really thinks about god until they are an adult. As Richard Dawkins famously says, there is no such thing as a christian child or a muslim child. Just children with christian or muslim parents.

        Religious groups that recruit children do it to brainwash them. Name a religion that doesn’t bother with the kids. Simples.

    3. What a ridiculous comment!

      So what about those boys and girls who are raised in non christian households, Jehovah’s Witness or non religious homes? Does that make them any less able to become members? No, it doesn’t.

      He joined when he was six years old, hardly an all singing all dancing homosexual at that age!

      Also, being a vegetarian is a choice, much like those who follow religion. Being gay is not.

  4. Maybe it’s rank and file members need to step up and remove the wart now

  5. What a disgrace the BSA are. This young man has worked his backside off for this award, including building a tolerance wall, as per the requirements and yet the BSA prove once again that they are not tolerant.

    Goes to show this young man is far better than the BSA will ever be.

  6. Peter Leeson 9 Jan 2013, 9:56am

    Lord Baden-Powell founded the boy scouts to keep the disaffected youth off the streets, keep out of harm’s way and teach them useful crafts. According to the BSA, gay boys, prime victims for bullying, highest ranking suicide rates, should be thrown back on the streets. I believe that they should be officially stripped of being allowed to use the name “Boy Scouts”

  7. Petty and spiteful. So it would have been better if he’d lied and said he did believe in god, would it?

    In the UK, at least, many children just parrot the oath without any concern. One child explained it to me as “That’s just what you say. It doesn’t mean you believe in god or anything”!!

    I hope a rival Scouting Association is set up and the BSA fades away.

    1. (No, insult meant by “parrot”. I was simply saying that a child saying the oath doesn’t necessarily signify they believe in god)

    2. I was nine years-old when I refused to repeat, parrot fashion, the “I believe in god the father” bit of the church service. I was brainwashed to believe I HAD to say this nonesense or I would die a horrible death. I’m 60 now. Still here. Never been healthier. Oh! The terrible power of religious conditioning ……

      1. Very true. When you’ve absorbed a religion since birth, it can be hard to step away. That’s how many religions work, I think – the whole guilt/you will be punished scenario. I remember finding that very frightening as a young child when I started school.

        I also think the Scout oath is a bit pointless. ‘Duty to god’ is vague – and absolutely meaningless if you don’t believe in a god. I was in the Guides and said the oath as just words. It might aswell have said ‘You must be kind to the tooth-fairy’ as far as I was concerned. The only things that stuck in my mind were the promoting of actual actions that made sense eg being kind to others.

    3. I’m gay, an atheist, and and Eagle scout. To be fair, at the time I didn’t quite know it yet, but I definitely knew I didn’t believe in any god. I wish I had had the courage this young man did and stood by my principles when asked about my so-called “duty to god,” I just shrugged and nodded and got it over with to get the award. I’m still proud of all the work I did and the experiences I had along the way, but that religious and bigoted nonsense attached to it has stained it irreparably. If I could find Mr. Andresen’s mailing address I would send him my eagle badge, frankly he deserves it just as much if not more than I ever did.

  8. It works like this. If you don’t admit you are Gay, then you are allowed to follow all of the rules set by God. For example, as a God fearing Boy Scout, you get to…

    – Any person who curseth his mother or father, must be killed. (Leviticus 20:9)
    – If a priest’s daughter is a whore, she is to be burnt at the stake. (Leviticus 21:9)
    – If a man cheats on his wife, or vise versa, both the man and the woman must die. (Leviticus 20:10).
    – Anyone who curses or blasphemes God, should be stoned to death by the community. (Leviticus 24:14-16)
    – Anyone who dreams or prophesizes anything that is against God, or anyone who tries to turn you from God, is to be put to death. (Deuteronomy 13:5)
    – If anyone, even your own family suggests worshipping another God, kill them. (Deuteronomy 13:6-10)
    – Kill anyone with a different religion. (Deuteronomy 17:2-7)

    Are these individual Merit Badges or are they grouped as one?

    1. i thought a priest was meant to be celebate and therefore have no children? oops more hypocrisy in the bible.

      1. I sincerely hope you don’t wear a polyester-cotton mix shirt. The wearing of garments made from two different materials receives the same level of biblical condemnation as homosexuality. Hmmm. Perhaps closer inspection of bishops’ frocks is required …

    2. Don’t forget that the eating of shellfish [Lev. 11:10] and the cutting of men’s hair [Lev. 19.27] are abominations, along with;lying with men as with women, of course….

    3. The whole FANTASY about “rules set by God” is a pathetic joke to begin with! There ARE no “rules set by God”! We don’t know if there is a God and if there is he damn sure isn’t standing there spouting “rules” for us to follow. Only MAN has set any “rules by God” – NOT God himself. EVERY line in the Bible or any other religious text was written by MAN and NOT God, so these idiots who keep stating they know the “rules of God” of FULL OF SH_*! And I was inspired by God to tell you that so you MUST believe it!

      1. Indeed. Even if I believed in god, I’d find it hard to believe that he was so particular about what hairstyles people had :D

  9. This would seem the perfect opportunity for someone to start-up an organisation exactly like the Scouts …. but which has no afflilation whatsoever to sky-fairies.

  10. The BSA is a member of the ‘world scouting movement’, the Secretary General of which is an American….The UK Scouts (& Guides) are very welcoming of gay/lesbian members, and are even talking about dropping the ‘God’ requirement that the BSA is using to hide their homophobia behind in this case….http://www.scout.org/en

  11. Sounds like the perfect opportunity for Ryan to set up a rival organisation with a non-bigotry charter.

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