The Boy Scouts announced that they’re considering ENDING the longstanding ban on gay Scouts and leaders.
The question is: Will they only hear from “religious” voices advancing discrimination cloaked in scripture, or will we drown out the hate with our call for acceptance, love, and inclusion?
It's why Minister Patrick Heery – an Eagle Scout, a Christian, and a Presbyterian minister – started a petition on the Groundswell platform for people of faith to call on the Boy Scouts of America to end the ban on gay, bisexual, and transgender scouts.
Being a Boy Scout transformed Patrick – here's his moving story:
From the years 1996–2003, I joined a hundred or so other scouts every Tuesday evening in a Cincinnati, Ohio, church basement: the same church that had baptized me. After six years of speech therapy and bullying, I was extremely quiet when I first started Scouting. And yet it was my Scoutmaster who encouraged me to become the Chaplain's Aide.
And it was my Scoutmaster who, after I nervously gave a public prayer before Scout campers and their families, told me how well I had spoken and what courage it took to speak before so many people—a moment that, unbeknownst to me, would be the beginning of my calling to ministry. No one had ever praised me for speaking before. No one had ever called me brave before.
Everything Patrick learned as a Boy Scout – about community, inclusion, and rejecting prejudice – empowered him to lift his voice today to say:
There is no way for us to be true to our oath as Boy Scouts without affirming the dignity and inclusion of all God's children.
Let's make sure the Boy Scouts hear our call to lift the ban before they make their decision.
This is our chance to ensure future generations of children know they will be accepted and included – no matter who they love.
This is our moment. The Federal Budget and our policy priorities are moral decisions that shape our world – and as people of faith, we can build the moral movement for a better one. Please join me in signing a letter to Members of Congress endorsing the "People's Budget.”
Next week, we’re going straight to our New York decision makers to deliver a faithful petition that demands full and fair funding for our children’s schools.
Reserve tickets for The Leading Edge conference, April 24–26, 2015 at Middle Collegiate Church in Manhattan.
We delivered 25,000 petition signatures to our local ICE office to stop the deportation of Pastor Max – a beloved father and congregation leader.
Mennonite pastor Max Villatoro was detained last week by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on his way to work and could be deported this week. We need your signature today – tell ICE that this father and pastor needs to stay with his family and congregation.