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.
Last weekend, participants of the Interfaith Weekend of Prayer and Compassion met in their churches and communities to preach, pray, converse, light candles and write letters to the children at our borders.
After witnessing the destruction of rainforests in his South American home, the Pope is calling our failure to protect the Earth a “sin of modern times.”
Thousands of people of faith have signed the Groundswell petition calling on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to stop bullying the workers rights group VOZ over LGBT equality, and the media coverage keeps on coming, but the hard truth is that VOZ took the right moral stand — and lost a big grant.
This morning, President Obama issued a long-awaited executive order ending discrimination against LGBT people in hiring by federal contractors — without the so-called religious exemption loophole that some conservative religious leaders had called for.
Right now, our response as people of faith to the humanitarian crisis of migrant children at our border will not only decide what policies our leaders pursue, but also what values the soul of our country will reflect.
Lucky for all of us, Auburn Seminary and the Center for Progressive Renewal will be in the same place at the same time this summer – the National Church Leadership Institute, August 7th-10th in Atlanta.