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When the Boy Scouts board members arrived for their meeting Monday (Feb. 4), they were greeted with a half-page USA Today ad which was signed by some of the nation’s leading pro-family groups and urged the Scouts to “Show courage” and “Stand firm for timeless values” by upholding the current policy. Organizations signing the ad were the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Family Research Council, Liberty Counsel, Bott Radio Network, American Family Association and Concerned Women for America. More than 40 national and state pro-family organizations signed it.
The board was considering the proposal a mere six months after it concluded a two-year review by upholding the current policy. The Scouts released a statement then that said, “The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their rights to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting.”
In his appearance on CNN, Page said churches “would and could” fill the gap in lost corporate financial support if the Scouts upheld the policy.
“[The Scouts] have not given the churches an opportunity to step up to the plate and support more,” Page said. “This was all a surprise to us.”
Page spoke in an interview opposite Matthew Breen, editor-in-chief of the gay publication The Advocate, in a five-minute interview moderated by CNN’s Carol Costello.
Breen accused religious groups of discrimination, saying that “nothing is less American.” However, Page said the issue is discrimination against biblical morality.
“This is about discrimination,” Page said. “It is about intolerance toward a private group who holds to biblical morality, which does reveal righteousness and unrighteousness. It’s about a systemic attempt to hurt, to change a private organization that holds to certain beliefs. That’s what this is about. It is about discrimination and intolerance toward those who hold a biblical morality. And it’s a sad day when we, they cannot express their beliefs and hold to them.”
Page said the church community was given one or two weeks’ notice that the Boy Scouts were considering a vote to reverse their policy that limits participation to those who meet certain moral standards, while the corporate community was notified far in advance.
At one point, CNN’s Costello asked Page, “What about love thy neighbor? ... Do you love your gay neighbor?”
Page replied, “Absolutely. I have gay family members, Carol. And I believe in loving them, but part of love is to tell people the truth. If you don’t tell the people the truth, it is the worst form of love.”
Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, penned a letter to the Boy Scouts Jan. 31, asserting that changing the current policy defies common sense.
“[W]ith the admission of homosexual Scout leaders, the BSA would place men, who by their own definition are sexually attracted to men, in close, supervisory proximity to teenage boys, which invites real human tragedies. We are not saying homosexuals are pedophiles,” Land wrote. “However, how many parents would send their teenage daughters on camping trips with heterosexual male troop leaders? They would not—not because they believe that such heterosexual men are pedophiles, but because they realize that under such close, supervisory care of men who by definition are attracted to women, human tragedies could, and inevitably would, occur.”
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