, Muskogee, OK

June 27, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Churches must respect every human being

— A recent Washington Post article titled “Long road to Boy Scouts shift on gay policy” by Marc Fisher and Michelle Boorstein, June 1, 2013 noted the recent reversal by the Boy Scouts USA of their policy on gay scouts. As a result of this shift, many churches that have traditionally hosted Boy Scout troops are now making arrangements to disaffiliate themselves from scouting and eliminate or move the troops they have supported for many years.

The article quoted one group in northern Virginia that was leaving scouting as a result of this policy change. The spokesperson who is senior vice president of the Family Research Council, which advocates for conservative Christian policies in Washington, made a statement that I believe deserves correction.

The lengthy statement ended with the words, “It’s not about bigotry or hatred. It’s about Judeo-Christian values.” Discriminating against young men for membership in the Boy Scouts may be a value of the Family Research Council, but such discrimination certainly doesn’t reflect the values of all Christian churches. The speaker quoted would do well not to make broad, sweeping generalizations.

I am proud to serve as rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Muskogee. Our parish values reflect the hospitality of Christ himself. We welcome everybody to every aspect of life in our parish and diocese.

We would welcome a Boy Scout troop including its gay members. It is part of our mission to respect the freedom and dignity of every human being, just like Jesus did.




Grace Episcopal Church, Muskogee