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Conservative Baptist Leader Richard Land Says Letting Gays In Will Destroy the 'Core Conviction' of Scouting, Cause 'Human Tragedy': VIDEO


Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention appeared on CNN this morning to discuss the looming vote by the Boy Scouts board over its ban on gay leaders and scouts. Land argued that keeping boys "morally straight", as in heterosexual, is the "core value" of scouting, therefore letting gays in would destroy it.

Said Land, via Think Progress:

The Scouts have said for themselves for over a hundred years that traditional morality is at the core value of scouting, teaching them to be “morally straight.” [...]

Homosexuals, by definition, are attracted to people of the same sex. Now I’m not accusing homosexuals of being pedophiles, but I’m accusing homosexuals of being what they say they are: attracted to males. How many people that are listening to me would allow their teenage girls to go on campouts and engage in camping activities with heterosexual males? They wouldn’t. [...]

This verges on being beyond the realm of the rational, and it’s going to lead to human tragedy, and the human tragedy is going to be, sadly, boys and men who are going to end up in relationships that are going to be tragic. [...]

Boy Scouts have the right to define character, and they define character as being “morally straight” and that involves being sexually pure and being a heterosexual.


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  1. Enough of this "morally straight" reference. How about "be a good citizen"? That's what the intent is, anyway.

    Don't take advice from a guy who insists on lying that there's a god in the heavens you can't see or touch or otherwise demonstrate exists. Talk about morals.

    Posted by: Sean in Dallas | Feb 5, 2013 7:43:22 PM

  2. Just wondering, is this new policy a done deal?

    Posted by: Anthony | Feb 5, 2013 7:45:45 PM

  3. The problem I have with this argument is that its an argument against gay scout leaders. But they don't limit it to that, they make it about scouts, which both penalizes and demonizes young people who are mostly too confused to declare one way or the other (though the number that aren't confused these days shocks me).

    Put the "OUT" IN SCOUT.

    Posted by: Alan | Feb 5, 2013 7:47:51 PM

  4. One of the followup questions should have been, "As a heterosexual male, are you attracted to teenaged girls? Should anyone be concerned about you being alone with their daughter?"

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Feb 5, 2013 7:52:29 PM

  5. A-- this jerk assumes that the homo Scouts will have magic conversion powers over all the other boys. Actually, it MIGHT result in some fooling around, but no one who is straight is gonna change from it
    B-- I keep mentioning the kid who joins Cubs at 7 and realizes he is Gay at 12,14, etc. At that moment, do the cattle cars come and take him away from all his friends, and deposit him in "Gays-witz" the mythical seperate-but-equal Gay scout troop across town?

    Posted by: Bob | Feb 5, 2013 8:08:45 PM

  6. So what exactly is "sexually pure"? Shouldn't that mean that divorced men, men who have had affairs, etc. not be allowed to be scout leaders? I guess they only want straight men who have only been with one woman and only in missionary position? So crazy.

    Posted by: ernest1960 | Feb 5, 2013 8:09:12 PM

  7. Land's girl scout comparison argument IS based on the pedophilia slippery slope though - I wish they would have called him on that.

    I guess bigotry is received like a broken record by more of the populous now so these people have to resort to PR savvy faux-arguments.

    Posted by: Leo | Feb 5, 2013 8:13:53 PM

  8. People should google a bit and learn about the sexual abuse scandals in the Baptist church. They aren't far behind the Catholic Church when it comes to covering up abuse and moving people around. They don't have the same centralized authority, but abuse is extremely widespread there.

    And for that matter news anchors needs to bring up the history of the Southern Baptists and point out why there is a southern branch in the first place. It's because the are racists who supported slavery.

    Posted by: Steve | Feb 5, 2013 8:25:33 PM

  9. How much longer until the sexual abuse scandals start and that the Boy Scouts of American say they are more than capable of handling the problem internally?

    Posted by: Garst | Feb 5, 2013 8:35:10 PM

  10. amen, Alan.

    also, this bigot also believes that all Jews go to Hell.

    so why the bleep should we listen to a word he has to say?

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 5, 2013 8:43:16 PM

  11. The founder of the Scouts Baden Powell in all likelyhood was 'gay'.

    Posted by: Steven | Feb 5, 2013 8:44:08 PM

  12. As a young teenager in the 90's, I sang in a contemporary xtian band that toured the country. We played southern baptist venues exclusively and there was always one church leader at each megachurch (a preacher, a music minister, a youth minister) who was a gay predator. Usually involved with non-prescription drugs. They're disgusting, church-sactioned hypocrites and nothing more.

    Posted by: will b | Feb 5, 2013 8:46:20 PM

  13. I'm Gay... And not black... Also Foo...I'm not into a BOYS. this guy is a a__ hole! just saing....

    Posted by: Mike Deegan | Feb 5, 2013 8:55:32 PM

  14. Richard Land, masquerading as an intellectual, is almost always wrong.

    Posted by: TomTallis | Feb 5, 2013 9:01:59 PM

  15. Since when did the definition of "morally straight" mean heterosexual? Can only a heterosexual be "morally straight"? Are there no gay people that are "morally straight"? I think these people are forgetting about the morality component and are focusing on the straight component.

    Posted by: ***** | Feb 5, 2013 9:23:07 PM

  16. There's some equivocation going on here: his "argument" pretends that "morally straight" means "sexually straight".

    His slippery slope argument is nonsense too - leaving it as local option simply recognizes that different groups have different "deeply held beliefs".

    He also needs to join the real world. Nobody is required to give a charitable donation to any organization. Corporate America is threatening to pull the plug because those donations are made to provide good PR. He seems to think that "Freedom of Religion" requires everyone to go along with him. Quite the contrary - it is the freedom to ignore any religion that you do not want to be a part of as much as the freedom to join whichever one you like.

    This guy is a joke.

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 5, 2013 9:25:58 PM

  17. Yep. You let one of those gay kids roast marshmellows on a stick in the boonies with the straight kids, and the whole galaxy is likely to get sucked into a black hole right then and there. I mean, no gay kid could EVER have been a scout, just like no gay people ever served in the military. We've got to protect the universe and stuff from this kind of thing, you know?

    Posted by: Craig | Feb 5, 2013 9:45:33 PM

  18. Slippery little devils these religious homophobes. They Deny, then they Attack, and Reverse the Victim and Oppressor. ("DARVO") It's very subtle and requires a courageous counter-argument: first they must be Shown, and then Exposed for lying about the LGBT Community. They must be held accountable for what they're doing, because homophobia itself is the sickness, not LGBT people.

    Posted by: Christophe | Feb 5, 2013 10:25:11 PM

  19. Back in the 16th century the Roman Catholic Church, "the one true faith", declared that Protestantism was destroying the "core convictions" of Christ's Church. Yet that old Roman church is still alive and well despite the presence of all the "heretics" in our midst. Scouting will surely survive the presence of "out" gays in their organization.

    Posted by: andrew | Feb 5, 2013 10:46:33 PM

  20. Like the Catholic Church letting pedophile priest into the Catholic Church has destroyed the Catholic Church?

    Posted by: Poppy | Feb 5, 2013 10:54:20 PM

  21. I am also reminded of the fact that back in 1948 when Truman ordered the racial integration of our military, most conservatives, southern Baptists in particular claimed that racial integration would destroy the military.

    Posted by: andrew | Feb 5, 2013 11:00:51 PM

  22. What I want to know is why is this guy on CNN? He's a hack that only religious extremist listen to anyway. On the other hand, the more he talks, the more people wake up to his particular brand of religious cancer.

    Posted by: Victor | Feb 5, 2013 11:32:02 PM

  23. "it MIGHT result in some fooling around"
    Can someone prove to me this hasn't happened already? You can't.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Feb 5, 2013 11:32:50 PM

  24. @Anthony: it is most likely not a done deal. The decision will probably boil down to which option has the worst impact on the bottom line. They know what Corporate America will do. They probably are still trying to figure out whether the religious nuts they have are bluffing, which they probably are - the nuts simply want to force their religious beliefs on everyone else.

    Richard Land should hang out with Mullah Omar - they have a lot in common if you ignore religious dogma.Maybe they can have pleasant afternoons sipping tea and talking about what a shame it is that the world has passed them by.

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 6, 2013 1:48:31 AM

  25. I have no problem with the concept of taking reasonable precautions to make sure no inappropriate relationships form. But that argument falls flat when you ban gay men from ALL positions, even administrative ones that don't involve contact with kids, but you do allow women (Den mothers, etc.) to interact with Scouts and work for the organization. Clearly this is not about avoiding inappropriate contact - it's about shunning.

    The Scouts themselves argued before the Supreme Court that the ban was NOT in place to prevent pedophilia, but to exclude a group they considered antithetical to their mission.

    The Scouts HAVE had predator counselors...who self-identified themselves as straight. That's the thing we keep seeing over and over: the people porking the kids are almost never "out" gay men. It's always creeps in the closet.

    Posted by: Yeek | Feb 6, 2013 6:32:15 AM

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