Boy Scouts shut down UMC based scout troop led by a gay man

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Photo from NBC News by Peter Diacampo

The Boy Scouts organization has told a Seattle-area church that it can no longer host a troop because the church has vowed to keep a gay man on as troop leader.

The Boy Scouts of America said Sunday that it was contacting leaders and parents of the children in Troop 98 and its affiliated Cub Scout pack to tell them that Rainier Beach United Methodist Church is no longer authorized to be a charter partner.

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The United Methodist Reporter is following up on this recent development.

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15 Comments on "Boy Scouts shut down UMC based scout troop led by a gay man"

The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
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Jerome P. above claims that the pastor and scoutmaster are teaching the scouts to be “deceitful.” No. They are teaching people to be honest. It is the BSA that wants the scoutmaster to be deceitful, to hide in a closet and pretend to be straight or at least let others assume that he is straight. They want a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. We know how destructive and discriminatory that policy was for the U.S. military. It is equally wrong for the BSA.

Lee Tilson
I take pride in my Methodist heritage, and being my father’s son, when it is clear that the Methodist Church is willing to take a tough stand to be on the right side. I was also a Boy Scout for many years. Setting aside the lack of plumbing and heating at Scouting event, the memorable difference between the Scouts and other groups is that we explicitly refuse to follow the set of great values we chant in our weekly meetings. “Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, ….” mean nothing when the national leadership says so. While I learned some things… Read more »
Gary Bebop

Let’s not obfuscate the fact that the church at issue chose scouting to advance a sexual ideology in conflict with BSA and denominational policy. Scouting should not be the field of play for adult preemption.


These boys are no longer BoyScouts. Rather than install a troop leader who meets BSA criteria this troop must be sacrificed to further the LGBT agenda.

Christina Ostendorf

I am surprised at this report. As the charter representative for my local UM-sponsored boy scout troop it was my understanding that the BSA was having the charter organizations decide according to the principals of their governing organizations whether or not to allow gays in leadership. I had even heard of several Baptist and conservative Lutheran denominations prior to that Jan 1, 2013 and the later May 2013 leaving the BSA fold because they concerned that the national board would require them to allow gay leadership. I was misinformed if this article is correct.

Bill Nelson

You said, ” As the charter representative for my local UM-sponsored boy scout troop it was my understanding that the BSA was having the charter organizations decide according to the principals of their governing organizations whether or not to allow gays in leadership.”

That is not what was decided last year at the BSA National Annual Meeting vote. The polling last year specifically came out against that option (although it may be an option in the future, we need to see how all this plays out. More information is here:

John JP Patterson

Hmmm… “Based on our religious principles, we will continue to act as an autonomous church that does not discriminate.. We will continue to have our troop meetings here, every Thursday night, with business as usual.”
– Rev. Dr. Monica Corsaro, Rainier Beach United Methodist Church

“Unfortunately, the BSA’s decision calls into question its commitment to leadership and values by perpetuating an outmoded policy rooted in fear and discrimination. History will show that today’s announcement is a self-inflicted wound.”
– Zach Wahls, the executive director of Scouts for Equality

Paul W.
Sadly, this pastor has used her position within the church to orchestrate this entire episode just for media attention: 1. Her church chartered the BSA troop and den explicitly pledging to uphold the policies defined as part of the charter. 2. The pastor orchestrated it so that a gay man would run the troop in direct conflict with the BSA policies her church had agreed to. The gay man installed as the troop leader was not even a member or active in the church at the time. 3. Neither the “troop leader”, the pastor, nor the church informed BSA that… Read more »
Richard L Guldi

Regardless of who organized the troop, the Boy Scouts again failed to live up to their own Oath, which says they will help other people at all times and keep themselves mentally awake (not living in the dark ages). They also don’t follow a good number of their own laws, such as A Scout is Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Brave. Someday everyone will understand that the Boy Scouts are also not Reverent.

Jerome P
Please continue with the rest “Morally Straight”. Follow the rules. Teaching the youth that it is OK to subjugate a position for the purpose of promoting an agenda is morally wrong. BSA policy right now is evolving and most leaders agree that it is hypocritical at the least but teaching the boys to intentionally be decietfull is wrong. It is also a shame that of all the Facebook posts I see on Rev Corsaro that there is not one single request for prayer or acknowledgement of Easter. Where is the message of christ “Love” in teaching deceit?
Dave McGrath

Oh dear… Our Lord said: Two commandments – Love God. Love one another. Try to do both. It turns out it is a brave thing to do.

Governor Ann Richards of Texas said: Arrows from your enemies don’t really hurt. Its the ones from your friends…

Gary Bebop

UMC scouting should not become a platform for sexual-movement theatrics. Don’t polarize scouting for the sake of ideology.

Dave McGrath
But BSA polarized it without asking us. When I was just 13 years old – after I’d already taken the Scout Oath, Promise and promised to live by the Scout Law – BSA first secretly instituted a policy of discrimination. Nobody knew what was happening until a lawsuit in 1991 when it became publicly known. What is a scout to do? Except petition, petition, petition and petition? These scouts were doing just find, until BSA injected its membership policy into a lovely community troop. A troop of a reconciling ministry. A congregation with gay people. A troop with boys who… Read more »

I believe the segregated “Central Jurisdiction” was not integrated until 1975, as hard as that is to believe. I’m sure there were scores of Methodists who made similar arguments about introducing “race-integration theatrics”. Most were likely from the south, but what of the silent majority?

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” – JFK

Cheryel Lemley-McRoy

There was a time not too long ago when the Church ostracized and persecuted left handed people. And they cited scripture to justify it. We now know left handed people are the result of latent genetics. And so are gay people. If we return to Biblical Hebrew, we will readily see there is no justification for the way we treat gay people.

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