Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’
The Boy Scouts of America voted yesterday to end its ban on gay kids and teens joining the organization. This was the right decision, not only because the majority of its members supports it, but because our nation benefits when youth are “trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent,” regardless of their sexual orientation.
Erick Erickson over at Red State has a different take on it. He believes that because the Boy Scouts have chosen to no longer discriminate, “the moral component to the Scouts will collapse in favor of knot tying, tent pitching, and badge collection.” Erickson says that while being gay is not a sin, acting on it is—a statement with which I agree. Sex of any kind outside the confines of marriage is a sin.
Erickson’s premise however, that admitting sinners or potential sinners causes an organization to lose its ability to teach morality, is ridiculous. Erickson declares that churches should “not turn away gays.” But, if Boy Scouts cannot admit gays and teach morality, how can churches accept gays and still preach the Gospel “in the context of teaching healthy morality and character” to worshippers? If we follow his reasoning, Erickson himself is incapable of teaching morality and character to his children. He has admitted gays into his social circle and does “not worry about [his children] interacting with and having gay friends.”
I am an Eagle Scout and participated in a scout troop sponsored by the LDS Church. In fact, the LDS Church sponsors more BSA troops than any other organization. In a statement after the vote, the Church pointed out that they have never precluded gay boys from participating in scouting activities as long as they live up to the moral code.
Jesus reminded us that we are all sinners, “he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a first stone.” As Christians, we are constantly striving to be better, to “go and sin no more,” and organizations like the Boy Scouts help us—all of us—on this journey.
In a world all too often filled with hate, by accepting gay kids, the Boy Scouts demonstrate love—a tenant of every major faith—and for that, I applaud them.
The Washington Post has a story with the headline “Faith Groups Increasingly Lose Gay Rights Fights” that points out that there have been a number of legal cases which have ruled in favor of gay rights.
It is in many ways a re-tread of an NPR story entitled “When Gay Rights and Religious Liberty Clash” which reported on a number of cases in which people or organizations were found to have discriminated for refusing particular services.
Fundamentally, it is not only an issue of religious liberty, it is about property rights as well. I know, you are thinking, “What? Property rights?” Yes, property rights.
First, here is one of the examples in the NPR story:
A Christian gynecologist at North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group in Vista, Calif., refused to give his patient in vitro fertilization treatment because she is in a lesbian relationship, and he claimed that doing so would violate his religious beliefs. (The doctor referred the patient to his partner, who agreed to do the treatment.) The woman sued under the state’s civil rights act. The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments in May 2008, and legal experts believe that the woman’s right to medical treatment will trump the doctor’s religious beliefs. One justice suggested that the doctors take up a different line of business.
This case is unbelievable. Someone goes to the doctor, wants a procedure, the doctor says no, but here is a doctor who will do it, offense is taken, doctor gets sued, a justice says the doctor should take up a different line of work. Are you kidding me?
On the issue of a different line of work, that is just outrageous. That doctor has major “capital” expense in his current line of work in the form of the cost of his education, his practice, etc. Getting sued for not running your business a certain way and then being told to do something different is an infringement of property rights. It’s like going to a farmer and saying he has to walk away from his farm and go do something different.
But let’s go back a step. A doctor gets sued because he won’t do something he doesn’t believe is appropriate, even though he refers the patient to someone who will do the procedure. This is like a hardcore left-wing organization coming to me and asking me to help them on a campaign to promote Communism in America. I would obviously say no. But now I might be sued?