Q Syndicate✒May 1, 2014
The BSA's ban on openly gay adults serving as scout leaders remains in place. When it came to light that Geoff McGrath, a gay former Eagle Scout, had accepted the post of scoutmaster of Troop 98 outside Seattle, Washington, the national organization came down hard on the United Methodist Church sponsoring the troop. The national BSA booted McGrath from his leadership position and revoked the troop's charter.
We didn’t choose Geoff McGrath as a political statement. We chose Geoff because he was the perfect person for the job, an Eagle Scout himself, and someone who has a Master’s degree in Social Work. He has mentoring and leadership skills that someone taking on this role needs. A perfect fit. Geoff was quite willing, to serve as scoutmaster but was also nervous that his being gay would pose a problem for me and for the congregation. I assured him that putting him in the leadership of this troop would reflect and live out the values of our congregation, and that we would not have a troop at Rainier Beach UMC unless it was fully inclusive, because that is who we are. ...
Our congregation is the chartering organization for the troop, and yet I, as the pastor, had no contact from the BSA when they told Geoff that he was kicked out as a leader. Further, the BSA asked me and the congregation to violate our conscience and our religious beliefs by removing him as a leader of the Boy Scout troop when we know he is the most gifted for the leadership of the troop we chartered.So there you have it. According to the BSA, antigay religious beliefs must be respected and protected, but gay-friendly religious beliefs are of no consequence whatsoever.