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Posted August 17, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

Letter to the Editor: Church has wrong response to issue

Editor:

New Hope Bible Church's decision to sever ties with the Boys Scouts is an unfortunate response to the decision made by the Boy Scouts of America regarding homosexual membership.

This church has had and can continue to have the opportunity to work closely with, and share the Bible with, the Youth in Crew 247. Instead, church members choose to disregard the good that Scouting does for these kids and are willing to let another organization have the opportunity to influence them. This is similar to what the United Way of Cleveland and other organizations did with the Boy Scouts. They were against the organization's policy regarding homosexuality and decided to withhold funding. This punished the very children who could benefit from Scouts.

Those opposed to the original policy were willing to sacrifice the good of the children because they disagreed with a policy. They were wrong. Now those who oppose the new policy are doing the same thing. They, too, are wrong.

I started in Scouts when I was 11. For the next seven years not once did any of my Scoutmasters try to lead me in one direction or another on the issue of homosexuality. That was left up to my parents and my church. Scouting teaches leadership and outdoor skills, develops confidence, and makes activities such as white-water rafting, camping, and spelunking available to children.

I probably relate very closely to the morals and biblical teachings at New Hope Bible Church. New Hope is now giving a group on the opposite side of this issue the opportunity to charter a pack, troop, or crew and wield the influence on these children that New Hope Bible Church once had, but volunteered to give up.

I will give New Hope Bible Church credit for one thing, though. Members disagreed with the policy and chose to start an alternative organization. Had other groups chosen this route, rather than force a successful 100-plus-year-old youth organization to change its biblically based policy, parents would have the opportunity to make the choice that best suits their beliefs years ago and without any legal or public battles.

Rodger Van Norton, Strasburg


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