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Our View: Urge church to reconsider stance on Boy Scouts

Published: Thursday, June 6, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Crystal Lake is setting a bad precedent by severing ties with a local Cub Scout pack and Boy Scout troop.

The Rev. Brian Grady, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, sent a letter to the Blackhawk Area Council Troop 550 informing the troop that it no longer can meet at the church. The decision is in direct response to a vote last month by the Boy Scouts of America to lift its ban on openly gay Scouts. The Boy Scouts still ban openly gay adults from being a part of the organization.

“The teachings of the Catholic Church are quite clear regarding the open practice of homosexuality,” Grady wrote. “With this change in policy by the BSA, this is clearly a condoning of the practice of a particular way of life, which is detrimental to the spiritual well-being of the individual.”

Grady and the Catholic Church are entitled to their view on homosexuality. But in revising its policy, the Boy Scouts simply are joining the thousands of other groups and organizations that do not ban openly gay members.

Churches of all denominations have relationships with many organizations and businesses in the communities they serve. For example, there are dozens of businesses and local organizations that sponsor St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s bulletin each week. As far as we know, none of these ban openly gay members or employees. Should the church cut ties with these sponsors then?

Dozens of other organizations that do great work in the community, from support groups to youth sports leagues to social service providers, also do not ban gay participants. Should the church have nothing to do with any of them, either?

We’re not suggesting that the church change its stance on homosexuality. But if it applied its reasoning for severing ties with the Boy Scouts to all other groups in the community, it wouldn’t have many relationships remaining.

We urge the Rev. Grady and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton to reconsider.

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