Good News Friday: Church Sign Welcomes Boy Scouts After Gay Ban Is Lifted
When the Boy Scouts of America made the decision
to welcome gay scouts--but not gay scout leaders--there was, as expected,
a great deal of fallout from several religious groups, politicians, radio
hosts, and some churches.
One church, the Roswell Street Baptist in Marietta, Georgia,
publicly severed ties with the Boy Scouts and the congregation cheered
that news. But just across town, One World Spiritual Center had the
opposite reaction, welcoming the Boy Scouts, and putting up a sign to say so.
Senior Minister Rev. Stephanie Seigh said the church
decided to act after learning that two major Cobb County churches -- Roswell
Street Baptist and Johnson Ferry Baptist -- planned to cut long-standing ties
with Boy Scout troops over the issue of allowing openly gay members.
"Just as the other churches were honoring their beliefs
and their values when they made their decision, we are an open and affirming
congregation," said Seigh. "We honor all paths to God and many
lifestyles. So we are also honoring our beliefs and our values in making this
offer to the troops. We put the sign up after hearing that a couple of
churches in the metro-Atlanta area had asked their Boy Scout troops to leave
after the ruling by the national organization allowing gay young men and boys
to join the scouts. We wanted the scouts to know that we were a spiritual
community that would welcome them."--Reverend Seigh
One World says it has an activity center, including a full-size gym, and is
waiting to see if a response comes to church's invitation.
A spokesman for the Boy Scouts Atlanta Area Council says nine other
organizations in Cobb County have expressed interest in partnering with scout
troops that need to relocate.