Texas Boy Scout leader: Use ‘Christian love’ and treat gay scouts like criminals

By David Edwards
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 9:01 EDT
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Group of Boy Scouts via Shutterstock
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A Boy Scout troop leader in Texas has come under fire after telling a local paper that he would — “in Christian love” — treat gay Boy Scouts like criminals and send them to counseling.

Marble Falls Troop 284 leader Thom Fairleigh explained to The Highlander that he had reached an agreement allowing his troop to continue being sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Marble Falls after the ban on gay scouts was lifted as of Jan. 1.

“It’s just like if a boy came to me and said he’s a thief – in Christian love I would say ‘You’ve got a problem and that we definitely will not approve of it’ and we would send him to get pastoral counseling,” Fairleigh said.

Boy Scouts of America Capitol Area Council spokesperson Charles Mead told KEYE that Fairleigh’s position was not in line with Boy Scouts policy.

“It’s been our preference and more importantly the preference of the families who are in our program to direct questions of that nature back to the family,” Mead insisted.

First Baptist Church of Marble Falls Head Pastor Ross Chandler provided a resolution to KXAN with its understanding of what scout leaders agreed to tell gay scouts.

“We believe homosexual sexual activity, not orientation, to be a sin,” the resolution said. “This will be the moral standard in regard to human sexuality communicated within our Troop/Pack/Crew 284 whenever conversations arise in the natural exchanges between leaders and scouts. It is not a curriculum or a class, simply a guiding morality woven into the fabric of our BSA units.We will not abandon our BSA units at this time as many churches are doing.”

The resolution made no mention of counseling for gay scouts, and Chandler refused to be interviewed on camera.

Mead insisted that the church had every right to impose their moral beliefs on the scouts who it sponsored.

“It is within the rights of that chartering partner to incorporate their religious beliefs and their religious teachings into the scouting program,” Mead said.

The Southern Baptist Convention opposed the new policy allowing gay scouts, but it also said that local churches could decide whether or not to force troops to find new sponsors.

Watch the video below from KXAN, broadcast Jan. 7 2014.

Watch the video below from KXAN, broadcast Jan. 7 2014.

(h/t: Lone Star Q)

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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