Shame on the Associated Press for twisting a story and using a photograph to encourage it.
Reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman tweeted about the “new Trail Life scouting group” – a Christian alternative to Boy Scouts which excludes gays from membership or leadership. Of course, she was offended by that tenant of their creed, but she added something horribly offensive:
New Trail Life scouting group excludes gay kids & they do a “Sieg Heil!” style salute, too.
Grossman clearly misread the caption under the AP’s picture of the boys gathered in a circle with arms extended toward the center. Although the caption clearly specifies that the boys were “moving” while “singing,” Grossman intentionally distorted the truth to make these kids look like Hitler Youth wannabes.
The left distorting the truth? No surprise there.
However, Grossman’s displeasure with the group’s refusal to admit gay members has some legitimacy.
Of course, I heartily believe in freedom of association and I do not believe the government should force any group to accept anyone it doesn’t want. All sorts of free associations have rules of membership – fraternities and sororities being some of the biggest “offenders.” That being said, I think that any group using the name of Christ should be cautious about outright rejection of gay members. These kinds of groups could be wonderful support systems for children who may feel confused, rejected, or unloved. In the same way Christ reached out to the unlovable, inclusion of people we don’t necessarily agree with could be a way to touch their lives.
I know in my church’s youth group, we had some troubled teenagers who joined our generally strict Christian environment. It made many of us “sheltered” teens face discussions about drugs and premarital sex that seemed “unclean,” and that was extremely good for us. Not only did those hurting teenagers gain true friends, but more self-righteous members (myself included) learned a thing or two about brokenness in the world and the need to reach out.
For example, imagine one of your sons befriends a homosexual child. They play baseball together, go to school together, and maybe you invite him to your house for a play date. Eventually, your son wants to invite his friend to his Trail Life group. Can you imagine telling your son that his friend can’t join because of his sexuality?
Now, if that child joins and desires to upset the entire organization out of spite, I think he should be removed the same way any child in a scouting group might be removed for any other obnoxious behavior. However, if he genuinely desires to be a scout and a friend, I suggest his inclusion.
Again, I don’t believe the government needs to step in, but I do believe that Christians should take care.
Most of all, I believe that Grossman should cease her needless distortion of the real story. She had enough ammo without stooping to boldface lies.