Missouri Synod President signs joint statement on proposed changes to Boy Scout membership policy

For Immediate Release

Contact: Vicki Biggs
Director, Integrated Communications
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
314-556-3829 (cell)

ST. LOUIS, May 23, 2013— The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), joined 49 leaders of religious organizations in the United States in signing a statement that was sent yesterday to Boy Scouts of America imploring the organization to retain its current membership policy. The scouting organization is expected to vote on whether to change its membership policy regarding sexual orientation at its 2013 National Annual Meeting taking place today and tomorrow in Grapevine, Texas.

The statement reads:

“We strongly support the Boy Scouts of America current prohibition on open homosexuality and retaining it without revision.  Nearly 70 percent of BSA troops are hosted by churches and religious institutions.  Upholding traditional morality is vital for sustaining this partnership, for protecting Scout members, and for ensuring BSA has a strong future.  A proposal from the BSA board to prohibit “discrimination” based on “sexual orientation or preference” for BSA members potentially would open the Scouts to a wide range of open sexual expressions.  In our current culture, it is more important than ever for our churches to protect and provide moral nurture for young people and for the Scouts.  We implore members of the upcoming BSA Council to affirm the BSA’s present policy, which the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed, and which has served BSA well.”

Signatories are:

Bishop David C. Anderson, Sr.
President, American Anglican Council

Sara L. Anderson
Executive Vice President
Bristol House, Ltd. (United Methodist)

The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey
Chief Operating & Development Officer
American Anglican Council

Dr. Robert D. Benne (Lutheran)
Jordan Trexler Professor Emeritus
and Research Associate
Religion and Philosophy, Roanoke College

Dr. Robert H. Blackburn
Past Chairman, National Association of Covenanting Congregations

The Rev. John Bradosky, Bishop
The North American Lutheran Church

Pastor Mark C. Chavez
General Secretary, North American Lutheran Church

The Rev. Sue Cyre
Executive Director of Presbyterians for Faith, Family and Ministry (PFFM)

The Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison
President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Doug Harvey, Executive Director
Disciple Heritage Fellowship

The Rev. Charles Huckaby
Dean, Western Classis of the Calvin Synod Conference United Church of Christ Term 2010– 2013

Dr. Jeffrey Jeremiah
Stated Clerk
Evangelical Presbyterian Church

John Lomperis
Director, United Methodist Action

Alex McFarland
Director for Christian Worldview and Apologetics

Senator Patricia Miller
Executive Director, Confessing Movement (United Methodist)

Bob Morrison
Secretary, REVIVE! (Iowa United Methodist renewal)

The Rev. Dr. Mary Holder Naegeli
Minister-at-Large, San Francisco Presbytery; Moderator of the Presbyterian Coalition

Rev. Kevin C. Rudolph
National Covenant Association of Churches
Windwood Presbyterian Church
Houston, TX

The Rev. Dr. Frederick J. Schumacher
Executive Director, American Lutheran Publicity Bureau

The Rev. W. Stevens Shipman
Director, Lutheran Coalition for Renewal

The Rev. Paul Stallsworth
President, Taskforce of United Methodists on Abortion and Sexuality

David M. Stanley
Director, Institute on Religion and Democracy
Chairman, United Methodist Action Steering Committee
Co-Chair, REVIVE! (Iowa United Methodist renewal)

Bishop Ray Sutton
Ecumenical Officer, Anglican Church in North America

Mark Tooley
President, Institute on Religion & Democracy

The Rev. Dr. David Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism
The North American Lutheran Church

Dr. George O. Wood
General Superintendent
General Council of the Assemblies of God

About The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is a biblical, confessional, witness-oriented Christian denomination with 2.3 million members – 600,000 households – in 6,200 congregations. Through acts of witness and mercy, the church carries out its mission worldwide to make known the love of Jesus Christ. Learn more at www.lcms.org.



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