Alaska Notebook: Scouts in the temple

August 10, 2013 

After the Boy Scouts of America decided to allow openly gay members in its ranks, the Rev. Jerry Prevo of the Anchorage Baptist Temple decided that his church and its school campus could no longer be home to Boy Scout Troop 1316 and Cub Scout Pack 316.

Prevo said the Bible is clear: "No homosexual will enter the Kingdom of God."

The local troop and pack weren't asking Prevo for entry to the kingdom of God. They just expected to enter their usual meeting place at Anchorage Christian Schools.

Besides, if ABT shuns Troop 1316 and Pack 316, how will it react if a group from the Army's 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, asks for meeting space? Like it or not, that outfit allows gay members, too.

Rev. Prevo and members of the temple are free to take any stand they wish on gays in the scouts or anywhere else, including their church. But kick Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts out of your building? I'm no biblical scholar, but that sounds more like the Pharisees than Jesus Christ.

I'm not likely to march in a gay pride parade, either. But a touch of grace would allow the temple to keep its convictions and maintain Christian charity, which has a lot more staying power than chapter and verse.

-- Frank Gerjevic

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