Church ending scout charter over policy change - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Church ending scout charter over policy change

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Pastor Bill Hilley has been at Grace Baptist Church for more than two decades. They've had a relationship with Boy Scout Troop 686 for a lot of that time, but that relationship will be coming to a close at the end of the year.

"Our decision was purely based on our convictions that biblical truth is the standard by which we should live," explained Hilley.

He said Boy Scouts of America's recent decision to allow openly gay boys into the program conflicts with his interpretation of the Bible. BSA passed that policy change with the support of 61% of their members nationwide; 85% of members in the CSRA opposed it.

"We didn't feel like we could be aligned with an organization that was promoting ungodlike behavior," said Hilley.

I asked the pastor if he thought his decision may be a form of punishment for children simply operating under adult decisions. He put the blame squarely on what he calls small special interest groups.

"It's amazing to me how far we go to appease small subsets of our culture," said Hilley.

He denies the decision is a form of intolerance or bigotry, which led me to ask, "do you believe this is an act of discrimination?"

"Oh, absolutely I don't think it's an act of discrimination," Hilley responded. "I believe, even for someone who's not a Christian, it's a common sense decision."

I asked him what he meant by that.

"Because homosexual males are going to be attracted to other males," he explained. "And that's going to be the whole situation."

I also reached out the local boy scout council. They issued me this statement:


"We are currently in the process of working with the leadership of the Troop 686 to determine their best course of action.  Changing charter partners is not an unprecedented event in the Boy Scouts, At this point we will see what the desires of the troop leadership and youth membership of the troop are and work to accommodate those needs.  Some of the potential outcomes may be to find a new charter organization and simply transfer the troop, it may be to assist those youth and adults who want to remain in scouting to find another local Boy Scout troop to join.

Scouting's top priority will be to make sure that no youth or adult who wants to remain a part of the Scouting program is abandoned or has no place to go in Scouting.

While the Georgia Carolina council is sad that the relationship with Grace Baptist Church will be ending we are respectful of their Decision and we believe that this was one that they did not come to easily.  Scouting is appreciative of the relationship and hope that one day we may be able to work together again.

Scouting's role In helping young people achieve their full potential has not changed and we will continue to work to help young people achieve their goals."



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