A Cub Scout group can no longer meet at St. Luke’s Church according to a story in the East Greenwich Patch:
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church told Cub Scout Pack 4 last week it can no longer use church facilities because of the Boy Scouts of America’s reaffirmation earlier this summer of its exclusion of gay men and boys.
Pack 4 had been meeting in the St. Luke’s church hall for three years.
“We came to a unanimous conclusion that the appropriate response was to say to the institution that we as a community of faith cannot allow them as an institution to operate here and have their meetings here given that they have as part of their institutional policy discrimination,” said Rector Tim Rich of St. Luke’s in an interview Thursday.
[The Rector] said he knows how difficult this issue can be for people.
“The rhetoric can get ugly. I mean, I get that people feel passionately about this issue,” Rich said. “I want to engage this issue in a way that is respectful. I’m not looking to make a big public stink about this. I want to do this constructively.”
To that end, Rich made a distinction between individual scouts and the BSA institution.
“I recognize how many kids are positively formed by their participation in the Scouts, are inspired to do good work by the Scouts. So I would support any individual youth who comes to me to do their God and Country badge, to do their Eagle Scout project or to do community service. I don’t want individual kids to feel like they’re turned away,” he said.
“So, I want to support the youth but I want to challenge the institution at the same time.