Voice in the Wilderness: Lack of Enforcing the "Rules!"
Voice in the Wilderness: Lack of Enforcing the "Rules!"

Dear Friends:

Please consider what follows as the first in a series of "A Voice in the Wilderness."

I start by sharing the following from a BP (Baptist) News Release:

Homosexuals more likely to molest kids, study reports
May 30, 2001
By Ken Walker

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--A social researcher who has studied sexual behavior for 24 years believes the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has sound reasons for maintaining its prohibition against gay scoutmasters.

A homosexual cannot automatically be considered a child molester, said Judith Reisman, president of the Institute for Media Education in suburban Louisville, Ky.

But with 17-24 percent of boys being abused by age 18, nearly as many as the 25 percent of girls, there is cause for concern, she said.

Since heterosexuals outnumber the homosexual population about 44 to 1, as a group the incidence of homosexuals molesting children is up to 40 times greater than heterosexuals, she said.

"You're looking at a much higher rate of abuse," said Reisman, a former university research professor who recently completed a study titled, "Crafting Gay Children." "The Department of Justice just released data and the rate of abuse are off the charts."

Here is my "take" on the issue:

Molestation or not, children and youth (scouts included) look up to their leaders. If it is known that a leader belongs to or supports deviant behavior, that behavior is given the aura of acceptability. And in Methodist Church youth conferences and camps there is increasing suggestion that "some are just born that way, so we have to be tolerant."

Why don't we hear more about this aspect of the problem? This is really my basic gripe with our church. It has failed miserably to enforce its Disciplinary requirements -- making the Discipline an almost worthless document, General Conference voting a sham, and Methodism unable to speak with even a modicum of clarity about a basic moral problem. In this regard I am as upset with evangelicals as with liberals for allowing the matter to smolder. Increasingly, as I read what evangelicals are saying, I sense a sad retreat, more interested in unity than in morality, or naively believing they can have both when the exact opposite is taking place.

For a people reared to believe the Reformation a high point in human history, and the Wesleyan movement an antidote to an uncaring state church, it totally escapes me why we put such hope on unity. "Be not overcome with evil but overcome evil with good" is virtually impossible when that goodness is joyously poo-pooed by renegades who continue with impunity.

What bishop, clergy person, or conference has even been chastised, let alone dismissed, for openly opposing the rules that were supposedly strengthened at our last GC? Sprague and Morrison go blithely on their way, and the New England Conference continues to disobey. The most oppressed congregations in our Western Jurisdiction have left and no longer have a voice. It is not a pretty picture.

Thanks for "Listening,"

Charles F. Cooley
United Methodist Pastor, Retired

Pastor Cooley has authored a booklet titled, Sex and Non-sex, which is available for $3.00 plus .75 for mailing cost. Pastor Cooley's address is: 4922 Honeysuckle Blvd., Columbus, OH 43230.

Pastor Cooley's email address is candlc2@juno.com


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