When you can’t trust even Boy Scouts to keep a promise, you know our culture is in deep trouble.
By Ed Vitagliano
On May 23 more than 1,400 delegates to the Boy Scouts’ National Council meeting voted on a resolution that called for an end to the organization’s ban on homosexual membership. By a 61-39% margin, delegates said yes, although by a similar voting margin, the ban on homosexual adult leaders was maintained.
Many Christians were shocked by the vote to open membership to homosexual youth. As a result, AFA is calling for Christians to exit the 2.6-million-youth organization and find other alternatives for their young men.
Here are some reasons to say goodbye to a once trusted organization:
1. BSA failed to stand for traditional values.
According to the Scout Law, bravery is an attribute that is supposed to characterize BSA and its members. What the organization has demonstrated instead is cowardice in the face of a persistent opponent.
There can be no doubt that homosexual activists have badgered the Boy Scouts for decades to abandon its ban on homosexuals. A 1992 lawsuit was filed in New Jersey by scoutmaster James Dale after it became public that he was a homosexual. Dale filed the suit after the state passed a law forbidding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and the case made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Scouts narrowly won that decision in a landmark case, Boy Scouts of America v Dale (2000).
But activists refused to quit, constantly bringing pressure on BSA through more lawsuits, municipalities with non-discrimination laws, and funding cut off from non-profit groups and corporations.
Nevertheless, Christians and other moral conservatives expected the Boy Scouts to remain resolute. After all, in June 2012, BSA released the results of a two-year study on the issue that concluded that the ban on homosexuals was “the absolute best policy for the Boy Scouts of America.”
“Why, less than a year later, is this no longer true?” asked culture critic and writer Robert Reilly, senior fellow at American Foreign Policy Council.
That’s what everyone wanted to know.
Attorney John Stemberger, founder of On My Honor, a coalition of Scouting members who affirm the organization’s traditional values, said the BSA flip-flop demonstrates “that the organization’s values are not timeless, and instead they are governed by changing tides of polls, politics and public opinion.”
2. They have embraced moral relativism.
In its statement about the May 23 vote, the Boy Scouts said: “While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting.”
Deron Smith, BSA’s national spokesman, called the vote over the homosexual ban a matter of “personal preference.”
Is the controversy over homosexuality merely a matter of “personal preference,” akin to an argument over changing the color of Boy Scout uniforms? Bible-believing Christians don’t think so.
To state that the controversy was nothing more than the clash of “different opinions” reveals the triumph of moral relativism within the Scouts. It is to argue that all views are equally valid. That is a disappointment to the many Christian parents who expected the Boy Scouts to defend traditional values, not undermine them.
This is a stunning departure from the Boy Scouts’ defense offered in the Dale case, when it argued before the Supreme Court that BSA “teach[es] that homosexual conduct is not morally straight,” and does “not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.”
Of course, that was then, and this is now. Apparently for BSA there is a time to stand for moral truth and a time to abandon it.
3. Homosexual men will soon serve as troop leaders.
Gary Glenn, president of American Family Association of Michigan, himself an Eagle Scout and the father of three Eagle Scouts, expects that the Boy Scouts will eventually be forced to accept openly homosexual adults as leaders.
He insisted in an opinion piece following the BSA vote that it will be a step that “will not be long in coming, whether by court order a few years from now or by vote of BSA officials themselves in a final act of moral surrender.”
The pressure to allow gay leaders has already begun with demands issued by homosexual activists.
According to Human Rights Campaign spokesman Paul Guequierre, the Scouts are “not on our good list yet.” He told Associated Press that HRC would deduct points in its influential annual equality rankings from any company that gave to BSA – until the Boy Scouts agreed to drop its ban on homosexual adults.
But the breaking point will probably come from legal pressure – i.e., lawsuits. When the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly granted BSA an exemption to New Jersey’s non-discrimination law, it was because the Scouts claimed they had a moral objection to homosexuality rooted in religious belief.
Since that defense has willingly been jettisoned, most observers believe BSA will soon be legally forced to allow homosexual men as leaders.
So what’s wrong with homosexual men serving as leaders in the Boy Scouts?
For Christian parents it will be problematic precisely because homosexuals will then be in a position of moral authority and influence in the lives of their sons. Those parents don’t put their boys into Scouting to have Christian values undermined by those whose very lifestyle stands in opposition to the Scriptures.
4. They will promote homosexuality.
The policy shift itself speaks volumes about the historic change in attitude within Boy Scouts of America. While the organization once viewed homosexuality as incompatible with BSA values, that is no longer the case.
In fact, the Supreme Court decision in Dale turned, in part, on this very issue: What message is sent by the presence of self-identified homosexual members in the Scouts, and how does that message reflect BSA’s actual moral views?
Writing in Dale’s majority opinion, then Chief Justice William Rehnquist said that the presence of homosexuals “would, at the very least, force the organization to send a message, both to the youth members and the world, that the Boy Scouts accepts homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.”
Since BSA did not approve of homosexuality, the high court reasoned, then forcing them to admit gay boys infringed on the Scouts’ religious beliefs. The Boy Scouts would be compelled to send a message they did not believe.
All that has now been flipped. If a ban on homosexual Scouts sent a message of moral disapproval of homosexuality, then ending the ban does the opposite.
Once homosexuality has been accepted, there is no going back. There is only going forward into promotion, or at the very least, the suppression of disapproval.
If discussions around the campfire turn to current events – such as the controversy over same sex marriage – what will impressionable young men hear? Will they be subjected to the litany of one-sided arguments pushed by activists, as gay Scouts speak up?
The answer is clearly – and sadly – yes.
5. Boys will be placed at risk.
Along with all the sad consequences of the BSA vote listed above, the worst danger is “the tragedy of countless boys who will experience sexual, physical and psychological abuse,” according to Stemberger.
Ironically, Stemberger noted the Scouts have always been aware of this hazard. “BSA’s own Youth Protection videos indicate that ‘70% of abuse to boys is by teenagers,’” he said.
“The question is whether the safety and security of boys in general are better off with the ‘open and avowed’ homosexual boys living and sleeping with them in close quarters,” Stemberger said.
“Based upon personal and candid conversations with BSA officials at the highest levels,” he said before the May vote, “BSA is fully aware that this proposed resolution will absolutely increase the risk of boy-on-boy sexual contact in Scouting, and yet there has been no discussion or risk analysis done on this topic in any of the resolution reports or presentations.” (Emphasis in original.)
Some might argue that this is merely Christian hysteria, but parents should ask themselves these questions: Would I allow my 14-year-old daughter to sleep in a tent with a 17-year-old boy? How about with a boy her own age? Why not?
If sexual attraction and the power of hormones in the teen years are a potent mixture that creates great danger for heterosexual kids, it won’t change when homosexual boys are thrown into the mix.
. . . . .
There is no saving Boy Scouts of America now. Once it stood strong and unwavering, as evidenced by its courageous stance in the Dale case.
Now, however, it has quickly collapsed under pressure and departed irrevocably from its original foundations. Sadly, the Boy Scouts will undoubtedly go the way of the Girl Scouts into that gray relativistic world of moral mush.
Our young people are already choking on the secular sludge served up by many public schools, the media and even some churches. Where can our young people turn to get the pure, unadulterated truth?
Now at least we finally know: It won’t be in the Boy Scouts.
What should you do? Leave.
Thousands of adults and youth are expected to be departing from Boy Scouts of America over the next several years.
Gary Glenn said the example of Scouting in Canada does not bode well for the U.S. organization. “Canadian Scouting made the same policy change in 1998, and its numbers fell from over 300,000 to less than 75,000 today,” he said.
Stemberger agreed with that assessment: “The BSA’s own estimates are that a policy change [over the gay ban] would create a ‘significant membership loss of 200,000 to 400,000 youth.’” (Emphasis in original.)
He argued that his estimates suggest an even worse scenario for the Boy Scouts: “500,000 to 600,000 youth leaving over a three-year period as the negative effects of the policy become evident. These estimates do not even calculate the adult volunteers and parents who will leave also.”
Loss of revenue, camp closings, staff and executive lay offs will also follow, he said.
AFA is asking supporters to take these immediate steps:
1. If you are in Scouting or have a son or grandson in Scouting, show your convictions by resigning from the organization. Your dropped membership will send a strong message that your values are steadfast, faithful and unchangeable.
2. If your church charters a Scouting unit, contact the pastor and Scouting committee members. Urge the church to drop the charter based on the truth of God’s word and Christian values
3. Find an alternative to BSA. To help you in this endeavor, we have compiled a list of faith-based organizations that promote scouting-type activities from a Christian perspective, which can be found at www.Scoutingalternatives.com or call 662-844-5036 X226.250.