WASHINGTON, July 14, 2015 — Parents of boy scouts around the nation will have a decision to make after July 27. That is when the Boy Scouts of America intends to end the organization’s ban on gay adult leaders.
On Monday, the Boy Scouts announced the unanimous decision of its executive committee to end the ban on gay adult leaders. For parents who have deeply held biblical beliefs that are counter to this decision, removing their boys from scout troops may be the only option available.
With each apparent wave of gay rights activism being played out on the nation’s culture landscape, parents may feel as if they are being boxed into a corner with no possible avenue to resist. Some national church organizations like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not willing to abandon their parishioners who have boys in the boy scouts and do not support gay scout leaders.
The Mormon church released a statement which stressed, “As a chartering organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always had the right to select Scout leaders who adhere to moral and religious principles that are consistent with our doctrines and beliefs,” reported the Blaze. The statement also reiterated that, “Any resolution adopted by the Boy Scouts of America regarding leadership in Scouting must continue to affirm that right.”
In fact, other religious organizations may be interested in following in the steps that the Mormon Church has taken. Southern Baptist Convention spokesperson Roger Oldham, told the Los Angeles Times that churches within the convention organization can make their own decision concerning any continuation in working with the Boy Scouts.
While the national Boy Scouts of America has decided to buckle to growing public pressure from gay rights organizations and supporters, there does seem to be a light at the end of this culture war tunnel. Christian parents who still want their boys and girls to have a scouting experience can join the Trail Life USA or the American Heritage Girls organization.
Trail Life USA has, in 18 months, reportedly grown to 25,000 members. It is open to boys from kindergarten to 25 years old. While boys can join from any faith or belong to no faith group at all, the adult leaders must be Christian.
American Heritage Girls has over 40,000 members; girls 5-18 can participate in their programs. The mission of the organization is to, “Build women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country,” according to AHG.
Even though Robert Gates, the Boy Scouts national president and former U.S. secretary of defense supports the new standards, parents may refuse to accept that as a status quo they can embrace. On July 27, parents around the nation who embrace their Christian values and do not want their boys to be members of an organization that supports openly gay adult scout leaders may permanently sever their ties with the Boy Scouts.