Mormon Church says it might sever ties to Scouts

Jul 28, '15 9:00 pm

static01.nyt.com/images/2015/07/29/us/29SCOUTSWEB/29SCOUTSWEB-thumbStandard.jpgThe stance by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting came hours after the Boy Scouts voted to permit openly gay leaders and the Mormon Church said it might sever ties to scouting.

Full article…

And we should do the same!

LCMS Lutherans are thinking along the same lines.

I think it’s only a matter of time before all orthodox churches stop sponsoring Boy Scout troops. I watched an interview this morning on local Dallas/Ft Worth news with a representative of Scouts for Equality. While he did not explicitly state it, it was strongly implied that they would go after any sponsoring organization that did not admit gay leaders. Once that starts happening I think most churches will just cut ties with the BSA to avoid the litigation.

Does this mean that WELS was right all along!!??!! :eek:

I was a WELS member when my stepsons came to live with us, and they had been involved in cub scouting. Not wanting to further disrupt their young lives, we thought it best if they be allowed to continue with scouting as long as they wanted to. I was a den leader for a couple of those years, and my pastor knew of it. He reiterated the WELS position against scouting, patted my shoulder, and said that my “heart was in the right place.” We didn’t discuss it again.

:slight_smile: Sure looks like they saw the train was due to fall off the rails. I’m thinking it’s time to restart the ol’ Walther League.

We should not move swiftly in this way, ISTM. If we do cut off the BSA from the Church (Catholic, Lutheran, etc), then do we not cut off any influence we may have?

Just pondering,

Jon

As a Scouter for the past 10 years or so, I have to say that I think people are massively overreacting to a total non-issue.

Quite frankly, this is nothing more than “corporate” formally acknowledging something that has been going on since day one.

Same as with the decision last year regarding Scouts (youth).

There can’t be anyone out there who thinks that prior to a few days ago for adult Scouters, and prior to last year for Scouts, that there were no gay individulas in the BSA.

Honestly, it’s such a non-issue to most Scouts and Scouters I know - so long gay adult Scouters do not force their views on sexual orientation upon the youth, and gay Scouts do not encourage it amongst other youth, I just do not see where the issue is. The chances of either of the above scenarios happening is virtually nil.

Frankly, religion and sexual orientation are simply two topics that very rarely come up in Scouting conversations - at least from my own experience as a Scoutmaster. A Scouter would no more encourage/force his/her views on sexual orientation on youth than s/he would encourage/discourage a paticular race, nationality, hair style/color, you name it. I just don’t ever see that happening; it’s a great way to be “asked to leave and not come back”.

I have come accross many Scouts and Scouters out there over the years who do not adhere to “mainstream” religious beliefs, as well as a number of openly gay Scouts. They were there when I was a Scout way back when as well. It’s nothing new.

If the formal decision by the BSA bothers some groups, they can simply choose not to charter (or re-charter) a Troop/Pack.

I don’t know, seems like a lot of typical media ‘to-do’ about nothing.

The above opinion is not meant to offend anyone, it’s just an opinion based on my own experiences in Scouting.

If it were only an issue of smattering of polite and helpful same-sex attracted scoutmasters, indeed it would not be much of an issue in and of itself.

However, usually changes like this are a harbinger of things to come, and already from here you see the parade starting.

In the 1990s, our two daughters were in girl scouts. The meetings were originally held at a Methodist church but they developed a conflict with the days and times so we sought another meeting space. This time, it was at an Associate Reformed Presbyterian church. All was well until a child of a Hindu family objected to Christian prayer being said to open the meetings. The pastor spoke gently, but eventually said that this was a Christian church, and while the scouts were free to use the facility, there would be an invocation and Christian prayer - period. The local Scouting council found a new, non-church place to meet. And so ended my involvement with Scouting, both boys and girls.

@ benjohnson - yeah, the parade does indeed start and it seems everyone wants to jump on the first bandwagon that passes. I think once people are “over the initial shock”, it will hopefully die down to a non-issue.

@Stilldream - I have had that experience too. I think it’s great that various churches sponser and charter packs and troops, but they seem to forget that we are non-sectarian (not sure if that’s the right word I’m looking for) - we can not endorse any one particular faith any more than we can endorse say one particular political candidate, etc. I’m, not saying offering a prayer at the beginning of a meeting is wrong, but if you’re going to have a Christian one, next week’s opening prayer should come from another religious tradition (Jewdaism, Islam, Hindu, Buddhist, Native American, etc.). We have come close on more than one occasion to finding a new charter organization due to such various issues.

Just as Girls scouts is on it’s way to a slow death by attrition, I think Boy Scouts is about to start down that same road.

It’s a matter of failing to understand their customer. Most Boy Scout troops are chartered by religious organizations of some sort. Particularly conservative religious organizations. Scouts also tends to appeal most to that type of family as well.

If the continue to alienate that customer, their numbers will continue to decline. If the Mormon’s walk away, they will simply reorganize and create their own in house program. But they will not be paying dues, or raising money for the National Boy Scouts anymore, taking a huge chunk of their money.

I also predict if the Mormons leave, the Catholics, Lutheran’s MS, and other high liturgical and many evangelical churches will follow. That’s a lot of boys walking away at one time, and a big hit to their membership roles.

Basically it will be the beginning of a long slow decline in to non existence for the Boy Scouts.

Other smaller organizations will pop up to fill the need, just like groups like American Heritage Gils have done for Girl Scouts.

I’m sad about that because of the amazing history and legacy Boy Scouts had, but on the other Hand, they have done it to themselves.

DD is an American Heritage Girl, and its a pretty awesome program.

I discriminate on a number of issues.
Homosexuality is one of them.
I know from observation and experience that most male homosexuals, and at least many female homosexuals, proselytize on behalf of their “orientation”. The issue with the Mormon Church is not that there may be a sexual pervert socializing with their children, but that someone whose sexuality is oriented towards young males is tending to their sons, and who is brazenly conspicuous about his abnormal or undisciplined sexual behavior.

Yes, it is true that there are sexually undisciplined people. There have also been registered sex offenders, unregistered sex offenders, rapists and murderers in leadership positions in Boy Scouts. The fact that sex offenders and murderers do exist, and hide their backgrounds, can hardly be presented as a persuasive argument that therefore it is fine for of them who admit to their misbehavior to be put in positions of trust.

There are alternatives to Boy Scouts. Our children were in Boy Scout troops, Awanas, a Lutheran group of some sort, more than one Catholic youth group, whatever was available, and honorable, and led by honorable, respectable leaders.

My grandson is a boy scout so this concerns me.

Why? What’s wrong with scouts meeting in a non-church setting and why do you expect others to practice religion with your kids? I’ve pulled my kids out of activities precisely because they took a religious bent, I don’t allow religious teaching to my kids by others unless it’s Catholic teaching.

My grandson’s scout troop meets at their elementary school, but there also is a boy scout troop affiliated with our church.

This article was posted over on the World News forum:
catholicnewsagency.com/news/bishop-advises-cautious-optimism-for-a-catholic-future-in-boy-scouts-76788/

“We’re willing to see how this policy can work and how we can remain consistent with our Catholic teaching and continue to charter troops with the Boy Scouts of America. We think we can do that,” Bishop Robert Guglielmone of Charleston told CNA July 28.

Jon

There may be a shift in the way influence is perceived or practiced as groups form alternative scouting organizations, competing for members.
Such alternatives present visible examples in communities of the many possibilities scouting might offer.
Should the alternatives provide sound catechesis, we may also see influences which extend in multiple directions in our religous communities as scouts age and become increasingly active in their parishes.
This in turn may well influence communities outside of the parish - Salt and Light.

I think that could be sound reasoning. What do you think of the article I linked to in the previous post?

Jon

I saw the article as offering hope for a continued relationship with the Boy Scouts while aknowledging some of the challenges posed by recent events. One such challenge was a lack of ability to determine content offered to scouts through various programs and materials.

From the article:
"At the same time, the bishop acknowledged there is no way Catholics can control the material in Boy Scout programs, merit badge material, and its Boys’ Life magazine.

“According to the discussions that we’ve had with the Boy Scouts of America, we’re looking to leave the areas of sexuality, sexual conduct, et cetera, in the hands of parents and churches,” he stated.

“We’re just going to have to see how that all plays out. Certainly, we hope that that’s exactly what they will do.”"

Much of the online discussion concerning changes in Scouting policy has been focussed upon whether or not these changes increase the risk of sexual abuse of minors. The point referenced above speaks to another concern: catechesis.
The bishop seems to be hoping that the Scouting organization will be able to serve the children without undermining or contradicting their catechesis.

Back to the article:
“Bishop Guglielmone voiced hope that as the Boy Scouts deal with such issues they will act in a way consistent with Catholic teaching. If the scouting organization does not, he said, then Catholics will have to address such situations.”

The bishop does not offer suggestions for how such situations might be addressed.
I wonder if an alternative scouting organization which might provide catechesis in accordance with the Magisterium might prove more effective in supporting Catholics in scouting?

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