The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has become a casualty of the ongoing culture war between those committed to traditional values and those pushing for acceptance of the LGBTQ agenda.
This should shock and disturb every Christian in America.
Because of why it happened … and the process by which it happened…
It all started about 5 years ago…
Until then, the BSA had been one of America’s great cultural institutions, providing individual as well as group activities and training uniquely designed to develop young boys into men.
The organization had excluded gays from both leadership and membership ever since its founding in 1910.
In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts had a legal right to exclude gays because:
- It’s a nonprofit organization engaged in instilling a specific system of values in young people
- homosexuality is inconsistent with that system of values
But not long after its Supreme Court victory, things began spiraling downward for the BSA…
Here’s the sad and shocking summary of the 8 steps of cultural decline and defeat experienced by the Boy Scouts of America:
- Financial support of the Boy Scouts declined.
Large corporate donors such as UPS, United Way, and drug manufacturer Merck began opposing the BSA’s policy of excluding gays.
They canceled or postponed their financial support.
- Advocates for gay rights gathered over 1.2 online signatures protesting the BSA’s “anti-gay” policy.
As late as July 2012, the BSA reaffirmed its policy of “not granting membership to open or avowed homosexuals.”
But both then-President Obama and then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney supported allowing gays to participate in the Boy Scouts … and at the same time, the Democratic party platform committee approved language supporting same-sex marriage.
- The BSA reversed its policy banning gay membership 10 months after affirming it.
Wilting under a barrage of criticism and social pressure from all sides, the BSA began to abandon its mandate in the Boy Scout Oath that scouts keep themselves “morally straight.”
On May 23, 2013, openly gay boys were allowed to join the Boy Scouts.
The following year, BSA membership fell by about 6% – the largest single-year decline in the organization’s history.
- Next, the BSA reversed its policy of refusing to allow openly gay men to be in leadership positions.
Two years later – on July 27, 2015 – the BSA reversed another long-standing moral position and chose to permit openly gay men to be Scout leaders.
Between 2013 and 2016, BSA membership fell by about 10%.
- The BSA further caved in to social pressure in 2017.
On January 30, 2017, the BSA announced that effective immediately, transgender boys would be permitted to enroll in boys-only programs…
And on October 11th they announced that girls would be allowed to join the Cub Scouts in 2018 … and that a separate program for older girls would be established in 2019.
- The BSA is changing the name of its largest program to promote the inclusion of girls.
As of February of 2019, the Boy Scouts program for 11- to 17-year-olds will no longer be called “Boy Scouts” – it will be called “Scouts BSA.”
The BSA gave 2 “reasons” for the decision:
- The “needs of families”
- Declining membership
No explanation was given of which needs of families required the name change.
The BSA has lost approximately a third of its membership since 2000.
- The Mormon Church announced it will sever all ties with the BSA by the end of 2019.
Any boy who has been in a Mormon congregation over the past 100 years has automatically been a member of the Boy Scouts…
The Mormon Church has been the BSA’s largest faith-based partner – with 185,000 boys involved…
But not anymore.
They object to the BSA’s abandonment of its historical stand against permitting openly gay members and leaders.
The Mormon Church plans to pull all of its boys out of the BSA by the end of 2019 … and launch their own youth program in January 2020.
- The gradual and progressive moral decline of the BSA reflects the moral decline of American society in general.
As a nonprofit organization designed to develop young boys into responsible men, the Boy Scouts should seek to influence culture rather than merely reflect culture.
The mission statement of the BSA says its purpose is “to serve others by helping to instill values in young people and, in other ways, to prepare them to make ethical choices during their lifetime in achieving their full potential.”
Recent research concludes that 89% of Americans believe it’s wrong for people to criticize other people’s life choices…
And a shocking 74% of Millennials believe morality should be a matter of cultural consensus rather than based on objective moral laws.
Sadly, the current BSA leaders apparently agree.
As Christians, how should we respond to the moral decline in America?
We have 3 responsibilities as ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20):
- Understand the culture in which we live (1 Chronicles 12:23, 32)
- Faithfully represent the principles and the authority of the one we serve
(2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Acts 4:19-20; Acts 5:29)
- Pray for all those who are in positions of authority – not just government authority (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
We are the presence of Christ to those we meet every day … they will judge the Master by His messengers.
What do you think? Write me at [email protected]