In 15 years with the BSA I have never encountered a homosexual individual
desiring membership into the organization. Establishing a new program to modify
a single policy seems extreme.
Fear controls many. Too bad they have to teach their children the same thing.
"...but also with the belief that the Scouting they knew no longer
exists."--- The Christianity I knew no longer exists. How sad
and un-Christian these people have become.
I agree. The LDS church as a whole should abandon BSA and join this
organization. I was just reading today how the gay and lesbian movement is
changing the way we do business. Rights protected by the first amendment are
being trampled because someone holds to their Christian belief and refuses to
serve a WEDDING, not the individual and they are being forced by the court
system. Since when did the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA begin to listen to the
minority rather than the majority??? I hate that I am being FORCED to give in
to something I do not believe in.
I never encouraged my sons to join the Boy Scouts, and I still would not. The
insistence that the scouts believe in God was always the sticking point for me.
As a nonbeliever myself, how could I endorse an organization that requires
belief? Even with the admission of gay boys, the Boy Scouts still categorizes
those who don't believe in a god as unworthy of membership. This is a sad
thing, but as atheists become more acceptable in society (as they already are
among the young), perhaps the Boy Scouts will adapt in this area as well.
John Stemberger said about the Boy Scouts of America: "They have now allowed
open and avowed presentation in your face: here and queer, that kind of blunt
thing,"I do not believe that this is accurate. If he believes
that it is, I can see why he would take such a drastic step. I think
the BSA compromise was a policy improvement. We shouldn't ostracize boys
who struggle with gender issues, as long as they are not engaging in sexual
activity. Who knows how many will conquer their confusion by being befriended
by peers who aren't confused. Youth with SSA participate in
public schools, and the other teens manage to retain their perspectives. How
much better to surround these youth with good role models and caring friendship.
It sounds like the leaders of Trail Life USA are misinformed or intentially
misleading. If you read the news release from the BSA and understand the policy,
you see that BSA accepts all those who live moral lives to include abstaining
from any sexual behavior while a Boy Scout. Having same-gender attraction does
not imply homosexual behavior. I do not believe feeling some way is a sin and
nor does the LDS church. Instead, the focus is on actions. Trail Life USA either
believes that feeling some way is a sin or are party to the many who are leaving
BSA as a knee-jerk reaction without understanding what is actually changing.
You can love someone despite their "sexual orientation" while still
disapproving of them doing something that is wrong. Openly advancing sexual
activity before marriage and seeking to force others to recognize a sex-oriented
view of marriage are both unacceptable. Standing up for what is right, even
when it's not popular, is something the Boy Scouts is meant to teach, but
in this particular matter, it has decided not to. It's as simple as
that.Given the way things are going though, I'd rather shift to
something more rigid than to simply copy what scouting used to offer. Maybe
some kind of junior-junior ROTC, with Church firesides. "Sons of
Helaman", not only providing boys with ever-less-available positive male
mentors and teaching them to stand for what's right, but instilling the
confidence and abilities to do so.
@ Ranch.I think I'm with you here. This organization seems
unnecessary and seems to send a terrible message. One can stand for what one
believes without having to say that he or she won't associate with someone
else who disagrees with you. Oh... except, the Christianity that you grew
up with does exist. Of course what one person does or even what a group of
people do in the name of God/Christ does not define all who believe God/Christ.
Christianity as it should be exists in the hearts of men and women everywhere.
Sometimes even I am following it.
I am all for giving this new organization a chance to work on character
development within the criteria they have established. Having another
organization similar to scouts is not bad.
Good for Trail Life. Glad to hear someone take a stand on morals. Those that
say Boy Scouts is not what it used to be are right. But that happened way
before the Gay issue. They have watered down the program over the last several
decades. It is operated more like a business with high paid executives and
leadership. Many difficult requirements have disappered either because of being
more politically correct or fear of being sued if someone became injured. It
has become a culture of risk avoidance. I could go on and on but I am sure
you get my point even if you may not agree with it.
Trail Life's policy: "We will allow boys of same-sex attraction in the
program. We're not going to allow them to facilitate and promote
that."This sounds very similar to the new BSA policy and the LDS
church handbook guidelines for participation in youth activities: sexual
orientation alone does not disqualify someone from participation.I agree
the believers are the salt of the earth. It will be tough for the "salt of
the earth" to do much good for the rest of the world though if it segregates
itself completely.I'm an eagle scout and active member of the church
who quietly deals with SSA. I'm thankful to the great leaders and friends I
had who made me feel included and gave me chances to grow with them even though
I was an awkward and weird kid.
Ranch, you were raised Mormon... what Christianity are you referring to?
So the setting up of a Christian-based private organization for boys is
"extreme", "misinformed", "intentionally misleading",
about "fear", "un-Christian", etc.Seems to me the
intolerance and phobia is coming from the group demanding their way.
From Trail of Life FAQ Page: Would Mormons or potential Mormon troops be
welcomed in your organization?We certainly respect Mormons. However,
Mormons would not participate in our program as a denomination because of our
specific Statement of Faith which holds a belief in the Trinity, which is not in
step with Mormon theology. The Mormon Church has issued an official edict that
the recent change in membership requirements at the BSA is not at odds with
Mormon theology, so Mormons as a denomination are not leaving the BSA at this
Perhaps establishing a new organization is extreme, but fortunately, we still
have that right in this country. If someone is not satisfied with something,
they've always been encouraged in the past to try to come up with something
better -- at least for themselves.Many of us are frustrated with a
great deal in the world. I do not advocate hate or name calling; yet at the
same time, I believe that there are certain standards and principals that should
be maintained. I do not agree with the GLBT lifestyle, but I do not try to
abuse or harm any who follow such lifestyles or even merely support them. I
also do not appreciate being labeled as bigoted or prejudiced either.Personally, I think the BSA is a good program, but if it continues to be
undermined, perhaps this new venture might be a good alternative. I hope that
such groups do not actively hate others, but they do have a right to maintain
their own principals and standards.
Ranch,To question other people's devotion to something
you're not devoted to is odd. If you're really bent on proving
yourself right, you ought to come to church with me and show me how to be a
better Mormon. Or go with Chris. I believe he's Catholic.The
Savior might have more patience and love than the rest of us. But he didn't
give different commandments than we do. Killing, Stealing, Lying, and Cheating
are still wrong. How I react to a murder might show how I feel, but I'm
still against murder. One doesn't have to 'love others perfectly'
to be a Christian. One becomes a Christian to learn to 'love others
perfectly'.I have nothing against the BSA's decision to
help all young men where possible... but I don't see anything un-Christian
about putting your kids in one catholic school when a public school won't
let him pray during his own time at lunch.
I guess I'm still not understanding the difference between the Trail Life
policy and the BSA's policy. We accept young men with SSA as long as they
remain morally clean while participating in our organization. Same policy from
where I sit. Ostracizing and being unaccepting of young men because of their
sexual orientation will certainly help them be leaders and have the confidence
and self worth they need to succeed in life, right? Wrong! Both organizations
can demand certain standards that all their members should live by, but
excluding someone because of something they didn't choose or have control
over (their sexual orientation...or are there some who still believe they would
CHOOSE such ridicule) is not only unchristian but inhumane and unconcienable.
I support those that support freedom. Historically groups that support freedom
last a lot longer than those that do not. I feel bad for BSA and they sell
short their standards of moral purity in hopes of appealing to a morally corrupt
@ USNGaryWe are not ruled by the majority, we are ruled by the
Constitution. Also, your (invented) right to discriminate against people who
are different than you is not protected by the First Amendment.
Disney is withdrawing their support of BSA, as have other corporations, because
they refuse to allow gay leaders.Groups like Trial Life have formed
because BSA allows gay boys to participate.It looks like BSA tried a
compromise... and failed to appease either side.It seems to me that this
GBLT stuff often ends this way.
There is a lesson to be learned here. The BSA acquiesced to their LGBT critics
and changed their policy. Rather than being appreciative, the BLTG types are
still just as hostile as ever to the BSA (of not more so) because they will not
allow homosexual leaders. So the BSA has successfully alienated
many of its friends but garnered no favor with the GTBL crowd. In retrospect,
I'm sure they wish now, they had stayed with the original policy. Their
friends would have stood by them and their enemies would be unaffected.
We just have to remember what Jesus Christ would do. He befriended everyone,
despite criticism for doing so. A prostitute, a tax collector for the Romans?
Did not matter. Why can we not simply remember who Christianity is named after?
klangton,Teaching that something is wrong can be done in love, just
as the Savior did. Jesus Christ taught adulterers that such was a sin. He taught
repentance and extended forgiveness in His infinite mercy and love. He taught
that He came not to destroy the law, but fulfill it.In any LDS
General conference, you will find these messages:We are taught to
extend the same love, forgiveness and compassion.We are taught to stay
true to the law, to turn from temptation, and to repent.We are taught to
keep the commandments, and promised blessings for it.Jesus Christ
was hated for what He taught. The people, the law, and His own refused and
accused Him of the same things being said today of those who teach His message.
None of us are perfect and people of all persuasions can be tempted to hate.
What matters is that we keep the commandments. But determining to break other
commandments isn't excused by simply being kind and keeping one
commandment.We are to perfect ourselves, not pretend to follow the
Savior. Perhaps I'm as guilty as anyone else here is, but that is the
Sadly, the BSA of yesteryear no longer exists. The national leaders of the BSA
have decided that money from big business is more important than teaching our
youth to be morally straight.I hope and pray that our church leaders will
have the courage to leave the BSA and join this wonderful organization or start
a similar one for our youth. I know change is hard but our youth deserve
something better than what the BSA has become.
Well, guess we can give thanks we still have the freedom to choose what
organizations to affiliate with.
I absolutely love the Boy Scouts of America and their programs. The Aims of
Scouting, the Outdoor Code, the Scout Oath & Law, the Methods of Scouting,
the Mission of Scouting. It is inspired. It gives boys something that is
harder to find in our world today. The fact that the BSA welcomes
gay boys to participate in the program doesn't change much in my mind. It
gives every boy and opportunity to exercise morality, love of God, love of
Country, and the principles and values of Scouting. I suspect that every boy
would benefit from Scouting.In Scouting I enjoyed Philmont (twice),
attended LIFE twice (Leadership Institute for Explorers), went to the World
Jamboree to Calgary back in the 80's, earned my Eagle, and now I am
fortunate enough to work with young men to help them reach as high as they would
like through Scouting. It is a wonderful program that helps prepare
young men in the LDS Church to better serve, be better husbands, and fathers.
I love the program.
It is sad, indeed shameful, that those pushing the gay lifestyle did not form a
new organization for youth to meet their goals, and instead insisted on
destroying a century of good work by the Boy Scouts. But, we now
see a different group who have started a new group to further their goals. How
long before the gay activists target them to destroy the Trail Life program as
well?It seems this "equality" stuff only works one way- You
accept the gay agenda, or you are targeted for destruction. It never seems to
be the gays merely asking for tolerance of their values without destruction of
someone else's values.Our youth desperately need good moral
leadership and examples, such as Scouting has traditionally provided. Purposely
attacking any part of Scouting instead of building new parallel programs is a
disservice to all youth. And, is part of the reason for our nation's moral
and economic decline.
Interesting that "Trail Life" bans not just gays, but also Muslims and
"that those pushing the gay lifestyle"There is a huge
difference between those who "accept" and those who "push".Who would have thought that Trail Life, an organization formed around
the Christian Religion, would ban the LDS based on "religious
differences"It would appear that "discrimination" comes
in all shapes and sizes.
I think it's hard for a lot of parents to be open to the idea that kids can
have gay friends and still live faithful, inspired lives active in their
respective religious upbringing. This, imo, is very short-sighted and will
ultimately fail. It's too bad because it needn't be this way.
"As Christians from a scriptural basis, we love all folks, but the Scripture
is very clear that being homosexual is a sin," Ron Orr said in an interview.
"We've got to be able to hold a strong line and set a consistent
example for our young men."Many more things are sins as well
such as lying, cheating, swearing, stealing. Chances are there are boys in
their unit who are guilty of these sins. At which point do we begin casting the
first stone? Aren't youth programs all about BUILDING and improving? If
the youth are sinless what improvements need to be made?
Is there a definition of "openly gay youth"? Clearly same-sex attraction
is not the same as "openly gay". LDS leaders and members are not
excluding youth with same-sex attraction who are not involved in sinful
activity. There is a difference. Furthermore, where is the line between
accepting and allowing subtle recruitment by those with ssa? To deny that
recruitment occurs is to deny reality. The LDS position possibly allows for LDS
leaders in scouting to assist youth with ssa to make correct choices.
I think it would be great if the LDS church and other socially conservative
religious organizations would leave the BSA. Then the BSA could go back to
being for all boys regardless of dogma rather than an organization made to
promote narrow thinking.
"To deny that recruitment occurs is to deny reality."Can you
describe what kind of "recruitment" would be needed to flip a person
from straight to gay?I can't, for the life of me, fathom that
anyone could have said or done anything that could have made me gay.Can someone enlighten me?
I am not sure why there is a problem with openly gay boys in the Boy Scouts
(whether or not they are sexually active) when there are have always been plenty
of heterosexually active boys in the Scouts who are not dismissed or excluded
from the organization and Christian organizations were not lobbying about the
evils of permitting them in Scouts.
I suspect that Trail Life USA will be just another minor youth program like
Royal Rangers, American Heritage Girls, and Camp Fire. They have chosen a course
that risks self-marginalization because:1. Their rejection of faith
communities that don't believe in the Triune God.2. Their adoption of
a youth membership policy that is essentially identical to the BSA policy.Mr. Orr in the article is demonstrating a Calvinist approach to sin
where if a person is tempted by sin, they are already guilty of the sin. This
flies in the face of the conception of most Christians of divine justice. This
is another issue that will limit their growth.I'm surprised at
some of the comments of some of the LDS participants here. One of the first
people that Wayne Perry, BSA National President, consulted on the modification
of the BSA membership policy, was Thomas S. Monson, in both of his roles as the
head of the organization sponsoring the single largest block of BSA units and as
one of the most senior members of the BSA National Executive Board. The bottom
line is that the BSA policy would not have changed without support from the LDS
Ok mormons read the latest , a group of Western-state Republicans plans to enter
the battle in favor of same-sex marriage on Tuesday, urging a federal appeals
court to declare gay marriage bans in Utah and Oklahoma unconstitutional. Some
Republicans know that equal rigths are for everyone in our great country!
Not only will they exclude Mormons & Muslims but Jews, Hindus, Buddhists,
Inuit or other Native Americans and ANYONE who does not succinctly ascribe to
the purist Christian views they hold to. I am all for teaching strong values to
youth that will assist in helping them grow into responsible adults, but I
don’t think this is the way to accomplish the goal. By excluding such
diversity, young people will come to the belief that narrow-mindedness, bigotry,
exclusion and discrimination against someone who is “different” is
normal and justifiable.Also from the site’s FAQs, it says
“Same-sex attraction is not in itself a sin, as it is rather a temptation.
It is what you do with that temptation in thought and in action that is
sin.”Apparently, it doesn’t matter what is done with the
“temptation,” it is still a sin either way.
@ DavidI once felt the same as you. The BSA of day's past was all
that you said it was in your post. But times have changed. In my
observation the LDS youth of today for the most part do not like Scouting. There
are a few exceptions, but most don't seem to like it. And frankly a large
number of the adult leaders don't seem to like it either. I think as a
church we have been in denial about this for a long time now. And
now, scouting no longer teaches the need to be morally straight. For me, that is
the last straw. It's time to leave. I know change is hard.
Those of us who knew scouting as it once was will be sad to see it go. But we
need to do what is right for the youth. I pray that our church
leaders will feel inspired to make a change.
I find it disgusting to see comments about religious organizations being against
gays. When I was at a church's boy scout camp seminar in the mountains
above Boise, Idaho, we spent the night in sleeping bags and there were sexual
activities. I have lived my life fully as a gay man who is a U.S. citizen, a
veteran, and a retired software engineer. I have a same-sex partner of 52 years
and we have been married 10 years. We have paid our taxes, bills, and are
living the American dream. If religions are losing people, perhaps they need to
teach more of the positive god loving values and love for one another instead of
the negative, dark ages values, most of which are mythical.
Article quote: "Scouting leadership proposed a compromise: Accept openly gay
youth, but exclude gay adult volunteers. BSA's National Council voted in
May to enact it."The Boy Scouts of America say they believe in
being "morally straight" and in doing their best to honor God.There is simply no way for an open, actively-practicing homosexual male to do
@EstoPerpetua - I spent my entire youth fully involved in the Boy Scouts and
even spent my teenage summers working at full-term scout camps. No sexual
activities, not one. That's the way it should be. I am sorry you were
wronged by scouts and you bring up the very fear we have about this whole fiasco
For all of you who are using the 'morally straight' argument. The
words in the Scout oath do not mean what you think they do. . . .
and morally straight.To be a person of strong character, your
relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and
defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain
faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help
you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.(Excerpted from page 45-46, Boy
Scout Handbook, 11th ed,(#33105), copyright 1998 by BSA, ISBN 0-8395-3105-2)It has nothing to do with sexual morality.
Floyd JohnsonBroken Arrow, OK"In 15 years with the BSA I have
never encountered a homosexual individual desiring membership into the
organization. Establishing a new program to modify a single policy seems
extreme."... YES, and some people portray a "Gay
Invasion", when most or all Gay scouts joined as little kids, before they
realized they were Gay. Who would want to put his kid in the position of having
to lie, in order to stay in scouting?... It is all just part of the
campaign by some churches to demonize Gay folks, because they are afraid of
their own children coming out and expecting to be accepted in the church and
If I was gay, I probably wouldn't WANT to join the BSA. Why would anybody
want to join an organization if you don't share their values?America has just gone weird in the last 10 years. Live and let live
already.If you don't like BSA, don't join. If your
wedding cake maker doesn't do gay weddings, go somewhere else. If you
don't believe in God, don't go to church. Is it really that
Mack2828,I respectfully disagree. Boys love scouting.
They love leading & associating in the Patrol method. They love the Outdoor
Program. They love advancement and recognition. They love the ideals of
scouting (oath, law, motto & slogan). They love associations with adults.
They even respect the uniform.They love citizenship, character and
fitness.In scouting they hike beautiful valleys & mountain
peaks. They canoe & raft. They swim in lakes. They shoot rifles, pistols,
bows, and shotguns. They learn respect for fire. They learn and apply first
aid. They learn respect for their environment. They learn respect for women
& children. They learn to do hard things, and to lead. They learn personal
management, genealogy, dentistry, engineering, pioneering, orienteering,
weather, geology, mammal studies, etc. and etc. Where else will
they have a similar experience? On their Gamecube? Maybe their Wii?I am grateful that the Church supports Scouting. It is an inspired program
that is needed in our world more than ever. I trust the LDS Church
leaders and will follow their lead.
Within this debate, there is both a basic misunderstanding of Christ's
actual words and invitation, and an unfortunate mixing of the issues of freedom
of/ and freedom from religion.We all know the high goals of the BSA.
Their membership requirements excluded all kinds of persons. No mafia, gangs
or drug cartels went to their bull-horns to demand equality and unfettered
acceptance. Ditto pedophiles, thieves, serial adulterers, rapists.Shrekk and Joe Blow's comments about Trail Life's "rejection of
other religions" implies that every community organization which has
membership guidelines must accept every theology and ism, or be guilty of
discrimination. Having a secular program for training youth does not have to
equate to membership requirements of that One World Fits All mantra.Neither Muslims, Mormons, Moonies, Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, or any
other self-defined Biblical separtists, accept the purely Biblical Jesus or His
clearly stated gospel. They all thrive happily within their democratic
communities, with their own rules and restrictions to access of their mosques,
temples or fast-track to heaven's highest membership.Allowing a
new group on the block is threatening exactly what...?
@Mack2828 & Caravan;"Morally straight" does NOT mean
"be heterosexual".@J in AZ;You said it.@USAlover;Just because we're gay doesn't mean we
don't share the same "values" as the rest of you. Maybe you should
get to know some of us.
Choosing to participate in things that are wrong because of physical phenomenon
and physical temptations that truly do exist doesn't excuse the sin. I am
glad that even with their open policy, the BSA has allowed its chartered
organizations the freedom to continue to teach what sin is and how to live a
"morally straight" life despite physical temptation that is a normal,
yet excruciating part of mortality. I do, however, celebrate even more Mr.
Orr's decision to provide an organization that supports God's
declarations as the ultimate source of right-ness and character. The rank of
authority in this particular relationship goes like this: God, Scouting; not
like this: Scouting, God. The Bible teaches us to fear (or respect) God and his
judgements, so I'd say fear in that regard is not a bad thing in any way.
1. Boys like the outdoors. They don't necessarily like Scouting. The
patrol method does little except to reinforce the ideal that the biggest and
toughest and strongest and most popular kid will be the leader. The quorum
model works much better, as long as a quorum president is sensitive to the other
quorum members' needs. I trust the quorum model more than the patrol
model.2. There have always been gays in Scouting, and there always
will be. At least now they don't have to hide in the closet.
@Ranch. What Christianity is that? where it was acceptable to murder someone for
blasphemy, adultery or homosexuality? To wage war because they were of the wrong
religion like in Ireland? Christ loved the sinner but not the sin. remember he
told the adulteress to go and sin no more. He didn't stone her but he
didn't condone her lifestyle either. So what time are you referring to?