Comments about ‘No longer loyal to Boy Scouts of America, boys join Trail Life’

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Published: Monday, March 3 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Floyd Johnson
Broken 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.

St.George, Utah

Fear controls many. Too bad they have to teach their children the same thing.

Here, UT

"...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.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Good work!

San Diego, CA

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.

The Skeptical Chymist

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.

Houston, TX

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.

Tucson, AZ

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.

Midwest City, USA, OK

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.

Michael Matthews
Omaha, NE

@ 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.

Nan BW
ELder, CO

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.

Eagle Mountain, UT

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.

Seattle, WA

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.

Provo, UT

Ranch, you were raised Mormon... what Christianity are you referring to?

Springville, UT

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.

Provo, UT

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 time.

Medical Lake, Washington

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.

I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Provo, UT


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.

West Point , UT

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.

Gilbert, AZ

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 media.

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