Dump the scouting program and create a better program that doesn't have to
compromise the standards. I believe the church can create a far better program
that will prepare youth for the changes that are confronting out youth and
I'm shocked to read so many comments from people who have such extreme
imaginations about people who are homosexual -
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I've always thought that the BSA
was a non-profit, private (not state or federally organized group) so why should
they have to bend over to those wanting to compromise their standards?
Not all YM are suited for the Scouting program, and the Scouting program is not
suited for all YM. That being the case, those that want to
participate are welcome to do so. Those that don't, don't have to, and
shouldn't be shoved into the program where they don't want to belong.
Even with those YM who are attracted to other YM should be allowed to chose for
themselves what they would like to do, and the YM leaders should also help them
have success with lifetime worthwhile skills. Just my two cents on
the whole dynamic issue of Scouting - straight, gay or otherwise.
So not "Gay Scout Leaders" but how about adult "Gay Role Models"
as leaders so that the young gay Scouts can see that there is a standard that
they can live up to in the Scouts just as young gay people can do so now in the
Jack - I already told you which program - the Church's Duty to God program.
It focuses more on religious learning and on many of the practical things that
scouting teaches. And let's face it, for about 50% of eagle scouts,
scouting taught them to do what they're mother planned for them.
@statman,The lower age for missionaries is EXACTLY why Scouting is in
place. What other program teaches young men to be self-reliant, to lead others,
to teach others, plan and direct and to "do the hard things" and
reflects the values of the Church? The Scout Oath and Law show young men how to
live the Gospel, not just learn it in the abstract on Sunday. Scouting grows a
young man into a worthy Priesthood holder, a confident missionary and a
contributing man in society. It is there to challenge and to reward
accomplishment, the way boys learn. Why replace an inspired program? Like any
other calling, it takes time, training, and a testimony.
@ Owen, District Commissioners are volunteers. I know the value and have
a testimony of Scouting, and from what I can see there are many in this forum
who just don't understand it. To quote the Bretheren:
"Duty to God does not replace Scouting"
Eastcoastcoug - they already have arogram for YM similar to the YW program.
It's called Duty to God, and while every ward we've lived in while our
sons were in the YM program played lip service to Duty to God, Scouting always
got top billing. As our sons got closer to 18, YM leaders were very concerned
about whether they had their Eagle requirements done, none made a peep about
Duty to God...It wouldn't surprise me if the church dropped
scouting because of the lower missionary age. YM need to be better prepared at
a younger age, and scouting deflects too much attention to things that
aren't as important to the ultimate goals of the YM program.The
new motto for the YM program sans scouting - "Be (Better) Prepared"
The title of this article is a misrepresentation of what the L.D.S. church is
saying.The L.D.S. is NOT and I repeat NOT saying it is satisfied. They are taking the same approach as they do with Politics and staying out of
the wayof people.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is central to the idea of
accepting those for who they are. The church still stands up for what is true,
but that does not mean they can't accept people for who they are. Not
having gay leaders is a great idea, because what if the leader who is gay has a
gay scout in the troop and they have sexual relations with one another? This
program is for the boys, not the leaders. The leaders are only there to guide
and direct them. That is why the only needs needed to be met is to the BOY
Scouts of America. Not the Woman/Man Scouts of America.
District Commissioner -- remind me again, what is the salary of a District
Commissioner? Your strong advocacy of scouting is well understood.
eastcoastcoug...Strange how differently things look from people
living in different geographical sections of the country. The scout program
still serves us well here in the fly over country. Basic skills still matter.
The Scout Oath and Law are still gospel here in the west. Things have not
changed that much as far a basic training is concerned. Why try to fix a program
that is not broken. It appears to me you do not work with the program. Most who
do realize it's core values have not changed. Basic skills and leadership
training, still do matter. The LDS church leaders are hanging on to the BSA
realizing what it has contributed in the lives of it's youth.
make no mistake the Church is watching BSA very very closely. There will be no
more homosexual creep in to BSA otherwise I have no doubt the Church will pull
plug. Also if LDS parents decide to abandon BSA then so will the Church. BSA is
walking on thin ice right now and at least for now things will continue as is
but don't expect the gay radicals to stop their push for gay scout masters
any time soon. This is a very dicey situation and all it will take is a few
incidents on camp outs not to the Churches liking and BSA is done. It would be a
very easy transition and expansion into the duty to god program if need be.
In 2003, I wrote:"Perhaps in future years Scouting will join
Church basketball as more jetsam and flotsam from the ship of ZION is tossed
overboard as it sails on into the darker nights and stormy seas ahead. The key,
I believe, is to develop an approach inspiring young men to catch the vision of
what the scriptures offer BEFORE they reach the MTC, modeled more closely after
what the young women are doing. Cooking, camping and hiking merit badges are
often touted as ample justification for mission preparation, so I guess Scouting
is tantamount to the only true gospel among its adherents. But after all
isn’t it just “another gospel” like Sigma Chi or Pi Kappa
Alpha? (Too harsh? Paul didn’t think so – see Galatians 1:6-12). I
realize this is something of a paradigm shift, and I suspect it will not occur
overnight, but we might someday view it as eliminating a desirable but
unnecessary option. Until then, I will pray for more enlightenment on its
relevance with the gold standard goal of paving the way toward eternal
life."This isn't "news" - it's the same
ol' same ol'
The LDS Church should either move toward their own program, where they are able
to 100% control it, or else do what eastcoastcoug says and "fashion a
program more like the YW...". The gay agenda will keep pushing and either
the LDS Church will become even more gay friendly than they are now or they will
draw a line in the sand and say, "No more!"
Doesn't the scout program in the church feel like being force fed food that
you don't like? Seriously, over 90% of people I talk to in the church just
don't feel like the benefits are worth all the headaches and sacrifice
anymore.The purpose of Wednesday nights is to build unity, do
service, and provide a chance for those who aren't active or who
aren't members to come enjoy some fun and fellowship. If every Wednesday
is used for scouting, I feel that we miss out on the other opportunities that
Wednesday nights provide.I just feel that all the money we pay, all
the headaches we endure for training leaders, all the turnover for leaders, all
the amazing time sacrifice using the little family vacation we have for scout
camp, and all the fundraisers aren't worth the benefits of scouting to most
people. Especially when you consider that the missionary age is now 18, that
these youth have Duty to God and seminary, and school and their families. This
is why the YW program is run so much better than the YM. It's time to
leave the BSA in the past
@Owen,You seem to have missed out on the Methods of Scouting. You could
easily substitute "Priesthood Quorum" for Scouting. We don't teach
boys to tie knots just to teach them how to tie knots or camp or build a fire or
any of those things. If all you and your boys did was go through the motions to
get that bird on your pocket, you missed the point. For all you who
think the Church could/should do it's own program, know this: They gave up
their own program to affiliate with BSA. If they could, why don't they?
Truth is, they can't and won't. BSA is what we need, it's what
we have to prepare young men. I will say it again, if the boys lose interest at
14, your program and your leaders aren't doing it correctly. Time spent in
training isn't wasted. Take it, enjoy it, implement it.Signed,District Commissioner
@eastcoastcoug,I'm stunned. How can you not see the relevance of
Scouting? Everything done in Scouting is to help boys learn the way boys learn:
in the outdoors, being tested and achieving, conquering themselves and learning
to organize, to lead and to do it in a situation that won't be catastrophic
if it fails. Listen to Elder Christoferson's (sp) talk from October
Priesthood session, that will tell you what you seem to miss about boys.
Scouting is exactly what the Lord has given us to prepare young men for
missions, family, service. Young Women learn differently and they have a
program that serves them. Young men don't learn well in that environment.
If your Scouting program only appeals to boys up to 14, your program needs some
serious work. The Church came up with Varsity Scouting, check that out.
Venture Crews take boys at 14. Scouting takes effort on the part of Scouters to
really put it to good work, you can't just "mail it in".SignedDistrict Commissioner
@UtahBruin;1) I made no "choice" to be gay. I did make a
choice to be the real person I am and to stop living a lie. I'm sorry that
offends you.2) I am as good a role model as any heterosexual male I
know. Your kids would do well to get to know me or people just like me.
I'm sorry that you are so insular as to fail to realize that your attitude
is that of bigotry.3) Please stop conflating homosexuality with
criminal behavior.@bandersen;More nonsense from you.
Don't you ever get tired of being wrong? Gay is not a choice. Gay is not
something you can "change" at will. Being gay (and in a relationship)
is not immoral any more than being straight and in a relationship is immoral.
Bigotry is immoral though. Have fun at the judgement bar.@happy2bhere;It says that there are people who are bisexually
Re: IT in South Jordan"So do any of you want your son or
grandson to go to camp with a homosexual boy?"I don't take
someone's sexual preference into consideration when I send my son on a
camping trip anymore than I do the person's ethnicity, gender, religion,
nation of origin, financial status, or career choice. There are far more
important factors to consider.
@ IT in South JordanPretty terrible thing to say about gay young
men. If you read what our church leaders are teaching about the whole LGBT set
of issues, you would see that you have no right or reason to condemn them as
causing "decline and corruption of society morals and values." I do not
know what the Lord has in store for us on these topics, but he has been guiding
us toward tolerance and acceptance of diversity as fast as we are willing to
follow. Sex is not a part of Scouting, so gay scouts and leaders should be
welcomed without regard for their sexual orientation. Just loved and
fellowshipped, just like you should be.
Re: bandersen"No one fully knows the root causes of same-sex
attraction. Each experience is different. Latter-day Saints recognize the
enormous complexity of this matter. We simply don’t have all the answers.
Attraction to those of the same sex, however, should not be viewed as a disease
or illness."That comes from the website. You have to scroll
past the first sentence in order to find it. Clearly, you chose not to. To be
fair, the quote should read "LDS Leaders recognize" as clearly far too
many among the LDS membership are not in agreement with their leaders on this
issue. Curiously, those same members find no hypocrisy in publicly stating
their disagreement on this policy, while condemning LDS members who are
Democrats, who support civil rights for LGBT citizens, or who espouse other
views that conflict with the dogma from some zealot members. On the
same note, in 20+ years of Scouting participation, I never recall a single
instance where heterosexuality or homosexuality was discussed, brought up, or
passingly mentioned. Sounds an awful lot like some choose to invent an
"activist" presence where one clearly doesn't exist.
So do any of you want your son or grandson to go to camp with a homosexual boy?
It used to be that BSA and the LDS Church were bastions against the decline and
corruption of society morals and values. I find this very disturbing,
disgusting, and sad.
With regard to LDS leaders being inspired: Yes, I agree with that. However,
noting the personal attitudes of various leaders throughout Church history, and
how that has influenced Church policy, also leads me to believe that there is
nothing at all wrong with suggesting things might be done differently. Just one
of many examples of personal attitude affecting Church policy can be seen in the
emphasis given to Native Americans while Spencer W. Kimball was president. How
often have we heard any emphasis on them at all in the years since he passed?
Likewise, it has been said that the reason the 1978 Priesthood revelation was
received by Pres. Kimball was because he asked about it. David O. McKay asked
and was told it wasn't time. The two presidents following were much less
open to it than he was. How does this relate to Scouting? President
Monson is a lifelong Utah resident. Loves the outdoors. Loves Scouting.
It's entirely possible that President Uchtdorf doesn't have the same
zeal for it, yet we sustain him and the other apostles to the same calling.
There's nothing wrong with Scouting, but to say it's inspired may be a
How interesting to watch those who disagree with this position try to justify
their opposition while not flat-out stating they disagree - and how interesting
it is to see their absoluteness about the wrongness of such actions when
addressing fellow members who try the same thing.
Claudia: Unless, of course, you don't want a boy to know the truth, you
would tell them that 'it is possible that you are gay'. No where on
the website you suggested does it say that it is possible that you were born
'gay'. How that is handled is whole other matter. I'm certain I
wouldn't handle as well as Jesus, but nevertheless I think that it is
crucially important that a 12 year old boy be told the truth. Loving him,
despite possibly making that mistake, is of great import and significance.
However, there is no where in church doctrine that says that you could possibly
be gay. Gay weaknesses, gay thoughts, yes! 'Gay' person now or in the
Rocket Science -- as a father of five now-adult Eagle Scouts, I can testify that
they received far more from the program already developed to replace scouting
(Duty to God) than they ever did from scouts. They apply the Duty to God
concepts every day, but haven't tied anything other than shoelaces in 15
years. We're essentailly abandoning older teens by the way we
administer the program. It was an inspired relationship 100 years ago. It has no
relevance now. Especially outside the U.S., where the majority of members live.
I hope when the inevitable inspiration comes to jump off, you support it.
"Even though individuals do not choose to have same sex
attraction"....... Since when has that become an absolute? There are many
people who have "chosen" both ways. What does that say?
Re: Mack2828"I love the church and love our leaders, but the way
they are approaching this in such a nuanced, public relations sensitive way
saddens me. Why not just speak the truth boldly and let the consequences fall
wherever they may? True prophets have always been hated by those who live after
the manner of the world. Why is our church so afraid of offending the
world?"You seem to reject the possibility that the Church has
spoken the truth, and that you simply failed to hear it. True prophets have
always been rejected by their own people in their own country.Re:
bandersen"Twyspears: You can still teach a scout that there is
no such thing as being 'gay' if in fact you are an LDS troop. The
doctrines of the church are quite clear."You are correct in your
second statement. However, if you believe your first statement is evidence of
that doctrine, you are tragically incorrect. I suggest you take more than a
cursory glance at the Gays and Mormons website to better understand the
doctrinal approach to this issue.
Twyspears: You can still teach a scout that there is no such thing as being
'gay' if in fact you are an LDS troop. The doctrines of the church
are quite clear. However, anybody, any scout, can have 'gay' thoughts,
as well as any other immoral thoughts. That's not a problem. It all has
to do with action. Clear your thoughts and proper action follows, something the
savior taught quite clearly also.
Meanwhile the Girl Scouts have been getting along just fine while having lesbian
@UTAHBRUIN: "I don't agree with their "choice" they made in
life"What "choice" is that? Did a person
"choose" to be "born gay"? The Mormon Church doesn't
think so. The Mormon Church teaches "Even though individuals do
not choose to have such [homosexual/same-sex attractions,..."
@Redshirt --"Think of it this way, is it more believable to a
jury, if a scout claims sexual abuse from a gay man or from a hetersexual man
that is married with a family?"Seeing as how the most recent --
and, in fact, many other -- BSA abuse incidents were perpetrated by married men,
I'd have no trouble declaring the gay man innocent. ;-)"Gay" is not another word for "Predator".
@UtahBruin --"Nobody has judged anyone. Personally, to answer
your ignorant question. I am not judging a homosexual man or woman. I don't
agree with their "choice" they made in life. Therefore, just as I
don't agree with someone who has robbed a store or stolen a car."By comparing homosexuals to car thieves, you clearly *have* judged
them.Even the LDS Church leaders have officially acknowledged that
homosexuality is not a choice. The "Mormons and Gays" website
specifically says: "individuals do not choose to have such attractions".
It also says: "The attraction itself is not a sin".Who are
you to insist on more purity than the church leaders do themselves??
I love the church and love our leaders, but the way they are approaching this in
such a nuanced, public relations sensitive way saddens me. Why not just speak
the truth boldly and let the consequences fall wherever they may? True prophets
have always been hated by those who live after the manner of the world. Why is
our church so afraid of offending the world?
Boy Scouts is a mission, friending, following, serving, maybe babysitting, and a
calling to improve someone's life, even those with whom you serve. For
those that are LDS and men, there are other callings that some may covet to
have, such as Primary chorister, nursery leader, hymn book passer-outer, ward
missionary, early-morning seminary teacher every weekday, cannery/mill/Deseret
Industries coordinator and scheduler, meeting house scheduler, and Young Single
adult leader that don't involve scouting. However, Scouting involves
Primary, Young Men and indirectly Young Women, Aaronic Priesthood and even
Seminary indirectly. Elders quorum and High Priests quorums directly as leaders
of YM and the Bishopric are all involved and called. Everyone in
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is involved in scouting and that
is what has kept scouting going in the United States of America. It is like a
church for some non-LDS living away from Utah. The advancement in scouting is
highlighted with service to others and a Duty to God. We should all be thankful
for a non-church organization that supports similar ideals for young men. Those
young men become the fathers and husbands of generations to come.
@ JCHNobody has judged anyone. Personally, to answer your ignorant
question. I am not judging a homosexual man or woman. I don't agree with
their "choice" they made in life. Therefore, just as I don't agree
with someone who has robbed a store or stolen a car. I choose not to have my
kids be taught or around people in either category of being a thief or a
homosexual. Why you may ask? I don't want any possible influence rubbing
off on my child because of someone else's choice. They made a choice and
can be influenctial. Just as I have been a sport coach before, I am an
influence to kids who play in the sport I coach, they look at my past and want
to be and do the things I accomplished. That is influence, and I choose not to
have a gay person, criminal or anyone else who made bad choices affect the
rearing of my children. My job as a father is to do the best I can while they
are still at home. After that I hope I did a good job that they stay on the
I am a District BSA trainer,have participated in LDS week at Philmont for
Aaronic Priesthood/Scouting training twice in the past few years. I am saddened
and disappointed there are some so anxious to throw out a truly inspired
program. I ask are you ready to step up and do all the additional work it would
take to replicate what we get from BSA?You should know, LDS Duty to
God does not duplicate what BSA offers, they are complimentary efforts, each
significant in a young man’s development. I suggest you dig in to the
Duty to God booklet with your sons and find out about it even get a book for
yourself and do likewise while you support your sons. The Church is in BSA for
the overall development of LDS young men AND all young men of all faiths. The
Church entered scouting under the inspiration of Joseph F. Smith 100 years ago.
Today we have an inspired Prophet in Thomas Monson and we should have the faith
to follow his lead in all things without bemoaning and saying I won’t
give. We should say how can I best give and support.
There was no compromise.The BSA has not proposed any meaningful
change to their policy. The current policy prohibits open homosexuals, the
proposed policy prohibits open homosexuals. There is nothing
noteworthy about the proposed "change". All the BSA has proposed is
"new speak" to keep the status quo. All this proposed change
reinforces is that "closet homosexuals" can join BSA, which under the
current policy a "closet homosexual" can join BSA.
Regarding Brent's comments, lets first give these kids a break. They are
just trying to figure out their world. Its the adults that are calling them
gay. They are still trying to figure out what they are. Heck, I am still
trying to figure my self out. We all are.But, I have little patience
for the group of adults who act as if these kids with inclinations for the same
sex, carry little cards in their back pocket that says they are 100% homosexual.
They are 100% kids trying to make sense of this world and needs some
guidance....preferably by straight leaders and/or those who may struggle but
don't come out and promote and live that lifestyle.
The LDS Church new statement on approving the proposal to lift the ban on
Homosexual Scout youth is unnecessary and will be at best controversial and
unenforceable for many years to come. We must evaluate this statement for what
it is a statement from the LDS Church only. The LDS Church itself will have an
effect on homosexual youth in Scouting only if the new proposal passes. The
thousands of Councils that represent all Americas Scout Units including LDS will
have the final vote in May. I wish the Church leaders would have sought the
Scout Leaders concerns before going to the media with their approval. The LDS
Church will be faced with the problem along with the BSA of adult homosexuals as
Scout leaders if this proposal passes. As a LDS Scoutmaster I felt blindsided
by my Church Leaders and I feel the Church should have waited till after the
vote before it made a statement. Sincerely, Trenton
Don't worry this is in effect a reaffirmation of the Scout Oath & Law
and seems to be the best approach. It still does NOT allow for any homosexual
conduct but it does acknowledge that there are those who may have a same gender
attraction. There should be no discrimination, hazing or harrassment as is
presently against BSA policy. There should not be any sexual conduct in
scouting of any kind and there should not be any discussion of a sexual nature
"around the campfire" or at other activities. It would be inappropriate
for boys or adults to discuss sexual experience/preference/etc; BSA has and
still will leave discussions concerning such issues to be dealt with the
ecclesiastical leader of the boy.'National Scouting officials
said the resolution reinforces "that Scouting is a youth program and any
sexual conduct, wheter heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is
contrary to the virtues of Scouting" Yes that is a reaffirmation that
virtues of the past and present are those of the future for BSA.
To those who want gay scout leaders also. What you fail to recognize is that by
not allowing gay scout leaders, the BSA is protecting the leaders as much as
they are the scouts.Think of it this way, is it more believable to a
jury, if a scout claims sexual abuse from a gay man or from a hetersexual man
that is married with a family?Lets look at it from another
perspective. Would you make somebody that has struggled with alcholism in the
past a bar tender? Who is protected by NOT making them a bar tender?
First, it is my desire to follow the prophet (and the leaders). So I'll
"obey" and wait for the confirmation of further enlightenment. But this
surprised me and confuses me (because I cannot "see" ahead).The purpose of scouting in the Church is to train leadership. But as soon as
a homosexual boy turns 18 they can no longer participate in scouting -- in
leading. Huh? Then we have the whole analysis where we wouldn't allow
coed camp-outs, restroom use, showers, etc. Why? If the youth involved are be
chaste, what is the issue? Well there is an issue (it seems). So, the status
quo where you don't know a scout is gay, at least works in ignorance. Of
course there'd be no need for this policy if this were the case. But this
allows youth to "come out," albeit as chaste -- but now there is no
ignorant bliss and it seems creepy.Meanwhile this all seems to
validate something that isn't valid. This is very vexing.
I feel bad for all of the tightwads that have been looking forward to the end of
friends-of-scouting drives. I also feel bad for all those forced grudgingly to
put in the time required of scouting leaders.As for me, I am
thankful for the ongoing support of scouting given by my church. When run
properly, scouting works well with the Aaronic priesthood program. It is an
@bandersen & Rick for Truth & MapleDon;'Morally
straight' does NOT mean heterosexual. It means simply moral. One thing
you've all done is to equate "morality" with sex. Morality
encompasses so much more than just that.@procuradorfiscal;We will continue our "activism" until there is no more bigotry to be
active against.MapleDon says:"I'm still disappointed that
the Church has found it fitting and appropriate to lower standards."--- What is it that makes it "lower standards" about
equality?@Chris B;You are incorrect.@MapleDon;We don't care about or need "recognition or
approval by the LDS church" for our marriages. We just need you to stop
being a roadblock.@twspears6007;Let your "heavy
heart" think about the burden that GLBT kids have been carrying around if
you think your's is difficult.@trippinut;You're just another one equating homosexuality and pedophilia. Are you
just uneducated or are you doing it on purpose (in which case beware the
commandment about false witness)?
If this is not the final nail, it is certainly close to it. A. The
activists are not going to let this stand. Now that the camel has his head in
the tent, it will only be a short while until he is all in. "If it is OK for
the boys, why not the Men?" Who cares if they are openly gay? As long as
they are celibate? It is going to be really interesting when some
kid shows up at camp (with the egging of activist adults) flying the rainbow
flag, making public comments, and generally making a scene. But, it will all be
OK, right? B. Now that the BSA has caved on this issue, what
confidence do members have that it won't cave on every other moral issue it
has stood for in the past? No since waiting for the inevitable.
Donate the uniform and, ask for a calling in the family history library or font
If modeling gender roles had nothing to do with Boy Scouts, there would be no
need for the "boy" in Boy Scouts. (Perhaps that is where critics of the
present policy should be looking.) And can you really model gender roles without
an implicit acceptance of gender complementarity? Does it ultimately make sense?
I'm not sure it does. In any case, a heterosexual leader (whose "sex
object" is not a male) is a neutral figure in an organization for boys in a
way that a homosexual leader (whose "sex object" is a male) could not
be. Would you, as a general policy, be willing send a man off backpacking into
the wilderness with a group of teenage girls? Would the girls want that? The
BSA's policy recommendation is, after all, based in part on interviews with
scouts about the issue.
eastcoastcougI agree, I think the church could design a much better
program. I am an eagle scout, but I am not particularly fond of scouting. I
think it's a bloated over priced and overly bureaucratic program.I do however think that the nature experience is very valuable. There are
lessons to be learned in the wilderness that I don't think can be learned
any other way. I think it's very important for the youth to have those
experiences outdoors, because sometimes they won't get them from their
families. That said there is no reason that those programs have to be done
through the scouting organization.
Quick question for all my anti-gay brother and sister commenters on this page:
Who, exactly, are you to judge a gay man who wants to be a Scout leader? I ask because, as I read your comments, it appears that you believe a
gay man cannot be viable candidate simply because he's a homosexual,
regardless of any other characteristics he may have. Do I understand that
Honest question here....I know the church has stated that an open
homosexual can be in good standing (hold recommend, priesthood, church calling)
if they don't act on their homosexual desires.Is anyone aware
of a policy or a case where a good standing homosexual male works with children
or youth in a church calling? I think this is a better comparison of church
policy and scout policy. I really don't know what the church states, just
wondering.I do know that known predators (like on sex offender list)
cannot work with youth, even if they are now in good standing with the church.
To be clear, I'm not saying homosexuals are predators...I'm just
illustrating that there is a church policy for sexual predators and wondering
what the policy/history is for open homosexuals serving in a youth related
I totally agree with eastcoastcoug, some times they are so focused on Scout
stuff than on their Duty to God programs... which I believe it is very important
too!Local leaders are giving a strong focus in our unit and I encourage my
sons at home work on their Youn Men's program too!Scouting is very
important but we always have to teach with balance, I don't think you will
make knots or build fires in the mission field, so yes... I strongly believe
there should be a balance and follow what finally our leaders will determine at
I agree with eastcoastcoug. As a YM's leader and assistant scout master
there is a massive burden on the adult leaders that doesn't exist for YW
leaders. I just lost a full day of my life attending a BSA required adult
leadership training course required to become an assistant scout master. All we
did was what a scout has to do to become a 1st class scout. We learned knot
tying, selecting a proper camp site, making a foil dinner. I was already a scout
and have been to Philmont, yet there was no skipping the class. Jim
C. is correct in his assessment of the Church's statement. It doesn't
actually say "we support this proposal" it simply acknowledges and
thanks the BSA for its efforts to consider everyone's input on a very
challenging topic.If the BSA approves this policy, the Church could
leave the BSA without contradicting this press release at all. The Church has
said "we have stayed out and not taken sides in the issue". Why would
they now, after all this time of not taking sides, come out in support of one
view or the other prior to the vote?
RanchHand said: "Just like adult heterosexual males are attracted to adult
women, homosexuals are attracted to adults of their same gender, not
children." By that logic, we should be able to feel safe about adult males
sleeping in the same tent as teenage girls. Although I can't
speak for ALL heterosexual males, I think it's safe to say that there
certainly is some attraction to females as soon as they begin to develop the
physical attributes that we associate with adulthood--and that can be at quite a
young age. Most adult heterosexual men have the good sense to block that
attraction as being entirely unacceptable. And most such men, if for some
unfathomable reason put into the situation of having to be in the same tent with
young women, would do everything in their power to get out of that situation.
So why should we not hold adult homosexual men to the same standard with regard
to teenage males?
@Rick for Truth"The Boy Scout Motto will need to be rephrased from
"morally straight" to "morally straight and sometimes not
straight". For the first time in my life I disagree with the Church.
I"First time? Uh... you do realize your church already allows
gay people to be members and in leadership positions as long as they are
celibate, right? That's a more liberal position than the Boy Scouts have
taken since they don't allow gay leaders, celibate or not.
Being involved with scouting in many places in and outside of the USA, some of
the problems with scouting, just like any business or organization, the parents
are so into advancement and push their children way beyond what is normal, and
the others in the pack, troop, varsity scouts, etc, with order of the arrow,
etc. cause problems for others. The pinewood derby mentality that winning is
everything, not about just doing it and time with a father or mother building
and making the car. Moderation is good. However, some people have
become a scout 24/7/365 days a year and breathe and live everything scouts.
That is not normal either. Life goes on. At least in the LDS church you have a
calling and pass through it once or twice but not involved with just scouts for
40-50 years directly. Some that is their life.The Church believes
in those principles of scouting as they blend with the overall learning process
for a young man. Merit badges, camping, knots, and other things teach something
the young man can do in his life, trades, interest, involvement and career, even
friends he finds. Role models for leaders is priority.
I know it. I Live it. I Love it says:"At risk scenario for
predatory behavior" has no bias. One man may do the wrong thing as much as
another. But a straight man is by far less likely to with another male."---You ARE implying that homosexuals are pedophiles with that comment.
It is quite clear. It isn't a homosexual or a heterosexual male who is
attracted to children. It is a pedophile; and that pedophile may very well be
the straight, married, male supervising your boys. Pedophilia isn't about
gender it's about certain aspects of their victim (their level of
development or lack of it, i.e. children).To make the statement
"But a straight man is by far less likely to with another male." implies
that the heterosexual man is more likely to "lie with" one of the boys.
That is simply NOT TRUE. Just like adult heterosexual males are attracted to
adult women, homosexuals are attracted to adults of their same gender, not
eastcoastcoug: I'm another that completely agrees with you. In fact, I had
somewhat been hoping that the BSA would make a decision the Church wouldn't
agree with so we would finally disassociate ourselves from them. I know I may
well take some flak from fellow LDS who support Scouting, but, it simply
isn't for everybody--by a long shot. Some like camping, some do not. Some
like tying knots, some do not. Some like going to monthly meetings that look as
though they were timewarped out of the early 1900's, and some do not. I
would be VERY happy to have the Church design their own program that is more
relevant to all youth without emphasizing some aspects that some might not see
as relevant to the world in which we currently live.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always practiced, "Come
Unto Christ". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is still
growing throughout the world as they practice "Come Unto Christ" in
everything they do, not just for the young men of the Church. The "Duty to
God" award exemplifies the process for young men to follow God's
teachings and more young men are even responding to the Church's call to go
unto the world. A lot of people hear that message in how we deal with people
from all nations, cultures, and languages. The Scout law is appropriate for all
people just as the 10 commandments are for all people in their personal lives,
government, schools, and even in sports activities. Being honest with all
people is the commandment, best principle practice, and good for everyone.
Scouting principles are good, along with merit badges, camping, and the
advancement process.People want to tear down families and good
organizations. The media used to show the different activities of scouting in
the different and multi-media methods. Now they show every movie actor and all
the activities they do. What is beneficial for young men?
This is consistent with Church policy regarding its own members. Why the
I for one do not agree with the proposal to lift the ban on Homosexual Youth
from the BSA. I believe we have placed a unnecessary burden on the Church Scout
leaders and the missionary efforts of the Church. You cannot replace Godly
correctness with political correctness I believe that is what the Church has
done. I am a LDS and as a Scoutmaster how do I address the subject of a
homosexual Scout. If it is brought up at our Scout meeting do I tell the Scout
that as long as you do not practice the act of homosexuality you are ok. Is it
proper to address the subject with other non-Homosexual Scouts in the Troop? In
my many years with the Church I have faithfully followed the doctrine of the
Church because it did not conflict with God and his Son Jesus Christ. My heart
is heavy with this new burden that has been placed on me and possibly others. It
will be a struggle to remain a Scout Leader in my calling and I will pray
heavily that this BSA proposal will not become a reality in Scouting. Faithful
but challenged. Sincerely, Trenton Spears
I'm not surprised by the decision, and I told my fellow Scout leaders that
this was coming as a natural progression of the LDS church becoming more
"gay friendly". Funny that last week when the article appeared, we had
many comments of those who were going to withhold FOS funds and pull their kids
out of Scouts. I don't see many of those here today. I don't think
this is a big deal. This simply aligns the policy of the church with the BSA.
We never kicked a kid out of the Deacons Quorum because he was gay, why would we
kick him out of the BSA. Finally, this isn't over. The LGBT crowd is
already upset because it continues the ban on gay leaders. Funny how the fight
to the supreme court a few years ago against this issue seems like a waste of
money. Remember the old group Save our Scouts (SOS) that I think Chris Cannon
headed? Wasted time, effort, and money. Civil unions will be next in Utah
"Church leaders are such strong boosters of Scouting that the departure
would be very reluctant and, I fear, much delayed."Yes they are
and the inevitable departure has already been delayed for far too long. Take it from a former scout leader -- scouting stopped being relevant to
anyone but the leaders years ago. And stopped being relevant to older teens
decades ago. Its more-relevant and effective replacement has already
been developed.The time to jump is now.
@amazondocIt's one thing to allow "gay" men to hold the
priesthood and serve in various offices while not participating in sexual
activity.However, for a young man to come out of the closet,
announce that he is gay, acknowledging to his "fellow men" that he is of
that orientation, presents a challenge. Such a young man should not be sleeping
in the same tent with young men anymore than young women.By the way,
just to make sure we're all clear, you have been an outspoken supporter of
gay marriage. I don't believe your concerns will be resolved until all gay
relationships are welcomed and recognized by the LDS Church.
@ChrisB --"Fact: 100% of men who have abused boys are either
homosexual or bisexual.This is the very definition of homosexual or
bisexual"Nope, not a fact at all.Once again -- Pedophilia has nothing to do with one's orientation towards
adults.From a psychological researcher at UC Davis:"The distinction between a victim's gender and a perpetrator's
sexual orientation is important because many child molesters don't really
have an adult sexual orientation. They have never developed the capacity for
mature sexual relationships with other adults, either men or women. Instead,
their sexual attractions focus on children – boys, girls, or children of
both sexes. ""...the important point is that many child
molesters cannot be meaningfully described as homosexuals, heterosexuals, or
bisexuals...because they are not really capable of a relationship with an adult
man or woman. Instead of gender, their sexual attractions are based primarily on
age. These individuals – who are often characterized as fixated –
are attracted to children, not to men or women. "Homosexuality
is not the same thing as pedophilia.Remember, even the most recent
case of abuse within the BSA involved a straight married man.
Fact:100% of men who have abused boys are either homosexual or
bisexual.This is the very definition of homosexual or bisexual
eastcoastcougI couldn't agree more. I would have loved if I had
such experiences as a youth. I have no doubt they would have helped me through
certain challenges I faced. I also don't doubt that it could help many
young men today more than I can even imagine. Whether it's the right thing
to do or not I cannot know, but I'm on board if it is!There are
so many problems attacking young men today. Our society has changed dramatically
in the past 15 years. The internet has played the biggest part in that. If there
is anything that may help counter the negative effects, a spiritual YM camp may
just be that. Survival skills are important, but without being spiritually
strong not much else matters. 3 Nephi 13:30-34I don't expect
such a plan to happen, but if it did I would probably jump for joy. :)
@MapleDon --"The phrase "morally straight" will need to
be removed and replaced with "and not discriminate"."Why??Even the LDS church acknowledges that same-sex attraction is
not a sin, as long as the homosexual person remains celibate. And, since *any*
extramarital relations are considered sinful, gay men are in the very same boat
as straight ones so far as that is concerned.It's perfectly
possible for an openly gay man to be a "morally straight" example for
boy scouts. He can easily be honest and say "yes, I'm gay," while
at the same time honoring the Church's principles of chastity.The Church welcomes celibate gay leaders. Why not the Scouts?
eastcoastcoug - I completely agree.
@Rick for TruthCouldn't agree with you more. We talked about
this same issue at the dinner table last night. The phrase "morally
straight" will need to be removed and replaced with "and not
discriminate".I'm reminded of Lot...
What really bothers me is the term "avowed homosexual" So once you are
out of the closet and are truly being yourself, you become a threat? The LDS
position of "you can be gay but don't ACT on it", is quite
ridiculous and untenable in the real world. Things are moving in the right
@cougar76, you do realize that openly gay youth and openly gay adult leaders can
participate in Duty to God, right? Duty to God is actually more gay friendly
than the BSA, which is why the LDS Church will never leave Scouting over this
issue. It's not the year 2000 anymore.
re:scottvaNo worries mate! The Church will monitor closely BSA and
will stop participation if there is any more homosexual creep into policy. I
know alot of people are concerned about allowing the gay movement a foot in the
door but in reality the Church already has gay members and so this is nothing
new with BSA and their new policy. Gays are welcome in the Church and Elder
Holland has made that clear in a recent talk. I think the good influence and
example of members will go along way toward helping those who struggle with same
sex attraction and will lead some of them out of homosexuality and back to a
normal healthy life. The only way to help those who struggle with any addiction
or mental illness is to love them and invite them to participate and that is
what the Church is doing. Many who are gay had no choice in the matter so it
behooves all of us to reach out to them with love and a welcome hand. It may
also be that many who are gay will be gay for life and they are still loved by
So a gay scout makes it through the boy scout program, earning his eagle. The
day he turns 18, he is no longer allowed to participate in scouting as a leader?
This "compromise" does not seem reasonable to me. I think it carries on
the untrue stigma that a gay scout leader = a sexual predator. NOT TRUE!
Nobody asked 'em.
This change is fine on its face, but I can guarantee that gay-rights activists
will challenge the status quo by seeking membership in Church-sponsored Scout
units. The BSA anti-discrimination policy would seem to preclude denying them
membership based on their publically stated sexual orientation. Do we really
want openly gay activists meeting and camping with our Aaronic Priesthood young
men?I agree wholeheartedly with the comment by
"eastcoastcoug": "Why not fashion a program more like the YW: more
focused on personal growth with a more spiritual and practical 21st century
emphasis. I would gladly trade the fire building and knot-tying for something
that better prepares boys for life: career, missions, marriage, family, service,
etc. I think the YW have the right idea. Plus, scouting only really appeals to
boys up to age 13 or 14 at the max." Excellently said.In
response to the comment by IMAPatriot2 that the Church will leave Scouting when
it no longer serves the Church's purposes: I hope you're right, but
many Church leaders are such strong boosters of Scouting that the departure
would be very reluctant and, I fear, much delayed.
The principles of the Boy Scout youth from Baden Powell to now have always been
the same. The Scout Motto and Law are the same. The statement for boys is the
same and that age group from Cub Scouts to graduating from High School are so
essential for demonstrating what families of Boy Scouts can do through the
various programs. The Boy Scouts have not really changed their beliefs or their
intent of the program. For the past 100 years, the young men from 8-18 and
their parents need to know they can still trust their leaders. This has sent a
message to those who are leaders and want to be leaders that certain
expectations are written and agreed to while being a leaders of boys and young
men. Any organization with those numbers have to have a mission statement and
qualifications for leaders and management with quality standards.Having lived around the world and the United States of America, the Church
needs their partnership with the Boy Scouts of America in setting the proper
example of what leadership and standards are. This program is for all young men
around the world and is positive of America and Church.
The Boy Scout Motto will need to be rephrased from "morally straight" to
"morally straight and sometimes not straight". For the first time in my
life I disagree with the Church. I cannot and will not accept any callings in
the future involving and requiring me to belong to the Boy Scout's
organization. Additionally, I will not send them any of my hard earned $ in
their "Friends for Scouting" Champaign. Until the Prophet comes out from
the bully pulpit and says we must support the Boy Scouts, I will not accept this
Eastcoastcoug: You have the right idea. Perhaps then the YM could adopt one of
the most important values given to us from our beloved Sister Dalton...Return To
@I know it --"But a straight man is by far less likely to with
another male."That simply isn't true.In fact,
the most recent case of abuse within the BSA was perpetrated by a straight
married man.Pedophilia has nothing to do with one's orientation
towards adults.From a psychological researcher at UC Davis:"The distinction between a victim's gender and a perpetrator's
sexual orientation is important because many child molesters don't really
have an adult sexual orientation. They have never developed the capacity for
mature sexual relationships with other adults, either men or women. Instead,
their sexual attractions focus on children – boys, girls, or children of
both sexes. ""....many child molesters cannot be
meaningfully described as homosexuals, heterosexuals, or bisexuals...because
they are not really capable of a relationship with an adult man or woman.
Instead of gender, their sexual attractions are based primarily on age. These
individuals – who are often characterized as fixated – are attracted
to children, not to men or women. "Homosexuality is not the same
thing as pedophilia. Even the LDS church welcomes celibate gay
leaders. Why not the Scouts?
The church's compromise is "fair" in exactly the same way that it
would be "fair" to say that black kids can sit next to white kids in
public school classrooms, but that black kids may not aspire to become public
school teachers.The church is being short-sighted and wrong, again.
It is my opinion that the "Church" doesn't need scouting as a
program for young men. They have already put in place other options for young
men activity and learning. When the BSA changes to the point that they no are
no longer contributing to the expected growth of young men, they will not be
used by the "Church" to assist in this activity.This is a
political/social issue that is used by some to promote themselves and/or their
lifestyle. Unfortunately, their efforts are distracting and not furthering the
effort to strengthen the young men. But that wasn't their intention
As much as I love the Scouting program (I'm an Eagle Scout), I have to ask
why this program is so relevant to boys (and leaders) in the LDS church today?
Why not fashion a program more like the YW: more focused on personal growth with
a more spiritual and practical 21st century emphasis. I would gladly trade the
fire building and knot-tying for something that better prepares boys for life:
career, missions, marriage, family, service, etc. I think the YW have the right
idea. Plus, scouting only really appeals to boys up to age 13 or 14 at the
max.Then there's the burden on BSA leaders who must give up
their precious annual family vacation time to spend a Summer week and other
weekends (dozens of them) on campouts. It just doesn't seem right and I
think we could do much MUCH better. Let's design our own program...
procuradorfiscal:The transition is already complete. It is called
"Duty to God."
This won't work. Homosexual behavior will be just as "naturally"
acted upon as heterosexual behavior exhibits itself. This ruling basically says,
you're allowed to participate if your gay, just don't be gay at the
meetings. No way this doesn't cause issues down the road.
This development has less than meets the eye. For a start, Boy Scouts of
America have always had boys in the troops who preferred other boys, so that is
nothing new per se. Furthermore, at any given point only 3-5% of available men
who could be scout leaders have or had same-gender attraction. So over the
years, most of the emotional destruction and abuse done in scouting was done by
Procurador... How can a policy that aligns scouting's policies with
"inspired"church policies be,"sad for scouting"? The policy --
celibate gay members allowed -- is the same for both groups. Is it sad for the
church? In fact an argument can be made the church's inspired policy is
more liberal, since celibate gay members can hold leadership positions.
To procuradorfiscal: I am not sure I follow your logic. If the Boy Scouts
eventually allows gay leaders then why would the church "transition to
whatever will succeed Scouting" when a gay priesthood holder can serve in a
Bishopric or work in a LDS temple? You also suggest that the National Council
will "wimp out" at some point by allowing gay leadership. Does this
logic also apply to the church, which allows, as already noted, gay leadership
in prominent church leadership positions? If so, then the church, whose
leadership you cite as "inspired," has, again using your words,
"wimped out." I support the church's position, but just remind
you and others to think carefully before extrapolating your own prejudices into
the thinking of church leadership.
THE FAMILYA PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLDThe First Presidency and
Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
SaintsWE, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY and the Council of the Twelve
Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim
that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family
is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His
children.ALL HUMAN BEINGS;male and female;are created in the image
of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as
such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential
characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and
I'm not surprised by the Church's support, given the Church's
efforts in recent years to become gay friendly. I have no doubt the Church was
involved in the wording of the BSA's proposed policy change.I'm still disappointed that the Church has found it fitting and
appropriate to lower standards. We're not talking about young men who have
gay inclinations (or a don't ask, don't tell policy). These are young
men who know they're gay and are open about it. What's the difference
between this and having young women camp with young men?Prop 8 was a
PR disaster for the Church and I don't think its leaders have the stomach
for facing anymore criticism from the LGBT community and supporters/activists.
Our leaders know what they're doing. Closely examine the carefully-worded
statement. It contains no guarantee of continued Church partnering, or of
acceptance of anything other than a proposal that requires literally no change
in the way we conduct Scouting.As the National Council meets next
month, LGBT activists will demand more changes. They'll probably find an
ally or two. They may even win.If so, we've preserved the
running room necessary to withdraw honorably from the partnership. Even if they
lose, however, it's just kicking the can down the road a few days, weeks,
months. Maybe even a couple years.Because activists aren't
satisfied. And won't stop. They'll certainly announce, if they
haven't already, that this is a "first step," and "much remains
to be done." They'll continue to pressure the National Council.
It'll continue to wimp out. At a point in the not-too-distant future,
it'll crack.But, in the meantime, we'll have had
additional time to make an orderly transition to whatever will succeed
Scouting.Inspired leadership! But, still sad for Scouting.
For gays, the stigma still remains. However, this allows the scouting program
to continue as before, since they don't have to concern themselves with
anyone but the leaders. Now, the boys can be boys, the men can be men, and the
basic virtues of scouting can be perpetuated. 'Morally straight'
doesn't have to be defined because some adults aren't sure what it
means. Take the high road, Scouts, and let the rest go as they please! Way to
The BSA didn't do this without knowing ahead of time what its biggest
constituents would and would not approve.
I'm happy to know the headline changed. I think it is more clear this
way.Dear Sentinel,I wasn't saying or implying that
abuse is exclusive to those attracted to the same gender. We're all aware
of the varying problems we deal with in the world. However, you have a life time
of experience I don't share and vice versa. I know of plenty of cases where
same gender situations have lead to abuse. But even that isn't why I said
what I did.I do not believe it's appropriate to have a gay
scout leader go camping with 15 year old boys.I do not believe it's
appropriate to have a 20 year old girl go camping with 15 year old boys."At risk scenario for predatory behavior" has no bias. One man
may do the wrong thing as much as another. But a straight man is by far less
likely to with another male.This is so simple. Any amount of
confusing this issue only puts youth at risk as more people will not understand.
Preventing sexual abuse matters more than pleasing a crowd of adults, even
Jim Cobabe, the current policy of the Church is that one may identify as gay and
be active in the church so long as they don't act upon it. Presumably, this
would extend to Scouting as well since Scouts are expected to remain celibate.
I've believed all along that the Church would accept the change in Scouting
policy because the proposals closely aligns with the Church's own policy.
Re: JimIs it "misrepresentative" because the Church
didn't agree with your opinion on the non-issue? You can wait
till the cows come home, but it seems pretty clear how the Church feels about
After reading the actual statement from the Church, I think the headline of this
article misrepresent what was said, and is misleading. The Church statement
suggests nothing about compromising moral standards. It says that the Church is
satisfied that an effort has been made to propose solutions for difficult
issues. And it states that the BSA is to be commended for the *positive* parts
of their proposal. It says nothing about making any committment to future
changes in policy or practice, either in the Church or toward the BSA. I will
wait with patience to hear what the Church actually plans to do in the future.
@ Sentinel:Much needed statement. Predatory behavior is not
contingent upon a person's sexual orientation. There are way too many
predators, period. And sadly, many predators are heterosexual. It's not
fair to stereotype predatory tendencies on the basis of sexual preference. This is a very sensitive issue, indeed.People can have and express their
opinions without attacking people who have different opinions.
@ "I know it. I live it. I love it": Because someone's
sexual orientation is gay does not make him a predator. I do not know how it
began, equating homosexuality with predators. But, it is not true. I know people
who are gay who have worked with youth for 30-40 years. Not once have they felt
the desire to prey on them sexually. Please, let's get away from
perpetuating falsehoods just because someone is gay. Homosexuality does NOT
equate to predator.
"Welcoming compromise" is a headline that the popular
'trending' crowd will misunderstand. It would have been better if
worded differently.The LDS Church stated 2 simple things:1) 'We've been staying out of it, not pushing the BSA in any
direction.'2) 'We recognize and are grateful the BSA has been
sensitive (as these issues require sensitivity).'An additional
point was made which I will take some liberty in summarizing. It was clearly
made, but I felt the point could have been more clear. Perhaps I'm wrong,
but this is what I got from it:We feel the BSA's proposal is
positive as it...1) Adds a layer of fostering tolerance for the boys
while...2) Continuing to teach them moral values3) Continuing to
protect boys from scenarios that would increase the likelihood of predatory
behavior.The point is that it's about the boys and doing
what's best for them, not for their scout leader. Fostering tolerance of
diversity among the boys, while staying true to the values that scouting
represents is the most mutually respectful and honorable answer the BSA could
make. Scout leaders really have nothing to do with it.
Well done . . . and well said "Oatmeal". Now if the gay agenda will get
out of the way and let the Scouts focus on the youth, maybe there's hope
for a country that has been divided on a plethora of social and economic issues
over the last decade or so.
Fair compromise... and it is good for kids. Now let's all hush up and go