The Vote That Changed The Boy Scouts As You Know Them
We all know someone who has been a Boy Scout. They learned skills such as tying a rope, building a fire, and treating their elders with respect. It's one of the most time-tested and trusted organizations in America. It was an organization that helped shape kids into young men with strong morals.
But that trust, for many, is about to end. On Monday, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) ended their ban on gay adult leaders. The reason for their dramatic change in ideology?
Fear. CBS News reports that BSA President, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, "said the ban was likely to be the target of lawsuits that the Scouts likely would lose."
But the fear goes both ways. In an attempt to pacify both the LGBT community and the many religious groups that host many of the troops (Catholics, LDS, Evangelicals, etc.), the BSA is letting there be troops that don't allow for gay adult leaders, so as to cater to the parents who share those religious beliefs.
This landmark decision is still not enough for the LGBT community. According to CNN, Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said, "Today's vote by the Boy Scouts of America to allow gay, lesbian and bisexual adults to work and volunteer is a welcome step toward erasing a stain on this important organization. But including an exemption for troops sponsored by religious organizations undermines and diminishes the historic nature of today's decision. Discrimination should have no place in the Boy Scouts, period."
Furthermore, religious leaders foresee that it is only a fleeting amount of time that select chapters would be able to maintain their right to not have adult gay leaders.
Rev. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said, "It's hard for me to believe, in the long term, that the Boy Scouts will allow religious groups to have the freedom to choose their own leaders. In recent years I have seen a definite cooling on the part of Baptist churches toward the Scouts. This will probably bring that cooling to a freeze."
In a telling statement of priorities, BSA President Gates said, "The status quo in our movement's membership standards cannot be sustained. Our oath calls upon us to do our duty to God and our country. The country is changing, and we are increasingly at odds with the legal landscape at both the state and federal levels."
It seems the duty to country is far above the duty to God for the BSA.