Skip to comments.After the Boy Scouts? For a few, camping with doctrine
Posted on 06/14/2013 5:14:16 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
When considering the forces pulling at the Boy Scouts of America, one thing journalists really needed to consider was a simple statistical chart that can be found (.pdf) on the organization’s homepage. Here are the crucial numbers found at the top of this file:
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — 37,856.
United Methodist Church — 10,868.
Catholic Church — 8,397.
Presbyterian Church — 3,597.
Lutheran Church — 3,827.
Baptist churches — 3,981.
These are these numbers? That would be the number of Scouting units hosted by these particular religious groups.
I am well aware, as I have written in a previous post, that this chart doesn’t tell us everything in terms of Scouting’s internal divisions and tensions. Once again, that is this “Presbyterian Church”? How many of those are liberal Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations, as opposed to congregations in the Presbyterian Church in America, or the Evangelical Presbyterian Church or, for that matter, more doctrinally conservative PCUSA flocks in the Sunbelt or elsewhere in flyover country?
The same question can be applied to that “Lutheran Church” reference. Are these part of the liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or the conservative Missouri-Synod Lutheran Church? And those “Baptist churches,” are they Southern Baptist, American Baptist, independent Baptists, from one of the two National Baptist conventions or what?
But one thing is certain, given the realities shown in that chart. In keeping with trends in its own work, the Mormon leadership endorsed the policy of accepting openly gay Scouts, but no openly gay Scout leaders. The Mormon compromise was victorious.
Now, who comes next?
The United Methodists, that’s who. Outside the Sunbelt, there are few United Methodist congregations that will not accept, if not hail, this decision (unless they believe it does not go far enough).
Then how about your generic suburban American Catholic congregations?
In most of America, ordinary Catholic parishes rarely take stands about anything. Unless bishops revolt, I would expect very few Catholic parishes to shun the Scouts. Some will. Most will not. Watch the bishops, because there could be a story there — but I doubt it.
So what’s the big religion story in this? Essentially, the Mormons won the day. If anything, this vote represents another fascinating step in the ongoing journey of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints into the safe mushy middle of American religion, that great shopping mall of the soul.
The BSA leaders decided to go with the Mormons, United Methodists and suburban American Catholics. The clear losers? The Southern Baptists and other traditionalist groups, including America’s few truly conservative Catholic parishes.
So did anyone out there in mainstream media land pay attention to the religion groups and their role in hosting Scout units? Are you kidding me? This is a legal, cultural and political story.
It the religion angle is of interest to you, there is no need, whatsoever, to look at the muted victory story in The New York Times.
The Tribune Newspapers daily report that ran in The Baltimore Sun (the newspaper that lands in my front yard) is a bit better, in that it features quotes from a wider variety of voices — especially among conservatives who are planning to to open alternative organizations to compete with the Scouts. I found this section of the story especially poignant:
Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland, said the Boy Scouts will next need to address the issue of allowing gay troop leaders, but called the vote a “good first step.”
“They’re moving on so they can refocus the organization’s mission on developing young leaders, and not to have the first thing you associate with them be their ban on gay youth and gay leaders,” Evans said.
Opponents vowed to fight the new policy, which they warned would damage flagging membership and funding. Some of the protesters who opposed lifting the ban had gathered in Boy Scout uniforms on the road leading into the hotel. A few returned Thursday, looking crestfallen.
“It’s a disaster,” said William Tarbell, 68, a Boy Scout unit commissioner from Reno, taking off his 60-year-old broad-brimmed Scouting cap. “I will no longer wear it.” …
John Stemberger, president of the conservative Florida Family Policy Council, said opponents planned to meet in Louisville, Ky., next month to discuss forming an alternate youth group “that does have timeless values.” While standing at a news conference in his Scout uniform, he announced, “This will be the last time I wear this uniform.”
And at the very end, there was another nod towards the next stage in this, yes, religion-linked story.
Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, said, “Our sadness for the Scouting organization as a whole cannot be overstated.” Southern Baptist leaders have been gearing up to absorb boys who leave Scouting into their own youth group, the Royal Ambassadors.
In other words, in an age in which the U.S. Justice Department continues to attempt to separate “freedom of worship” from “freedom of religion,” journalists can expect openly doctrinal, religious, niche forms of Scouting to emerge — with little crossover between the competing religious flocks. How many traditional Catholics will send their children to Royal Ambassador events, year after year? Not many.
This angle was, no surprise here, anticipated by Religion News Service the other day — in an Adelle Banks news feature about existing religious groups for boys. Check it out.
Oh, and one more thing: In terms of moral theology, both Catholics and Mormons emphasize that same-sex orientation is not the same thing as same-sex activity or conduct.
Thus, has anyone asked the leaders of the new Boy Scouts of America how they are defining — in written guidelines communicated to churches, parents and unit leaders — that crucial term “openly gay”?
Just asking. There could be a story there. You think?
....So whats the big religion story in this? Essentially, the Mormons won the day. If anything, this vote represents another fascinating step in the ongoing journey of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints into the safe mushy middle of American religion, that great shopping mall of the soul. The BSA leaders decided to go with the Mormons, United Methodists and suburban American Catholics. The clear losers? The Southern Baptists and other traditionalist groups, including Americas few truly conservative Catholic parishes...
The homosexuals have achieved their goal, destroying another pillar of American morality.
One more step towards the total destruction of America.
I suspect the other denominations actually operate the same way. This keeps the business of Scouting out of the control of the church board and the higher administrative levels of the United Methodist Church.
This is absolutely necessary in the UMC since a majority of their members probably don't share in all the UMC theological peculiarities.
> Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland, said the Boy Scouts will next need to address the issue of allowing gay troop leaders, but called the vote a good first step.
> Theyre moving on so they can refocus the organizations mission on developing young leaders, and not to have the first thing you associate with them be their ban on gay youth and gay leaders, Evans said.
I thought they just wanted the BSA to allow gay scouts to join. I thought they said they wouldn’t allow gay scout leaders.../s
The truth comes out...
We knew this was their end angle ... A large trove of young boys to molest and convert into fellow homos to increase their numbers.
It's those "first-encounters".
My Italian-American neighbors may have been correct all along! Maybe it IS time to introduce a new Merit Badgewith a "Professional Girl" providing the training.
(Almost < /s >)
Military leadership has long been the ultimate achievement for Eagle Scouts. Connect the dots.
homosexuality in the military
punishment of patriots in the military
rejection of evangelical Christianity by the military
BSA indoctrination of 12 yr old boys into the queer life style
BSA alienation of conservative and evangelical Christian support groups
If sexual perversion is acceptable in the troops can buggering leadership be far behind?
Something was bugging me about the table of numbers, and your post prompted me to do a little research. Check this out:
Number of LDS-hosted scouting units 37,856.
Number of LDS churches in the USA 11,841
Number of UMC-hosted scouting units 10,868
Number of UMC churches in the USA 34,000
Number of Catholic-hosted scouting units 8,397
Number of Catholic parishes in the USA 17,644
(I didn't cover the last three because the labels were too vague, i.e. "Baptist" not SBC, "Presbyterian" not OPC, etc).
Notice the ratio of support. Statistically speaking, every LDS ward in the country sponsors an average of three and and half BSA troops each, while less than half of all Catholic and Protestant local churches sponsor even one BSA troop. Culturally speaking, Mormons can be seen putting all of their support and trust in a non-Mormon, non-religious organization to define "good character" behaviors and values for their children. Catholics and some Protestant denominations, on the other hand, sponsor explicitly religious "good character" alternatives (such as Awana, the Royal Ambassadors, etc), which would explain why their support of the BSA is comparatively lacking.
At the same time most Methodist churches are on their last legs financially, so only active churches with members have a UM Mens organization available to sponsor a Scout unit.
I grew up in the Methodist church in the 1960’s and earned my Eagle badge from a Methodist church sponsored Scout troop in the early 1970’s. (Yes, I suffered through the dismal “Urban Scouting” experience.)
I cut all ties with the Methodist church in the late 1970’s as their leftward drift began to manifest. After more than 30 years, I’ve started receiving correspondence from my old church asking for contact information, my perspective on the Methodist denomination, and, you guessed it, financial support.
I haven’t sent them anything, of course; but I think it is a clear sign of desperation.
It's less clear with the Presbyterians, but no doubt there was some influence. The leftwingtard branch of the Lutheran church, the ELCA has fallen for every leftist or neonazi movement that's ever walked down the road, so the insurance company had only to send them a brochure about retirement plans to buy into.
Also, a lot of churches have been suckered into affirming diversity, tolerance, equality, etc. (evidently the Golden Rule wasn’t sufficient); and these affirmations are being used against them to push various items on the Leftist agenda.
Yes, because in these times, the worst crime anyone can commit is to be accused of being a racist or homophobe, anything else can be forgiven.
With the National Council buying into the same BS, the volunteer leaders will walk away from the National Council.
There's no insurance for sale to protect you against the problems of supervising homosexuals ~ whether men or boys.
I’ve not seen any publicity for alternative group(s) to the BSA yet, but it impresses me that, as organizations, they should be exclusive for their own protection. And this could be done in any number of ways.
To start with, “Orthodox” religious rules, which would mean embracing conservative religious standards more, standards shared by their leaders, who would in effect be “religious leaders”, and thus immune to current and future control efforts by government. (Based in recent court cases.)
All meetings would begin with a Christian prayer for Christian troops, and a Jewish prayer for Jewish groups. No Muslim or other religious or secular groups allowed. The prayer would be followed with the Pledge of Allegiance, and the recitation of a code of honor.
Each member should be able to recite all 10 amendments of the US Bill of Rights.
The primary emphasis should be on outdoorsmanship, the proper use of tools, basic machines, weapons, survival skills, animal and plant biology, first aid and medical skills, emergency preparedness and safety, ethics and morality, leadership, planning and the execution of plans.
In other words, think of it as a 100-year tune up for what the BSA originally was, dispensing with the nonsense, and embracing practical, almost paramilitary skills.
A parallel organization for girls should exist, but needs to have an even stricter moral base, though it is vital to both organizations that the scouts be taught of the essential importance of not having sex outside of marriage, as a way to avoid numerous disasters and even destruction.
(Look to black America for the result of sexual license. Most lead harsh lives and die young because they cannot keep it in their pants.)
Almost a third of Boy Scout troops are associated with a non-religious organization.
Tell them that they lack discernment on discarding bad information :)
Which means (roughly) two-thirds of all Boy Scout troops are associated with Mormons and non-religious groups, one sixth are associated with Catholics and Methodists, and one sixth are shared across other Protestant groups.
I’ve told them that, and a lot more.
Don’t think they appreciated it, though.
I saw the handwriting on the wall last year and walked away from the Troop I had been associated with since 2000.
At that time, it was more about having female leaders forced on us as opposed to homosexuality. Regardless, the church that sponsored the Troop was meddling with a highly successful program.
Unless, of course, you’re a DemonRAT—Then you can say anything you want. Exhibit 1: Bill Maher.
There’s always another church somewhere else
I was raised in the UMC myself, and left by 1980 for similar reasons. I doubt they would appreciate my derisive laughter over the UMC choosing a weed, aka a tare (Matthew 13:25-40) to represent the UMC message in a 2006 billboard campaign.
There are at least two organizations forming that I’m aware of to do just what you said. Provide a Scouting experience for the boys based on the timeless values to which BSA previously adhered.
The numbers also indicate why gays are going to be allowed in before atheists. Of course the Scouts are not going to make that change anyway because they would have to remove the final element of the Scout Law.