A number of Christian groups across the nation are predicting that there will be a ‘mass exodus’ from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) following yesterday’s vote to permit openly homosexual boys and teens as members.
As previously reported, the results of the vote were announced Thursday evening, with over 60 percent in favor of altering the organization’s current policy, which bars “open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.”
Over 1,400 scouting members reportedly cast their ballot over the issue as the BSA gathered for its annual meeting in Grapevine, Texas this week. The resolution posed the question of whether prospective scouts should be denied membership “on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”
“The Boy Scouts of America will not sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue,” the organization commented in a statement after announcing the results of the vote. “While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in scouting. Going forward, our scouting family will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth in order to help them grow into good, strong citizens.”
It noted, however, that sexual activity will still not be permitted among scouts.
“The resolution also reinforces that scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of scouting age is contrary to the virtues of scouting,” the statement advised.
The outcome came as a great disappointment to many Christian organizations nationwide, including ministry leaders who had once served in the Scouts themselves. Consequently, a number of groups are predicting a mass exodus from BSA as a result of the decision.
“We believe that the BSA policy change will lead to a mass exodus from the Boy Scout program, as Assemblies of God and many other churches can no longer support groups that are part of an organization allowing members who are openly homosexual,” wrote the national denomination in an official press release.
The Southern Baptist Convention agreed.
“I think there will be an immediate exodus,” said spokesman Roger “Sing” Oldham. “I don’t know how large that immediate exodus will be, but then I think there’ll be a continual attrition over time.”
“I think what we’re going to see in the next year or so is a mass exodus of adults and boys from the Boy Scouts of America program,” Randy Sharp of the American Family Association likewise told reporters. “Some of the estimates that I’ve heard are up to 400,000 to 500,000 boys and adults will resign their positions with the Boy Scouts of America.”
Joe Glover of Virginia Family Policy Network urged parents to pull their children out immediately.
“Parents should only place their children in the care of people who readily accept God’s definition of what it means to be ‘morally straight,’” he said. “Unfortunately, the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have chosen a form of moral character that arrogantly rejects God’s written word.”
John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council advised that for those who are exiting the Scouts, he plans on forming a similar organization, but with completely Christian values. Stemberger stated that a meeting will be held next month in Kentucky to discuss the effort.
“There we will discuss the creation of a new character development organization for boys,” he explained. “We will host and facilitate a national coalition meeting of former BSA parents and other youth leaders who wish to return to truly timeless values that once made the BSA great.”
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