Before I write the First Line, I need to state unequivocally that it is possible to hold principled objections to the New BSA Policy change, to Same Sex Marriage and to a host of other similar topics AND Not do so out of out ignorance, hatred or some homophobic bias. I am hopeful that readers who disagree will cease with the “name calling” and will understand that my Opinions flow from a Biblical Worldview and not from hatred, prejudice or bigotry. I am neither Homophobic nor Unenlightened. I do however, have very principled core values that I will not compromise.
When I was in Scouting I was taught how to read a compass and how to navigate my way out of the “wilderness.” A key component was to always trust a “true north” compass heading.
The Boy Scouts of America are “lost in the wilderness” and seem to have lost, or at least are mistrusting, their compass.
The BSA have been serving, developing, and building into the lives of young men for over a hundred years; and as a result have produced many of life’s finest leaders, businessmen, public servants, adventurers, and fathers.
By caving into the demand to change their highly successful model, in order to satisfy the wishes of a minority group intent on “transforming” the BSA into something different, the BSA Leadership is giving the impression that someone has lost or no longer trusts the compass. (Did anyone think of recommending that BSA opponents start their own group?)
This was an issue that did not have to become an issue.
* The U.S. Supreme Court already sided with the BSA membership and leadership policies.
* The BSA never had a policy to prohibit youth with “same sex attraction issues;” rather, the prohibition was on “open and avowed” homosexuality.
* It is parents who should take the lead in teaching children about matters of sexuality.
* The BSA will not find “peace” now that the long standing policy to support moral clarity and pureness has been replaced; the result will be more unrest.
* More than 70 percent of Boy Scout units are sponsored by religious groups, and this new policy has split them. How can many churches who sponsor troops accept the BSA which now has a policy that is contrary to the church’s World View and the Doctrine of Faith?
* How can paid leadership with the BSA organization continue to be employed by an organization that now is in conflict with personal and strongly held core values? (Look for an exit of talented and dedicated BSA leaders and leadership effective December 31, 2013.)
* Anticipate a drop in Funding which will adversely affect youth who need financial assistance to participate in this once storied program.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins summed up well this matter when he wrote:
“Sadly, the Boy Scouts’ legacy of producing great leaders has become yet another casualty of moral compromise. Unfortunately, Boy Scout delegates capitulated to strong-arm tactics and abandoned the timeless values that have served the organization well for more than 100 years. It is clear that the current BSA leadership will bend with the winds of popular culture, and the whims of liberal special interest groups. There is little doubt that God will soon be ushered out of scouting.”
On a personal note, given I hold the rank of Life Scout and Order of the Arrow, I am so very saddened by this action. I believed in the Scout Oath as a youth, and I thought those who challenged me in it DID TOO!
The New Legacy of the BSA….just another group who failed in its attempt to Stand Against Moral Compromise.
Dr. Tom Smiley is a pastor, author, speaker, blogger, husband, grand dad, and Christ-follower. He is a regional radio talk show host with WDUN Jacobs Media. He is the founder of Life with Smiles Ministry. His Sunday messages are broadcast on WDUN 550, and his “blog” entries and thoughts on God, Christian faith, current events, politics and Islam are available at http://tomsmiley.wordpress.com/
His books: Runaway Lives: Overcoming Emotional Undercurrents, Angels all Around, and Uncommon Common Sense can be ordered at his Life with Smiles website (www.lifewithsmiles.com). Dr. Smiley is available for speaking engagements and discussion forums and can be contacted at email@example.com or by calling 770.532.6307.