We’re back from a much needed vacation. Despite a handful of challenges, like my makeup bag being left at home, we had a wonderful trip. I’m just now catching up on all of the news and blog articles from the last week. One of the biggest stories, was the decision by the Boy Scouts allowing homosexual scouts. Our local council voted against the change, but the vote did not go in our favor. As a mom of three boys, two of whom are currently in scouting, I’m now faced with the question of what to do.
Perhaps the best article I’ve read on the subject is this one by Rick Phillips. In his “Advice to Christians and Churches Involved in Boy Scouts,” Pastor Phillips makes two recommendations. First, Christians should not stay in scouts after the change in policy takes effect in January, 2014. Pastor Phillips discusses how the change in policy affects the principle of being “morally straight” and shows moral cowardice. He also discusses the critical issue of safety:
Safety: The bottom line is that starting in 2014, BSA will send 11 year-old boys into the woods with 17 year-old boy leaders who are practicing homosexuals. This policy is made even more alarming when one realizes that teenage boys are those most likely to molest a younger child. Now older teens who are practicing homosexuals will be put into tents with younger boys. This is unconscionable. Even if local troops think themselves unlikely to experience this problem, Christians cannot remain affiliated with an organization that at the level of policy would put the young boys under its care under this kind of safety risk.
Second, Pastor Phillips answers the question of when to disaffiliate. He acknowledges that for many parents there is a desire to cut all ties immediately. He suggests, however, that we wait until the change takes place in January:
Alternative Scouting Organizations: I have no doubt that Christians in leadership positions at the regional council and national level will make arrangements for a new organization into which Christians boys and troops will be able to transfer more or less intact. But the troops must be still intact for this to happen. Troops can continue to meet, can pray, and can follow through with summer scouting plans in anticipation of godly alternatives to BSA. (To this end, I would urge Christians in positions of leadership at regional councils to be busy now in forming or allying with alternative forms of scouting into which troops may transfer.)
I think Pastor Phillips advice is worth considering. I know that our family will not continue in scouts once the change has been made. Our pack leadership will be meeting soon to consider what to do. I pray that a good alternative will be found quickly, and I mourn the loss of scouts as an opportunity for my boys.
I would love to hear what your pack or troop is planning to do.