The Boy Scouts of America is about to be torn apart.
In one respect, it doesn’t matter what BSA’s board members decide when they meet next week – to change their long-standing policy excluding avowed homosexuals, or not to change their policy. Either way, the Boy Scouts of America will not emerge unscathed. It will be bloodied. It will be hurt. The only question is: When the dust settles, which side will the 100-year-old organization be on?
Consider the two alternatives.
If those currently entrusted to lead the world’s greatest youth organization abandon their decades-old policy – the one that just six months ago they strongly and publicly proclaimed was “absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts” – and invite into the organization open homosexuals, not just as Scouts but as adult leaders and role models, all hell will break loose. Large numbers of Scouts, Scout families and potential Scouts will, with great disappointment and sadness, walk away from the Boy Scouts forever.
Moreover, most Boy Scout units – around 70 percent – are sponsored by churches and faith-based organization like the Southern Baptist Convention. Fred Luter, the SBC’s current president, put it this way to the Baptist Press:
“If that is what the leadership is doing, then I think it will be a sad day in the life of the Boy Scouts of America. … To now see this organization that I thought stood on biblical principles about to give in to the politically correct thing is very disappointing.”
The bottom line, says Luter, whose Baptist organization represents 16 million members and more than 45,000 churches, is that the Boy Scouts will “lose a whole lot of our support.” In fact, he says, Southern Baptist churches will have no choice but to cease supporting the Boy Scouts of America.
“A lot of them will just pull out,” he said starkly. “This is just something we don’t believe in. It’s unfortunate the Boy Scouts are making this decision.”
Interestingly, a “very disappointed” Frank S. Page, president of the SBC’s Executive Committee, told the paper what happened when he met with top Boy Scout execs recently: “[Boy Scouts Chief Scout Executive] Wayne Brock visited with me last week, signaling the possibility they would consider this proposal at their February board meeting. He specifically asked the Southern Baptist Convention not to oppose this move. Of course, I refused to make this concession.”
So, the Scouts clearly face an exodus of traditionally minded Americans who don’t want homosexuals taking their children camping (not to mention dozens of other vexing scenarios that will occur upon the abandonment of the Scouts’ policy).
But now consider what happens if the Boy Scouts maintain their homosexual-exclusion policy.
They will lose the support of corporate sponsors who have been intimidated and shaken down by gay activists. Many people in today’s morally confused America will be offended and turned off. The powerful and seemingly ubiquitous gay rights establishment will go into overdrive vilifying the Scouts as bigots and homophobes, as they have long done. And the mainstream media, in which (in case you didn’t know) gays are very heavily represented, will brutalize the Boy Scouts.
There’s no way out. The battle is now engaged. Next week at their board meeting, the Scout brass will either maintain their policy or abandon it.
Right now, multitudes of current and former Scouts, adult Scouters and their families and friends are contacting the Boy Scout executives and board members and telling them, in so many words, to man up. For over 100 years, BSA has taught boys how to be men. Now, those in top executive roles are being told this is their chance to exemplify genuine manhood. Not by demonstrating knot-tying or rappelling or first aid. But by being real men – who do the right thing on the battlefield of life, even if it costs them dearly.
Because the truth is, it is going to hurt – a lot – either way. But then, this is the fate of all noble people, organizations and causes in today’s America. We are at war, friends. Not a shooting war, but one of conflicting worldviews, which ultimately boils down to the battle between fidelity to God’s laws versus the prideful rebellion against His laws.
You Scout executives: When the battle is over and your wounds are being tended to, will you be able to hold your heads up high? Will you stand up for the oath tens of millions of Scouts have sworn over the last 100 years, to be “physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight”? Or will you side with activists who detest you, who couldn’t care less about whether the organization you head continues to exist or not, who have been suing you for years, and for whom conquering the Boy Scouts is just another notch in their belt?
Since you will lose support, you will lose funding and you will lose the love of many no matter what you do – why not do the right thing?
Remember, in the film “Braveheart,” the hero, Scottish patriot-warrior William Wallace didn’t want war. He wanted to get married, have a family, raise some crops, enjoy life and mind his own business. But evil has a way of not wanting to let us do that, and sometimes we get drawn into battle whether we want it or not.
Yet, it is in this very conflict that we are tested and proven. Without the battle, no courage or character are developed, no true manhood attained, no victory achieved. William Wallace fought the good fight, the fight he didn’t choose, but which chose him.
The Scouts didn’t choose this fight, but it is upon them. Look up, you executives and board members, you keepers of a century-old sacred trust. For you personally, and for the Boy Scouts of America, this could be your finest hour.
Read Kupelian’s previous column, “Why are Boy Scouts contemplating suicide?”