After news reports came out today that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) may drop its national policy banning openly gay members in favor of “passing any decisions on gay membership to the local level,” outrage among Religious Right activists has just begun.
For example, American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer suggested the move would allow Jerry Sandusky-like pedophiles to become troop leaders:
Conservative talk show host Janet Mefferd followed suit.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, which launched a boycott of UPS after the company stopped donating to the BSA for failing to meet its non-discrimination guidelines, said that the inclusion of openly gay members undermines “the well-being of the boys under their care”:
"The Boy Scouts of America board would be making a serious mistake to bow to the strong-arm tactics of LGBT activists and open the organization to homosexuality. What has changed in terms of the Boy Scouts' concern for the well-being of the boys under their care? Or is this not about the well-being of the Scouts, but the funding for the organization?
"The Boy Scouts has for decades been a force for moral integrity and leadership in the United States. Sadly, their principled stances have marked them as a target for harassment by homosexual activists and corporations such as UPS which are working to pressure the Boy Scouts into abandoning their historic values.
"The mission of the Boy Scouts is 'to instill values in young people' and 'prepare them to make ethical choices,' and the Scout's oath includes a pledge 'to do my duty to God' and keep himself 'morally straight.' It is entirely reasonable and not at all unusual for those passages to be interpreted as requiring abstinence from homosexual conduct.
"If the board capitulates to the bullying of homosexual activists, the Boy Scouts' legacy of producing great leaders will become yet another casualty of moral compromise. The Boy Scouts should stand firm in their timeless values and respect the right of parents to discuss these sexual topics with their children," concluded Perkins.
In an email to members, Perkins claimed that any policy change would have “devastating” consequences:
A departure from their long-held policies would be devastating to an organization that has prided itself on the development of character in boys. In fact, according to a recent Gallup survey, only 42 percent of Americans support changing the policy to allow homosexual scout leaders.
As the BSA board meets next week, it is crucial that they hear from those who stand with them and their current policy regarding homosexuality. Please call the Boy Scouts of America at 972-580-2000 and tell them that you want to see the organization stand firm in its moral values and respect the right of parents to discuss these sexual topics with their children.
The Christian Post, whose editor Richard Land leads the Southern Baptist Convention’s political arm, interviewed a top Southern Baptist who said the potential shift in policy “boggles the mind.”
A source who has knowledge of the situation told The Christian Post last week that the BSA's top executives had met with top leaders at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention, among others, over the last few weeks to inform them of the possibility of this policy shift.
"It boggles my mind to think the BSA would make such a move," said an executive in the Southern Baptist Convention who asked not to be identified. "If they have counted the cost of this decision in terms of relationships and numbers, then I believe they have miscalculated that cost."