Mormons considering alternative international scouting organization for boys

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Members of the Boy Scouts wait to march in the Veterans Day parade on 5th Avenue in New York November 11, 2014.  Photo courtesy REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Members of the Boy Scouts wait to march in the Veterans Day parade on 5th Avenue in New York November 11, 2014. Photo courtesy REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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SALT LAKE CITY – While the BSA insists that religiously affiliated troops, including those sponsored by the LDS Church, can continue to ban gay leaders, many observers doubt such an exemption can be legally defended.

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  • ben in oakland

    So the momos got their religious carve-out, and it STILL wasn’t enough for them.

    They are perfectly willing to associate with other religious believers who think that Mormonism is heresy, or apostasy, or myth making taken to a new and lucrative level, but it is just too much for them to be expected to treat gay people as fully human.

    This sounds so very familiar. Where have I heard it before? Oh, yes! when the Mormon’s passed their landmark gay rights bill a few months ago in Utah, there was a glaring exception to the laws protecting gay people from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations.

    An exception for “sincere religious belief”, and a poison pill that would kill the whole bill if any part of it– i.e., permission to discriminate on the basis of religious belief– were found unconstitutional.

    Hypocrisy, thy name is not only Christian, not only legion, but also not-really-a-Christian (according to the Baptists) as well.

  • Ted

    I don’t understand how Mormons can be considered Christian, while Muslims are considered as a different faith. Both are derivative of Christianity, relying on additional sacred scriptures, while still recognizing Jesus, the Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament.

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  • WanderWoman

    The gay issue is just a good and welcome excuse to part ways with the BSA as the official activity program for boys in the Church. There is just no longer enough interest on the part of boys, parents, and potential scout leaders to justify the cost, stress, and effort of maintaining Church troops. Scouting takes way too much time and only works if the boys in the troop are willing and excited to participate.

  • WanderWoman

    It’s very simple: Mormons believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ, that he is “the Lord of lords, King of kings, the Creator, the Savior, and the God of the whole earth.” Muslims believe that Jesus is just a prophet like Abraham.

  • Doc Anthony

    So the Mormons try to compromise with Gay Activists, and 100 percent as expected, the Gay Activists simply hate on the Mormons all the more, and meanwhile take full advantage of the Mormons’ meet-you-halfway spirit.

    Mormons, you see these Gay Activists hating on you, don’t you? They just want your TOTAL DEFEAT, period, and your boys totally defeated too.

    I’m not a Mormon. But if there are any Mormons out there reading this, it’s time for you to fight back. Your religion has the resources to put together a ***strong*** Mormon youth group where your religious standards will not be compromised and mocked.

    Get ALL your boys OUT of that messed-up gay atheist BSA (already gay, soon to be atheist BSA).

    Do it NOW, while your boys are still members of LDS in good standing !!!!!!!!!!!!!.

  • Larry

    Compromise has no place when the subject is civil liberties. When you chip away at civil liberties in one place, you start collapsing them everywhere. There is no substitute for them.

    I guess you wouldn’t have minded if the Civil Rights Act had permitted discrimination against people like yourself for small businesses and public accomodations of a certain size. After all racists have rights too which should be addressed! That is what you are saying here.

    “Do it NOW, while your boys are still members of LDS in good standing !!!!!!!!!!!!!.”

    Because otherwise the Scouts will turn them gay?

  • Ashli

    So are mormons supposed to stop riding busses in case there is a homosexual driver, going to public schools in case there is a homosexual teacher, going to dance class in case the instructor is homosexual. I KNOW my trainer at the homosexual was gay should I not work out with him anymore? Like come on. Homosexuality is not contagious! Being being intolerant of difference is! Jesus loved everyone. So should the high and mighty Joseph Smithsonian’s. I know of a few good homosexual men who served missions for that church. Are you going to kick out your homosexual members even if they aren’t living the lifestyle or are you just exclusively judgmental of those who do? Where does your double standard end?

  • ben in oakland

    Where?

    Where self righteousness and hypocrisy end.

  • ThomasT

    Ashli,
    Jesus loved everyone, but he certainly did not agree with the behavior of everyone. His love required change from sin, not acceptance of sin. The first recorded doctrine He taught in the Bible is repentance. He told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more, not that her behavior was acceptable and that she should go and become a youth leader while still committing adultery. He warned that not everyone would enter into heaven, but only those who do the will of His Father in Heaven. Behavior and attitudes are contagious, as is obvious from the very rapid change in attitudes towards homosexuality in society. POTUS Obama was publicly against gay marriage until he suddenly caught acceptance. The LDS position is that marriage between man and woman is central to God’s plan for His children. Per the Bible, neither is the man without the woman nor the woman without the man in the Lord. Scout leaders teach morality & manhood, not math. That’s the problem.

  • Kelly

    Please stop with the Mormon bashing. Just like every other group of people Mormons don’t all think and feel the same way about things. I don’t have a problem with there being gay leaders in BSA. But I do hope my church breaks from BSA because I want them to spend that money on more important things and I think boys should go to scouting programs in the community so they would be with their school friends and not just their church friends. My boys have learned a lot from scouting but if they choose to stick with it, if my church isn’t involved with it any more, I’ll be glad they are with their school friends.

  • Larry

    A long winded rationalization to treat people like crap and with malice and claim God is in your corner. Love thy neighbor takes a backseat to acting in a judgmental and self-righteous manner. Aggrandizing one’s self by denigrating others. All acts are permissible no matter how immoral, spiteful and harmful if you claim to be doing so in the name of (self)righteousness.

  • DDChance

    you have never investigated with real honest intent or you would know the answer. For years I was a Baptist, and on my own I investigated and found that the Baptist leaders hate the LDS and Lie about them, for they love their paid ministry, and LDS has no paid ministry, none! We are Christians, and if you, with honest intent, would investigate our religious beliefs, you would be baptized ASAP! I have a book written by 6 scholars in the 1940’s. None of them LDS. They were of other religions and very educated. They traveled all over the America’s getting much history on Christ in the Americas….”He Walked the America’s” is the name. Find it, read it and them decide if there is any truth in it..

  • Sean

    They can call it Mormon-Jugend.

  • “Those worldwide needs combined with this vote by the BSA National Executive Board will be carefully reviewed by the leaders of the church in the weeks ahead.”

    That’s good. It would also be good if the leadership of the LDS organization would review whether or not it is beneficial for them (Galatians 1:8) and beneficial for their members for them to preach a different gospel than the Gospel of Christ that the Apostle Paul preached.

    http://downtownministries.blogspot.com/2015/03/definition-of-grace.html

  • marke

    Jesus also taught the “one who is without sin should cast the first stone.”

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  • Fran

    I thought Mormons did NOT believe in the Trinity doctrine at all. Thanks for the clarification. I don’t believe in it at all and never will.

  • Fran

    ThomasT,

    There is a heavenly hope (only for 144,000 from mankind) for those who will rule with Jesus, King, of God’s kingdom or heavenly government (Daniel 2:44), according to the book of Revelation.

    There is also an earthly hope for the majority of mankind, since Jesus promised that the meek would inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5; see also Psalm 37:10,11; Micah 4:3,4).

    It is over the majority of mankind that God’s kingdom will exercise its millennial rule in the near future, and bring all meek humans on earth grand blessings as well (Rev. 21:3-4), including the end of sin, death, old age and all sickness and disease.

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  • Anne

    We as LDS members do not want our youth exposed to things that we, as a church, do not believe in. We believe that everyone has a right to their beliefs and it is their choice. We will love them as a brother or sister in Christ just not agree with all their choices. What about camping trips? Are we putting our boys at risk with openly gay leaders of another troop being on the outing? Yes it is all around us, and we cannot control everything they are exposed to, we can only teach them what the Bible says about it. They have a choice at that point, to believe or not to. Study the doctrine before you pass judgment.

  • Hosers

    What part of the gospel, specifically, did Paul preach, that the LDS church differs in?

  • Taylor

    So if you have been following the LDS involvement with the BSA, this consideration shouldn’t surprise you. The church has been considering breaking from the BSA for some time now. They already have their own programs for both boys and girls, which are very comprehensive and are much more intuned to what the church teaches. So really at this point there really is no incentive for the LDS Church to be in or fund the BSA as much as they do. As well the BSA isn’t helping with many of the end goals of the church, namely preparing boys and girls to go on missions and lead active adult lives in the church. In all seriousness, I think this is a good move that will allow us to focus on our own programs and goals more versus trying to get our boys to split their attention between scouting and the Duty to God program. This is coming from an Eagle Scout who wished he focused more on the Duty to God program.

  • Pr Chris

    Mormons are NOT a Trinitarian form of “Christianity”. They do NOT ascribe to the ecumenical creeds, and they have their own religious scripture, which is quoted in Mormon writings a lot more than the NT.

    The Muslims treat Jesus as a prophet, yes, but he is the highest prophet; beloved of Allah (God). The portrayal of Jesus in Islam compared to the understanding of Jesus in Mormonism is a pretty close tie in my estimation. Neither believe, Jesus, true God-true man, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. On the third day, was Raised from the Dead and ascended to heaven, from whence he shall judge the living and the dead.

    If Mormons have such a high opinion of Jesus, why is it they object to the cross-the symbol of the sacrifice of Our Lord, and the power of God. When Mormons give up on Moroni, and place crosses in their churches, THEN I’ll reconsider what the Mormon church is. For Islam, they are our cousins in faith…

  • Ooops!

    One think is for sure… unless the LDS buy out the BSA, they won’t be able to call their alternative program scouting or use other terms the BSA has locked up using its Congressional charter….

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/36/30905

    http://www.scouting.org/licensing/Protecting%20the%20Brand/Boy%20Scouts%20of%20America%20Trademark%20Listing.aspx

  • Ooops!

    The fact that the BSA non profit yet their CEO earned $1,037,000 in 2013 and their next highest paid 11 employees that made an average of $363,000 each in 2013 says a lot also.

  • Ooops!
  • Steve

    The difference is that Jesus Christ is our Savior and the only name by which we can return to live with our Father in Heaven. Thats why we are Christian.. we also carry his full name in the title of our church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As I understand, Muslims recognize Jesus as a great prophet and teacher but not as a savior and God.

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  • Eric

    Larry, thanks for your kind words towards the LDS and their faith. You are both unchristian and ignorant.

    Scouting is not just about citizenship. Please check the following quotes by Lord Baden Powell (found of the Boy Scouts) and what his purpose for scouting was, to instill in the youth a sence of duty to ones God.

    http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Media/Relationships/ScoutSabbathServices/badenpowell.aspx

    Your next fallacy would be that the LDS Church is involved in scouting to gain mainstream acceptance. If that were true, there is a much easier path to gain acceptance in this world and become politically correct, just ask the Episcoplians.

    What no one seems to have mentioned, is the fact that the BSA voted on their decision to allow openly gay leadership during a time when the LDS Leadership was not present to share or vote upon their views. The BSA demonstrated their desire or lack thereof to hear a dissenting viewpoint.

  • Eric

    And what does the head of the United Way make? Or the Red Cross? Or even Planned parenthood?

    You decide how to best spend your charitable dollars.

    The BSA is a good program doing it’s best to help the greatest number of people in a positive way. I hope this is a good move for them.

    The LDS Church likewise has been discussing for years how to best use its time and resources to help make the world a better place.

    If you disagree with either of them, please go find your own path and make the world a better place.

  • jim jones

    That disagrees with what the prophets teach from Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord himself…Your safety and ours depends upon whether or not we follow

  • Scott

    All old stuff. Religions have the right to discriminate. That is all religion’s point of view. Homosexuality is a sin according to scripture. You can sugar coat your high and mighty love and acceptance, but if raping somebody was the new norm, would you throw your wife to the wolves? I think not. Some things are wrong even if people are basically good. Beating your wife. Raping. Killing. Homosexuality. All wrong. Just because somebody is a nice, decent person most of the time, it does not mean they have God’s favor

  • Glen Danielsen

    Larry, this is not a case of civil liberties. It is a case of protecting God-given values. The Latter-day Saints will not be blown around by societal trends or any pretense of groups insisting they have the right to marry their same-sex partner, or, who knows, their Labrador Retriever in an LDS Temple just because they insist that their happiness depends upon it. Churches exist to teach and live God’s revealed principles, not a gay agenda, or anyone else’s. It is merely a cop out for Gays to call it hate, and we are not fooled.

  • Glen Danielsen

    I so hope the Church dumps scouting. I think that for its boys it’s a essentially busy-work and jumping through hoops. I think Scouting distracts from other things that matter more— like the Church’s own Young Men’s program, Duty to God, and mission preparation. A two-year mission is, I think, more than and LDS boy’s “eagle project.” I think they gain more character development from sports, doing family history, disaster preparedness, and their mission. Merit badge quests force them to dabble in a myriad of things; I don’t see the point in that. I love how the Church focuses on things that matter most. As for the Gay issue: It’s clear to me that the Church’s chief concern is the potential of being forced to have gay men who are actively living an immoral life by acting out their sex proclivities teach their boys. THAT is what they are protecting their boys from. A fair endeavor? You bet it is.

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  • You are entitled to your opinion that God hates certain people. That is a civil liberty. You are not entitled to attack people on the basis of those beliefs. That is also a civil liberty. I don’t give a flying crap whether you think God sanctions your malicious behavior towards others. It still makes it immoral and uncivil.

  • You are doing a crappy job in showing that religious beliefs have a socially redeeming side to them. You are essentially saying that God gives you an excuse to be malicious and discriminatory. There is no morality in your morals here. Simply excuses and rationalizations for self-serving behavior.

    Frankly if God looking over your shoulder is the only thing keeping you from raping, assault and murder, then you are simply a psychopath on a leash. Someone with no connection to humanity. Someone who would gladly do such things if they can find a scriptural excuse to do so. You are essentially saying that religious believers are terrible human beings who need to be kept in check. That is not the impression you really wanted to convey. But it is the crux of your argument.

  • They have it coming. One is judged by their deeds. The LDS is acting like a bunch of bigoted whinnybabies here and deserve to be called out on it. They did a great deal of damage to the BSA for the last generation.

    You missed an important element to your link. Religious expression in the BSA is entirely voluntary and personal in nature. A Scout leader’s job is not to be a defender of the faith for its sponsor, but a defender of the faiths of the scouts themselves.

    Its telling that the religious awards are entirely unnecessary for the Eagle Scout rank. For an organization with such allegedly religious underpinnings, why is it so unimportant to the highest achievement for its members?

    The LDS does not own the Boy Scouts. The opinion of the church leadership is not necessary.

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  • Boris

    Your comments shows how little you care to know. Why not just give up on Moses and just believe in Christ. See? Doesn’t make sense.

    As for the whole cross thing…good heavens I don’t know how so many churches got so wrapped up in the torture device used to murder our beloved savior, LDS believe the atonement was the MOST important thing jesus did. Getting murdered and having that torture symbol displayed on His churches seems ludicrous.

  • Boris

    “They have it coming. One is judged by their deeds. The LDS is acting like a bunch of bigoted whinnybabies here and deserve to be called out on it.”

    No Larry, they don’t have it coming. In fact, the mormon church has multiple times stood up for the rights of homosexuals. We don’t believe in housing discrimination, yada yada yada.

    Mormons have always been against homosexual practices. It’s part of their doctrine. How dare you or anyone else stand up and tell them what they must believe. They have nothing ‘coming to them’ and if they choose to leave due to a difference of opinion, allow them to leave without the childish ‘they deserve this and that’ rhetoric. Allow them the right to believe what they believe and do what fits their own ideology.

    Unbelievable!

  • Lisa Kane

    Isn’t this all a little hypocritical since Old Joe Smith was a pedophile himself. He married two 14 year old girls, one forced to by her father, in return Joe married him to another 14 year old girl. And no, getting married at age 14 was not common then, the average age of female marriage was 22 at that time.

  • Lisa Kane

    What about all your other gods? Don’t you Mormons believe that “Heavenly Father” had a father, and his father had a father and so on and so on? That’s what Old Joe and all your early prophets preached. Poor “Heavenly Mother” and all her Sister Wives just don’t get any credit….Christianity is a monotheistic religion, not polytheistic.

  • theresae66

    The Mormons do stand up for fair treatment for homosexuals when it comes to housing, employment, and public accommodations. Instead of trying to change the church maybe you should go and create your own church and run it the way you want instead of trying to impose your immorality where it is not wanted.

  • theresae66

    You are an atheist therefore you know nothing about Christianity or God.

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