There has been a lot of hand-wringing lately among social conservatives and evangelical Christian groups over the possible (I think highly likely) capitulation of the Boy Scouts of America to the the homosexual lobby and their allies. In very short order, something the Scouts had stood firm on for years has become negotiable.
The recent trial balloon floated by the Boy Scouts to appease these groups is to allow local Scouting organizations to decide whether or not openly homosexual leaders and scouts should be admitted. In other words, abandon having a national policy on the matter and make it a local issue. This, of course, will not be enough. The homosexual lobby is never satisfied with half-measures. Any compromise will be seen as only the first step toward proactive endorsement of homosexuality by the organization – which will begin to be demanded before the ink is dry on any new policy.
How did it get to this point? As with most things, there are a number of contributing factors, not the least of which is the Scouts’ dependence upon corporate sponsors. Most of these corporations decided years ago it was easier (and cheaper) to give in to the homosexual lobby than risk their harassment as aided and abetted by the national media. In addition to monetary sponsorship, some of the board members of these companies are also board members of the BSA and are facing pressure to terminate their relationship with the Scouts or face a down-grade of their company’s “non-discrimination rating” by the self-appointed creators of such things. It’s the usual shake down scenario. Nice company you got there – be a shame if something happened to it.
But the root cause is much deeper. At some point in their history the Scouts decided to make who God is a local decision. When my sons and I were involved in Scouts several years back, I attended leadership training on the religious achievements portion of the Cub Scout handbook. Though held at an ostensibly Christian church, the training made it clear god could be whoever the boys and their families thought he, she or it was. The god of Scouting is much like the god of Alcoholics Anonymous, a “higher power” that is whatever one wants it to be. Sure, you have to believe in god to be a Scout, you just don’t have to be too specific about it.
This brings us to the basis for morals. How can an organization that will not take a stand on the identity of God be expected to take a stand on specific moral issues? There is a direct connection between the law and the Law Giver. If you’re not really sure who the Law Giver is, how can you be sure whether a specific behavior is “morally straight” or not? I mean, maybe one of those obscure Norse gods is cool with homosexuality. Who knows?
In addition, why have Christians chosen this issue as the flash-point causing them to rethink involvement with the Scouts? Was it not already a bridge too far that the Scouts allow local groups to decide for themselves who god is? Is standing firm on homosexuality really more important than standing firm on God’s identity? It reminds me of all these Episcopal congregations trying to get the heck out of dodge over homosexual priests when they stuck around as the denomination systematically dismantled the authority of the Bible and the exclusivity of Christ for years on end. This is the last straw? One would think gutting the gospel message might have been a contender for that honor.
This May at their annual meeting, the BSA will make it’s decision. My prediction is they will cave. This will be bad news for the once venerable organization but perhaps good news for the gospel. Removing Jesus Christ from a cocktail of gods unified only by American Civil Religion and holding Him up in stark contrast to all other belief systems will have a far greater impact for the Kingdom than if the Scouts win this battle in service to a pantheon of lesser gods.