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The LDS Church split from Boy Scouts of America years ago

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On Tuesday, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the LDS Church or the Mormon Church) announced that it will officially part ways with its scouting affiliates at the end of next year, replacing all scouting programs with an all-new youth initiative. This comes after years of speculation and growing controversy over the integrity of the Boy Scouts of America organization.

As a lifelong Mormon and an Eagle Scout of ten years (one of five Eagles in my family), I’m thrilled by this decision.

That said, since there has been no shortage of editorials arguing one way or another concerning recent BSA policy amendments, I feel no need to rehash those here. Instead, I’d like to focus on the autonomy of the LDS Church and the advantage of customizing its youth programs to align more neatly with its own developmental goals.

In fact, the LDS Church has been tailoring BSA policies to fit Church standards for many years. One might even say that the Church split from the Boy Scouts of America years ago.

When BSA announced the possible inclusion of girls last fall, the LDS Church insisted that it would not allow girls into its scout troops (the LDS Church already offers multiple youth programs exclusively designed for young women and girls).

When BSA decided that gay leaders would be fully accepted and permitted to chaperone campouts with young Boy Scouts, the LDS Church responded that it would continue its practice of requiring moral worthiness in determining service assignments and that no accommodations would be made in compliance with this new policy.

I’ve heard many parents express concern over the political indoctrination of the Boy Scouts with dubious global warming fear mongering. However, I received my Environmental Science merit badge just two years after Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth won the Oscar for Best Documentary, and there was no inkling of climate alarmism whatsoever in my tutelage.

Instead, I was taught valuable skills and spiritual lessons by the same youth leaders who taught me in Sunday School. Our campouts included prayers, hymns, and gospel discussions, in addition to the more typical and adventurous hiking, snorkeling, cycling, first aid, spearfishing, playacting, cooking, auto repairs, and, of course, knot tying. Every life skill had a life lesson applied to it. Every exercise fostered growth, both physical and spiritual.

This sounds like a totally separate unit from the Boy Scouts of even ten years ago, and that’s precisely the point. How much longer would the BSA-LDS partnership have lasted anyway with as many policy rejections and customized teaching methods as the LDS Church presented? If not for the official secession, the two groups would’ve become foreign entities de facto in probably the same amount of time. This move simply provides closure.

There’s nothing wrong with secular groups designed to build the best in our youth — I learned plenty of vital lessons playing high school football, for instance. But for a church, any youth program it sponsors is most logically and thoroughly maximized if the church remains in total control of its curriculum. Churches have the benefit of foundational constancy that BSA, an organization prone to any wind of political correctness, does not.

For this reason, the LDS Church — and other religious youth groups — will continue to prosper, independent of private affiliates. The only ones who stand to suffer are the Boy Scouts of America, who are about to lose almost 20% of their current membership and one of their biggest national sponsors. And if I know anything about the Left, it’s that no amount of concessions is good enough for them — if you falter once you’ve started down that road, they will not hesitate to eat one of their own.

So good luck, Boy Scouts. I hope you’re prepared for what comes next.


Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. John Pack Lambert

    May 14, 2018 at 12:52 am

    I have to wonder how much the writer knows of non-LDS scouting. I went to a boy scout camp where they prayed before meals but told us not to close in the name of Jesus Christ, evidently because we had to bow to Jewish Christophobia.

    Boy Scouts not only requires all members to affirm belief in God but emphasizes that one cannot fully develop without recognizing a higher power. This is true of many non-religious organizations including AA and many simular ones. However it is why the FFRF and fellow Athiest travelers are attacking boy scouts. Evidently private organizations no longer have a right to their own standards.

    Most boy scout troops are sponsored by a Church. I don’t know enough to gage the level of religious expression involed. Plus the Southern Baptists, Assemblies og God and Seventh Day Adventists have all already left BSA and formed their own scout like organizations. None of these Churches were ever as involved as the LDS in scouting so their departures were less noticed. Southern Baptists at l east are also organized such that some congregations may have rem ained despite the departure. There is also Trail Life USA run by Evangelical Christians. Evangelical Christianity is a poorly defined term for thousands of Churches, many of which are fully independent congregations, so the move away from scouting there is even more complex.

    I tried for years after the 2015 or maybe even 2013 changes ro use google news track troops leaving scouting. What I have l earned is that even though many troops number over 50 boys and Mormon troops are far smaller than normal troops, the ending of most troops does not make even local headlines.

    My general indication is that most non-LDS troops will camp on Sundays, even when sponsored by a Church.

    The holding all leaders to Church moeal standpoints was something that the BSA said each chartering organization could do. I doubt Catholic parishes will allow openly practicing homosexual leaders, while on the other hand an LDS bishop calling a scout master who has told him he deals with sane-gender attraction, but either has never acted on it or has fully repented of past sins that involved breaking the law of chastity with makes would not violate any rule I know of. If the sins had involved sex with minors after the man was an adult than he would be excluded, but a categorical exclusion of all with sane gender attraction no.

    One problem with discussions of homosexuality is too often peiple talk arounx each other. LGBT activists often do not really seem to accept the B exists, acting as if they really are L and G in denial. There is some percentage of the population for example who are people with their primary attraction to thd same sex who are married to the opposite sex in a loving functional relationship.

    Mormon, Catholic and some other Churches have policies clearly focused on actions. Mormon leaders do not exclude based solely on identity. True, I am pretty sure a man who dates other men, even if he does not break the kaw of chastity would be given a scout calling, but if he dated women as an unmarried m an and did the same acts it would be acceptable. So the rules on allowed beh avior are not the same, and I think we should be bold in saying this. If a married scout 11-year old scout leader had a,lunch with the married to someone else first counselor in the primary presidency and they kissed on the lups as they left the restaurant I think a bishop on kearning such would release them and more deeply probe their marital fidelity. If both were unmarried the bishop might suggest they make sure dating and church callings be a bit seperated, or maybe encourage them to step up their relationship even more. The law of chastity requires some things that nean that rules of action are not always uniform.

  2. John Pack Lambert

    May 14, 2018 at 1:26 am

    As I think even mord on this I begin to think LDS/non-LDS scouting may be a false diachotomy.

    BSA runs a program that openly admits and works with lots of sponsors who run things there own way.

    About 8 years ago I read about a Mormon family in the southern US who for unclear reasons decided to enroll his boys in the local Evangelical Christian (I want to say nega-Church) troop instead of the local ward one. The Dad was an eagle and volunteered as an assistant scoutmaster. In thd process he had to write on his belief in Christ as Savior. I believe he was also a returned missionary and from what I gathered an active member of his ward and wrote a very eloquent answer to this question. The Church leaders realized he was a Mormon though and so turned him down as a scout. Not all Church sponsored troops would do the same though.

    There are many unique issues that seperate LDS troops from a large portion of non-LDS troops. I can only vouch that these are sepwrating features from many but not neccesarily all.

    1. Mormon troops the dues are paid by the Church, for every baptized boy, even those who last came to Church when they were baptized and now are 17. My understanding is that in non-LDS troops the damilues pay these dues. They are $33 to the national organization. Or at least going above troop level. They were $24 until very recently. There may be some troops/sponsoring orgs that offer scholarships to needy families, but I have no idea how this works. The Church has paid dues for boys since 1991, although some of these fees were included in ward budgets at one point.

    2. The LDS Church covers almost all scout costs through the ward budget. Most non-DS troops the troop foots the bill. This means that triops in more affluent areas in gen eral go to Jamborees etc more. This is a circa 1990 outgrowth in the move to centrally allotted budgets by th e Church. I remember in the early 1990s the scout leaders from the affluent ward in my stake being disgruntled at their boys not going to the national Hamboree. In my ward we never had such a hope so thived on the new budget. This may nean the roots of the LDS/BSA break were sown in the Zion moving centralized budget that made the Church more equal.

    3. The Church had major restrictions on fundraising, BSA had none. How much this reflects that Fred Karger is just the last in a long line of people who seek to catch the Church in not abiding by every law and make it pay huge taces, and how much this is driven by not being of this world I cant say. Almost everyone associates Girl Scouts with selling cookies. Boy Scouts are in some minds almost as connected with selling popcorn. The Church allows one annual fundraiser for scouting but it cannot involve the sale of commercial products. So popcorn sales are out. Even at that when I was in the ward where the bishopsand wife was the district scout commissioner I found their spaghetti dinner scouting fundraiser highly offensive. The only deserts were auctioned off an d us poor peons who work for schools or lived in the third of the ward south of eight mile got none.

    4. 11-year old scouts. In most other organizations all scouts starting at 11 are in one troop. Also the Church limits 11-year-old scouts to 3 campouts a year, which means the Church constantky pushes for a revision of 1st class requirements. They always win an exception, but it is a perpetual fight.

    5. The Churches methods of transitioning all out of scouting to varsity on their 14th birthday as far as I can tell was not the nornal BSA way. Most BSA troops had some boys who stayed through 17, some who went to Varsity or Explorers, and most boys just quit scouting totally after age 14 or so.

    6. Mormon refusal to allow scouts before age 8. Although how common Tiger cubs actually were I ca nt say.

    7. No camping for cubs.

    8. No activities on Monday night.

    9. No candles in church buildings. This unlikethe some other policies was fully driven by the Church being self insured. I cant say if other charter org anizations had this policy.

    10. The Mormon methods of calling and rotating callings is different thaf how most other organizations got scout leaders. In most other xases they volunteered, and often served for decades. On the other hand this in some cases means when a scout master does step down th e troop folds.

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Culture and Religion

Marco Rubio whips out Bible verse that goes after the Florida recount debacle

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Marco Rubio whips out Bible verse that goes after the Florida recount debacle

There are two prevailing opinions pertaining to the Florida election and subsequent recounts. Democrats generally feel like it’s good to “count every ballot” until they win, even if that means “finding” more ballots to add to their candidates’ tallies. Republicans have been fighting against the recounts despite that play coming across ingenuously to voters on both sides.

We should want every valid vote counted. The operative word there is “valid.”

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a Catholic, Tweeted a Bible verse that seemed apropos to the current debacle in Florida.

One might even say this draws in one of the favorite punching bags for Republicans, former presidential candidate “Crooked” Hillary Clinton. That wasn’t the intent, I’m sure, but it’s always fun to laugh at Hillary.

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Culture and Religion

3 reasons President Trump should offer Asia Bibi asylum

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3 reasons President Trump should offer Asia Bibi asylum

There are certain political moves that can be considered “no-brainers” for anyone in Washington DC. Offering persecuted Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi asylum is one of them.

The drawbacks of doing so are few but potent. It would enrage hardline Muslims in the United States who may go after Bibi and her family, but that’s a risk she’ll face anywhere she goes. It would put US citizens and military personnel at greater risk than they already are when traveling abroad, especially in Muslim majority nations like Pakistan. Lastly, it would spark negative press against the President who would ask whether or not he would do the same for a Muslim in a similar circumstance.

All of those negatives are mitigated by three important positives.

  1. It goes against the bigotry narrative. Don’t get me wrong. Mainstream media and leftists will still try to paint the act of offering asylum to a persecuted Pakistani family as racist because she’s Christian. Thankfully, most Americans are smart enough to see through that false narrative.
  2. Pakistan won’t mind. If anything, their preference would be for America, which is already evil in the eyes of most hardline Islamic Pakistanis, to accept a burden that will only perpetuate a narrative that already exists.
  3. It’s the right thing to do. Any time the President of the United States can do the right thing, he should. Lately, there just haven’t been many opportunities to do so.

Every day that passes brings Asia Bibi and her family closer to the dangers that are closing in on them in Pakistan. They need to be taken in as soon as possible. Italy, Germany, and even Canada have offered to step up. The United States needs to do the same.

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Culture and Religion

Why does the Left have the same agenda after they turned socialist?

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Why does the Left have the same agenda after they turned socialist

What does it say about the Left when they admitted to the truth, but kept the same ideas?

There was a time when the nation’s Left vehemently denied being socialist. No one was supposed to state the obvious truth that their agenda bore a striking resemblance to communist ideas from ancient Greece. Nor were they to be compared to that expressed 500 years ago in Sir Thomas More’s work ‘Utopia’ [Published in 1516]

Even when it was obvious with admitted socialist Senator Bernie Sanders agreeing with the Democrats in most respects, the Leftists still denied reality. Such is the case that, lies, deception and denial are part and parcel of their usual tactics. They still persist in denying that they incessantly demanding gun confiscation, while demanding gun confiscation.

The Left’s miraculous transformation to the obvious.

Then a few years ago something truly miraculous took place, some polling data showed that those who were unfamiliar with the oppression and mass murder that is endemic to socialism began to warm up to it’s promise. By ‘warm up’ we mean that some fell for the prospect of free health care, free college, free housing, free money, etc. Never mind that those promises were as worthless as Obama’s oft repeated lie that one could keep your health plan.

Suddenly Bernie Sanders became a ‘rock star’, followed by a cascade of newly minted socialists. What once was verboten to admit became the in thing to be an up and coming communist. Almost overnight, Democrats of all stripes became admitting what has been obvious for decades, that they were Reds through and through. Yes, red is the true colour of the socialist-Left, but that story of yet again another deception will have to wait for another discussion.

Nothing changed in the Left’s national agenda, why?

Strangely enough, aside from a few cosmetic items, the nation’s Left has the same policy ideas they had before they admitted the obvious. Back when she was First Lady, Hillary Clinton spearheaded a drive for nationally socialized health care. This is now one of the Left’s biggest vote-buying schemes, and socialism’s biggest goodies. They can admit to its collectivist in nature now, but they denied it previously.

Back when they were trying to sell the disaster soon to be known as Obamacare, they had to avoid bringing up the topic of the term ‘redistributing wealth’ a staple of socialism if there ever was one. Such would also have to be the case with their promises of ‘free healthcare for all’ since money doesn’t grow on trees.

Liberty Control is the last of our examples being a vestige of every socialist regime. The collectivist ideologies have to rely on force to redistribute wealth as well as suppress any opposition when the glorious promises cannot be fulfilled. They can’t very well do this with an armed citizenry, thus one of their highest priorities is to grab those guns. The Left has been on this same little quest for years, incrementally edging closer and closer to their ‘firearms–free’ nirvana.

The Takeaway.

It should be patently obvious why the Left’s national agenda never changed from when they denied being socialists to admitting the truth of the matter. They were dyed in the wool socialists all along, they just couldn’t be honest about it, as is the case with everything else they do.

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