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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

Katherine Timpf on fighting political correctness

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Katherine Timpf on fighting political correctness

National Review reporter and Fox News contributor Katherine Timpf often discusses political correctness. She talks about it so often that one might think it’s a subject she enjoys, but in reality it’s simply a problem she passionately wants to solve.

In American society, it is way too easy to offend. People do not want to hear that their perspectives are wrong. That’s apparently some form of violence. They don’t want to hear an opposing viewpoint. That’s allegedly a form of oppression. Many on the left feel entitled to express their opinions in any way they see fit and also to prevent others from sharing their opinions if there’s a difference in worldviews.

The hypocrisy of political correctness is thick.

As Timpf recently pointed out on National Review, it’s a problem that doesn’t have an easy solution, but trends are pointing to positive movement against the specter of political correctness.

Political Correctness: Study Finds 80 Percent of Americans Think It’s a Problem

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/political-correctness-problem-according-to-80-percent-of-people/I could go on for pages and pages, but you get the point: Writing about political correctness sometimes makes me feel as if everyone has gone mad, and I’m very glad to see that this doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, a strong majority of people apparently agrees with me. A strong majority believes that political correctness has gone too far, and probably would agree that we need to be careful to protect our ability to speak freely in this country.

That’s certainly encouraging, but it still doesn’t make me feel entirely better. After all, the small, PC-obsessed mob can sometimes be very powerful. Once it decides that someone or something is racist or sexist, that conclusion can carry a lot of weight. It can ruin careers and lives. It can remove perfectly good, innocuous words from acceptable speech, because even the people who might not see a problem with those words don’t want to risk being accused of racism or sexism for using them. The only answer is to keep fighting, to keep exposing and mocking such overreach when it occurs — and to take solace in the fact that so many people have awoken to its dangers.

Keep fighting the good fight, Ms. Timpf.

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Culture and Religion

Reason: Socialism fails every time

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Reason Socialism fails every time

If Socialism Actually Worked, the Left wouldn’t have to Lie about it.

John Stossel has a new video featuring Gloria Álvarez who knows the truth about Socialism. She passionately decimates all of the Left’s lies about what is truly organised evil.

Socialism has become cool in America, under the nice name “democratic socialism”.

Gloria Álvarez knows better, because she’s from Latin America and studied socialism there. She says: watch out! Socialism has a clear track record of wrecking every country that implements it.

Cuba tried socialism. Things got so bad that tens of thousands fled the island on dangerous, makeshift rafts. Others paid lots of money to be allowed to leave.

After Cuba, the next Latin American country to get totally immersed in socialism was Venezuela. For a while, things seemed to work okay thanks to the country’s oil wealth; Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, and used to be the richest country in Latin America.

Celebrities like Michael Moore and Sean Penn visited Hugo Chavez and praised his socialism.

Venezuelans were happy, too. A former mayor in Venezuela’s capital city told Álvarez: “People were clapping so hard. They were like, ‘Oh, finally there is somebody here making social justice.'”

But eventually socialism led to a mismanagement of the economy that was so bad that money started to run out. The government just printed more, so much more that it led to million-percent inflation.

But some still defend socialism, saying that what happened there “isn’t real socialism.” Bernie Sanders says: “when I talk about Socialism I am not looking at Venezuela, I’m not looking at Cuba. I’m looking at countries like Denmark, like Sweden.”

But Denmark’s prime minister says that’s a mistake: “Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy,” he clarified.

In Scandinavian countries, government regulates business less than America’s government does. Scandinavian countries don’t even have a minimum wage.

Real socialism looks more like Cuba and Venezuela.

Álvarez hopes people look at socialism’s track record before implementing it anywhere else.

If the stakes weren’t so deadly serious, the Left’s absurd contradictions on this subject would be quite amusing. The video had several celebrities trying to claim that normal government functions are somehow ‘socialism’, without explaining how this is the case. Other Leftists will claim that certain socialist regimes weren’t actually socialist, but were really ‘Right-Wing’, again without explaining how this is the case. However, those supposedly non-socialist, ‘Right-Wing’ regimes had normal government functions – road, liberties etc. So by the lights of the first contention, wouldn’t they be socialist?

But let us put this as succinctly as possible:

If Socialism Actually worked:

The Left wouldn’t have to falsely claim that normal government functions are ‘socialism’.
The Left wouldn’t have to Lie about the definition of the word.
The Left wouldn’t have to pretend that Scandinavian countries are socialist.
The Left wouldn’t have to lie, claiming that totalitarian Socialist regimes are supposedly ‘rightwing’.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need ‘revolutionary terror’.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need Tanquetas’ or ‘Ballenas’ to keep the people in line.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need secret police and torture to suppress dissent.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need barbed wire or mine fields to keep people from leaving.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need concentration camps, gulags or ‘re-education’ camps.
If Socialism Actually worked, they wouldn’t need firing squads or as ‘Che Guevara’ put it, the ‘pedagogy of the wall’.

The Takeaway.

If the organised evil that is socialism [Or it’s 40+ alternative labels] didn’t defy basic human nature, being a functional system, there would be no reason for the nation’s Socialist-Left to Lie about it. If it had actually accomplished something useful – aside from 100+ Million dead – it’s proponents could simply sell it without all of the falsehoods and outright lies. Those who advocate for that collectivist system – while claiming they aren’t it’s advocates – could simply be honest about what they want to impose on the rest of us.

Compare this to the entirely workable – but never claiming to be perfect – system of economic Liberty.
Those of us who are advocates for freedom have no need to pretend that systems of economic Liberty are something else. We have no need to make false claims or pretend it something that it is not. We only need to sell it on it’s great achievements, something the advocates of socialism can never do.

 

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Culture and Religion

The Left is losing the argument. Don’t respond to their desperate provocations.

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The Left is losing the argument Dont respond to their desperate provocations

It is axiomatic that when someone is making a mistake that you get out of the way.

For some reason the current situation suggests a scene from Star Trek VI: ‘The Undiscovered Country’ when Spock (Leonard Nimoy) declares that the Klingons are dying and Kirk (William Shatner) responds ‘Let them die!’ Of course, that’s an unfair comparison to the nation’s Left – for the Klingons. They were at least honourable, it would be difficult to say that about the Left these days.

The national socialist Left has lost the debate in the marketplace of ideas.

Recent events have seen the Left become increasingly unhinged. The web is replete with many examples – Leftists futilely banging on the doors of the Supreme Court , Fascist ‘Anti-facists’ out in the streets, trying to provoke an incident in Portland, etc. The trends are quite disturbing to say the least with, it seeming as though it’s getting worse by the day. It doesn’t help that certain politicians and media mavens are issuing statements that are ratcheting up the tension, encouraging people to confront those of us on the Pro-Liberty side of the aisle. Nor does it alleviate the stress with others of the media trying to deny the use of certain words.

The admittedly equally disturbing rumblings from the Pro-Liberty, Conservative side.

This isn’t a condemnation of the exaltations of victory after the bruising confirmation fight. Those were very understandable and well deserved. This refers to those on the right side of the spectrum who seem to be ‘itching for a fight’ as it were. Granted, the nation’s Left is clearly trying to provoke some kind of a response so they can play the victim. It’s the tried and true playbook of the Cry-Bully, something we’ve seen far too many times as of late. The point is that we cannot let them provoke us into a response that they will cynically use to claim ‘victim’ status.

Everyone on the Pro-Liberty right needs to keep several facts forefront in his or her mind.

1. The Left has the misguided idea that they have a birthright to power. Socialist dogma has it that it is supposedly ‘inevitable’, that it is the ‘Right side of history’

2. The Left is losing the argument in the marketplace of ideas. They are becoming unhinged because they are losing.

3. It is only out of desperation that they are coming out of the authoritarian closet, fully embracing their failed base ideology of socialism.

4. Their loss of the supreme court was one of the last pathways they had to carry out their socialist national agenda -–that is why they put so much into the fight and why they have lost the plot these days.

5. They are trying to provoke a violent response because they have no other choices (other than advocating freedom and supporting economic Liberty)

And most important:

6. We will win by avoiding their provocation’s. We will win by letting them LOSE.

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