It’s not like the Boy Scouts of America isn’t godly already.
The Scout Oath requires members to promise “To do my duty to God and my country.”
The Scout Law requires members to be “reverent.”
And, because the BSA offers no alternatives to those two things, the organization effectively bans atheists from becoming members.
That’s still not enough for John Stemberger and Rob Green. Because the BSA is now allowing gay scouts to join the organizations, they’re retaliating by creating a Christian alternative. It doesn’t have a name yet, but it does have a website:
“The organization’s membership policy will focus on sexual purity rather than sexual orientation,” Green said in a conference call with reporters.
“The issue with Scouting is just that when you’re going to allow a young man to be in the program to be openly flaunting sexuality, that’s just inappropriate and parents do not think that’s a clean and safe environment for their kids,” [Stemberger] said.
I would love to know what Stemberger and Green consider “flaunting” one’s sexuality and how gay kids do it in a way straight kids do not… I’m guessing they’re just talking out of their ass.
They even take a jab at the Girl Scouts in the process:
The Boy Scouts could easily go the way of the Girl Scouts if they open the door to allow open expressions of sex and politics in the program.
Please… the Boy Scouts could be so lucky as to be like the Girl Scouts.
In any case, it sounds like gay kids can’t join their group.
What about everyone else?
It will be open to all boys irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin. Parents from all faiths are welcome to place their children in the program. While boys may come from every religious background, adult leaders in the program — from the National Board level to individual unit volunteers — will adhere to a standard statement of Christian faith and values.
Leaders will have to be Christian even though the children won’t… which makes this sound like a glorified way to proselytize to kids of non-Christian faiths.
One thing isn’t clear in that statement, though: Are atheists allowed to join? It says people of all faith backgrounds are welcome, so are we part of that mix?
I asked them that question (via Twitter, email, and phone) and have not yet received an answer.
The organization will launch on January 1, 2014 — the same day the new gay-inclusive BSA policy goes into effect.
Overall, we’re looking at a group that wants to be just like the Boy Scouts, but with a few more restrictions as to who can join. The upside is that it’s explicitly Christian — that means it may siphon off the fundies from the BSA and it means they will not receive money or land from the federal government.
The downside is that it means there are actually people out there who look at the BSA’s current policy and think that it’s too inclusive.
These guys actually sat down and had the idea “Let’s copy the BSA but make it even more discriminatory!”
It’s all in the name of Christianity, though, so I guess Jesus approves.