Tag Archives: LGBTQ-LDS

Boy Scouts “Kind of Left Us”


In a recent statement Elder Ballard said the following regarding the Church’s decision to end its 105-year relationship with Boy Scouts of America:

“The reality there is we didn’t really leave them; they kind of left us… The direction they were going was not consistent to what we feel our youth need to have…to survive in the world that lies ahead of us.”

But, did the Boy Scouts really leave “us”? Is that a fair description of what actually happened? And is BSA really heading in a different direction than we are as a church?

A Little Bit of Background

For over 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America was an iconic defender of Constitutional principles. They won case after case before the Supreme Court that reaffirmed their right to allow or disallow participants, based on their own criteria for affiliation. Their victories established important case law and legal precedent for other institutions that sought the same protections.

But then all of a sudden, the Boy Scouts decided to vote on whether to allow openly gay scouts into their organization. This went against 100 years of Court victories that gave them that right and to many members of Scouting and of the Church, this came as a huge surprise.

At this same time, two of my sons were literally only a Court of Honor away from getting their Eagle Awards. I was the official Charter Leader in our ward, was an Eagle Scout myself, and was over Scouting as the bishop.

I was certain the Church would vote against the proposal and knew they represented a very large voting bloc and funding source within the organization. Surely BSA could not pull this off without the Church’s full support.

To make sure my voice was heard, I did all the things my Church had taught me to do to be “involved” in such important matters. I wrote letters to the Church and to the Editor of our local newspaper and gave reasons for why I believed the Church would/should vote NO on this progressive proposal. I was very open about my views with ward members and with local Church leadership. In fact, I received letters and phone calls from people in my town, even from strangers, thanking me for my letter to the paper. One elderly man said, “I agree with every word you wrote.” Another gentleman said, “When I saw your letter in the paper I thought to myself, ‘oh no, he’s going to be excommunicated.’ Then I read it and now I think you’re going to be called as a general authority.” (Not very prophetic obviously). The point is, many LDS people of all walks of life had very strong feelings about this issue and were opposed to caving to the pressures of the progressives.

Like many of you, I could see this for what it was. It was never about young boys or girls being discriminated against. Not even for a moment. It was always about taking down an iconic conservative institution. And I wasn’t going to just sit idly by. I was hopeful the Church would do the right thing — back then in 2013 — and pull out of Scouts if everyone else voted in favor of the measure.

Eventually, when the Church and other Scouting Board members voted in favor of the above proposals, I refused to sign the yearly ward Charter and refused to support Friends of Scouting. My boys, to their credit, refused to continue in an organization that suddenly seemed confused about what it meant to be morally straight.

Our family left Scouts in 2013 and I was very perplexed why the Church wasn’t doing the same.

The Rapid Demise of Scouting

The great conservative thinker John O’Sullivan once said: “All organizations that are not actually right-wing (conservative) will over time become left-wing (liberal).”

The Boy Scouts is now among countless other institutions that have fallen prey to O’Sullivan’s First Law. They officially filed for bankruptcy in February of this year.

And Yet…

For 105 years, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had partnered with the Boy Scouts. Scouting literally had been the activity arm of the Aaronic Priesthood. It shared our same values. We were literally joined at the hip.

Both the LDS Church and the BSA had become synonymous with conservativism. In fact, I challenge you to find two more conservative institutions at their pinnacle.

But, at the same time Boy Scouts was moving left, it seemed the Church was moving left too. Here’s just a quick list of things the Church has done in the last 9 years that clearly represents their own change in direction:

  1. The Church changed its position on illegals.
  2. The Church abandoned its formal role in the fight against Gay Marriage.
  3. The Church unwittingly paved the way for gay marriage by introducing protections for LGBT people in Utah. A plan they hoped would be the new model for the nation. This upended legislation that had protected landlords and employers previously to be able to choose who they rented to or who they employed.
  4. Mormonsandgays.com, later changed provocatively to “Mormonandgay” was put online by the Church.
  5. The Church published numerous videos highlighting people who are gay, but who are trying to not act out on it.
  6. The Church changed its position on whether a person could be born gay or not.
  7. The Church helped fund the Hale Theater and tacitly endorsed the very pro-gay, anti-Mormon, Book of Mormon musical coming to Salt Lake City.
  8. The Church removed its ban on children of gay parents being baptized (They flip-flopped on this one thank Goodness).
  9. The Church-owned BYU changed its rules to allow gay ballroom dancers.
  10. BYU seemed to change its policy on same-gender affection. Then “kind of” reversed it back.
  11. The recent Cosmo the Cougar came out as gay without any retribution or official response from the Church.
  12. BYU’s valedictorian came out as a “gay son of God” in an approved valedictorian speech. The audience erupted in applause.
  13. And now they are in favor of decriminalizing polygamy.

The list of policy adjustments and talking points by the Church that veer progressive is much longer than what I’ve listed here. But, the evidence presented is sufficient to show that the Church is on the same course as Boy Scouts when it comes to “leaving” its more conservative principles.

Is it really fair to say that Boy Scouts left us? Even “kind of”?

Couldn’t the Church have voted against the Boy Scout proposals? Wouldn’t that have made a difference? Some estimated that the LDS Church represented 40% of BSA funding. Shouldn’t the Church have left Scouts in 2013? What part about BSA’s direction finally made the Church uncomfortable? How can the Church now say that the Boy Scouts left them, when they supported all the very liberal changes being proposed? When, even worse, the LDS Church was pushing its own progressive changes in the Church, I.e heading in a very similar “direction.” To the left.

One would think that all this capitulation and appeasement would mean that Boy Scouts would now have gay kids and gay leaders and girls and transgenders all lining up at their doors and that membership, even with the loss of the LDS Church, would be through the roof, instead of in bankruptcy. The very argument Scout board members were making was that they needed to “expand their base.” “Make the tent bigger.” “Be more inclusive.” Surely part of their reasoning, if not all, was to grow their membership by making these changes.

The Church has also suffered from a numbers and growth standpoint since they changed their course it would seem.

The church’s reported membership as of December 31, 2019 was 16,565,036. The growth of 1.21% in 2018 was the lowest annual percentage growth since the 0.93% in 1937.

Wikipedia

Interestingly, since 2013, while the Church has been shifting further left, it has only been growing at an abysmal rate of somewhere between 1 and 2% compared to 8.74% when I was a missionary. The focus then was “flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon” rather than focusing on progressive policy adjustments. Coincidence? It just reinforces the idea that people want to focus on doctrine. The average growth rate in the last 40 years has been well over 4% — that is at least until the Church started trying to be more “inclusive.”

Careful What You Wish For

One thing is certain–the same people who defeated Boy Scouts are demanding more changes from the LDS Church. They demand that we abandon what they view as hate speech and discrimination among other things.

Will we continue to give in as a Church? Mormon Prop 8 picketers have been replaced by LDS pro-gay marriage protestors in a period of just a few years. Is that a coincidence? This picture from this website is the new face of Mormonism when it comes to these progressive issues.

In Closing

I’ve always been intrigued by what Ezra Benson said he was told by a visiting Soviet leader. I think the same applies here and I think the Church would do well to consider the implications of its movement left:

I have talked face-to-face with the godless Communist leaders. It may surprise you to learn that I was host to Mr. Khrushchev for a half day, when he visited the United States. Not that I’m proud of it — I opposed his coming then and I still feel it was a mistake to welcome this atheistic murderer as a state visitor. But according to President Eisenhower, Khrushchev had expressed a desire to learn something of American agriculture, and after seeing Russian agriculture I can understand why.

As we talked face-to-face, he indicated that my grandchildren would live under Communism. After assuring him that I expected to do all in my power to assure that his, and all other grandchildren, would live under freedom, he arrogantly declared, in substance:

You Americans are so gullible. No you won’t accept Communism outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you’ll finally wake up and you find you already have Communism. We won’t have to fight you. We’ll so weaken your economy until you fall like over-ripe fruit into our hands.

–1966 address at Brigham Young University

Is the Church heading down the same road as our nation? Of Boy Scouts? Will it fall into the devil’s hands like over-ripe fruit? Is it doomed to move completely to the left? You can bet that these youth in our Church pictured above will push for Equality of Temple Sealings at some point. And at this rate, they’re bound to eventually get what they want.

One could reasonably ask, “Is the Church leaving us?”

GBSA?

 

So it was like 100 years ago where some really nice person decided to form an all girls organization that would encourage among many things, female solidarity and women’s roles and virtues.

Way back then, no one seemed to care whether those private groups quote unquote discriminated against the opposite sex in such an endeavor.  In fact, for many years back then, many women didn’t even care that only men could vote.  Why? Because most men that owned land had a wife who more times than not, informed her husband’s views and balanced his ideas out.  Call it old fashioned, but the man generally voted for his family and their collective interests.  Just like the man went to war (for his family and his country) or went to work at some factory, while his wife took the harder job of staying home raising kids, running a small farm, and taking care of a busy household.

But somewhere along the way the concept of female “equality” came into the discussion.  Never mind that men and women are different.  We’ve now evolved into more sensitive and enlightened and openminded humans.  So openminded that our brains have fallen out.

We’ve broken the glass ceiling alright.  In fact we’ve broken the whole damn building.

So it should be no surprise to anyone that immediately after the Boy Scouts decided it was the right thing to do to let transgender children participate in scouting, the National Organization for Women (NOW) petitioned BSA to also allow girls into Boy Scouts.  Here’s the story for anyone who may have missed it.

The article begins with:

After many years of divisiveness, the Boy Scouts of America have opened their ranks to gay and transgender boys. Yet a different membership dispute persists: a long-shot campaign to let girls join the BSA so they have a chance to earn the prestigious status of Eagle Scout.

Just last week, after the BSA announced it would admit transgender boys, the National Organization for Women issued a statement urging the 106-year-old youth organization to allow girls to join as well. NOW said it was inspired by the efforts of a 15-year-old New York City girl to emulate her older brother, who is an Eagle Scout.

This despite the fact that girls ALREADY have their own organization!

Meanwhile the LDS Church is still pondering thoughtfully what it should do about the transgender issue.  That’s code by the way, for they’re waiting to see if there’s any huge groundswell of anger against BSA before it makes any rash decisions.

Does anyone really believe that the Church was not notified by BSA before changing such an important policy?  One they knew could affect the vital, mammoth support of its largest donor?

What’s interesting about this new twist is there is a work around for the NOW girls:  They simply need to tell their little girl applicants to say they are boys.  Kind of like a border crosser who speaks no English but somehow, when being arrested, knows how to scream and spell the word “asylum” with no hint of an accent.

“Transgender” is the new code word I suppose for these girls who feel left out.

On a serious note I’m very saddened that this little girl’s parents would allow their daughter to decide at age 9 that she’s a boy! She has not even hit puberty yet!  My gosh, how many little nine years olds would even know what any of that means!  You can’t buy cigarettes at age nine.  You can’t drink or drive or vote or have legal sex, BUT you can decide that you are a different sex than your body parts indicate, apparently.

Shame on her mom (not sure where dad is) for allowing her daughter to discuss what it means to be transgender at such a tender, innocent age.  My kids still believe in Santa Claus at that age.  Oh and by the way, cut any little girls hair and guess what! They look like a cute little boy!

Shame on Boy Scouts for supporting this mother and for now encouraging God knows how many other young, confused children to make such a serious decision so early on.

Shame on the Church for not running from BSA like a person would run from a fire.  It’s almost too late to run at this point, without the Church being criticized for having stayed in so long. Could you imagine if Planned Parenthood was the “activity arm” of Relief Society?  That’s about the equivalence of where we are with Scouting.

I assume that eventually some young man who got cut from the NBA will claim he’s now a woman and be able to be the star of the WNBA.  Why not?  I’m just waiting for that lawsuit.

Did you read the recent article about the transgender guy who went to prison with the ladies and who was “moved” because “she” was having consensual sex with all the women?  I’m not sure where they moved him/her but I’m guessing he’s meeting with ACLU lawyers as we speak.

At this point, how does the Church in good conscience say they have no sympathy for the Ordain Women movement?  The Church gives 10s of millions of dollars to an organization that allows “girls” (who say they are boys) to participate in what the Church considers to be the activity arm of the priesthood.

Maybe it doesn’t allow transgender children to participate in LDS troops (yet), but those same kids will be having activities in the Thomas Monson Lodge and at Church paid for campsites all over the country.

For kids not in Utah, who are wanting to get their Eagle award — They WILL likely have to more closely affiliate with these new individuals and in will be placed in these awkward situations.

I guarantee you the Church is not going to soften its emphasis on young men receiving their Eagle award.  Just like 4 years of seminary, getting your Eagle is one of the check boxes expected of a young man in the Church before entering the MTC.

I’ve said it before, but if nothing else the Church should at least eliminate the affiliation question from the temple recommend interview.  Anyone who affiliates with Boy Scouts of America in any way today, affiliates with those who oppose our teachings and beliefs.  Boy Scouts HAS become an apostate organization, unworthy of our investment and clearly an unworthy partner in rearing our young men.  Both gay, straight, or other.

Just as a side note, as someone living in Utah, I’ve noticed a lot more LDS people jumping on the LGBTQ and women’s rights bandwagons of late.  Like many of you I could not believe my eyes when I looked at the pictures on the news recently of people with huge “female parts” on their heads here in our very state in parades marching against President Trump, who they ironically say does not respect women and their parts.

As Wayne would say, “Exsueeze me?”  HE doesn’t respect women?!  HOW about you parading around with an exposed larger than life female organ on your head might not be respecting women?!

(Even I can’t bring myself to add a picture here)

And yet, somehow more and more LDS folks seem to be jumping on the bandwagon for these progressive issues.  I say go for it, it’s your God-given right and I don’t condemn you. But, Church leaders may want to take note.  Because I think it’s been since they “changed their stance” on such issues that more LDS people have started supporting these causes.  I could be wrong.

I laugh a little though because some of these Molly Mormons have no idea what door they are opening.  Maybe one of them should go to Berkeley with a Trump hat on as a social experiment to see what kinds of people they are teaming up with.

These people protesting conservatism (or Trump or whatever) wouldn’t even let a gay man, Milo Yiannopoulos, speak at Berkeley and they PEPPER SPRAYED this beautiful, intelligent young, courageous woman peacefully expressing her opinions!  Not to mention millions of dollars damage to taxpayer subsidized property.

So if you’re an open minded, progressive, LDS person, these are your contemporaries.  These are your amazing civil rights leaders.  Maybe you should spend some more time with them next time before you go buy that organ costume online.

As for me, I say it’s a sad day where evil is called good and good called evil.  Anyone who does not see this “slouch towards Gomorrah” is blind and the Church does not seem to be helping the situation by towing the PC line.