Rev. Franklin Graham says it is not enough for the Mormon church to remove its teen boys from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) following the organization’s approval of gay scout leaders and transgender members.
“I think the Mormon Church—and all churches—should pull out of the Boy Scouts organization completely,” Graham posted on Facebook Friday:
The Mormon Church made a good decision yesterday, announcing it was pulling older boys out of the Boy Scouts of America. They had been the biggest sponsor of Boy Scouts in the United States. A scholar said the Boy Scouts’ new policies relating to gays probably related to the decision.
Churches should always stand with teachings that align with the Word of God. Two years ago the Boy Scouts of America voted to allow gay leaders and then this year began to allow members based on their gender identity rather than their biological sex, opening the door to transgender members.
I think the Mormon Church—and all churches—should pull out of the Boy Scouts organization completely. They need to get their younger boys out as well. I would not want my child or grandchild to be influenced by the lifestyle of a gay Scout Leader that goes against God’s design for creation.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced last week its boys from ages 14 to 18 would be removed from the Boy Scouts, a significant move since the Mormon church has been a charter member of BSA for over a century.
In its announcement, the church said local congregations would replace the BSA with other programs. The notice continued:
In most congregations in the United States and Canada, young men ages 14–18 are not being served well by the Varsity or Venturing programs, which have historically been difficult to implement within the Church. This change will allow youth and leaders to implement a simplified program that meets local needs while providing activities that balance spiritual, social, physical and intellectual development goals for young men.
With regard to BSA’s decision to allow gay scout leaders and transgender scouts, the church states:
The BSA has always allowed the Church to operate its programs in ways that are consistent with our standards and beliefs, and they have been very supportive. This change is to address the needs of young men ages 14 to 18. The Church is always evaluating what is best for our youth and families, and will continue to do so.
However, in a statement in July of 2015, the church said regarding BSA’s decision to admit openly gay scout leaders:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today’s vote by the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board. In spite of a request to delay the vote, it was scheduled at a time in July when members of the Church’s governing councils are out of their offices and do not meet. When the leadership of the Church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with Scouting will need to be examined. The Church has always welcomed all boys to its Scouting units regardless of sexual orientation. However, the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America.
Earlier this month, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas announced he is severing his archdiocese’s association with the Girl Scouts, citing the organization’s increased secularization and the promotion of values that are inconsistent with the Gospel.
Naumann said the parishes of his archdiocese would instead begin chartering the American Heritage Girls, an organization that promotes Christian values in addition to skill building.
The archbishop noted the Girl Scouts’ national organization contributes to its international counterparts which are tied to International Planned Parenthood and that group’s advocacy for abortion legislation. He also said many of the materials and resources used by the Girl Scouts “do not reflect our Catholic worldview but stand in stark opposition to what we believe.”