Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Some churches explore scouting alternatives

Evangelical and other churches opposed to the Boy Scouts' proposal to admit gay members for the first time are looking for scouting alternatives to sponsor.

So says Religion News Service (RNS), In a story this week, RNS reported this week that decades-old religious alternatives -- with names like Pathfinders, Royal Ambassadors and Royal Rangers -- are fielding calls from people concerned about the Boy Scouts' proposed new direction.

The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America are scheduled to meet May 22-24 to vote on the proposal to let gay boys be members. Plans unveiled last month called for continuing the ban on openly gay adults serving as Scout leaders.

RNS  reported that leaders of the Pathfinders -- a scouting group affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church -- have gotten inquiries in the wake of the upcoming Boy Scout vote.

A recent story in Baptist Press, RNS said, offered tips on how Southern Baptist churches can start a Royal Ambassadors program for elementary school boys. Another scouting group: The Royal Rangers, affiliated with the Assemblies of God.

Churches have long been the major sponsors of Boy Scout troops. And though most Americans favor removing the ban on both gay Scouts and gay Scout leaders, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News Poll, many conservative churches oppose the proposed change because of their teaching that homosexual behavior is a sin.

According to the RNS story, Roman Catholic and United Methodist churches are still mulling the Scouts' proposed change.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosts more Scouts troops than any other organization. Also known as the Mormons, the church has said it is "satisfied the (Boy Scouts of America) has made a thoughtful, good-faith effort with the proposed resolution."

-- Tim Funk


par said...

Great moves. The AG churches have been very successful with their Royal Rangers program.

Anonymous said...

Like the military, there have ALWAYS been gay members of the Scouts. The only thing that has (or will) change is that now these Scouts can truly be honest and not have to pretend to be something they are not. To assume that there havent been gay members to date is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 5:52pm. I don't remember seeing or hearing anyone make that assumption

Anonymous said...

Who cares what any church thinks about anything?

Anonymous said...

@12:33 0 MILLIONS of us, that's who.