The Scouts should have been prepared for this.
One week after the century-old Boy Scouts of America announced it was changing its name and its mission to accept girls at all levels of scouting, its single biggest participant announced Tuesday that it was cutting ties to the Scouts.
And taking one-fifth of the Scouts membership with it.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, usually known as the Mormons, announced Tuesday that it was severing its relationship with the Scouts effective Dec. 31, 2019, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
In a statement issued jointly by the church and the Scouts, the church explained the move by noting that its membership was more global now than ever, and required a global approach.
“In this century of shared experience, the church has grown from a U.S.-centered institution to a worldwide organization, with a majority of its membership living outside the United States,” the joint statement said.
“That trend is accelerating. The church has increasingly felt the need to create and implement a uniform youth leadership and development program that serves its members globally. In so doing it will be necessary for the church to discontinue its role as a chartered partner with BSA.”
As far as minimizing the Scouts’ embarrassment, that’s not a bad spin — no policy changes are cited. It’s explained as a natural part of the church’s evolution.
But there’s no doubt that the Scouts’ increasing willingness to give in to liberal pressure on key points had a lot to do with the Mormons’ discontent.
As noted by the Deseret News — a Salt Lake City newspaper owned by a subsidiary of a holding company owned by the church — the “signs of strain began to emerge years ago.”
It was five years ago that the Scouts voted to admit openly gay boys into the organization. The Mormon church said it had always allowed gays to join but the tension was building.
Three years ago, when the Scouts decided to admit gay Scoutmasters, the church said it would stay with the Scouts after the organization recognized “the right of all religious chartered organizations to select their Scout leaders in accordance with their religious beliefs,” the Deseret News reported.
In May of last year, the church decided to drop Scouting from church programs for boys aged 14-17, according to the Deseret News. That coincided with the Scouts’ decision to accept “transgender” boys — i.e. girls pretending to be boys — into the organization.
Now, six days after the Boy Scouts of America announced an epochal change in the group’s mission — complete with changing its name by 2019 to the bloodless, corporate Scouts BSA, the church has announced an end to all ties between the organizations.
From the outside, it looked inevitable.
The Scouts have apparently decided the group’s future consists of a never-ending progression of appeasement to the forces of political correctness, a cycle that’s ultimately hollowing out an organization that used to be revered for its influence on American youths.
The Mormon Church can see where that’s going — just like any sensible person can. Its decision to end the 105-year partnership between the organizations means 425,000 boys will leave an organization of 2.3 million within the next two years.
That’s almost one out of every five, and it’s going to hurt badly. But it only came after a series of decisions made by the Scouts themselves.
One Scout leader in Utah told the Deseret News that the news of the announcement didn’t come out of the blue, but it wasn’t expected now.
“It’ll be a blow,” said Mark Griffin, president of the BSA’s Great Salt Lake Council. “We can’t say that it was a total surprise. Maybe the timing is a surprise, but we knew the church was working on a program for a worldwide church but that any changes would be based on the need to do the same program in Paris, France, as they have in Paris, Texas.”
And a program that won’t be vulnerable to regular attacks from the American left.
They should have been prepared.