On February 18, 2020, CNN reported "Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy. Hundreds of sexual abuse lawsuits are now on hold":
"The youth organization, which celebrated its 110th anniversary February 8, listed liabilities of between $100 million and $500 million ... The bankruptcy filing comes at a time when the organization faces hundreds of sexual abuse lawsuits, thousands of alleged abuse victims and dwindling membership numbers."
Prior to this, the organization had an impressive run.
The Boy Scout movement was begun in England in 1908 by by Sir Robert Baden-Powell.
Two years later, February 8, 1910, the Boys Scouts of America was incorporated,
As a soldier for in British Empire, which was the largest empire in world history, Robert Baden-Powell served in India, Afghanistan, and South Africa.
In 1895, he commanded native troops in Ashanti (Ghana), and later served in the Matabele campaign (Zimbabwe).
In his book, The Downfall of Prempeh (1896), Baden-Powell gave the account of the cruel African King who sold his people into slavery, even for human sacrifice:
“Briefly, then, we may look on the following as the main reasons and objects for the expedition:–
To put an end to human sacrifice; To put a stop to slave trading and raiding; To ensure peace and security for the neighboring tribes ...
... The expedition was necessary also for the protection of other tribes.
Every tribe in the neighborhood of Ashanti lived in terror of its life from the king, who had on several occasions destroyed, one after another, tribes which had sough our protection ...
In England we scarcely realize the extent to which human sacrifice had been carried on in Ashanti ...
... The name Kumassi means 'the death-place.'
The town possessed no less than three places of execution; one, for private executions, was at the palace; a second, for public decapitations, was on the parade-ground; a third, for fetish sacrifices, was in the sacred village of Bantama.
Close to the parade-ground was the grove into which the remains of the victims were flung ...
.. The ground here was found covered with skulls and bones of hundreds of victims.
At Bantama was the celebrated execution bowl, which was fully described by Bowdich in his account of Kumassi in 1817.
It is a large brass basin some five feet in diameter. It is ornamented with four small lions, and a number of round knobs all round its rim, except at one part, where there is a space for the victim’s neck to rest on the edge.
The blood of the victims was allowed to putrefy in the bowl, and leaves of certain herbs being added, it was considered a very valuable fetish medicine.
The bowl has now been brought to England.
Then in Kumassi are two blocks of houses occupied entirely by the executioners — one being assigned to the sacrificial, the other to the criminal executioners.
Among the loot taken in the houses of Prempeh and of his chiefs were several 'blood stools,' or stools which had been used as blocks for executions, and which bore very visible signs of having seen so used.
In these notes, be it remembered, we are only dealing with Kumassi but every king — and there were some half a dozen of them in the Ashanti empire — had powers of life and death over his subjects, and carried out his human sacrifices on a minor scale in his own capital.
In fact, the ex-king of Bekwai was deposed on account of his over-indulgence in that form of amusement.
... Any great public function was seized on as an excuse for human sacrifices. There was the annual 'yam custom,' or harvest festival, at which large numbers of victims were often offered to the gods.
Then the king went every quarter to pay his devotions to the shades of his ancestors at Bantama, and this demanded the deaths of twenty men over the great bowl on each occasion.
On the death of any great personage, two of the household slaves were at once killed on the threshold of the door, in order to attend their master immediately in his new life, and his grave was afterwards lined with the bodes of more slaves who were to form his retinue in the spirit world.
... It was though all the better if, during the burial, one of the attendant mourners could be stunned by a club, and dropped, still breathing, into the grave before it was filled in.
In the case of a great lady dying, slave-girls were the victims. This custom of sacrifice at funerals was called 'washing the grave.'
... On the death of a king the custom of washing the grave involved enormous sacrifices. Then sacrifices were also made to propitiate the gods when war was about to be entered upon or other trouble was impending.
Victims were also killed to deter an enemy from approaching the capital; sometimes they were impaled and set up on the path, with their hand pointing to the enemy and bidding him to retire.
At other times the victim was beheaded and the head replaced looking in the wrong direction; or he was buried alive in the pathway, standing upright, with only his head above ground, to remain thus until starvation or — what was infinitely worse — the ants made an end of him.
... Then there was a death penalty for the infraction of various laws.
For instance, anybody who found a nugget of gold and who did not send it at once to the king was liable to decapitation; so also was anybody who picked up anything of value lying on the parade-ground, or who sat in the shade of the fetish tree ...
In no part of the world does slavery appear to be more detestable than in Ashanti.
Slaves other than those obtained by raids into neighbors’ territory, have here to be smuggled through the various 'spheres,' French, German, and English, which are beginning to hem the country in on every side.
The climate they are brought to is a sickly one for men bred up-country. They are not required currency, since gold-dust is the medium here.
Nor are they required to any considerable extent as laborers, since the Ashanti lives merely on vegetables, which in this country want little or no cultivation.
And yet there is a strong demand for slaves. They are wanted for human sacrifice.
Stop human sacrifice, and you deal a fatal blow to the slave trade, which you render raiding an unprofitable game."
British missionary to the Congo, David Livingstone (1813-1873) similarly wrote of African slavery.
He described Muslim caravans of 1,000 slaves tied together with neck yokes or leg irons, marching single file 500 miles down to the sea carrying ivory and heavy loads.
Slaves who complained were speared and left to die, resulting in slave caravans being traced by vultures and hyenas feasting on corpses.
Another notable British soldier at this time was the young Winston Churchill.
He was stationed in Cuba, India, Egypt, Sudan, then went as a correspondent to South Africa during the Second Boer War.
Churchill was captured, escaped, made a cavalry lieutenant, and helped capture Pretoria.
At a critical point of the Second South African Boer War, Baden-Powell's 1,200 men were besieged for 217 days by an overwhelming Boer army of 8,000 at Mafeking.
In spite of famine and sickness, his resourcefulness succeeded in defending his position and saving his men until help arrived, May 12, 1900.
He was promoted to the rank of Major General.
Though the British eventually won, the Boer Wars were viewed as signaling the beginning of the decline of Britain's global empire.
In 1912, Robert Baden-Powell married Olave St. Clair Soames, and in 1939 they moved to a cottage in Kenya.
Sir Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scout organization in 1908 to promote morality and good citizenship in the rising generation.
Sir Robert Baden-Powell's works include:
- Cavalry Instruction, 1885;
- The Matabele Campaign, 1896;
- Scouting for Boys, 1908;
- The Handbook for the Girl Guides (co-authored with Agnes Baden-Powell), 1912;
- Boy Scouts Beyond The Sea: My World Tour, 1913;
- My Adventures as a Spy, 1915;
- Memories of India, 1915;
- Young Knights of the Empire: Their Code, and Further Scout Yarns, 1916;
- The Wolf Cub's Handbook, 1916;
- Girl Guiding, 1918;
- Aids To Scoutmastership, 1919:
- What Scouts Can Do: More Yarns, 1921:
- An Old Wolf's Favourites, 1921;
- Rovering to Success, 1922;
- Life's Snags and How to Meet Them, 1927;
- Scouting and Youth Movements, 1929;
- Last Message to Scouts, 1929;
- He-who-sees-in-the-dark; the Boys' Story of Frederick Burnham, the American Scout, 1932;
- Lessons From the Varsity of Life, 1933;
- Adventures and Accidents, 1934;
- Scouting Round the World, 1935;
- Adventuring to Manhood, 1936;
- African Adventures, 1937;
- Birds and Beasts of Africa, 1938
- Paddle Your Own Canoe, 1939;
- More Sketches Of Kenya, 1940.
The Boy Scouts, being originally founded on Christian values, grew into the largest voluntary youth movement in the world, with membership over 25 million.
In a 1917 pamphlet on Scouting, Baden-Powell wrote an introduction, Scouting & Christianity, stating:
"Scouting is nothing less than applied Christianity."
Robert Baden-Powell wrote in Scouting for Boys, 1908:
"We aim for the practice of Christianity in their everyday life and dealings, and not merely the profession of its theology on Sundays ...
There is a vast reserve of loyal patriotism and Christian spirit lying dormant in our nation to-day, mainly because it sees no direct opportunity for expressing itself ...
In this joyous brotherhood there is vast opportunity open to all ... It gives every man his chance of service for his fellow-men and for God."
Baden-Powell wrote in Scouting for Boys, 1908:
"No man is much good unless he believes in God and obeys His laws ... First: Love and serve God. Second: Love and serve your neighbor."
Baden-Powell wrote in Aids to Scoutmastership, 1919:
"Development of outlook naturally begins with a respect for God ... Reverence to God and reverence for one's neighbor and reverence for oneself as a servant of God."
The Scout Handbook, 5th edition (1948) explained "A Scout is Reverent":
"The Scout shows true reverence in two principal ways.
First, you pray to God, you love God and you serve Him.
Secondly, in your everyday actions you help other people, because they are made by God to God's own likeness. You and all men are made by God to God's own likeness.
You and all men are important in the sight of God because God made you.
The 'unalienable rights' in our historic Declaration of Independence, come from God. That is why you respect others whose religion and customs may differ from yours."
The Scout Handbook, 5th edition (1948), in the section "Duty to God," a scout was admonished to be "faithful to God's Commandments":
"You worship God regularly with your family in your church or synagogue. You try to follow the religious teachings that you have been taught, and you are faithful in your church school duties, and help in church activities. Above all you are faithful to Almighty God's Commandments.
Most great men in history have been men of deep religious faith. Washington knelt in the snow to pray at Valley Forge. Lincoln always sought Divine guidance before each important decision. Be proud of your religious faith.
Remember in doing your duty to God, to be grateful to Him. Whenever you succeed in doing something well, thank Him for it. Sometimes when you look up into the starlit sky on a quiet night, and feel close to Him-thank Him as the Giver of all good things.
One way to express your duty and your thankfulness to God is to help others, and this too, is a part of your Scout Promise."
Many Presidents have addressed the Boy Scouts.
On May 1, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson issued a Proclamation of a National Boy Scout Week:
"The Boy Scout movement should not only be preserved, but strengthened. It deserves the support of all public-spirited citizens ...
Every nation depends for its future upon the proper training and development of its youth."
On July 25, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge addressed a gathering of Boy Scouts in New York headed to Copenhagen:
"The three fundamentals of scouthood are reverence for nature... reverence for law ... The third is a reverence for God.
It is hard to see how a great man can be an atheist. Without the sustaining influence of faith in a divine power we could have little faith in ourselves ...
Doubters do not achieve; skeptics do not contribute; cynics to not create.
Faith is the great motive power, and no man realizes his full possibilities unless he has the deep conviction that life is eternally important, and that his work, well done, is part of an unending plan."
Honoring Sir Robert Baden-Powell, May 1, 1926, before the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Washington, D.C., President Calvin Coolidge said a scout binds himself to be "morally straight":
"We are delighted to honor this evening, Sir Robert Baden-Powell. This distinguished British general is now known all over the world ...
It has been dignified by a Federal charter granted by the Congress to the Boy Scouts of America in 1916, and thereby ranks in the popular mind with the only two other organizations which have been similarly honored, the Red Cross and the American Legion ...
The boy on becoming a scout binds himself on his honor to do his best ...
1. To do my duty to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law.
2. To help other people at all times.
3. To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."
Calvin Coolidge continued:
"The 12 articles in these Scout Laws are ... affirmative rules of conduct.
Members must promise to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
How comprehensive this list! What a formula for developing moral and spiritual character! ... It would be a perfect world if everyone exemplified these virtues ...
Boys are taught to practice the basic virtues and principles of right living and to act for themselves in according such virtues and principles. They learn ... self-control ...
We hear much talk of the decline in the influence of religion, of the loosening of the home ties, of the lack of discipline -- all tending to break down reverence and respect for the laws of God and man ...
There is no substitute for the influences of the home and of religion. These take hold of the innermost nature of the individual and play a very dominant part in the formation of personality and character ... Nothing else can ever take its place ..."
"The Boy Scout movement can never be ... a substitute but ... an ally of strict parental control and family life under religious influences ...
The last item in the Scout 'duodecalogue' is impressive. It declares that a scout shall be reverent. 'He is reverent toward God,' the paragraph reads. 'He is faithful in his religious duties, and respects the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion.'
In the past I have declared my conviction that our Government rests upon religion; that religion is the source from which we derive our reverence for truth and justice, for equality and liberty, and for the rights of mankind ..."
Coolidge concluded, warning of the "wages of sin is death":
"The Boy Scout movement designed that the various religious denominations have found it a most helpful agency ...
We know too well what fortune overtakes those who attempt to live in opposition to these standards.
They become ... outlaws.
However much they may boast of their freedom from all restraints ... they are immediately the recognized foes ... Their short existence is lived under greater and greater restrictions, in terror of the law, in flight from arrest, or in imprisonment.
Instead of gaining freedom, they become slaves of their own evil doing, realizing the scriptural assertion that they who sin are the servants of sin and that the wages of sin is death.
The Boy Scout movement has been instituted in order that the youth, instead of falling under the domination of habits and actions that lead only to destruction, may come under the discipline of a training that leads to eternal life."
President Franklin D. Roosevelt emphasized "moral responsibility," FEBRUARY 8, 1939:
"These boys, so full of promise for the future ... should be regarded as a national trust.
Ours is the duty to inculcate in the Scout mind those simple but fundamental principles which embrace strength of body, alertness of mind and, above these and growing out of them, that sense of moral responsibility upon which all sound character rests."
President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated greeted the Boy Scouts, FEBRUARY 8, 1940:
"Boy Scouts ... is ... truly American. God grant that it may ever remain so ...
Our 12th Scout Law effectively expresses the spiritual ideals of scouting ... It affirms the importance of religion in the life of the individual and the life of the nation and emphasizes the necessity of respect for the convictions of other people.
Religious freedom is basic in Americanism. It is a tradition upon which our country is founded."
On February 7, 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt expressed appreciation for those help make boys "morally straight":
"Certainly those who help to make boys physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight in these times deserve the appreciation of all who are leaders in America."
Broadcast over radio, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, February 10, 1934, led the Scouts in their oath to stay "morally straight":
"I am happy to participate in the 24th Anniversary Celebration of ... the Boy Scouts of America ... I ask you to join with me ...
All stand! Give the Scout sign! Repeat with me the Scout Oath!
'On my honor I will do my best: To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.'"
President Dwight Eisenhower stated on the 50th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, June 1, 1960:
"That is the great thing about Scouting ... We read in our Bibles the Parable of the Good Samaritan ...
They individually and collectively begin to think of their nation in part as a 'good Samaritan,' doing the decent thing in this world .. Scouting is indeed doing something ... vital to our vigor as a nation based upon a religious concept."
President Dwight Eisenhower being "morally straight" in his remarks to the 44th National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, May 29, 1954:
"It would be difficult for any political party or any government to state its purposes ... in better terms than ... the Scout Oath -- 'To do my duty by my God and country.'
One of my great heroes of American history is Robert E. Lee, and he said ... 'We cannot do more than our duty. We would not wish to do less' ...
Was there ever a time ... when we needed to be more ... morally straight?
This Government, represented in its Legislature and its Executive departments and its Judiciary, has but one great purpose in its relationships with all other nations: to be morally straight."
President Lyndon Johnson stated:
"As I applaud your past, I also urge you to rededicate yourselves to the ideals of the Scout Oath, and to reaffirm your obligations to your God and to your country."
President Gerald Ford remarked at a Question-and-Answer Session at the Annual Convention of the Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, Phoenix, Arizona, November 14, 1974:
Q. "Mr. President ... Senator Dole suggested that you shed your Boy Scout image and get tough with Congress and, if necessary, go over their heads ... What will be your tactics?"
THE PRESIDENT. "Well, let me preface the answer ... I was a Boy Scout. I am proud of that experience. I have no apologies for it.
I think they have done a great deal of good for lots of young people, and I am not going to back off from the 5 or 6 years that I enjoyed being a Boy Scout and doing the things that I think are good for America.
Now, to answer your other question. I wish there would be a lot more Boy Scouts."
Gerald Ford remarked at the Boy Scouts Annual Awards Dinner, December 2, 1974, that the "goals" of the President should include being "morally straight":
"It has recently been said that I am too much of a Boy Scout in the way I have conducted myself as President, and so I reviewed the Boy Scout Laws and Boy Scout Oath.
They say that a Scout is 'trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent' ...
... And the Boy Scout Oath is, 'On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to obey the Scout Laws, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.'
Well, if these are not the goals of the people of the United States, what they want their President to live up to, then ... either you have the wrong man or I have the wrong country."
President Gerald Ford stated at a Q & A Session at Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina, March 20, 1976:
"I am proud of the fact that I was an Eagle Scout, and I am proud of the Boy Scouts of America.
You know, the Scout Oath, the Scout Laws are the best guidelines I know to give you the right direction in school, in marriage, in your career, to make your life happy and prosperous.
So, if you live up to the Scout Oath and the Scout Laws ... you can't go wrong."
President Ronald Reagan remarked on Private Sector Initiatives at a White House Briefing for National Service Organization Leaders, April 27, 1982:
"After being told for decades that government is the answer, some people's reluctance to try a different approach is understandable. What if, for example, the Boy Scouts of America were a government program instead of a voluntary activity?
Well, someone's worked out what the answer to that would be. It's been estimated that just doing what the Boy Scouts are doing now ... if run by the government, would cost about $5 1/2 billion a year."
President Ronald Reagan remarked at a White House Luncheon commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, February 8, 1985:
"Former Scouts have walked on the Moon, become President, and won the Heisman Trophy. Today they serve as Cabinet Secretaries, as my Press Secretary, and in the Congress.
In fact, about two-thirds of the Members of the Congress have been in the Boy Scouts ... how nice it would have been if the Boy Scouts had a merit badge for a balanced budget amendment."
President Ronald Reagan issued Proclamation 5421--75th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, December 15, 1985:
"The Boy Scouts of America, our Nation's largest organization for young people, has served our youth since 1910.
Thanks to dedicated adult volunteers, more than 70 million young people have learned Scouting's lessons of patriotism, courage, and self-reliance over the past 75 years."
President George H.W. Bush remarked at the Boy Scout National Jamboree in Bowling Green, Virginia, August 7, 1989:
"The Boy Scouts has played a leadership role in preparing a generation for space exploration. It's no coincidence that half of all astronauts were once Scouts:
Admiral Richard Truly, who ably heads NASA, is an Eagle Scout; Gus Grissom, an American hero who lost his life in the early space program, was a Scout; David Scott, who operated that first lunar rover, was a Scout;
And Jim Lovell, another lunar explorer, whom I'm told is with us today. And I guess, Jim, if you're here, it's true what they say: Once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout ...
Eagle Scout Neil Armstrong, who made man's first step on the Moon and later sent his greetings to the Jamboree from deep space ... God bless the Boy Scouts of America."
President George H.W. Bush stated at James Madison High School, Vienna, Virginia, March 28, 1989:
"People wonder and talk about ... the Thousand Points of Light? ... Helping some kid that may be tempted to use narcotics ... A church group doing something ... It's the Red Cross ...
It is the Boy Scouts ... It is Christian Athletes ... Voluntarism."
On February 16, 2002, Dr. James Dobson addressed approximately 3,500 people at the National Religious Broadcaster's on the topic of his book, Bringing Up Boys:
"The world into which children are born now has become a very dangerous place. It's changed tremendously ...
There is an attack on childhood ... I don't think I can overstate it there are many people out there today who see in children an opportunity to change the culture ...
They hate the Judeo-Christian value system. And children are the vulnerable ones. And if they can get control of children ... they can change the whole culture in one generation.
And there is now a tsunami coming our way ... and boys especially are in the bull's eye. They're in the cross-hairs ..."
Dr. Dobson continued:
"The National Education Association announced ... every classroom of every school of every year is being taught homosexual propaganda.
So they're teaching them that bisexuality is normal and that homosexuality and heterosexuality are morally equivalent ...
Of course, Christians can't come in and counter that ...
Can you imagine these children, 5-years old, sitting in a circle around the teacher who's telling them about adult perverse behavior? And we're not concerned about that? ...
42 percent of the fourth-grade boys in this entire country can't read, and yet, we're going to teach them that? ..."
Dr. Dobson concluded:
"All these things are coming to your school ... There is a concerted effort to manipulate the minds of kids ...
A stem cell is a cell in the human being ... that in the very early stages of development it is undifferentiated. In other words, it's not yet other kinds of tissue, but it can go any direction depending on the environment that it's in ...
Do you understand that children are the stem cells for the culture? The environment that you put them in is what they grow up to be ...
I saw a video the other day of children in Afghanistan and they were teaching these children how they could slit the throats of Israelis. If you teach that to 6-year-old boys, you will have violent men when they grow up.
That's why there is this effort to control the minds of kids. It's what's behind the attack on the Boy Scouts."
President Herbert Hoover addressed the 20th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, March 10, 1930:
"The boy ... is a complex of cells teeming with ... curiosity ...
The problem ... is what to do with him in his leisure time that will ... contribute to ... his morals ...
What will direct his interests to constructive joy instead of destructive glee ... His is the plastic period when indelible impressions must be made."
In his last message to Scouts, 1929, Baden-Powell wrote:
If you have ever seen the play 'Peter Pan,' you will remember how the pirate chief was always making his dying speech because he was afraid that possibly when the time came for him to die he might not have time to get it off his chest.
It is much the same with me, and so, although I am not at this moment dying, I shall be doing so one of these days and I want to send you a parting word of good-bye.
Remember, it is the last you will ever hear from me, so think it over ..."
"I have had a most happy life and I want each one of you to have as happy a life too.
I believe that God put us in this jolly world to be happy and enjoy life.
Happiness doesn't come from being rich, nor merely from being successful in your career, nor by self-indulgence.
One step towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong while you are a boy, so that you can be useful and so can enjoy life when you are a man.
Nature study will show you how full of beautiful and wonderful things God has made the world for you to enjoy ...
... Be contented with what you have got and make the best of it. Look on the bright side of things instead of the gloomy one.
But the real way to get happiness is by giving out happiness to other people.
Try and leave this world a little better than you found it, and when your turn comes to die you can die happy in feeling that at any rate you have not wasted your time but have done your best.
'Be Prepared' in this way, to live happy and to die happy - stick to your Scout Promise always - even after you have ceased to be a boy - and God help you to do it.
Baden-Powell of Gilwell."
Sir Robert Baden-Powell left a "Farewell Note" found after his death, but written before in 1929:
"The hundreds of thousands of boys and girls who are learning our ideals today will be the fathers and mothers of millions in the near future, in whom they will in turn inculcate the same ideals -PROVIDED THAT THESE ARE REALLY AND UNMISTAKABLY IMPRESSED UPON THEM BY THEIR LEADERS OF TODAY ... helping in practical fashion to bring to pass God's Kingdom of peace and goodwill upon earth.
So, from my heart, I wish you God-speed in your effort.
Sir Robert Baden-Powell also warned not to let the Boy Scout organization grew to have a large salaried staff, as he stated in his Farewell Note:
"Don't let it become a salaried organization: keep it a voluntary movement of patriotic service."
Disregarding Baden-Powell's warning, the Boy Scouts grew to have a large paid staff and an immense financial overhead with a budget of over $200 million.
Activist LGBTQ organizations pressured major contributors to withhold funding.
Faced with declining revenues to cover the immense financial overhead of paid staff, talk circulated that more money would come in if the Boy Scouts abandoned its century old definition of "morally straight" and allowed entrance of those engaging in homosexual behavior.
In 2009, Barack Obama became the 44th U.S. President and honorary chairman of the Boy Scouts of America.
Headlines ran: "Obama: Boy Scouts should allow gays" (USA Today); Obama: "Yes," Boy Scouts should allow gay members (CBS News); President Obama: Boy Scouts should let in gay members (Washington Post).
At the same time, organized pressure began to be applied for the Boy Scouts to embrace the gay agenda.
After an orchestrated campaign, with heated public debate, the 1,400 voting members narrowly passed the change to allow gay scouts on May 23, 2013, leaving many volunteer leaders feeling betrayed.
Robert Gates, as Secretary of Defense in the Obama Administration, advanced the gay agenda in the U.S. Military beginning in 2010.
Gates went on to become President of the Boy Scouts, where he advanced the same agenda by allowing gay scout leaders beginning in 2015.
Franklin Graham responded:
"Robert Gates, shame on you for not having the moral courage to do what is right.
Yesterday Gates, the president of Boy Scouts of America, called for an end to the group's ban on gay troop leaders. What are you thinking?
We shouldn't shift as the winds of cultural change blow through society; we need to stand for God's truth and things that are morally right.
This move is bending to LGBT activist groups and would put young, innocent boys at risk."
Regarding the transformation of the Boy Scouts, as well as the Girl Scouts, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson released a letter, February 18, 2016:
"For several years, the Archdiocese of St. Louis, along with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been investigating concerns regarding Girls Scouts USA ...
This is especially troubling in regards to sex education and advocacy for 'reproductive rights' (i.e. abortion and contraceptive access, even for minors) ...
... In addition, recent concerns about GSUSA and their position on and inclusion of transgender and homosexual issues are proving problematic ...
Concerns are also continuing to surface with Boy Scouts of America (BSA). While the new BSA leadership policy currently offers some protections to religious organizations, I continue to wonder in which direction this once trusted organization is now headed."
On August 23, 2017, The Dallas Morning News published an article citing:
"a sharply worded letter from the Girl Scouts of the USA accuses the Irving-based Boy Scouts of America of conducting a 'covert campaign' to recruit girls into its programs to boost the Boy Scouts' falling membership."
On January 30, 2017, the Boy Scouts announced that it would accept transgender members (biological girls who want to become boys).
John Stemberger, President of the Florida Family Policy Council, released the statement, January 31, 2017:
"This is a profoundly sad but inevitable decision on the part of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) ...
Leadership of the BSA assured its membership less than four years ago when they voted to allow openly gay boys in the program that this would never happen.
Now untold thousands of boys in Scouting will be directly exposed to the serious psychological confusion that is characterized by those claiming to be transgender ..."
"As a society, we should have great compassion for children suffering from gender dysphoria while getting them proper counseling and professional help.
Instead, the BSA is encouraging and facilitating a recognized mental disorder that has far reaching consequences to the health and safety of children.
Recently, the American College of Pediatricians released a formal position paper entitled 'Gender Identity Harms Children' urging those working with children 'to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex' ..."
"Further, knowing that boys and biological girls will be showering, dressing and camping in tents together creates a clear child protection issue which is being ignored.
It's simply stunning that a leading youth organization which parents entrust the protection of their children with has opted to again appease political activists rather than follow clear, common-sense best practices for child protection."
On May 2, 2018, the Associated Press reported:
"For 108 years, the Boy Scouts of America’s flagship program has been known simply as the Boy Scouts. With girls soon entering the ranks, the group says that iconic name will change ...
The name change comes amid strained relations between the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America. Girl Scout leaders said they were blindsided by the move ...
The Girl Scouts and the BSA are among several major youth organizations in the U.S. experiencing sharp drops in membership in recent years."
On May 21, 2018, new outlets reported (WND, Bob Unruh, 5/21/18) "Condoms required at Scouts' 24th World Jamboree":
"The World Scout Committee is demanding that host nations 'ensure that condoms are readily and easily accessible for all participants and IST (staff) at a number of locations on the site ... Heads of Contingent must be informed in advance and made aware of their responsibility in communicating this policy to their Participants, Unit Leaders, Contingent Staff, and IST in an appropriate way.'"
The Jamboree, whose theme is "Unlock a New World," will also allow alcohol in some locations.
John Stemberger noted:
"The fact that they are requiring that condoms be ‘readily accessible’ and are communicating this to everyone – including youth participants – shows that the BSA is both anticipating and facilitating sexual conduct between minors at this event. These policies are both outrageous and completely irresponsible."
New York's News 4 reported April 23, 2019: "Thousands of Former Boy Scout Leaders Face Child Sex Allegations; Names Expected to Be Released."
TIME Magazine (June 1, 2019) stated in its article "These Men Say the Boy Scouts' Sex Abuse Problem Is Worse Than Anyone Knew":
"On Thursday, a group of attorneys said they’d collected information from at least 428 men and boys whose accounts of rape, molestation and abuse indicate the Boy Scouts’ pedophile problem is far more widespread than the organization has previously acknowledged."
The New York Post reported (2/1/20): "Boy Scouts bankruptcy is ‘imminent’ amid sexual abuse scandals."
The New York Times reported (2/19/20): "A Stake in Boy Scouts' Bankruptcy: $1 Billion in Assets, or Much More."
Boy Scouts' decline has paralleled its departure from Sir Robert Baden-Powell original vision, as expressed in his pamphlet Scouting for Boys, 1908:
"We aim for the practice of Christianity in their everyday life."
In 2013, a new adventure organization for young men, Trail Life USA, began, offering exciting camping, physical and mental challenges, with awards.
With over 30,000 members in 800 Troops in 50 states, Trail Life USA is committed to developing Christian character and leadership skills.
"Our vision is to be the premier national character development organization for young men which produces Godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens."
Trail Life's Mission Statement is:
"Our mission is simple and clear: to guide generations of courageous young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others, and experience outdoor adventure."
Trail Life's Motto is 'Walk Worthy.'
Colossians 1:10 "... that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God."
The Trail Life Oath is:
"On my honor, I will do my best,
To serve God and my country;
To respect authority;
To be a good steward of creation;
And to treat others as I want to be treated."
Trail Life CEO Mark Hancock explained:
"We assure our members and chartering organizations that we are committed to the timeless Biblical values affirmed in our Statement of Faith and Values."
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