On May 23, 2013, the Boy Scouts of America decided to change their policy on homosexuality to allow openly gay boys to join and participate. (Openly gay men are still prohibited from serving as troop leaders.) Predictably, many conservative groups and individuals, mostly Christian are outraged to the point of “boycotting” the Boy Scouts. As soon as the AP alert appeared on my phone, I successfully forecasted a Facebook feed full of lamentation. One post in particular prompted this post.
This Facebook friend, who will remain anonymous, described his regret about not being able to donate to two Boy Scouts who had approached him at a home improvement store asking for donations. According to the Facebook friend, these boys had to pay the price for the BSA’s lack of moral back bone.
Before I respond to that statement, I want to give my own response to the decision, a response that, unfortunately, many of my conservative friends and acquaintances will not understand. I’m okay with the decision and I think it was the right thing for the BSA to do. (I make no comment on the reasons behind the decision. I have no knowledge of those reasons.) The rest of this post will explain my reasoning.
I base my response on two reasons. First, homosexuality is a sin equal to every other sin. Unfortunately, many Christians elevate homosexuality above all other sins. In God’s eyes, though, all sin is equally heinous. If the BSA chose to ban boys from becoming troop members on the basis of homosexuality then the organization, to be fair, would also need to ban a boy from becoming a troop member if he’s a liar or disrespectful to his parents.
Second, this policy change opens up a huge potential mission field. With careful parental guidance, a boy could learn how to build relationships and how to share Jesus with the lost (to borrow a phrase from the children’s program at my church). If I had sons who were interested, I would not hesitate to allow him to join.