By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
The Boy Scouts of America announced Jan. 30 that the organization would begin accepting transgender members. In other words, what’s on the birth certificate doesn’t matter anymore.
The BSA stated: “Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application.”
While sad to hear, is anyone really surprised?
After all, this is the same organization that permitted openly homosexual members in 2013. Two years later, they allowed openly gay and bisexual adults as unit leaders and employees.
Though BSA maintains churches and religious organizations that sponsor troops “will continue to have the right to make decisions based on religious beliefs,” this latest action no doubt will cause some churches to rethink their options.
Many Scout troops opted out of BSA after the decision to allow homosexual members for Trail Life USA, an alternative Christian organization for boys.
Some Baptists, however, aren’t as quick to pull the trigger on BSA, citing it as a ministry opportunity.
Ted Spangenberg Jr., president of the Association of Baptists for Scouting, told Baptist Press that he encourages churches to charter Boy Scout units as a means of ministry. He makes a good point and a lot of Baptists who have been involved in BSA agree with him.
It’s just another dilemma poised by today’s culture wars. Do we try to disassociate ourselves from what we believe goes against our Christian values or do we jump into the middle of the battle and be a Christian light in the darkness?
It’s a tough decision and one that must be made by each individual and/or church considering sponsorship of a Boy Scout troop.
Pray for those decisions in the days and months ahead. May God be glorified by any decision made.