Announcement Module
No announcement yet.

New MOU between BSA and Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
Conversation Detail Module
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • New MOU between BSA and Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

    Interesting. Sounds like the agreement is that Lutheran COs may remove a scout who self-identifies as gay if they are promoting a "social or political agenda," or advocating for a moral view that promotes homosexuality, or being a "distraction" (whatever that may mean), but not for simple self-identification.
    Resolved, That the Boy Scouts of America will respect the spiritual and moral responsibility of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s chartering congregations with the understanding that there is no Boy Scout authority which supersedes the authority of the local pastor and the congregation in any phase of the program affecting the spiritual welfare of those who participate; and be it further

    Resolved, That The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod will respect the membership standard of the Boy Scouts of America, including the stipulation that membership in Scouting may not be denied to a child on the basis of sexual attraction alone, and the further stipulation that the local pastor of the chartering congregation and the leaders of the local troop have the authority to set boundaries, including the determination of whether a Scout is promoting a particular social or political agenda, advocating for a moral view that is inconsistent with the church, or becoming a distraction to the troop, and take such action to enforce set boundaries up to and including removal from the troop; therefore be it finally

    Resolved, That it is agreed all member congregations of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod may rely on the stipulations in this Memorandum of Understanding in operating under any charter they sign with the Boy Scouts of America.

  • #2
    Time to move on


    • #3
      This is red herring. The key point today is that BSA troops are not required to discriminate against gay youth. If there are still some troops who choose to do so (in violation of BSA membership rules today) I doubt it will raise the ruckus we just went through. Let them keep out gay youth if they want. What openly gay youth would want to be in that troop anyway when there are plenty with open arms.


      • #4
        So if you're not MC-MS there are Boy Scouts authorities which supersede the local CO in such matters?

        I don't get this. If there is a need to clarify the policy, fine. I always figure the devil will be in the details of policy shifts such as this. But issue a general policy clarification instead of carving out special territory for special interest groups. A poor method of governance and arguably how we got into this mess in the first place.


        • #5
          I had a discussion with my UC last night and it seems to boil down to Local Option for all religious COs that only accept members of their own congregation. I don't know how many of those there are, around here there are not many. What will be I interesting is how this will be applied to those that do allow in members of other faiths.


          • #6
            Local CO's are autonomous and can decide whatever they want when it comes to the membership of their troops. If BSA wishes to pull their charter, fine, but that slippery slope is not something they are not willing to do. Never kill your Golden Goose. In order to quiet a few distractors, BSA has chosen to cave and thus angered a whole new base of distractors which is in fact larger than the first. Should be interesting next few years in the BSA. One can't sell their soul to the Devil without paying some price along the way.



            • #7
              SUMMARY - If my church had to sign that agreement, I'd recommend my church drop the BSA charter.

              The agreement scares me.

              It implies an interpretation that applies the new BSA membership rules onto specific units. I always thought units could choose their membership, youth and adult. Most units accept everyone. Some do not.

              Maybe I was wrong to be sad when churches have drop their BSA charter. Now from reading the above memorandum, it seems those churches may have been justified and right. The above agreement says the Lutheran M.S. church will not deny membership to a scout based on sexual attraction alone. But clearly stating such an orientation is promotion. Going thru the teenage years and exporing sexuality is promotion. Having a boyfriend is promotion. All those actions say that it's okay and normal and in the face of churches that do not support, teach or believe that.

              Instead, the agreement requires some further action called "promotion" or other to trigger removal from the troop.


              • King Ding Dong
                King Ding Dong commented
                Editing a comment
                I first brought news of this policy change to the forum's attention a month ago here.

                One of the major objections over the New membership policy was it appeared that a CO could not deny membership to a youth over sexual orientation alone.

                I can only assume the same same applies to all religious COs. The BSA cannot turn around and tell the Catholics or Methodists something else.

                Fred, I do not understand your objection to this. It roles back the the May vote so any CO can deny membership to the unit for pretty much whatever reason it wants to. They just can't force the BSA to remove them completely from Scouting.

                So what we are left with is Local Option Lite. No gay leaders, gay youth restricted to units that will accept them.

                Is there some other interpretation ?

              • ghjim
                ghjim commented
                Editing a comment
                Has there ever been a time in scouting when the "local option" was not in effect? Not during my day as a scout.

              • fred johnson
                fred johnson commented
                Editing a comment
                KDD - You are right. It's just that the originally poster included the new memorandum of understanding for Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, LCMS. That document confirms and reinforces the major objection that you yourself listed. Local option in all except sexual orientation. The document explicitly states that LCMS can not use sexual orientation as the basis for denying memborship.

                Of course, the statement is still vague and creates lots of questions. "Will respect the membership standards" of the BSA. Is that just emotional respect and thus meaningless to practial implementations or does that mean the LCMS promises to use that standard also for membership in their units? Is LCMS promising to accept all orientations into their scouting units? And only dismiss them from the unit if it becomes an issue. That is not a local option anymore. It's a half-[[mule]]'ed local option. "you must accept the scout. But if it becomes a problem that conflicts with your beliefs/teachings, then you can dismiss them."

                So much for "must" and so much for "local option".


                ghjim - This memorandum seems to limit local option.

            • #8
              I think people upset at these things didn't realize how draconian the old "policy" had become. A lad that thought he might find men attractive (even if he dating women) violated the old policy and could be kicked out. Attending a gay resort, despite no evidence that one engaged in any behavior was grounds for termination. Joining a high school LGBT tolerance group was reason for dismissal. It went beyond practicing gay youth, it was anyone who expressed any curiousity. Under the new policy, which is being clarified. BSA has no opinion in gay tendencies, and units can't kick a youth out for simply having tendencies, but they can make any rules they want on sexual activity, or any other activity. Now can we please stop talking about the sexual desires of teenagers. It creeps me out.


              • jblake47
                jblake47 commented
                Editing a comment
                Scout Law #10 makes it a target. Tolerance is no longer PC.


              • packsaddle
                packsaddle commented
                Editing a comment
                Since when is 'tolerance' the 10th point of the Scout Law? I always thought it was 'brave' (and it's not clear how 'brave' applies in this case, either).

              • jblake47
                jblake47 commented
                Editing a comment
                Typo - should be #12