The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is "deeply troubled" and has announced that it needs to take some time apart to clear its head and decide if their relationship has a future or not. According to President Newsroom:
In spite of a request to delay the vote, it was scheduled at a time in July when members of the Church's governing councils are out of their offices and do not meet. When the leadership of the Church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with Scouting will need to be examined. The Church has always welcomed all boys to its Scouting units regardless of sexual orientation. However, the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America.Sigh...okay, a few jumbled thoughts:
1. So much for trying to soften your approach to gays, guys. I thought giving members permission to support gay marriage on social media and holding a press conference condemning housing discrimination based on sexual orientation was supposed to be preparing for the inevitable so that when homosexuality no longer has a social stigma you can say you always loved the gays. Throwing a tantrum when the BSA allows gay leaders but still gives religious troops the right to choose their own leaders as they see fit is not going to assist you in creating the future illusion that you were always on the right side of history.
2. Also, way to whine about the timing of the vote. Sure, there are a lot of LDS Boy Scouts. but the church makes up less than 20% of the BSA rolls. The vote passed 45-12, so even if the Mormons had been represented according to their numbers, they still wouldn't have gotten their way. So what's the point in complaining about the timing? Basically, this is the equivalent of telling your wife that she was never good in bed after she's already explained to you that she doesn't love you anymore. You're still losing the relationship, only now you look more petulant and the two of you will probably not be able to remain friends. So good job there.
3. "The Church has always welcomed all boys to its Scouting units regardless of sexual orientation." Is it just me, or does this sound reminiscent of the Church's approach to the priesthood ban? The church has always welcomed gay scouts but God forbid they should ever want to become leaders! The church has always welcomed black members but God forbid they should ever want the priesthood! If a scout grows up and wants to continue with the organization as an adult by providing leadership to the youth, but that leadership is conditional upon the person maintaining a heterosexual persona, can that really count as "welcoming?" Basically, it means that once the kid hits eighteen, he can no longer participate in scouting because he's gay. That's not very welcoming. Although I suppose it is encouraging closeted gay scouts to continue, you know...lying to everybody about who they are. Which is fantastic, obviously.
4. I would like to know how, exactly, openly gay Boy Scout leaders are against the church's doctrine. Because the church's whole deal lately has been "hate the sin, love the sinner" and "it's okay as long as you don't act on it." So what's the problem with an openly gay leader? He could be married to a woman with plenty of kids and simply honest with everyone about his struggle with same-sex attraction. That is completely in accordance with LDS policies and teachings. So why should this disqualify him from the opportunity to serve in the scouting program?
5. Once again, guys, as a religious organization, the BSA is still allowing you to choose your leaders according to your own criteria and you can be just as bigoted as you want within your own walls. So quit yer bitchin'.
6. I think a few openly gay leaders in the LDS Boy Scout organization would actually be a good thing. It could give some gay or curious youth a role model. Maybe having someone openly gay to look up to would help them cope with their confusing, embattled situations. Maybe this could help prevent a few more suicides. Not that this is likely to become a reality. But still, it could do some good.
It looks to me like the church is probably going to attempt to set up its own spiritual version of Boy Scouts, like scouting and the Duty to God program all rolled into one. I think they're hoping their threat is going to change minds, but that also seems unlikely. Regardless, it will be interesting to watch how the situation plays out.