The president of the Louisville-based Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is criticizing the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to re-examine a policy that excluded openly gay scouts and scout leaders.
Albert Mohler discussed the possible Boy Scouts change with USA Today, calling it “nothing less than disastrous” for the organization. The newspaper quotes him:
“This is going to raise a fundamental question for the Southern Baptist Convention at the national level and in the churches” about whether to reconsider a decades-old relationship with the Boy Scouts, Mohler said.
While that decision would be up to individual Southern Baptist churches, Mohler said: “I’m quite assured that those churches will be reconsidering that relationship if this policy goes into effect.”
The possible policy change, first reported Monday by NBC News, would allow local Scouts groups to make their own decisions on allowing gay scouts and scout leaders.
Mohler told USA Today that such a move would require parents to research which scouts groups allowed openly gay members and which did not. On Tuesday, Mohler’s website added to his thoughts on the possible Boy Scouts change. He again dubbed such a change a “disaster” for the Boy Scouts. The blog post adds:
On the other side, those who wanted the current policy to remain in place will now have to reconsider any relationship with the Boy Scouts. The scale of potential membership loss to the Boy Scouts of America is staggering. Conservative religious bodies sponsor the vast majority of Boy Scout units. Mormons lead with more than 37,000 units and 400,000 boys involved. United Methodists place second, with 11,000 units nationwide. The Roman Catholic Church sponsors more than 8,000 units. Add Southern Baptists and other evangelical groups to the mix and you can see the scope of the challenge the Boy Scouts will now face.