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COMMENTARY: No openly-gay boys need apply to alternative to Boy Scouts

There is a new organization to compete with the Boy Scouts – Trail Life USA. Their vision is: “to be the premier national character development organization for young men which produces Godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens.”

Apparently since the real Boy Scouts are now allowing gays, they are no longer an organization that produces “Godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens.”

From the website traillifeusa.com are their proposed membership standards:

Membership in the program has both youth and adult elements.

Youth membership in the program is open to all who meet the membership requirements, and is currently designed for biologically male children under the age of 18.

The adult applicant must also be at least 18 years of age and subscribe to and abide by the statement of Christian faith and the Oath and Creed of the program (currently being finalized).

While the program is undergirded by Biblical values and unapologetically reflects a Christian worldview, there is also a clearly defined inclusion policy for youth. Accordingly, all boys are welcome irrespective of religion, race, national origin or socio-economic status. Our goal is for parents and families of every faith to be able to place their boys in a youth program that endeavors to provide moral consistency and ethical integrity in its adult leaders.

Charter partners own and operate local groups, selecting leaders and admitting members as they deem beneficial to their group and within the parameters of the national policy.

The basis for the program’s ethical and moral standards are found in the Bible. In terms of sexual identification and behavior, we affirm that any sexual activity outside the context of the covenant of marriage between one man and one woman is sinful before God and therefore inconsistent with the values and principles of the program.

Within these limits, we grant membership to adults and youth who do not engage in or promote sexual immorality of any kind, or engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the program.

We welcome boys whose parents are seeking a faith-based outdoor adventure program that places an emphasis on character development, leadership, and moral purity, and who aspire to live in accordance with the values expressed in the program’s Oath and Creed.

Does this bother you on any level? Or do you simply not care one way or the other?

I mean – it’s a private organization – are they not allowed to do and say and teach anything they choose?

I care that they believe that homosexuality is a choice and that they can save these young men through the grace of God. They will be praying and guiding these boys to abandon their homosexual ways and get delivered on their unclean spirits and walk with God. Like we can’t be gay and walk with God. Really?

According to the organization, they will allow boys and young men who are confused about their sexual orientation, but they will ban youth who are openly gay, not “biologically male” and “boys who wish to dress and act like girls.”

Do you ever believe there will ever come a time when young boys can simply be that – young boys?

Will there ever be a time when adults won’t muck up everything good and right about being a young boy with overzealous religious rhetoric and just believe in the young men for who they are and not who they want them to be?

If left to their own accords – do you believe young men – gay and straight could camp, hike and trail-blaze without any of the moral problems the founders seem to believe exist?

SDGLN Contributor Barb Hamp Weicksel was born in 1952 in Pennsylvania and moved to California in the early 1980s, where she met her partner Susan. They've been together some 30 years and share the love of Susan's four children, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her blog, Barb's Gift of Gab, can be found HERE.