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Right Opinion

BSA Scouts Out New Condom Policy

Tony Perkins · May 23, 2018

What kind of fire are the Boy Scouts teaching kids to start? Angry parents want to know now that the organization is making condoms an official part of its World Jamboree. Almost five years to the day that they threw open doors to homosexuality, BSA leaders are making their leftward lurch complete with the announcement that birth control would be provided at their next 12-day jamboree where 12- to 17-year-olds will convene.

A document from the three-country planning committee is making the rounds — and the hosts of the West Virginia event have an interesting mandate. Jamboree organizers must now guarantee that “condoms are readily and easily accessible for all participants and IST [staff] at a number of locations on the site. Heads of contingent must be informed in advance and made aware of their responsibility in communicating this policy to their participants, unit leaders, and IST in an appropriate way.” While drug possession and/or alcohol consumption is forbidden for minors, sexual encounters are not.

Obviously, the jamboree’s three hosts — Scouts Canada, BSA Scouts, and the Asociacion de Scouts de Mexico — wanted to give campers a real feel for the event’s theme: “Unlock a New World.” Unfortunately for the 160 participating countries and territories, this is exactly the kind of irresponsibility Scouting has historically discouraged. But, as most people who’ve caved to the Left’s demands will tell you, accommodation is a slippery slope. Now, a half-decade into this new social experiment, the Boy Scouts have lost members. They’ve lost money. They’ve lost their moral compass. And they’ve lost most people’s respect.

Of course, if it’s a wilderness experience the Boy Scouts is looking for, their dwindling numbers have given it plenty. Down 1.7 million members from their high-water mark, the Scouts don’t seem to have gotten the message that sexualizing kids is the best way to lose support. After barely surviving the clash with parents over same-sex scouting, the century-old group now seems intent on traveling the path to complete irrelevance. As if putting out the welcome mat for kids who identify as homosexual wasn’t unpopular enough, the organization knuckled under and let openly gay scout leaders serve too. Boys who identify as girls were next — until it threw out gender altogether and, this month, invited girls to join. Earlier this month, the organization even announced it was dropping “boy” from its name.

Now, the program is in a national nosedive — and leaders think the best way to revive it is to throw a two-week sex party? John Stemberger, who chairs the board of the BSA’s thriving Christian counterpart — Trail Life USA — couldn’t believe it.

“It’s not clear how far down the rabbit hole the Boy Scouts will continue to fall. With the addition of condoms and alcohol, the World Jamboree is starting to sound more like a 1960s Woodstock festival rather than a campout that parents would want to send their children to. All of this should be deeply disturbing to the churches that are chartering Boy Scout troops. The fact that they are requiring that condoms be ‘readily accessible’ and are communicating this to everyone … shows that the BSA is both anticipating and facilitating sexual conduct between minors at this event. These policies are both outrageous and completely irresponsible.”

After the BSA opened up its ranks to gender-confused scouts, the mass exodus was already well underway. Even the Mormons, who stuck with the Scouts through some of their worst decisions, are calling it quits. Inviting girls to join, the LDS Church finally admitted, is a bridge too far.

The Girl Scouts isn’t exactly a fan of the idea either. “We both need to increase our membership numbers,” a GSA spokeswomen said. Like the boys, it’s had a terrible time recruiting and retaining scouts after this period of intense radicalization. Now, the thought of having to compete with the BSA for girls is giving GSA headquarters fits. “The Boy Scouts’ house is on fire. Instead of addressing systemic issues of continuing sexual assault, financial mismanagement, and deficient programming, BSA’s senior management wants to add an accelerant to the house fire by recruiting girls.” Of course, the GSA took a faster route to controversy than anyone, partnering with Planned Parenthood, welcoming boys who dress like girls, and handing out copies of the sex manual “Healthy, Happy, and Hot.” Now, after a decade of promoting every cultural extremism, both national organizations are in a frantic search for scouts.

And thanks to decisions like the World Jamboree’s, that’s not going to change any time soon. In the end, even the Boy Scouts might not have the survival skills to weather this kind of storm. Fortunately, there are very good alternative organizations for boys and girls. Trail Life USA is a great scouting program for boys, and it’s growing by leaps and bounds. American Heritage Girls offers the similar values-based opportunities for girls.

Originally published here.

Left Takes a Fraud Approach to Counseling

The movement by LGBT activists to abolish the practice of “sexual orientation change efforts” (or, to critics, “conversion therapy”) has gotten a big boost with the push to pass California’s AB 2943. While earlier bans on this type of therapy only applied to licensed mental health providers and only to minor clients, AB 2943 would ban it for any client or any type of counselor (including a religious one) if there’s any exchange of money. One way the Left is trying to destroy this type of therapy is by defining it as “consumer fraud.”

But as the attack on client and therapist freedom has grown, so has the pushback. Because the bill applies to any sale of goods (not just services), and because “change” is defined as including a change in behavior (not just attractions), Christians have pointed out that this bill could even be interpreted to ban the sale of books that help people change or to promote a biblical view of sexuality — potentially even the Bible itself.

The bill is clearly a threat to free speech and freedom of religion, which is why everyone should care about it. But those who have struggled with — and overcome — unwanted same-sex attractions have a special interest in it, and some of them are speaking out in a powerful new video (below). Produced by a group called Church United and promoting a ministry called Equipped to Love, it features the personal testimonies of eight people — all Californians — who have experienced a change in both their spiritual and sexual identities. They resent being told that their life story is a “fraud.” Let’s hope their stories help persuade California legislators to stop the attack on freedom in AB 2943.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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