I’ve been warning you that the current push to legitimize homosexual conduct and so-called gay “marriage” represents today’s greatest threat to religious liberty. I’ve told you about attacks against iPhone apps for the Manhattan Declaration and Exodus International, as well as a boycott of Chick-fil-A.
Their crime? Supporting marriage as only between a man and a woman and having the temerity to not support the gay lifestyle.
The Boy Scouts’ politically incorrect stands on homosexuality and atheism have long put this great organization in the extremists’ cross-hairs, and now the pressure is getting even more intense.
The Scouts prohibit open homosexuals from serving as leaders. That’s because the organization believes that “homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the obligations in the Scout Oath and Scout Law to be morally straight and clean in thought, word, and deed.”
How’s that for straight talking, friends?
But now, in the St. Louis area, parent associations working with the public schools are severing ties with local Scouting groups rather than face the risk of lawsuits alleging -- you guessed it -- discrimination based on sexual orientation.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in March, the Missouri PTA advised all of its 420 member units to stop hosting charters with the Boy Scouts because the agreements put them in legal jeopardy.
An official with the state PTA said the advice to local associations is not a criticism of the Scouts but rather flows from the liability issue. The official said, “We’re not telling them, you absolutely can’t. “We’re saying, it’s not in your best interest to do that.” A Scouting spokesman, however, says insurance provided by the Boy Scouts would preclude any financial or legal jeopardy to sponsors.
But for cash-strapped schools and PTAs, just the threat of a lawsuit is enough to get them to abandon the Boy Scouts. And the gay-rights groups know it.
In fact, in the name of fighting discrimination, the gay-rights extremists are working overtime to shut down—to discriminate against -- one of America’s finest organizations, which aims “to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes.”
In other words, the Scouts want to help youngsters in “Doing the Right Thing,” which just happens to be the title of the six-part video series on the restoration of ethics in America we’ve just released at the Colson Center. It’s available now at DoingTheRightThing.com.
So what are we Christians to do amid this latest controversy? One thing’s for certain. We can’t cut and run, which is exactly what the gay-rights extremists are hoping we will do.
Here are a couple of suggestions. First, pray for the Scouts, that they will be able both legally and financially to practice their beliefs in our supposedly free society. Second, send money or donate your legal expertise to help whenever these harassing lawsuits arise. And third, support your local Boy Scout troop. Become a Scoutmaster or other volunteer.
The Boy Scouts have served God, country, and all of us for all these years. Now it’s our turn -- and privilege -- to serve them.
This article published on April 25, 2011.
Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.