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Ruling against Boy Scouts has major implications, Mohler says

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–The New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision ordering the Boy Scouts to accept homosexuals as members and troop leaders is “an open assault” on the organization, R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., wrote in a column published in The Washington Times Aug. 12.
The New Jersey Aug. 4 ruling “should send chills down the spines of all those who once believed an organization as wholesome and traditional as the Boy Scouts would be beyond the reach of the moral revolutionaries determined to enshrine homosexuality as a fully legitimate, fully moral lifestyle,” Mohler wrote.
Only a reversal by the U.S. Supreme Court will restore the integrity of “an organization that lives by its reputation for trustworthiness, wholesomeness and tradition,” Mohler wrote.
Although the New Jersey court’s decision applies only to Boy Scouts in that state, the implication of the case will be much more far-reaching and have devastating consequences for the entire Boy Scouts of American organization, the seminary president contended.
“American’s parents, possessing far more common sense and moral judgment than the New Jersey court, are not about to put their young sons under the leadership of known homosexuals,” Mohler wrote. “Scouting builds both individual character and team spirit in boys, and this requires trust between the boys, their parents and their scout leaders. Putting homosexuality into the mix is both explosive and deadly.”
The judges in the case ruled the Boy Scouts are a “public accommodation,” not a private organization, and are therefore subject to New Jersey’s “Law Against Discrimination,” which was amended in 1991 to include “sexual orientation.” Mohler labeled the decision “a classic case of judicial imperialism. The judges decided to legislate from the bench, and their unanimous decision represents judicial arrogance in its ugliest form. …
“Difficult as it is to understand, the court ruled the Boy Scouts deserve no more legal protection than a restaurant, hotel or theater,” Mohler continued. Such a ruling, if not overturned, will mean the Scouts must allow membership to girls or even members of the National Man/Boy Love Association. “If the decision stands, scouting will either die or be totally transformed,” Mohler wrote.
Boy Scouts are required to pledge an oath and law that include a promise “to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” Mohler cited a comment by the chief justice of the New Jersey court who argued that the words “morally straight” and “clean” have nothing to do with sexuality.
“Does anyone really believe ‘morally straight’ expresses nothing about sexuality?” Mohler asked. “Are we to believe sex is completely severed from morality?”
Mohler also quoted Justice Alan B. Handler, who claimed that any view of homosexuality as immoral is “discredited,” “discordant with current law and public policy” and “cannot serve to define contemporary social mores and morality.”
“Here we see the work of the moral revolutionaries who would turn our moral code upside down,” Mohler wrote. “Any sexual behavior or ‘lifestyle’ must be not only accommodated but also protected and respected by society. … No society can long survive this moral madness.”
The court’s decision could also have a profound impact on America’s churches, Mohler contended, making it possible for them likewise to be labeled as “public accommodations.” He also noted the ruling forbids a church sponsoring a Scout troop to refuse a homosexual scoutmaster.
“We must hope for the U.S. Supreme Court to render a timely and definitive reversal of this devastating decision,” Mohler wrote. “If not, America’s parents will have to do their duty, remove their children, and cherish only the memory of a once-great organization.”

    About the Author

  • Tim Ellsworth

    Tim Ellsworth is associate vice president for university communications at Union University in Jackson, Tenn. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.

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