After working several years to become an Eagle Scout, the highest scouting status in the Boy Scouts of America, 15-year-old Andrew Orr left his troop to join Trail Life USA.
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, which is built around the objectives of building character, citizenship and personal fitness in young boys. All Boy Scout members must take a Scout Oath, in which they promise to be and act “morally straight.”
And according to Texas resident Andrew Orr and his father, Ron Orr, being “morally straight” apparently translates into being sexually straight.
In a Saturday article by The Associated Press, the Orrs said they left his Boy Scouts troop before becoming an Eagle Scout because the Scouting they used to know no longer exists within the organization.
This sentiment came after January 2014, when the BSA revoked its restriction that prohibited all “open and avowed homosexuals” from membership into its Scouting program.
Trail Life USA, on the other hand, grants 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.”
Much to the Orrs’ liking, Trail Life USA strictly follows Christian values and thus explicitly excludes gays from its organization.
According to Trail Life USA’s membership values, apparently an openly gay member would be too distracting to the other members, and would hinder their ability to light a fire or finish an obstacle course.
By even bringing up the sexual orientation of their Scouting members as an issue, people are focusing on the wrong parts and values that exist within the The Boy Scouts.
The establishment of Trail Life USA is a glaring example of how our society is overly focused on sex and people’s sexual orientation.
In an interview about why his son left the Boy Scouts, Ron Orr said, “As Christians from a scriptural basis, we love all folks, but the Scripture is very clear that being homosexual is a sin. We’ve got to be able to hold a strong line and set a consistent example for our young men.”
No matter how inclusive or oppressive people’s viewpoints may be against others, they are allowed to do whatever they want and think however they want. And if that involves building a new organization for the sole reason of excluding gays, then so be it, but let’s see a group founded on exclusion can be as influential as the BSA.
However, young men need to be taught tolerance and acceptance, and creating a group as oppressive as Trail Life USA is, in no way, respectable like the BSA.