Last week the Boy Scouts of America announced they would lift their ban on gay, adult scout leaders. As a result, the LDS Church announced they were "re-evaluating" their affiliation with the organization.
Our "Political Insiders" think the church will eventually end their alliance with the Boy Scouts and form their own organization for boys.
Fully 71% of the Republicans on our panel and 62% of the Democrats think the Church will end their connection with the scouts. 76% of our readers think the same.
Selected anonymous comments:
"The LDS Church gives very careful consideration to every word it puts into a press release. For them to mention that they are considering another option is not just idle posturing. It may not happen immediately, but within the next year or so, I would expect to see them cut their ties with BSA."
"The BSA and LDS church are joined at the hip. The church will not cut ties with the national organization."
"My hope is that the LDS Church will create a program independent of the Boy Scouts of America and that the program includes multiple tracks (i.e., areas of emphasis) that a young man or a young woman could pursue. This would be like a higher education system in which one would have a major and could declare one or more minors. In the case of the LDS Church, the program would have one major only – my guess it would be something like becoming a productive member of the LDS Church. The minors could include skills currently associated with the scouting program and many other skills."
"I think they will wait and see. They will make an alternate plan, but try to preserve the long time connection with scouting if they can ensure total autonomy for their leadership."
"I am an Eagle Scout with three palms, Brotherhood Member of the Order of the Arrow, and a current LDS Scout leader. I have been involved in various forms of Scouting for over three decades in Scouting in various capacities. I love Scouting. I am, however, amazed at the LDS Church for being so presumptive about their relationship with national Scouting leadership. The 80 member board voted 45-12 to allow gay leaders. The LDS Church statement was that they wanted to postpone the vote until their Church officers could attend. Really, LDS Church? You couldn't figure out how to reschedule some people to get them to a meeting with an organization that you've had a relationship with for over a century? Does the Church think that even if they had their Board members there it was going to change the vote? Are they that bad at math? LDS people love to say that the LDS Church is the largest sponsor of Scouting, but they and Church leadership don't seem to understand that money speaks louder than a century old relationship. There are major corporate sponsors that pulled out of Scouting years ago, and they will all come back with this policy change. If the LDS Church can't or couldn't figure out that this was about corporate donors that will invest more than what they are offering, then there are some serious issues. So, out of hurt feelings and some gross incompetence at managing relationships, the LDS Church will devise their own program, realizing their waning influence on Scouting has peaked."
"This is not a new discussion. Many have maintained for years that the Church ought to start its own organization that better aligns with the Duty to God award and Church principles. This may be the thing that pushes the Church in that direction."
"If they are allowed to make exemptions, they will stay affiliated. If not, they will separate. They still have their ability to 'call' people to positions. If that ability is threatened, then, yes they will separate. I wonder when the lawsuits against the church will begin. This isn't creating equality."
"It won't be soon, but if BSA continues along the foolish leftward path, they will separate."
"They're not stupid. Will stay with BSA for now, work on their version of the boys club and come out with it when it's all tidied up if it seems to be a good idea to them. After all, with BSA they get influence on non-LDS boys, and that's just as good as sending missionaries around."
"It may not happen tomorrow, next week, next month, or even next year, but separation will occur."
"I sure hope the Church will not default on this great opportunity to leave the Boy Scout program behind."
"The Boy Scouts are so intertwined in the fabric of LDS life there's no way they'll form their own group. This is bluster, nothing more."
"I hated the Boy Scouts and when the church decided to get rid of the Young Men's program in the 90's in favor of the Boy Scouts it caused so many young men like myself just to stop being involved. I used to look forward to Young Men and playing basketball, and I have held a grudge against the Boy Scouts ever since. I guess you can say chickens are coming home to roost."
"The Church has always maintained the right to choose its own scout leaders. Certainly BSA won't force the church to change that practice."
"Not sure on the time frame but seems like they have already been moving that direction. This change may just speed it up."
"The Church will continue to affiliate with BSA until they are told by a court that they must allow openly-gay scout leaders."
"I hope they separate, not because BSA is allowing gay leaders and members, but because Scouts is expensive and bureaucratic. The Church would do well to develop its own program that would likely be both cheaper and more equitable with the young women, not to mention probably more aligned with the mission and values of the Church."