Boy Scouts' decline = glaring example of masculinity under attack

Boy Scouts' decline = glaring example of masculinity under attack

Boy Scouts' decline = glaring example of masculinity under attack

The recently announced name change by the Boy Scouts of America may be the official white flag from the once-proud group grounded in leadership skills for young males. Parents frustrated by that change, however, can be encouraged. They have options.

The Boy Scouts of America last week announced they will become officially "Scouting America" on Feb. 8, 2025, the group's 115th anniversary.

Its values have changed this century despite the Supreme Court ruling in 2000 that said the Scouts could continue to exclude gays on the basis of its self-stated mission. The group at the time taught that "homosexual conduct is not morally straight" and that it does "not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior."

"We accept the Boy Scouts' assertion," former Chief Justice William Rhenquist wrote for the majority then. Yet the Boy Scouts lifted their ban on gays in 2015 amid its march to cultural inclusivity.

John Stemberger admits the deterioration of wholesome values in the Scouts brought him sadness.

"It's sad because what they've done is they've neutered the DNA of who they were as an organization. We've transformed it to kind of a youth group with neckerchiefs without any core meaning," Stemberger, an Eagle Scout and former Scoutmaster, said on Washington Watch Friday.

Boy Scouts began to admit girls in 2019.

Stemberger, John (Trail Life USA) Stemberger

"They were literally a boy-focused organization," Stemberger continued. "It's sad the Boy Scouts didn't have the courage to stand up and be brave and actually defend their own values. They had a Supreme Court victory that said you can exclude anybody you want to. [But] they basically destroyed the precedent from that decision by not doing that."

Numbers rise for Trail Life troops

As the Scouts have changed course, Trail Life USA – a Christian-based scouting organization for young boys – has exploded in growth. Mark Hancock, Trail Life's CEO, told The Daily Signal last December the group claimed more than 50,000 members in all 50 states.

Stemberger, president of Liberty Counsel Action and board chair emeritus for Trail Life USA, told show host Jody Hice that figure is now up to more than 1,200 troops, many of the groups sponsored by churches which once sponsored Boy Scout groups.

"Folks need to put their kids in Trail Life USA. Churches are sponsoring these groups. It's a remarkable Christian scouting program," Stemberger urged.

The Scouts' focus on inclusivity comes in spite of strides made in dealing with sexual abuse within its ranks. In 2021, more than two decades after the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the organizations values at the time, Boy Scouts of America reached an $850 million settlement in a lawsuit that included more than 84,000 claimants.

According to Stemberger, the new way of thinking within the Scouts isn't helping things.

"They have $2.4 billion in a trust fund to settle all these cases," he noted. "Nobody's talking about this, but all these changes are producing more boy-on-boy and now girl-on-boy sexual contact. It's still going on because they're basically allowing openly gay young men who are attracted to other boys to camp with other boys. That's exactly what's happening here because they do not separate out kids who claim to be openly gay," he added.

Girls are part of the equation, too.

"Even at the World Jamboree, just a couple of years ago in West Virginia, they had a requirement to readily hand out condoms all throughout the campground. There were girls there as young as 14 years of age. Even alcohol was served in some venues. Imagine that. This was a World Jamboree for the Boy Scouts of America. This is insanity that they're doing this, but this is exactly what's happening. It's a scandal," he said.

Masculinity under attack

Boy Scouts has become an example of masculinity under attack in culture, Owen Strachan, the Family Research Council's senior fellow at its Center for Biblical Worldview, told Hice.

Strachan, Dr. Owen Strachan

"Today boys are penalized for being boys. All sorts of traits associated with good things in scripture are in today's culture – among woke, leftist, pagan thought – [considered] very bad things" said Strachan.

"If you take risks today, if you're assertive, if you speak up in groups, if you might dare to ever correct a woman in public in something like this, if you like competitive sports, if you like watching World War II movies – you better get out your blanket and hide in the closet, because they're coming for you."

A report by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law in 2022 found the number of transgenders on the increase in the United States. From 2017-2020, an estimated 1.4% of 13- to17-year-olds identified as transgender along with 1.3% of 18- to 24-year-olds. Those numbers showed a significant rise from the group's previous report in 2017.

Strachan argued that's not a surprise, considering culture teaches boys today, in many different settings, that strength – especially masculine strength – is bad.

"Of course, feminine strength isn't bad at all but traditional masculine strength is bad, according to wokeness and paganism. What that means is boys then lose the script," he added.

Detour from God's design

Boys are inherently drawn to strength. If they're fortunate enough to have male role models in their house or family, they're drawn to those traits. Strachan says that's God's design for male children.

"Fundamentally every boy grows up wanting to be strong. No boy out there wants to be weak, but boys need a call to be strong; and boys need a structure and a system by which they can become strong, by which they can become like their dad," he said.

"Any boy who has a decent father in the home grows up looking at his dad, emulating his dad, watching his dad, and wanting to be like his dad. That's not something you have to push a button and start."

Like Strachan, Stemberger laments the demise of the Boy Scouts who have ceded their authority on helping boys become men.

"This used to be a program where boys would learn how to become men, [where they would] learn manly skills in an outdoor camping environment. Those days are gone," he stated. "Most of these troops are run by women now. It doesn't have the same kind of Norman Rockwell, classic iconic masculine sense to it when you get involved with these troops."