Last month, “Christians” launched the next great hate-based initiative in the guise of a beneficial community program: Trail Life. The organization says it is the “premier national character development organization for young men which produces Godly and responsible husbands, fathers and citizens,” but really amounts to just another attempt by the Christian right to discriminate against America’s LGBT youth.
The Trail Life Scout Oath includes an order to be “morally straight.” Ron Orr, whose almost-Eagle Scout son left BSA to join Trail Life, explains that “As Christians from a scriptural basis, we love all folks, but the Scripture is very clear that being homosexual is a sin.” He says that it’s important to “hold a strong line” and “set a consistent example for our young men,” though some would question what positive example a youth organization based in hatred can possibly provide.
Still small in comparison to the Boy Scouts, Trail Life has over 600 units active or in the process of registering in 40 states–many groups never having had BSA affiliations. Apparently, they came for the discrimination. Their official membership policy states that “We grant 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.”
John Stemberger, who led opposition to the Boy Scouts’ decision to accept everyone regardless of orientation, founded Trail Life determined not to repeat the BSA’s “mistakes.” He says the Boy Scouts are imposing “an artificial political and social agenda” on its national membership. They have now allowed open and avowed presentation in your face: here and queer, that kind of blunt thing,” he said in an interview last year. “And we don’t think that’s appropriate. We will allow boys of same-sex attraction in the program. We’re not going to allow them to facilitate and promote that.”
They’re not a hate group, though. They just care about “values.” Just look at the fun they’re having!
Note: The Washington Times has corrected the original caption that stated the boys are reciting the organization’s creed. The correction they are doing TAPS (incorrectly) Thanks, Washington Times!