May 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Christian evangelist Franklin Graham Friday applauded the LDS Church for partially pulling out of two programs run by the politically correct Boy Scouts of America, but said the Mormons didn’t go far enough and urged “all churches” to completely disengage from all Scouting programs.
“I think the Mormon Church—and all churches—should pull out of the Boy Scouts organization completely,” Graham said in a May 12 Facebook post. “They need to get their younger boys out as well. I would not want my child or grandchild to be influenced by the lifestyle of a gay Scout Leader that goes against God’s design for creation.”
On May 11, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), commonly known as the Mormon Church, ended its long participation with two Boy Scouts of America (BSA) programs, the Varsity and Venture programs, geared to boys aged 14-18 (in the U.S. and Canada). The Church is setting up its own programs for LDS boys in that age group, but said it “will continue to use the Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs for boys and young men ages 8 through 13.”
In an LDS Church Q-and-A document, in response to the question, “Why is the Church remaining with the Cub Scout and Boy Scout program?” it responded, “These programs currently meet the development program needs of boys from ages 8 through 13.”
Many observers believe that the LDS move is rooted in the BSA’s rapid embrace of pro-LGBTQ policies, as described by Graham: “Two years ago the Boy Scouts of America voted to allow gay leaders and then this year began to allow members based on their gender identity rather than their biological sex, opening the door to transgender members.”
The Scouts' first capitulation to homosexual activists was in 2013, when it voted to allow self-described homosexual boys to join as members. That was 13 years after the BSA’s narrow victory in the nation’s highest court affirming its right to live by its own “morally straight” creed, which did not include homosexuality and atheism.
The LDS Church states that the Scout programs for younger boys continue to “meet the development program needs of boys from ages 8 through 13.”
But Graham disagrees, noting, “Churches should always stand with teachings that align with the Word of God.”
As Graham states, the Mormon Church was the largest institutional sponsor of the BSA. The LDS Church said its pullout from older teen Scout programs will have little impact on its overall contribution to the Boy Scouts.
Mormon agrees: Time to pull out completely
Whereas Franklin Graham was very clear about why Christians should pull out of the Boy Scouts, LDS Church authorities were not, adopting a more ambiguous tone in explaining their partial withdrawal. The LDS Church did not explicitly criticize the BSA’s altered sex and gender guidelines.
That frustrated another Graham (unrelated), conservative Mormon pro-family leader, Stephen Graham of the Utah-based group Standard of Liberty. He agrees with Franklin Graham that the LDS Church should have made a clean break with the Boys Scouts of America.
“The BSA is in league with the devil, ever since they equivocated on their godly moral values,” Stephen Graham told LifeSiteNews, “and so why would you ever want to associate with them anymore?”
He said the LDS Church should have completely pulled out from the Boy Scouts four years ago, when the BSA first compromised its “morally straight” position against the “sexual sin” of homosexuality.
“It seems to me that if you’re going to pull anyone out [of the BSA], you’d want to pull out the youngest, most vulnerable boys, ages 8-13…They are the most at risk for being led astray,” said Stephen Graham, whose own son overcame homosexuality and is now married and has children in a natural family.
He said it was shameful that his LDS Church did not pull out of the Scouts after the youth organization allowed openly homosexual men to become Scoutmasters, saying that “Mormons are not exempt from the predations of homosexuality.”
Stephen Graham said the LDS Church leadership famously seeks to “avoid bad press,” so it “wants to avoid appearing to be reacting to the latest move by the BSA” of allowing gender-confused girls to be members because they claim a male “gender identity.”