Boy Scouts of American
Gospel Advocate editor Greg Tidwell with sons Jordan and David

COLUMBUS, Oh. (BNc) by Greg Tidwell — Scouting came to the United States from England in 1910 and quickly became identified with American character and with traditional American values. The conflict which surrounds scouting today is a reflection of the deep divisions existing in American society.

Recently, in response to pressure from homosexual activists, shipping giant UPS said it will not contribute to the Boy Scouts of America since the group discriminates against homosexuals. Last year UPS gave more than $85,000 to the Boy Scouts.

We are seeing increased discrimination in America against those who hold traditional values.  We are expected to support with our tax dollars organizations such as Planned Parenthood which is the nation’s largest abortion provider, and public education which is homosexual-tolerant or homosexual-promoting. The social liberals, however, are aggressively attempting to silence anyone who differs from their perspective.

The Boy Scouts of America is a private organization which exists for the benefit of youth. At each scout meeting, the youth and their leaders make a promise:

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

While there are differences of opinion, the overwhelming majority of those involved in scouting see homosexual activity as contradicting the concept of being “morally straight.”

I certainly pray the Boy Scouts do not give in to the pressure, and that men and women of conviction will rise to their support.

As my sons are away in college, I have had time to reflect on the years they spent in scouting. While most of their friends in scouting were from various denominations, the program gave them the opportunity to spend time with young men who shared similar values.

At our congregation, scouts have had the opportunity to go through the Servant Leadership Series offered by Members of Churches of Christ for Scouting – an organization which exists to promote scouting among churches of Christ. (You can find out more about this program at

The media has made much of the sexual indiscretions of certain scout leaders, but the events recently in the news occurred a half century ago and involved a miniscule percentage of the Boy Scouts. Even so, the Boy Scouts have put in place over the past two decades the most extensive program of youth protection possible. I have always believed my sons were completely safe with the men and women who led them in scouting.

I cannot overstate how proud I was to see my sons work to become Eagle Scouts. They were able to put their convictions into practice in countless acts of service to others. I would hate to see this productive program harmed to score political points.

Greg Tidwell is editor of Gospel Advocate magazine and was a Boy Scout chaplain. He preaches with the Fishinger Road church in Columbus, Oh.



  1. I was a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, and started in the Eagles. Both of my boys were Cub Scouts. My scout master was a Christian and a captain in the National Guard. We learned Boy Scouting, respect, moral and spiritual lessons, and we had fun. I cannot imagine Scouting being mixed with the sin of homosexuality. This note about UPS is not surprising, considering our society. If the Scouts come to your neighborhood selling their popcorn, buy some. Encourage others to join the scouts and participate. Use your church buildings to have meetings, etc. I saute the Boy Scouts of America!

  2. First the media reports years ago of alleged indiscretions of lurid leaders. Because the BSA cares about quality leadership they put in place measures to counteract those media reports. Now the media reports there are no lurid leaders and scouting should be ostracized because there are none! Observe the fickle fantasy of pernicious people! Stay safe, secure, and strong as leaders. Uphold the true “morally straight” character needed in ALL leaders today! Even better than “buying popcorn” to support a local scout troop is to provide consistent financial donations. Encourage young men be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent!

  3. This is a comment independent of previous ones, for which we’re thankful. In another venue, an Asian brother asked what was meant by “traditional values.” I gave the following response, and invite others to chime in as well.

    Good question. It’s a phrase one finds within American culture, and the use in the headline reflects the story author’s use of it. Traditional values refers to the widely accepted values rising from a general Christian worldview common in the United States in earlier days. They would include the values of family, hard work, industriousness, honesty, neighborliness, the belief in an objective standard of right and wrong, respect for the Bible as the word of God. These are being abandoned in modern American society.