The official BSA emblem

COLUMBUS, Oh. (BNc) by Greg Tidwell — It’s the end of an era. Thursday, May 25, 2013, marked the end of the Boy Scouts of America as a moral force in guiding boys into manhood.

‘On My Honor, I Will Do My Best’

Writing these words brings no joy. My background in scouting runs deep – serving in turn as a den leader, Cubmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop Chaplain, Troop Committee Chair, National Jamboree Chaplain, and Venture Crew Advisor.

I have completed the comprehensive range of scout leader training and have received many recognitions and honors. I serve on the board of Members of Churches of Christ for Scouting and am a father of two eagle scouts.

‘To Be Morally Straight’

From its founding, the Boy Scouts of America has held homosexuality as being inconsistent with scouting’s commitment to morality – most recently reaffirming this prohibition in the summer of 2012.

Following months of pressure from liberal groups, the BSA executive committee in February 2013 intended to lift the ban on homosexuals, both as adult leaders and youth members. This intent leaked to the press, creating a firestorm and causing the national leadership to back down temporarily, but put forward a new proposal.

The compromise now embraced by a majority of the full voting membership forces all scouting units to accept homosexual youth into packs, troops, and crews. The prohibition on homosexual leaders remains in place. This new openness to homosexual youth goes into effect January 1, 2014. My exit from scouting will be December 31, 2013.

My problem with this change is on two fronts.

  1. First, morally, accepting homosexuality as a permissible option and, further, forcing all scout groups to accept homosexuals without regard to the moral principles of the religious groups sponsoring most scouting units destroys the foundations of traditional decency.
  2. Second, practically, permitting open homosexual youth to participate is corruptive to young men going through the challenging time of adolescence. The Boy Scouts of America placed in their new policy a cynical prohibition against sexual activity of any kind by youth. They imagine this fig leaf will cover the perversity of their pretense.

Imagine, working with a mixed group of teenage boys and girls, if we were to set a policy prohibiting sexual activity and then permitted these boys and girls to sleep in the same tents and to shower in the same bathhouses. The very idea is vulgar. Why is it, then, acceptable to insinuate open homosexuals into such proximity with other boys?

Young men in their teen years are sorting through how appropriately to address their sexual desires. They need guidance in understanding the morality of traditional relationships between men and women. They do not need the confusion brought by open homosexuals engaging them romantically – or even sexually.

‘A Scout Is Trustworthy’

Boy Scouts of American
Greg Tidwell with sons Jordan and David

Over the years, as a chaplain and in my work with my congregation, I have helped over 100 youth earn their religious emblem (what used be called the “God and Country” award until this term became politically incorrect.) I have worked with boys raised by single mothers – helping them to have a positive experience in the outdoors. I have appreciated the opportunities scouting has provided for so many, and the opportunities the program has provided for me. I am sorry to leave this behind.

I am not leaving precipitously. In anticipation of scouting’s abandonment of morality, I have been resigning my various responsibilities. There are young men who are counting on me to help with their advancement over the next few months, and I will not let them down.

I know many devoted men and women of faith who are remaining in the scouting program, and I wish them well. Other than church and family, the friends I have made in scouting have been the best people I know.

I intend to continue to help individual scouts in any way I can, but from outside the program. I will be glad to help the young men with eagle projects and to attend their courts of honor. We will continue to buy popcorn from the boys, even as we have continued to buy cookies from the girls.

But I will not serve as an advocate for a program I believe sold its birthright for a bowl of liberal poison. I will always treasure the blessing scouting has been in the past, and will always regret the travesty it has now become.

Greg is editor of the Gospel Advocate magazine and a gospel preacher.



  1. My granddaughter is in Heritage Girls; not Girls Scouts. There should be formed a Heritage boys or such.

  2. God bless you, Greg, for taking a stand for your beliefs. I fully support your decision. I could not continue under those circumstances either. How sad that the immoral of this world are forcing their beliefs on every aspect of decency and the proverbial ‘we’ are allowing it.

  3. It is truly the end of an era. The oath of the scouts is now obsolete as there is no way to get around doing the duty to God when it is absolutely against the scriptures.

  4. I had two boys to earn their eagle rank.. I was very proud of them and their accomplishments.. Both are in college now and I had hoped that they would be able to give back to scouts when they were older and had children of their own.. I would actually be ashamed for them to have anything to do with the scouts now.

  5. Is there nothing anyone can do to purge this weak minded leadership from the Boy Scouts? It distresses me that an organization this powerful can be so easily swayed by a liberal media that wishes to do nothing but send our great country to hell in a hand basket.

    -Landon Ramsey, Eagle Scout

  6. God created men and women, heterosexual and homosexual. Nowhere in the gospel I ever found any quote about the Holyness of heterosexuals. What I do read is that God wants us to love eachother and not insult, abuse or humilate people. We should be so careful judging other people about their sexuality. It is a way of discriminating people, a part of God’s beautiful creation. Let’s take our responsibility as Christians and welcome all people who will participate in helping young boys (and girls) to loving and caring eachother and be responsible for the country. It is not our decision to judge, it is God’s!

  7. One more nail in the coffin! This is so wrong. Every morally straight person who actually believes homosexuality is sinful should resign! When are we going to stop letting four or five minute dictate how we live? My son would no longer be scout!!!

  8. Let me get this straight. A 13-year old boy has made the conscious “choice” to be gay – to be assaulted, bullied, discriminated against, and condemned. (It has to be a “choice” – could absolutely not be innate – made by an accountable person for the person to be condemned to hell.) So sexual orientation is a “choice.” Tell us Greg, when did you “choose” to be heterosexual – at what moment in your life did you make that “choice?”

  9. Harold, the “When did you decide to be strait argument” only flies on your side of the isle. I sure it sounds like a perfectly legit question but it is not. I will tell you why. God is perfect, he doesn’t make mistakes, and he hates sin. Sin, in fact, separates you from God. So, using your God given intellect If all men are a creation of God (they are), and God says that Homosexuality is a sin (different conversation but he certainly does), then God would not create Gay folks. IN other words, it has to be a choice, because God would not intentionally create someone who was born to “defy” his word.

    Haje, God did not create Homosexuality. It is one of the many “man made” sins that separate us from God. We as Christians are taught to disassociate ourselves from willing, and unrepentant sinners.

    Gregg, I do disagree with you on one point you made, and it is a pretty big one in you article.

    “Young men in their teen years are sorting through how appropriately to address their sexual desires. They need guidance in understanding the morality of traditional relationships between men and women. They do not need the confusion brought by open homosexuals engaging them romantically – or even sexually.”

    Greg, it isn’t a club. They, usually, don’t around with an organized recruiting program designed to persuade others to homosexuality, they believe you are born with it what would be the point in “open recruitment” if that were the case. I am not saying it never happens, but I am saying it is very rare.

    Now, I applaud and agree with you stance. I would do the same thing.

    Harold, one more thing. Homosexuality is a sin, and it is no different from other sins in that it’s root is the same. Selfishness! There are many things in this world that people struggle in giving up, so they try and find a church that “accepts” what ever that “thing” is. The problem with that is that’s not what God wants, he doesn’t want you to submit everything but those few things to him. He want total submission to his Church, and total submission to his word. To many people try to “fit” God in to their life, instaed of submitting their life to God.