Orthodox Church: End Relations with Boy Scouts of America
by Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis on July 29, 2015
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) on July 27, 2015 released a statement moments after the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) National Executive Board announced its new policy change to openly admit gay leaders. The statement said in part:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today’s vote … When the leadership of the Church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with Scouting will need to be examined.1
I have not seen a similar statement coming from the Orthodox Church hierarchy in the United States. It is already late. The Orthodox Church made a mistake when in 1960 the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in America (SCOBA) created the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting. BSA is not a Christian organization, and is related to Freemasonry. Now that BSA has shown its true colors the Orthodox Church should end relations with Boy Scouts of America.
When in 2013 BSA admitted openly gay youths several evangelical denominations ended their ties with BSA, but now there is an even more urgent need to protect our Orthodox youth from pedophiles. Back in 2012 the Los Angeles Times reported the findings of a year-long investigation that, “Over two decades, the Boy Scouts of America failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters to police and often hid the allegations from parents and the public.”2
The LDS Church had the courage to state that, “the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the church.” What of our Church, which is the true Church of Christ? Does it have the courage to state the same and dissociate itself from this synchretistic organization? One of Scouting’s tenets is “duty to God,” but this unnamed God is not the Orthodox Christian God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit—nor Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God who revealed to us the true God. Belief in a “Supreme Being” is incompatible with the Orthodox Christian faith.
Orthodox parents should not allow their children to participate in BSA. If their Orthodox faith means anything to them, they should organize their children locally under the auspices and leadership of their own local church in association of other area local churches. They should make sure their children receive an Orthodox Christian upbringing at home and, wherever possible, in school and in their extracurricular activities.
Even if BSA reassures that individual troops have the right not to admit homosexual leaders, the children will find themselves in an environment where they will be exposed to potentially harmful influences through non-Orthodox practices and doctrines. Orthodox parents should take control of their children’s lives and activities. The Lord taught us to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Mt. 10:16). Orthodox Christians: Get a hold of your children’s lives!