February 21, 2017
America doesn't need more evidence that the transgender agenda isn't a political winner -- but the Boy Scouts are providing it anyway. A month after opening up their ranks to gender-confused scouts, the mass exodus is already underway. After barely surviving their leftward lurch in 2013 when the organization defied parents and opened the door to troops who identify as gay, the century-old group seems intent on traveling the path to complete irrelevance. "After weeks of significant conversations at all levels of our organization, we realize that referring to birth certificates as the reference point is no longer sufficient. Communities and state laws are now interpreting gender identity differently," chief scout Michael Surbaugh announced at the end of January.
Those "significant conversations" must not have included families, who are leaving the organization in record numbers. Others, like the Catholic Archdiocese in St. Louis, are hoping some good, old-fashioned pressure might work. "We will continue to be in dialogue with Boy Scouts of America in hopes that they will recognize their error and rededicate themselves to serving the needs of the boys in the organization." Based on the BSA's track record, common sense rarely wins out -- a fact that most troops are taking to heart. If there is a silver lining to the demise of one of America's proudest traditions, it's that the conservative alternative to the Scouts -- Trail Life USA -- can barely keep up with the demand. After launching in 2014, Trail Life CEO Mark Hancock has watched the organization grow by leaps and bounds, but it's nothing compares to the latest surge.
"In the wake of this decision," he tells reporters, "Trail Life USA has experienced a tremendous increase in the number of inquiries by families that will no longer enroll their sons in Boy Scouts and from Troop leaders who are looking for someone to uphold the timeless values they've held dear. In fact, our website achieved a historic number of visitors; so many it nearly crashed us! Our 'Troop Locator Map' that tells parents where to find a Troop for their sons reached its daily potential in minutes; we had to adjust our parameters to handle the flow. Our auto-reply email system responded to so many requests that it was labeled as spam, requiring us to add multiple auto-reply addresses on-the-fly to allow the system to keep up with requests."
The demand is so overwhelming, Hancock explains, that the organization has "pushed a few employees from part time to full time and pushed some from full time to overtime to handle the inquiries from troops around the country that are looking for an organization that's more aligned with the original timeless values of Boy Scouts." With our friends in American Heritage Girls, we look forward to watching how God uses Trail Life to do what the Boy Scouts started out doing: teaching boys to be men worthy of respect. For more details or to find a troop near you, check out the website.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.