(Photo: REUTERS/Tim Sharp)
A statement signed by 48 Christian leaders asks the Boy Scouts of America to maintain its current policy of not allowing gay scouts.
"We strongly support the Boy Scouts of America current prohibition on open homosexuality and retaining it without revision," the statement begins.
Earlier this year, the Boy Scouts was considering changing the policy to allow each chapter to decide whether to allow gay leaders, volunteers or scouts. After some pushback from some host churches, it decided to delay a decision on any policy change. The Boy Scouts will now consider a proposal on Thursday at its national meeting on whether to change its current policy to allow gay scouts, but not gay leaders or volunteers.
More than 40 rallies have been held across the country this week to show support for the current policy, according to CBN News.
While the Boy Scouts is not tied to a specific religious group, most of its troops, almost 70 percent, are hosted by various churches and religious groups, the statement notes. To maintain this collaboration between the Boy Scouts and churches, "upholding traditional morality is vital," the signers argue.
"In our current culture, it is more important than ever for our churches to protect and provide moral nurture for young people and for the Scouts," the statement continues. "We implore members of the upcoming BSA Council to affirm the BSA's present policy, which the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed, and which has served BSA well."
Signers include Robert Duncan, archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America; Jim Garlow, chairman of Renewing American Leadership; Harry Jackson, presiding bishop of the International Communion of Evangelical Churches; Richard Land, outgoing president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and president-elect of Southern Evangelical Seminary; Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Eric Teetsel, executive director of the Manhattan Declaration; and Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion & Democracy.
A copy of the statement with the names of all the signers can be found on Touchstone Magazine's "Mere Comments" blog.