OPINION | Barry Richard: Mormons Quit Revamped Boy Scouts After 100 Years
And so it begins. The fallout from the radical changes announced to the Boy Scouts, including dropping the word "boy" from the group's name, has been swift.
The Mormon church said on Tuesday it will sever ties with the Boy Scouts that date back more than 100 years. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints says it will transfer its remaining 425,000 boys still in the Scouts to a new gospel-focused group that is under development. The Scouts will begin admitting girls next year.
Fox News says the church first raised concerns when the Scouts announced it would open its ranks to gay recruits and counselors, but remained with the group when an agreement was reached that allowed the Mormons to appoint their own troop leaders in accordance with their own religious and moral values.
The effort to shake things up by the Boy Scouts, soon to be known as Scouts BSA, could help to boost the group's sagging ranks at a time when doing "outside stuff" is not always appealing to kids. But, it ends a more than 100-year-old tradition for the sake of political correctness, and could also be a dismal failure.
The Girl Scouts of America say they were blindsided by the move, at a time when they were revamping their own program to make it more attractive to young girls.
There is an old New England saying, "If it ain't broke don't fix it." If membership in the Boy Scouts was sagging, there were any number of things that could have been done to make the organization more appealing to youngsters. Stripping boys of their sexual identity and their ability to bond exclusively with other boys is unnecessary.
Let's let boys be boys, and girls be girls, and stop meddling in what has been a natural part of life since the dawn of time.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.