Dr. Richard Land

Boy Scouts of America Reverses Policy on Homosexual Leaders

July 28, 2015

Southern Evangelical Seminary President Dr. Richard Land Says BSA Is Making Grave Mistake by Forgetting Commitment to Protect Youth

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.eduPresident Dr. Richard Land issued the following statement today, after the Boy Scouts of America overturned a longstanding policy regarding gay leaders. After a vote yesterday, the Boy Scouts will now allow homosexual and bisexual leaders to work or volunteer with the group’s 2.5 million youth members for the first time in the organization’s 105-year history.

Land has commented extensively on the matter in the past, and also penned an op-ed for The Christian Post in 2013.

“Yesterday’s decision by the Boy Scouts of America is driven by political correctness, societal trends and cultural attitudes, rather than a longstanding commitment to the youth the organization serves,” Land said. “Welcoming homosexuals, who, by self-definition, are attracted to individuals of the same sex, into potentially compromising situations on camping trips and other outings is a grave and dangerous mistake. Morality aside, this is an issue of sound judgment and society’s obligation to protect its underage citizens.” 

Land added that society has become so concerned about the so-called rights and privileges of adults that it routinely fails to fulfill its obligation to protect children.

“One does not have to assert that any one group is more prone to pedophilia than another,” Land wrote in his column on the matter. “If you put men in mentoring positions of trust and authority in camp-out situations with young teens to whom they are sexually attracted, either heterosexually or homosexually, human tragedies will follow. To deny the reality of human nature is to embrace a political correctness that defies common sense.

“Would we allow heterosexual men to be Scout Masters for Girl Scout troops and go on unaccompanied camping trips with young teenage girls? Of course we wouldn’t. Why then, allow homosexual Scout Masters to go on such trips with young teenage boys? At the very least such trips would be an invitation to great tragedy and should be avoided in the overriding interest of protecting underage youth.”

Boy Scouts leadership voted that the national organization will allow homosexual leaders as part of its paid staff or at BSA-owned facilities. “But local troops and councils will be permitted to decide for themselves whether they will allow openly gay volunteer leaders,” reported the Washington Post.

Southern Evangelical Seminary is a leader in apologetics education—teaching students to defend their faith and talk intelligently, passionately and rationally about what they believe and why they believe it. Many courses focus on societal issues from a Christian worldview, delve into scientific apologetics or contemplate creation research.

SES’s 22nd annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics will be hosted by Calvary Church in Charlotte. N.C. on Oct. 16-17, 2015, with the theme, “Ideas Have Consequences: The Bigger the Idea, the Bigger the Consequence.” In addition to Land, confirmed speakers include Josh McDowell, Tony Perkins, Jay Richards, Hugh Ross, Norman Geisler, Paige Patterson, Derwin Gray, Gary Habermas and Richard Howe, along with many others. An early-bird rate is available through August 1. To register, visitconference.ses.edu/registration.

Land is featured in his nationally syndicated daily radio commentary, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” which airs on 200 stations on the American Family Radio Network and 100 stations on the Bott Radio Network. “Bringing Every Thought Captive” is also podcast daily on the free SES mobile app and airs locally in the Charlotte, N.C., area every weekday. The “Bringing Every Thought Captive” television program, hosted by Land, debuted in January on the NRB Network, and airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and midnight EST. This spring, it began airing on the Total Living Network, reaching nearly 2 million households in the Chicago area. For more information about stations, times, downloads and more, click here.

Land has taught as a visiting or adjunct professor for several seminaries and has authored or edited more than 15 books. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University in England and his bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) from Princeton University. Land also earned a Master of Theology (Honors Program) degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received the Broadman Seminarian Award as the Outstanding Graduating Student. Dr. Land was the 2013 Watchman Award recipient from the Family Research Council for his leadership on moral and cultural issues. He also received the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth from Biola University in 2010. Land served previously (1988-2013) as president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral and ethical concerns, with particular attention to their impact on American families. In 2014, he was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow of the ERLC’s Research Institute, and in 2015, he was named in the top 15 of Newsmax’s “Top 100 Christian Leaders in America.”

Southern Evangelical Seminary invites visitors to its web site to join the more than 20,000 people who have already downloaded theSES Apologetics App for Windows mobile devices and Android and Apple phones and tablets. Those with the app can get the very best news and information in Christian apologetics, including articles, audio, video, blogs and more from today’s most able defenders of the Christian faith—William Lane Craig, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, William Dembski, Frank Turek, Hugh Ross, Gary Habermas and other well-known speakers, authors and teachers.

Southern Evangelical Seminary has been ranked as one of the top graduate program for General Christian Apologetics by TheBestSchools.org’s “Top 10 Graduate Programs in Christian Apologetics.”

For more information on SES, visit its web site at www.ses.edu or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (800) 77-TRUTH. For more information about "Ethics in Emerging Technology," visit www.ethics.ses.edu.

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For information on SES or to set up an interview, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102, or Beth Harrison, 610-584-1096, ext. 104Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.

Southern Evangelical Seminary is a leader in apologetics education—teaching students to defend their faith and talk intelligently, passionately and rationally about what they believe and why they believe it. The accredited Christian college and seminary offers a wide variety of bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees. Programs can be completed through residence in the Charlotte area or online. The award-winning education at SES is distinctively Christian and focused on evangelism and world-engaging defense of the Christian faith—Christian Apologetics.