Boy Scouts Tap Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates to Lead Organization


Faith Driven Consumer

Nov 04, 2013 4:48 PM

Boy Scouts Tap Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates to Lead Organization

Faith Driven Consumers wrestle with decision to stay or leave

Last week it was announced that the Boy Scouts of America tapped former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Robert Gates as its incoming president, beginning in May 2014. This follows the decision in May 2013 – after prolonged debate – to change the organization’s long-standing policy and allow openly gay scouts while retaining its ban on openly gay leaders.

For many Faith Driven Consumers with deep ties and loyalty to the Boy Scouts, this policy change prompted prayerful soul-searching as to whether their families and church-based scout troops should remain within the organization or find another place for their sons to learn the important life and leadership skills historically afforded through scouting.

Given Gates’ support for ending the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy during his tenure in the Obama Administration, his selection to lead the Boy Scouts until 2016 hints that the organization’s trajectory will move toward eventual removal of the current ban on openly gay leaders as well.


Would an embrace of openly gay leaders in the ranks of the Boy Scouts be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for Faith Driven Consumers who have chosen—for now – to remain in the organization? Only time will tell.

Meantime, a number of excellent options exist for Faith Driven Consumers who decide to steward their time, talent and treasure toward other organizations that deliver comparable scouting opportunities – but in closer alignment with a biblical faith and worldview. Some of these organizations include:  Trail Life USAChristian Service BrigadeRoyal Rangers (Assemblies of God), Calvinist Cadet Corps (nondenominational), Royal Ambassadors (Southern Baptist), Fraternus and Conquest (Catholic), among others.   

Has your family grappled with how to respond to the decision by the Boy Scouts to change its position on open homosexuality within the organization?  If so, let us know how you’ve navigated this challenging topic and what decisions you’ve made.

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  • I think it’s wonderful that the scouts are moving out of the dark ages and becoming more inclusive.
  • I am 68. I was a Cub Scout, Boy Scout and employer Scout as well. I learned so many things that helped me to be the man I am today. However with the Boy Scouts stance on allowing openly Gay scouts, I am ashamed of that direction. I will never support the Boy Scouts again. I am deeply saddened and hurt to the core.