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First giant religious group announces break up with new boy scouts

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After a more than century-long relationship, the Mormon Church is breaking up with the Boy Scouts.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Tuesday that it will be severing all ties with the Boy Scouts of America at the end of next year, continuing its break from the group after diverging values, according to an Associated Press report.

The Mormon Church is one of the largest sponsors of the Boy Scouts, which announced last week that after 108 years, it was changing the name of its 11-17 year old member club to Scouts BSA in order to make way for girls to join. The existing Girls Scouts of America blasted the group for its decision last year.

The Church removed 185,000 boys between the ages of 14 and 18 from the Boy Scouts last year, and plans to move its remaining 425,000 boys into a youth program it is working on.

“The Mormon boys who will be leaving represent about 18.5 percent of the 2.3 million youth in the organization,” the AP reported.

(Image: screenshot)

The Church cited its increasingly global membership in a joint statement with the Boy Scouts.

“The Church has increasingly felt the need to create and implement a uniform youth leadership and development program that serves its members globally. In so doing, it will be necessary for the Church to discontinue its role as a chartered partner with BSA,” the statement read.

Until the end of the year, the Church stated that it intends to “remain a fully engaged partner in Scouting for boys and young men ages 8­–13 and encourages all youth, families, and leaders to continue their active participation and financial support.”

Conservative radio and television talk show host Glenn Beck, a member of the Mormon Church, thought the withdrawal of support from the religious group will spell the “collapse” of the Boy Scouts.

When the Boy Scouts announced in 2015 that they would be allowing gay troop leaders, the Mormon Church revealed it was “deeply troubled” by the policy change. They decided not to cut ties at the time because they were assured they could choose their own troop leaders.

The Church, which also traditionally keeps boys and girls programs separate, said its new program starting in 2020 will “help all girls and boys, young women and young men discover their eternal identity, build character and resilience, develop life skills and fulfill their divine roles as daughters and sons of God.”

The Boy Scouts thanked the “thousands of Scout leaders and volunteers who have selflessly served over the years in Church-sponsored Scouting units,” and said any individual Mormons who stayed on would be integrated into other troops, according to the AP.

The name change is seen as part of “an elimination of manhood” going on in America today, according to Family Research Council founder, Tony Perkins who told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham last week that the Boy Scouts name change  “is probably the final step” for many churches.

The Boy Scouts have seen a decline in numbers over the years as they have made their policy changes, with about 2.3 million members currently, down from 2.6 million in 2013.

Frieda Powers

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