John M. Becker

Anti-Gay Scouting Group Also Excludes Jews

Filed By John M. Becker | April 03, 2014 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Christianists, Jewish people, Jews, Judaism, scouting, scouts, Trail Life USA

Trail-Life-USA-new-Boy-Scout-Group.jpgRemember Trail Life USA, the anti-gay splinter group that formed after the Boy Scouts of America dropped their longstanding ban on openly gay scouts -- just so they could continue banning gays?

Yeah, it turns out they're not big on Jews either. From the group's website:

Trail Life USA is a Trinitarian Christian organization with a Statement of Faith that includes those denominations that specifically recognize Jesus Christ as the prophesized Messiah of the Jewish scriptures. There are some groups like "Jews for Jesus" that recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah, but continue to hold to Jewish traditions and customs regarding feasts, etc. A Messianic Jew could indeed be a leader.

However, a person of the Jewish faith would not be able to sign our Statement of Faith. Thus, according to our membership standards, Jewish churches [sic] and organizations would be precluded from chartering Trail Life USA troops. And those of the Jewish faith would indeed be precluded as adult leaders based on their beliefs.

However, a Jewish youth could join. And a Jewish parent could be present at troop functions and even on certain camping trips, but not as a recognized or registered leader that would be providing direct leadership to the youth. And the Jewish denomination would not be recognized as a participating Christian denomination in Trail Life USA. This is the same standard currently in effect at the American Heritage Girls, which is our sister youth organization.

Trail Life USA is not for everyone. For Troops that want to transfer intact with non-Christian leadership, Trail Life USA will not be an appropriate option.

Jeremy Hooper, who first reported on the policy over at Good As You, writes:

You'd think that an organization with such a clear and obvious root that is defined by the kinds of human beings it is against would want to paint a better impression... To go beyond just the gay thing and add new levels of exclusion just kind of proves what we all thought about this organization and its reason for being.

Hear, hear. Trail Life USA may have every right to exclude whoever they want, but that doesn't make their choice to do so any less ugly.

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