Boy Scouts to Lose 185,000 Mormon Members as Church Starts Own Program

The ranks of the Boy Scouts of America will soon be shrinking by close to 200,000. On Thursday, the Mormon church, the biggest sponsor of troops in the U.S., said it would be starting its own scouting-like program and pulling as many as 185,000 older youths from the Irving-based organization.The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said the move wasn't triggered by the Boy Scouts' decision in 2015 to allow gay troop leaders, because Mormon-sponsored troops have remained free to exclude such adults on religious grounds.But at least one leading Mormon scholar said that the Boy Scouts and the Mormons have been diverging on values in recent years and that the policy on gays was probably one of several contributing factors in the split.Saying it wants a new, simplified program of its own that is more closely tailored to Mormon teenagers, the church announced that boys ages 14 to 18 will no longer participate in the Boy Scouts starting next year. The church said the decision will affect 185,000 teens, while the Boy Scouts put the number at 130,000.  Continue reading...

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