IRVING, Texas (ChurchMilitant.com) - Boy Scouts of America reached the country's largest sex-abuse settlement after plunging into bankruptcy.
On July 1, the Boy Scouts arrived at an $850 million settlement with multiple groups representing sexually abused scouts. The scouting organization claims its multi-billion-dollar settlement will cover the suits of 60,000 abuse victims and could allow it to emerge from its current bankruptcy protection.
The Boy Scouts ("BSA") explained, "Bringing these groups together marks a significant milestone ... as the BSA works toward our dual imperatives of equitably compensating survivors of abuse and preserving the mission of scouting."
In February of last year, BSA announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after thousands of former scouts began to flood the organization with sexual-abuse claims. Over 84,000 people are involved in the lawsuit against the BSA, which has struggled with claims of abuse since the 1960s.
Ken Rothweiler, an attorney representing over 16,000 claimants, noted that this settlement is just a start. The BSA is working with a network of insurance groups and has created a trust fund for victims of abuse. Local Boy Scout councils are selling properties and are donating to alleviate the payouts inundating the national BSA.
As well as compensating victims of abuse, the 111-year-old BSA is aiming to preserve the mission of scouting. But that mission has become increasingly diluted over recent years.
The Boy Scout oath reads, "On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law." The Scout Law and mission encourage a "reverent" lifestyle focused on "ethical and moral" action.
The BSA is going in a different direction now, changing foundational rules and losing membership by the millions in the last decade.
In 2013, the BSA began to allow so-called gay youth into its ranks. Scores of faith-based organizations began to protest and threaten a mass exodus from the BSA due to its breach of religious values.
The Christian group Trail Life USA launched in 2014 in response to the BSA gay allowance. Trail Life USA boasts to be "unapologetically Christian" and has been steadily gaining membership.
In 2015, the BSA permitted homosexual adults to become scout leaders, causing more religious groups to break away from the organization and found their own scout groups.
In 2016, the World Scout Committee adopted new guidelines for hosting its world jamboree, an international gathering of scout groups. The new guidelines mandated that "condoms are readily and easily accessible for all participants and IST [staff] at a number of locations on the site."
Two years later, in 2018, the BSA allowed girls into its ranks. Female scouts now constitute half of the jamboree's attendees.
Since 2013, when it allowed gay youth into its ranks, the BSA has lost over 2 million members. In just eight years, the organization plummeted from 2.7 million to 762,000 members.
The BSA undermined Christian morals by allowing homosexual youth and leaders in its ranks while also normalizing underage sexual activity. It even contradicted its own name by allowing girls into its ranks.
Now, the BSA is overwhelmed with an astronomical payout to abuse victims from its own diverse-but-broken ranks.
Almost 100,000 abuse victims have sued the BSA over the years, and membership has plummeted. Perhaps it's too late for BSA to realize moral bankruptcy has contributed to its financial ruin.