Boy Scouts’ transgender policy raises concern

Re: “Boy Scouts to admit transgender youth” (Feb. 26-March 4).

I read with great interest this particular article, as my family has been active in Boy Scouts for over 10 years (I have three boys ages 17, 14 and 12). I was saddened to not read somewhere in the article the mention of a Christian-based alternative to Boy Scouts, called Trail Life. The structure is very similar to Boy Scouts, with the biggest difference being an emphasis on family and faith. I have moved my youngest son to this organization and couldn’t be more pleased with it.

And while the new policy of the Boy Scouts includes an exemption for religiously affiliated troops, boys in Scouting often attend weeklong gatherings with other troops (National Leadership Training, Philmont, National Jamboree) where non-religiously affiliated troops are in attendance as well. I’ve heard stories about what has happened at these kind of events for Girl Scouts, and it’s disturbing.

Paula Baxter, via email

Foreign relations

Re: “U.S. in the Holy Land” (God Lives, March 5-11).

Msgr. Owen F. Campion points to the historical complexities involved with the possible relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

In his recent visit to America, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a demilitarized Palestinian state together with Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

Until such time, it seemed premature that the Vatican state, as a diplomatic entity, would extend recognition to a “sovereign” Palestinian state which, in fact, does not exist.

Robert Bonsignore, Brooklyn, New York

Politics

Re: “Commanders in chief” (God Lives, Jan. 22-28)

Msgr. Owen F. Campion’s narrative of U.S. presidents who were friendly to the Catholic faith was generally enlightening. As I was reading each president’s role in their relationship to the Catholic Church, I felt heartened until I got to President Barack Obama.

I can’t understand how easily Msgr. Campion forgot about the Catholic organizations, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, being forced by the Obama administration to have a role in providing contraceptives to their employees.

Didn’t the Obama administration refuse to defend the Defense of Marriage Act? Didn’t it provide $500 million a year to Planned Parenthood, which does thousands of abortions every year? Didn’t it support same-sex marriages?

The lame reason that the poor got health insurance under Obama doesn’t cut it. Even before Obama became president, the poor had already been receiving Medicaid. It was those in the middle class that got covered by Obamacare, and they are now suffering by the skyrocketing premiums.

Reynaldo O. Yana, Saipan

Supreme Court

Re: “Trump pick Gorsuch seen as likely pro-life vote” (News Analysis, Feb. 19-25).

I do not think it to be a big deal if Judge Neil Gorsuch is confirmed to be the first Protestant U.S. Supreme Court justice since 2010, when John Paul Stevens had retired. Throughout the history of the Supreme Court, most justices, regardless of their Catholic, Protestant and Jewish affiliations, have shown themselves to be independent, unpredictable and often in disagreement with their own religion’s demands.

John Clubine, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada

War in Syria

Re: “May the peace of Christ be known to them soon” (Openers, Dec. 25).

Thank you for reminding us of the many hardships of the people of Aleppo, Syria.

Students in my theology classes pray every day for an end to this war, which causes so much pain to the people there, as well as Christians around the world who struggle to practice their faith.

Edna Tull, Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania
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