The head of a Christian legal firm in the US has said that the reason that the Boy Scouts of America may make moves towards dropping its ban on gay scouts, volunteers and staff is “spiritual pressure” from Satan.

Matt Barber, the leader of the Liberty Counsel, said that “The Prince of the Earth”, or Satan, was behind pressure to drop its anti-gay ban.

He said that the BSA had come under an “assault” of evil from those advocating for openly gay scouts to be allowed to remain in the organisation.

The Boy Scouts of America announced last week that it could soon lift its national ban on allowing gay members, volunteers and staff. Its National Executive Board has been in discussions since Monday, and a decision is expected this week.

“The Prince of the Earth seeks to corrupt and ultimately destroy all that is righteous, honorable and good. It’s little wonder, then, that for years the Boy Scouts have faced a malicious and unrelenting assault at the hands of those ‘who call evil good and good evil.’

He went on to say that the BSA would not be the same organisation, and would be “weak” if it dropped the national ban.

“If the BSA, with its proud tradition of teaching millions of young boys how to become honorable young men, gives in on this, the organization is toast. Oh, it might limp along as something else – something entirely different, worldly and weak – but its long history as an upright, ethical and God-honoring safe-haven for boys will come to a disgraceful close.

“Still, under immense socio-political – indeed spiritual pressure, the Boy Scouts appear poised to play a very dangerous, self-deluded game of ‘the Scoutmaster wears no clothes.’They’re flirting with the queer idea of an about turn – of betraying both absolute truth and the very boys they serve.”

He suggested that the BSA was being “bullied” into changing its policy. He said: “Instead of teaching young men to stand up to the bully, they would model surrender – teach them that, when you reach an adversarial fork in the road, take the primrose path of least resistance.

Mirroring a recent speech by the leader of the American Family Association, who said the Boy Scouts of America’s announcement that it might lift its ban on gay scouts could open its doors to paedophiles. Mr Barber brought up convicted paedophile Jerry Sandusky.

“But it’s much worse than all that. We mustn’t ignore the pink elephant in the room; the Penn State factor. Should the BSA cave beneath the weight of sexual anarchist intimidation, Scoutmaster Sandusky joins the jamboree.”

The Liberty Counsel, the Liberty Institute and the Alliance Defending Freedom wrote a joint letter to the BSA saying that the change in policy would restrict “religious liberty and First Amendment rights.”

On Monday, a rally delivered a petition with 1.4 million signatures pushing for the Boy Scouts of America to drop its ban on gay members, volunteers and staff.

President Barack Obama said on Sunday that gay people should be allowed in the Boy Scouts of America, and that “nobody should be barred” from the experience of being a scout.

Texas Governor Rick Perry said last week that he though the Boy Scouts of America shouldn’t remove the ban.

Last week one US radio host said the scouts should “shut down” rather than allow gays in, and that these are signs of the “end times”, and another said that allowing gay scout masters would allow “gay activists” to “spread deviant sexuality”.

Last week, a synagogue in California became the latest in a list of religious groups to reject the Boy Scouts of America’s policy, described as “damaging”.