The Boy Scouts of America recently sent up what appears to be a trial balloon. The resolution on allowing gay scouts and gay scout leaders has been modified to continue to exclude gay scout leaders but to open up the scouting experience to openly gay scouts. Unfortunately the data that the BSA is relying upon to come to this conclusion is not without some controversy. A recent article in Crisis Magazine suggests the BSA used push polling to generate support for their now revised proposal. Kind of makes one wonder about the BSA’s trustworthiness. But that’s not the point of this article. Rather, I’m going to assume that the process, corrupt or not, is going to result in the BSA allowing gay youth into active scouting.
While I’m relieved that the BSA has enough sense to maintain their current position on gay scout leaders, I’m disappointed that they feel compelled to open the door to openly gay scouts. It would seem inevitable that the BSA will either move continually to the left on their own and reconsider their position on gay scout leaders in the future, or legal action will result in the BSA being compelled to change their policy. You see, the Supreme Court of the U.S. has already affirmed the BSA’s rights to reserve scouting to those that uphold their moral standards as currently defined. However, by folding on that position and allowing gay scouts, they’ve undermined their defense of that position. I wonder if that’s part of their strategy. Litigate at some future date, put up little or no defense and throw up their hands in exasperation and claim it’s not their fault. But I digress.
Now, for those of you on the left who believe that homosexuals are behaving morally, good for you. It’s not my intent to debate whether or not homosexuality is moral or not. This article is directed to my fellow “choir” members who hail from the same un-evolved, bigoted, homophobic camp where I reside (To my fellow “choir” members to whom I’m preaching, we’re actually not un-evolved, bigoted or homophobic, but it will make the liberals feel better if they think we’re conceding that point).
I’ve been actively involved in scouting since a troop was formed at my parish about eight years ago. My oldest son was a charter member of our troop and has since earned his Eagle rank. My second son continues his scouting efforts and is in the process of planning his Eagle project. God willing and his butt doesn’t wear out from me kicking him the pants to keep moving forward, he’ll be an Eagle Scout too. Meanwhile, I’ve been the advancement committee chair for the troop since its inception. So, with the extent of my first hand Scouting experience as a parent and volunteer, and as a Christian, I think I’m entitled to an opinion.
Now, for those on the left who think I’m a gay hating bigot, I’m actually not opposed to gay scouts within my troop. In fact, it’s entirely possible, albeit unlikely, that one or more scouts in our troop is gay. You see, I don’t know and I don’t want to know. Sort of like the military’s former policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” And when it comes to sexual activity among our scouts, I’ll be the first to tell them that they shouldn’t be sexually active whether they’re gay or straight. I’m old fashioned I guess. I still believe sex should be reserved for marriage and that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Very simple. To violate that instruction from God and to be sexually active outside a valid marriage, whether heterosexual or gay, is to commit mortal sin. Very simple. In my Church we have a prayer that admonishes us to “avoid the near occasion of sin.” That is, don’t put yourself in a situation in which you might be tempted because, since we are human we are weak and prone to sin. So, avoid that temptation and keep your heart and soul pure. That being said, I think it’s quite risky to put boys and girls at the same campout. To allow gay scouts in a troop to share tents with other boys could create some serious issues as well. But, the BSA has Venturing troops that allow boys and girls and, with proper supervision it has worked. I’ll take a leap and suggest that, if the BSA has survived by allowing coed Venturing troops, we should be able to also handle Scout troops that have homosexual scouts.
What troubles me most about this whole issue is why a boy (that’s right, I said “boy,” because that’s what they are) feels compelled to shout out to the world, “I’m gay,” Isn’t that TMI (Too Much Information for you non-texters)? After all, how many times have you heard of a heterosexual Boy Scout declaring for all to hear that, “I’m a heterosexual and I’m sexually active and I lust after girls?” Why is it that the GLBT crowd needs to publicly share their sexual preferences? And why on earth would a parent go on national television, or go into a court of law, to show support for their teenage son’s sexual preference for other boys? Shouldn’t parents be counseling their sons to remain chaste until married? Shouldn’t they be sharing with them the admonitions found in Holy Scripture that homosexuality is a sin?
So I’ve given this a lot of thought and my conclusion is that, with some reservations, I’m OK if there’s a gay scout in my troop. But I’m certainly not going to tolerate any attempts by him or his parents to make his homosexuality a focal point of discussion or advocacy. He’s a boy and his sexual preference is not the business of the leaders nor his fellow Boy Scouts. We are a troop of faithful Christians who will challenge a boy’s homosexual or heterosexual sexual activities as sinful every step of the way. We also believe we are called to hate the sin and love the sinner and encouraging others to behave morally. My guess is that, if a Scout insists on broadcasting his homosexuality and advocating for homosexual rights, and he’s asked to leave the troop, my troop or another with similar views will become the target of a lawsuit claiming discrimination. When this occurs, and it will eventually, we’ll simply surrender by shutting down our troops that are chartered with churches that still consider homosexuality a sin. The heterosexual boys will be the losers since they will no longer have an organization that follows their own Scout Law and Scout Oath that, among other things, includes “…to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and MORALLY STRAIGHT,” and virtues like obedience and reverence that harken back to the Judeo/Christian moral foundation of the BSA.