Pray for the Boy Scouts.
The Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) National Council is voting today whether or not to allow openly gay boys to become Boy Scouts. The Council, comprised of 1,400 Scout leaders, has been given the charge after the BSA Board punted on the issue, allowing the Council to decide based on feedback gleaned from discussions in their communities.
While the ban on gay Scout leaders will continue (one can only presume for the time being), it appears BSA could be in for a major decline in membership and support should the ban be overturned. One report has suggested that as many as 350,000 of the nearly 2.6 million Scouts may leave the organization if the ban is lifted on gay Scout members. Additionally, it could also have a major affect on donations as more than half the local councils have indicated that their donors support the current ban.
So, why would the BSA do such a thing as overturning a long-standing ban on allowing gay Boy Scouts if there could potentially be damaging effects to the organization?
Because they’re being bullied and shamed into it.
The BSA, which was established in 1910, has as its mission the following: The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. The Scout Oath and Law include promises to be “morally straight,” “clean” and “reverent.” The BSA has made it clear in the past that homosexuality does not fit within the parameters of the Scout Oath and Law. As such, the BSA has been battling in recent years, both in and out of court, to reaffirm this position and to establish that it is a non-profit organization that is engaged in instilling its values in the boys who choose to join its organization.
This issue has many tentacles and could get complicated real quickly, so to keep things as simple as possible, here’s the root of the issue as I see it – because there are those who do not agree with the Boy Scouts code, they want them to change it so people who would not normally be able to join their club can join.
We’ve been to this rodeo before. This is just another case in a long line of attacks on moral and tangentially, religious liberty. It’s also another attempt for those who do not subscribe to Catholic/Christian values to impose their will in areas that relate to raising our children. To wit, this writer expresses opinions that the Boy Scouts would be better off being more like the Girls Scouts and that the Boy Scouts have a “constricted vision of moral development based on outdated stereotypes of masculinity” and that “contemporary life increasingly demands an increasingly elastic and collaborative mind.”
Such phraseology is code for “if you don’t change the way you believe and fully accept the way we believe, and you don’t allow those who oppose your beliefs to join your group, you and the groups to which you belong are short-sighted, ignorant, hateful and bigoted.”
If the BSA were to decide on its own that it wanted to change its policy and allow openly gay young boys into its club, that’s a different story. But let’s be honest, the BSA isn’t where it is at today for that reason. Finally, so many of its current members, parents and supporters wouldn’t be threatening to walk away if the organization was fully behind such a change to its long-standing oaths and laws.
Truth, prayer and love. That’s what the BSA National Council should come back with after its vote, while sticking to its guns and upholding its long-standing values.
Hold your ground, Boy Scouts. Don’t be bullied.
(Image via Flickr, David Slack)