Boy Scouts and Modern Society…Are They Compatible?
Let me put it out there right at the top, I am an enthusiastic supporter of the Boy Scouts. I was a Scout as a youth and my sons have been scouts. One son, I am proud to say, is an Eagle, as are both my brothers. I am not. I have been active in the Scouts as an adult for the last twenty years. I believe the program has a lot to offer.
I believe the values that the BSA instills are very relevant today. Honesty, loyalty, and cheerful service to others. The Scout Oath, Law, Motto and Slogan are as relevant today as always. The rub is that the Scout Oath proscribes that upon his honor a scout will, among other things, keep himself morally straight. The National Executive Board as well as most of the religious troop sponsors see homosexuality as immoral. Therefore it causes trouble for those people. Times change. It used to be immoral for a woman to bare her ankles, "the current official womens uniform is short pants." Elvis was immoral, a one piece bathing suit was scandalous. Mores change with the times.
This stance further confuses me because Boy Scouts does not teach sexuality. There are no health classes or any discussions of the sort. It simply is not part of the program. Scouts and Leaders should not be engaging in any kind sexual activity during a Scout activity. Even Married leaders. It simply has no place in the program. There should be no opportunity for anyone to discover a scout’s or leader’s sexuality. It is not talked about and it is not practiced during scouting activities. If it is, in any manor, form or manifestation, someone should be removed. Maybe even arrested.
Pedophiles come in all stripes and colors. They are bad and are to be avoided and removed from society when discovered. A pedophile’s sexuality is immaterial, and predatory pedophiles are the problem everyone is concerned with.
A boys ability to live up to the ideals of the Scout Oath and Law are not dependent upon his sexual preference, but upon his strength of character. A boy’s sexuality does not determine his character. Society and Scouting would be well served by offering opportunities to develop the strength of character that Scouting provides to ALL our young men. We could use more trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent young men…gay, straight or otherwise.
It goes beyond “don’t ask, don’t tell”. It should be ‘don’t care because it doesn’t matter’. It is a shame that if an organization does not agree with one or two degrees of the 360 that make up a circle, then they refuse to step inside that circle. That kind of demand for conformity is not good for society.
Oh yeah, that would seriously help with corporate fund raising also. Most corporations, who donate to charity, cannot donate to organizations that discriminate.
The values of Scouting are as relevant today as ever, and it is more fun now then ever because the equipment is better and the outdoors is more accessible then ever.