The Wasatch Behind: On My Honor
Well, it finally happened. Last Thursday the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America voted by a 60 percent majority to allow membership to openly gay scouts. Various LGBT groups have been pushing this for several years, even after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 13 years ago that the Boy Scouts could include or exclude anyone they wished.
The Boy Scout organization has been under a tremendous amount of social and economic pressure on this matter. Their previous ban on openly gay scouts has been called bigoted and intolerant, evil and un-Christian. In true liberal fashion, the people making those charges show their own bigotry and intolerance by not allowing the organization to function as it always has, with its ideals and founding membership requirements intact. The gay people say they only want equality, but what they insist on is the total immersion of our culture in their lifestyle. The fight with the Boy Scouts is only the latest example. No organization is beyond their reach, be it school, military, pro-sports or church.
So now the gay parade has entered one of our last bastions of moral decency, a place where boys are taught to be men and where Duty to God is preached and practiced. How will gay scouts fare and what will this do to the Boy Scout organization?
Seventy percent of Boy Scout troops are sponsored by religious organizations. Since the gay mindset and lifestyle is contrary to most religious doctrines around the world, not just those of Christians, it is likely that many churches will withdraw their sponsorships. The Southern Baptists, for sure, have expressed this likelihood. So far, the Catholics and Methodists are still thinking about it, but the Mormons, the single largest sponsor of scouting, has embraced the new membership rules.
The Mormon stand is surprising because no boy has ever been denied membership when membership rules were followed and standards of behavior and civil decorum adhered to. True, members were required to admit a belief in God, any God, and things like drug abuse; theft, assault, and perpetual bad behavior could get a boy expelled.
But, the Boy Scout organization has always been non-sexual. No boy has ever been asked to reveal his sexual orientation as a condition for membership. It was not a cause for discrimination. For 100 years the Boy Scouts had an effective "don't ask, don't tell" policy like the pre-Obama U.S. military. Sexual orientation was not an issue until the gay people made it one.
Surely there were gay scouts before the activists arrived on the scene. They simply kept quiet about it and everything was okay. The issue became contentious only after the gay people insisted they had a right to "openly" demonstrate and celebrate their gayness. Therein lies the trap for the Boy Scout organization.
The new scout membership rules say: "No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone." This very statement opens the door to "open" displays of sexual orientation and behavior that are contrary to the long-held policies and practices of the Boy Scouts. The scouts will no longer be a non-sexual organization. Activists and civil libertarians will be sure the organization is saturated with "gay pride" publicity as they continue the push to include gay scout leaders.
Then, watch what happens when the Boy Scouts attempt to discipline or expel a gay scout for "conduct unbecoming." Pro-bono LGBT lawyers are already practicing their opening statements to the courts.
And, in spite of what sponsoring organizations might say or do, a great many people will simply retreat and take their sons out of scouting. Almost immediately after the new membership policy was announced, I had a man tell me: "I will not let my 12-year-old go camping with 14 and 16-year-old gay scouts. I absolutely will not allow it."
So, by bowing to social pressure and compromising 100 years of tradition and high moral standards, the National Boy Scout Council might have just steered their organization into an iceberg. Time will tell.
The Sun Advocate welcomes Tom McCourt back to writing a column for the papers opinion page. His piece will run the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. McCourt is the author of six books, including To Be A Soldier and The Split Sky.