It’s funny, but when I was in Scouts during the 1970’s I remember selling candies door-to-door, earning merit badges for crafts, and doing social good. I remember campouts, and afternoon baseball games, and club meetings. I remember bonding with my peers, and learning the value of teamwork, and inclusiveness. Still, I never remember be asked if I liked girls. Both my dad and my mom participated as Scout Leaders. But neither of my parents remembers being asked what their sexual practices were. No one seemed to care who they lusted after in their hearts.
A desire to have sex with girls never was a requirement for me playing baseball, or sell candies, or go on campouts, or earn merit badges. Nope, I really don’t think there was a merit badge for having sex with girls. In fact, I don’t ever remember anyone proselytizing sex—one-way or the other.
So I was actually quite surprised that 35 years after I packed away my merit badges, the Boy Scouts are making a point of making sure they know what goes on in their members heads, and in their bedrooms. Recently, after a two-year evaluation, the organization has chosen to reaffirm its intent to insist that all who participate in Scout’s lust after the opposite sex—by blocking "open or avowed homosexuals" from participation as either leaders of members. What’s their rationale for the re-affirmation? Parents of Scouts told them they wanted it that way.
The Scouts' national spokesman, Deron Smith, told The Associated Press that an 11-member special committee, formed discreetly by top Scout leaders in 2010, came to the conclusion that the exclusion policy "is absolutely the best policy" for the 102-year-old organization.
But is it the right thing for America’s youth?
I believe that scouting in general is a strong, positive force for America's youth. But to teach kids that it is OK to exclude people just because who they are, or exclude their parents as leaders because of who they lust after in their hearts is just not a lesson I believe we should be proud to teach our children.
The Scouts' chief executive, Bob Mazzuca, contends that most Scout families support the policy. "The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers and at the appropriate time and in the right setting," Mazzuca said. "We fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society."
It is an antiquated view, that just because someone is gay, or straight, they will go about “teaching” sex to others. While I was playing baseball, or learning how to do “good deeds” I never remember the issue of whom I should have sex with coming up. It simply isn’t part of the “curriculum.”
Decades ago, we had a similar argument over whether we had the right to dictate who public school teachers could lust after in their hearts. The argument against having homosexuals as teachers was that they would “convert” our youth to their sexual proclivities. But over time, society and the courts in our country of laws, came to the conclusion that in order to teach math, or science, or football, or music, you did not have to sleep with, or lust after the opposite sex.
Imagine a world where every organization got to force its members to lust after the opposite sex. Want to belong to Costco? Please sign this form indicating whether you are sexually attracted to girls, or boys. Welcome to your local country club: Please indicate when was the last time you dreamed of having sex, and whom it was with. Want to join the local chamber of commerce? Please indicate with whom you have sex.
Does it really matter in any of these situations?
It seems to me that the Boy Scouts sits somewhere between a Costco membership and public school. It is a private organization (like Costco) where there is no mandatory membership (like school). And, it is an organization like public schools where we hand our children over to elders to teach. I just don’t remember that merit badge for lusting after the opposite sex. It seems to me that we should keep Boy Scouts out of the bedroom, and away from the lust in our hearts.
Upon the news, an old friend from high school wrote this on Facebook, “Both of my sons are Eagle Scouts, my husband is a Scoutmaster, and I am on our local District Advancement Committee. Yet, as I read this article in the newspaper today, I was left feeling like it is time for me to leave the organization. And, in the process, make it very clear to all why I am stepping down.”
It is a gutsy, and seemingly appropriate position, and one that sits better with our modern society of teaching tolerance, and inclusion—whether you agree with the other’s beliefs or not.
Another friend and father said: "I'm fearful of the day that <my son> wants to join the Boy Scouts and i have to say no. How will I explain it? Is this like historical exclusion of Jews or Blacks out of ...? I'm hoping that the new management slated to come in to the BS in 2013/2014 will see that America stands for embracing all, not just heterosexuals."
I guess the Boy Scouts didn't poll my friends when making their decision.
Source: Huffington Post.