The Boy Scouts of America voted today to wait until its annual meeting in May to address the question of whether to allow openly gay individuals to participate as Scouts and leaders. The measure has been promoted by at least one member of the Scouting board, but it appears that a strong outcry from people involved in scouting has forced proponents of the measure to retreat for the time being.
The BSA has been extensively criticized for its prohibitions on gays, with critics calling it discriminatory, among other things. Of course, those critics never explain why being discriminatory about membership in a values-oriented private organization is wrong. Nor do they bother explaining why it isn’t discriminatory for Leftist organizations to exclude conservatives as leaders. But hypocrisy is not the point.
The BSA came under severe criticism when it was revealed in October of 2012 that Scouting officials had kept secret “perversion files” detailing child sex abuse by some Scout leaders. The 1,247 files contain details of Scoutmasters and other volunteers who had admitted to sexually abusing boys during Scout activities. Some of those who had earlier admitted to such abuse and been thrown out tried to come back in later on, but were rejected. The BSA’s biggest mistake was in not reporting the incidents to authorities. At least, that was the media’s viewpoint.
But if it hasn’t yet become clear, let me illuminate the underlying fact: the BSA already has a problem with gay scoutmasters, as the “perversion files” clearly demonstrate; these were men, not women, sexually preying on those boys. The files refer to numerous homosexual acts.
The gay movement will object, saying these were heterosexual pedophiles. But they ignore the indisputable fact that this was pedophilia by males directed toward younger males; same-sex pedophilia is still homosexuality. Just because these men haven’t come out of the closet doesn’t mean they aren’t gay.
But now, in the very shadow of the revelations of hundreds of cases of inappropriate homosexual behavior, the BSA is considering letting openly gay men serve as Scoutmasters. The phrase “fighting fire with gasoline” doesn’t quite do justice to the absurd notion that the BSA should openly accept people whose sexual preference is their primary social identifier. No reasonable person would think this was a move toward greater safety for the boys. But then, when was Leftism ever reasonable?
Some have suggested that the correct thing to do would be to allow the various councils to make their own decisions on whether to allow gays into their own troops, thinking that by decentralizing the question, each council could retain the character it desires. The proposal sounds good on the surface because it is reminiscent of the idea of federalism that worked for the American system of government.
However, those making this proposal fail to acknowledge that federalism did not create two antagonistic systems of government; it created one system with two different spheres of operation. Both parts of the system were supreme in their sphere, but shared a common goal. If the American Founders had created two systems of government that were forever contending with one another for power, they would have in essence created “a house divided against itself,” and its collapse would have been swift.
The Progressive plan is to do exactly that, to divide and conquer. They manipulated the elections of 2012 in part by setting one group of conservatives against another. There were Mitt Romney’s followers, who were opposed by many of the more traditional conservatives, both of which groups were opposed by Ron Paul’s movement.
But if Conservatives of all stripes can learn to put aside their differences and work together on this particular issue, we may see Scouting still around in another 100 years.