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Thoughts on the Boy Scouts & gays

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:27 pm - May 23, 2013.
Filed under: Freedom,Gay America,Random Thoughts

Those who have read my posts and considered my basic political philosophy can probably figure out my views on whether or not the Boy Scouts should admit openly gay youths — and scoutmasters.

As a private organization, they have the right to determine the qualifications for membership and leadership.  The state should stay out of it.  That said, I believe they should allow gay people to participate.

Now, to be sure, given the scandals in the Catholic Church (where most of the victims have been teenage boys), I can understand why they might be wary of having gay (male) scoutmasters.  But, there are ways to screen their leaders to make sure they don’t bring on men who would abuse boys. Most (but alas not all) gay men would never even consider taking advantage of teenagers, particularly those in their charge.

That said, I just don’t get why they would bar lesbians from being scoutmasters.  Lesbians tend not to be interested in boys and would not definitely molest them.  Thus, I was struck earlier today when HotAir linked this New York Times story, featuring a picture of a mother ousted as a “scout leader because she is a lesbian.”

The leadership of the Boy Scouts should make the decision on allowing openly gay members and scoutmasters.  And I would like to see them change their policy.

NB:  I had been meaning to blog on this topic for some time, but keep putting it off as I would like to write a more comprehensive, insightful post. But, my time being limited, this short piece will have to suffice.  For now.

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71 Comments

  1. I will advocate for the Scouts to admit gay members just as soon as the Manhole here in Chicago lets me into the back room without first having to take off my shirt.

    So let it be written, so let it be done.

    Comment by My Sharia Moor — May 23, 2013 @ 12:42 pm - May 23, 2013

  2. “I believe [the Boy Scouts] should allow gay people to participate.” Wow, B. Daniel, gay conservative, agreeing with the gay Left. Shocking. Not.

    Whether or not the BSA allows openly gay members should be left up to the BSA, but I think anyone who, like B. Daniel, claims to be libertarian should support the BSA keeping it’s gay ban as a way of supporting freedom of association and opposing the Left’s totalitarianism and lust for cultural conquest. But B. Daniel, like most gay conservatives here, is gay first, conservative/libertarian second, and he supports the Left’s position on gay issues–and most other social/sexual issues–because his sexuality is fundamental to his worldview. He just won’t admit it.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — May 23, 2013 @ 1:10 pm - May 23, 2013

  3. Unless she’s a Den Mother to Cub Scouts, she has no place in the Boy Scouts. Because she’s a woman. But that horse left the barn door a long time ago.

    I am of two minds. I agree with SA about the BSA being the latest victim of attacking freedom of association and the Left’s totalitarianism and lust for cultural conquest. On that ground, no gays.

    But if women have been involved in this org for the last 40 years as scoutmasters, etc. what’s to lose? It’s already been feminized and made generic. So who cares?

    Comment by EssEm — May 23, 2013 @ 1:17 pm - May 23, 2013

  4. The problem is the Boy Scouts of America are not a “private organization”.

    They have a nearly-unique Federal Charter—which I think only the American Red Cross being the other—and the President of the United States it’s their titular president. And that Federal Charter in-part is why they traditionally had access to so-many US Military facilities, equipment and Army/ Natl. Guard support. Scouting was seen at the Federal-level as integral to the National Defense and civil defense efforts for decades and enjoyed auxiliary status as-such.

    Up until after Vietnam, the Military opinion was that Scouting benefitted military preparedness and civil defense. Having Boy Scouts trained in First Aid, woodcraft and field craft saved the Army several weeks of valuable Basic Training in case of war, and most Boy Scouts were taught how to use a rifle in the old-days courtesy of free surplus ammunition from the Army and the Corps. And Scouts have always played a role in natural disaster preparedness and recovery.

    Most of this was lost in the last two or three decades when the Urban Liberals, and then the Evangelical Fundamentalists took-over the Scouting Movement’s national leadership when they moved BSA HQ to Texas from New Jersey.

    When I was in Scouting in the 60s thru 80s, several of our active leaders I suspected were gay…and I know several of the professional leaders at the District level were. And they would have killed and left a child-predator’s entails hanging from a tree if they harmed a boy. Back then Scouting was the “safe place” away from the bullies and a judging-society—in the company or boys and men who cared for and about you and your development. You learned to be an individual and a team-player. To be confident in the woods, to not be afraid of being alone in the Dark, to make your won decisions and live with the consequences, to save lives, to make fires and shelter, to serve the community.

    Then Natl. Policy and the Handbook changed and suddenly “adults” became the enemy. Fending off bears looking for food became “fending off the Scoutmaster. Life-saving first-aid became drug awareness education, and they stopped going into the Woods.

    Time to go back to Theodore Roosevelt, Dan Beard and Sir Robert Baden-Powell and start all over again.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — May 23, 2013 @ 1:24 pm - May 23, 2013

  5. Are we going to allow private organizations in America or not? Because if the Boy Scouts are forced to take whatever members another group insists upon as leaders, then lesbians and heteros have to be allowed into all gay groups as their leaders. And all Muslim organizations have to allow Christians and Jews as leaders, too, and vice versa.

    Comment by Mike — May 23, 2013 @ 2:59 pm - May 23, 2013

  6. Whether or not the BSA allows openly gay members should be left up to the BSA

    Which is exactly his argument if you bothered to read it.

    …anyone who, like B. Daniel, claims to be libertarian should support the BSA keeping it’s gay ban…

    Wrong. A conservative and/or libertartian viewpoint would be to not make the government force the BSA, but to allow the BSA to choose for themselves whether to allow gay people. If you can’t understand that difference, please re-read it. Dan is arguing that the government should not force them to do so, that they should continue to have the right of free association, but that they should choose to allow gay scouts and leaders.

    And they should. Because there is no reason a gay scout cannot be “morally straight”, and really the Scouts should welcome the opportunity to have a positive influence on the future of even the gay community. That’s being conservative first and gay second…or third or fourth or somewhere farther down the list.

    Comment by Neptune — May 23, 2013 @ 3:24 pm - May 23, 2013

  7. Neptune has it in the black.

    The Boy Scouts can have whatever rules they want. If you don’t like it, lobby them, form your own scout troop and put them out of business, etc. Do NOT try to force them to change via government power.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 23, 2013 @ 3:39 pm - May 23, 2013

  8. Well put Mr. Blatt.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — May 23, 2013 @ 4:56 pm - May 23, 2013

  9. Nice side issue to deflect away from the economy, taxation, those little wars the US has been waging, drones, Obamacare, etc. Who cares about the Boys Scouts? I wasn’t one- my parents made the well-documented case that they were always getting lost in the woods. I wouldn’t let my kids join because the troops are all sponsored by religions I don’t espouse. None of my friends-with-kids are involved. Let the BSA do whatever it wants, including disappear.

    Comment by Mike Roberts — May 23, 2013 @ 5:17 pm - May 23, 2013

  10. Let the BSA do whatever it wants, including disappear.

    Well, just who pissed in your corn flakes, Mr. Man?

    Comment by My Sharia Moor — May 23, 2013 @ 5:39 pm - May 23, 2013

  11. “Most (but alas not all) gay men would never even consider taking advantage of teenagers, particularly those in their charge.”

    It’s that “alas not all” that worries me. If the Catholic Church, with its rigorous years-long formation process for priests, couldn’t screen out those kind of guys, I don’t have a lot of confidence in the Scouts’ ability to do it with much less time and resources. And unlike the Church, Boy Scouts is entirely dependent on boys’ participation. It seems to me that one major scandal could cause enough parents to pull their kids out that the BSA might never recover.

    Comment by Joel — May 23, 2013 @ 5:43 pm - May 23, 2013

  12. A: To those saying no-one has any business telling the BSA what to do – the fact is, the org is supported by tax-paid schools, tax-absorbing churches, local govt agencies and so on – If they were totally self-contained and self-supporting, I’d probably agree with you.
    B: To Daniel – the answer to “Why?” is simple – the men running BSA are hate-filled assholes who think that anyone different from them is eeevilll – don’t want them darkies, they’re inferior; don’t want them spics, they’re inferior; don’t want them fags, they’re inferior; don’t want them kikes, they’re inferior; don’t want…

    Comment by Duke of URL — May 23, 2013 @ 6:08 pm - May 23, 2013

  13. Yes, I am none too pleased that the Obama Administration is circling like a vulture and see this as an opportunity to try and bring about their twisted Hope and Change nation. And it’s unfortunate that the overarching Obama agenda is muddying up what is in fact a very needed discussion and reflection by the scouts about the reality of some of their charges being created by the Good Lord with same-gender orientation. So I hope the Scouts have had a constructive agenda-free discussion. Because this issue, independent of Leftist agendas, isn’t going away and can be integrated and discussed in a constructive way in which the Scouts can grow as an organization and find the balance between adjusting to reality while maintaining their core principles.

    Comment by PopArt — May 23, 2013 @ 6:14 pm - May 23, 2013

  14. Feminized? Girls have (technically) been allowed as scouts ever since a group of teenage girls pestered Baden-Powell himself at the first Jamboree and he let them in.

    Comment by perturbed — May 23, 2013 @ 6:33 pm - May 23, 2013

  15. Comment by Duke of URL — May 23, 2013 @ 6:08 pm – May 23, 2013

    Wow. I think Daniel just found something that pisses the libs off more than Limbaugh, Breitbart, the Pope and Ayn Rand put together.

    Must mean they’re doing something right.

    Comment by My Sharia Moor — May 23, 2013 @ 6:46 pm - May 23, 2013

  16. Whether or not the BSA allows openly gay members should be left up to the BSA, but I think anyone who, like B. Daniel, claims to be libertarian should support the BSA keeping it’s gay ban as a way of supporting freedom of association and opposing the Left’s totalitarianism and lust for cultural conquest.

    Hmmm. A lot of libertarians would argue that there’s no contradiction at all in supporting Larry Flynt’s constitutional right to publish a (faked) photo of a woman going through a giant meat grinder, while simultaneously wishing that Flynt would VOLUNTARILY STOP publishing such photos.

    And the notoriously prudish Ayn Rand, for one, placed great emphasis on the right to boycott, ostracize, and criticize private organizations that you disagree with — you just have no right to stop their private behavior at gunpoint, nor ask the government/police to use guns on your behalf.

    So there’s nothing inherently sneaky about a self-described libertarian personally deploring the BSA policy and wishing that the BSA would voluntarily change its policy. Just because the left has fascist tendencies doesn’t mean a libertarian is obliged to do the exact opposite of what the left wants.

    Comment by Throbert McGee — May 23, 2013 @ 7:08 pm - May 23, 2013

  17. Because there is no reason a gay scout cannot be “morally straight”

    I agree with that in principle, but as many conservative homos have pointed out, the American gay-rights movement was deeply rooted in the free-love, hedonistic ethos of the 1960s, and the influence of those counterculture roots continue to linger on in the 21st-century gay “demimonde.”

    So I can understand the BSA’s skepticism that gay men are willing and able to inculcate traditional norms in teenage males, because the public face of the gay demographic has so often been associated with overt disdain for anything traditional.

    Comment by Throbert McGee — May 23, 2013 @ 7:16 pm - May 23, 2013

  18. The Boy Scouts of America are about normal + all interesting wildcrafts, community, comradeship, team work, individual character, patriotism + God that boys would grow from, be enriched by as better citizens + enjoy their time learning to be good + better for it! If people feel that they want boys that are not normal to learn normal, they could become Boy Scouts + become part of the comradery boys can grow healthy in. BUT if people want to bend + twist the Scouts out of THEIR Founding Principals to force them to violate their premise to accomodate what is NOT exceptable; then start YOUR OWN GROUP bent of promoting THAT. Americas Constitution is similarly OUR Foundation, + can only be bent within the parameters limited in the confines of it’s laws + statutes! Or else it becomes functionally useless.

    Comment by mtman2 — May 23, 2013 @ 9:07 pm - May 23, 2013

  19. Well, since the BSA approved inclusion of gay scouts with over 60% voting in favor, this thread kinda goes down the crapper, yes?

    😀

    Good on them, I say.

    Comment by My Sharia Moor — May 23, 2013 @ 9:07 pm - May 23, 2013

  20. Aww…………Free association/acceptance can not be achieved through “social engineering” by progressives. I expect a lawsuit any day to force inclusion of LGBT scoutmasters and who knows what other “problems” progressives will find down the road that will need to be “corrected”. In time, the natural order of free association/acceptance will mean a decline in BSA numbers until the main stream org it is now will no longer be sustainable. That will be a sad day

    Comment by Richard Bell — May 23, 2013 @ 10:40 pm - May 23, 2013

  21. My position would be, gays and lesbians be accepted anywhere. An individual’s gender preference has nothing to do with its capability and ability to do things.

    Comment by Marcus — May 24, 2013 @ 1:19 am - May 24, 2013

  22. Is the issue from the BSA’s point of view about the risk of sexual abuse by a gay scout leader? Have they actually expressed that fear? My guess is that has nothing to do with the ban. Correct me if you can prove me wrong. They see homosexuality as immoral. Period. No other explanation needed.

    Comment by Eddie Swaim — May 24, 2013 @ 3:01 am - May 24, 2013

  23. 20.Aww…………Free association/acceptance can not be achieved through “social engineering” by progressives. I expect a lawsuit any day to force inclusion of LGBT scoutmasters and who knows what other “problems” progressives will find down the road that will need to be “corrected”.

    Of course. Rather than see the vote yesterday as a vote for tolerance, it will be seen as weakness and the progressive sharks will see blood in the water.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 24, 2013 @ 7:17 am - May 24, 2013

  24. I guess they are going to revamp the scout law and oath then…

    Comment by Frumious Bandersnatch — May 24, 2013 @ 8:24 am - May 24, 2013

  25. The BS were not forced by the govt to make the decision to permit gay scouts. They voted for lifting the ban.

    An analogy to this is when Augusta National let in two women as members earlier this year. As a private organization, if they desire to be men only, that is their prerogative. If they want to be coed, then that is also their right, WITHOUT government influence.

    Comment by davinci — May 24, 2013 @ 9:29 am - May 24, 2013

  26. They see homosexuality as immoral. Period. No other explanation needed.

    OK, since “no other explanation is needed” I will proceed to offer one. (Funny about how throwing down the glove makes others get really feisty.)

    The scouts have not heard from God that homosexuality is completely moral. That is because homosexuals who need God’s approval have not been able to reach Him and get the appropriate documents of moral neutrality or, better, moral encouragement. (Something like “And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein” – but, different.)

    On the other hand, if the scouts would dump all the God stuff (“To do my duty to God”) and just substitute mother earth, they would be fully free to be wedded to moral relevancy and make the ends justify the means of the moment.

    I rather like a scheme of moral relevancy toward loosing up the meaning of: honor, my best, duty, Scout Law, help, at all times, physically strong, mentally awake, morally straight, duty to country, being trustworthy, being loyal, being friendly, being courteous, being kind, being obedient, being cheerful, being thrifty, being brave, being clean and being reverent to mother earth. You can chant the doctrine and do what you want in living up to it. Just a lazy, hazy, crazy night out with the guys with no fouls and no points recorded.

    You can twist those suckers into pretzels. Cool. No actual belief system, just words.

    But, maybe, just maybe, the scouts have decided to open their ranks to gays on the basis that gay is not gay until sex is involved and dealing with that issue through exclusion is counter to their actual belief system.

    However, it does leave the young gay boy with the problem of whether he can take the oath to do his duty to God and and be morally straight as he deals with his adolescent development which includes a discovery of being homosexual and all of its societal and libido driven ramifications.

    Frankly, I feel sorry for any gay scout who would have to closet part of who he is becoming in order to go along with others who are becoming like 95% or more of society.

    In the city, I can imagine a large enough group to form a gay scout troop where they can control their diversity issues in ways particularly relevant to their perceived needs.

    As I look over the century of scouting, I see a group that has largely dwindled in size and importance in the community. I rarely see signs of the scouting organization and when I do, I am surprised they are still going at it.

    We don’t have town parades any more. So, the scouts don’t get to march. We don’t have scouts helping people park at the country fair. We don’t have scouts doing projects like planting trees at the park on arbor day. We don’t have scout troops formed out of the congregations of churches all over town. We don’t have scouts wearing their uniforms to school on meeting days.

    Our society through its culture has kissed the scouts goodbye and only by the dint of effort among some die hard adults does the scouting programs even exist.

    So, I wonder, will the adult gays now infuse scouting with the much needed direction and energy to revitalize it? Or, is all of this just an other step in the death of scouting progression? Has scouting outlived its time and usefulness and all this business over gays in scouting is just a momentary fuss that makes people aware that scouting is not completely dead yet.

    Comment by heliotrope — May 24, 2013 @ 10:19 am - May 24, 2013

  27. I believe this may turn out to be something of a Pyrrhic victory for those with a militant leftist gay agenda. Sit back and watch the numbers of those involved in the Boy Scouts to decline dramatically over the coming years.

    Comment by Linda Strickland — May 24, 2013 @ 10:32 am - May 24, 2013

  28. For the first 90-yrs the BSA and the Scouting Movement didn’t care about “homosexuality” other than in instances of predatory behavior. It was only in the late 80s and the 90s that it became an issue as the Fundamentalists and Evangelicals took control….all to the detriment of the program and the Movement.

    As a Cub Scout up through Boy Scouts to Asst Scoutmaster while in college, and as someone’s who’s family was involved in Scouting for over 50 continuous-years from the 1930s through the 80s, it’s shameful what the “novel” introduction of institutional homophobia has done to a once proud and useful organization. It has no place in traditional Scouting and I’m glad to see it at-least partially repealed.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — May 24, 2013 @ 12:22 pm - May 24, 2013

  29. Sit back and watch the numbers of those involved in the Boy Scouts to decline dramatically over the coming years.

    More likely the reverse.

    The “no gays allowed” rule has been a major reason behind the already dramatic decline in membership in the BSA as many Mainline Protestant Churches and public schools closed-down the Scout troops in protest or refuse to be complicit. And the BSA lost billions in donations of cash and in-kind corporate donations due to their newly-exclusionary practices over the last 20-years. Most of corporate America—especially publically traded corporations— will not touch the BSA any more. By comparison, when I was in the BSA in the 60s and 70s, we did a lot of activities with the Delaware Delmarva Council through my father’s business connections even though we were in NJ. In those days DuPont Chemical, Hercules and the other Wilmington-based corporations covered most of the operating expenses of the entire Council and their summer camps gratis. The DuPont family also contributed both facilities and substantial cash. Now all that support is gone. Now the individual Scouts’ families have to pay hugely-increased fees to attend camp.

    Here in my own town, all three Protestant churches closed-down their troops a decade ago, and only the RC Church’s troop struggles for members.

    By politicizing the BSA, they have transformed it into an “exclusionary organization” that is no longer welcome or tolerated in places that were it’s traditional homes…and alienated many of it’s traditional supporters. Now a business-owner thinks twice before openly giving support or money to the BSA for fear of offending someone.

    When I was in Scouting the reverse was true, to NOT SUPPORT the Boy Scouts was seen as unpatriotic, un-American and suspect.

    I believe the numbers are that current BSA membership is 1/10th that of when I was active in the 1960s and 1970s.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — May 24, 2013 @ 12:42 pm - May 24, 2013

  30. I am an old Eagle Scout. The first Boy Scout troop my brother and I joined had a gay Troop Leader. This was in the seventies, so needless to say, no one talked about gays and that was that. However, the guy was creepy and always “touching” us until finally word got out to parents. Even at a young age I thought this was altogether just wrong and when we told my father, he found us a new troop. While you are free to do whatever you want, I don’t want young boys exposed to this depraved behavior. It can totally destroy their lives if they are unable to talk with anyone about their experiences or if no one will listen. Penis’s were created to be inserted into vaginas, period. Anything else is a selfish perversion that no one will fess up to.

    Comment by Mark — May 24, 2013 @ 12:51 pm - May 24, 2013

  31. It was only in the late 80s and the 90s that it became an issue as the Fundamentalists and Evangelicals took control….all to the detriment of the program and the Movement.

    Cause and effect might be bolstered by some facts.

    As I read this, (1.) the BSA was taken over by the Fundamentalists and Evangelicals in the Bush 41 and Clinton years.

    (2.) The takeover of the BSA was detrimental to the BSA program and the Movement.

    (3.) The Fundamentalists and Evangelicals made homosexuality a major issue of the BSA.

    Now, while this Fundamentalist and Evangelical drive to make homosexuality in the BSA program and Movement was occurring, was there any increase in the homosexual world to confront Fundamentalists and Evangelicals in general? That is to say, was there a heightened gay voice or response to the Fundamentalist and Evangelicals during this period that was not associated with the BSA?

    My curiosity is piqued. Since Fundamentalists and Evangelicals are being fingered as the “cause” of the decline of the BSA program and Movement, it there any concomitant activity on the part of militant (fundamentalist) and activist (evangelical) gays in promoting their program and Movement to snare all sorts of people in the trap of homophobia, including the BSA?

    So far, this alleged take-over of the BSA does not present enough fact to be accepted as a thesis statement to explain how the gay issue resulted in the decline of the BSA.

    I have heard elsewhere that activists, with activist gays among them, stuck their fingers in the BSA and made charges that the BSA should not receive federal funds and tax exemptions because of their emphasis on religion, being morally straight and other parts of their oath and belief system that irritated atheists, gays and professional malcontents.

    I don’t make that a direct cause and effect statement. I merely pose the issue as another point of view.

    Comment by heliotrope — May 24, 2013 @ 2:20 pm - May 24, 2013

  32. Heliotrope, depends on where you live. In our master planned community of about 3000 families, we have two elementaries and two seperate boy scout troops. They still march in parades and are very active. My son was friends with several Eagle Scouts. There are two scout camps within 90 minutes of here that are heavily used by the cub scouts in the Houston area.
    My oldest did cub scouts but didn’t want to stay in boy scouts and my youngest did tiger cubs but that was it. Mostly they learned their skills because they have a highly invested dad. From their dad, they learned everything from hunting, gutting and cleaning their own deer to changing brake pads. Electrical capabilities like changing a light switch. Sheet rocking, fencing, painting (more from me) practical skills that will save them a fortune over their life time if not save their lives.

    Comment by Texann — May 24, 2013 @ 2:28 pm - May 24, 2013

  33. In those days DuPont Chemical, Hercules and the other Wilmington-based corporations covered most of the operating expenses of the entire Council and their summer camps gratis. The DuPont family also contributed both facilities and substantial cash. Now all that support is gone.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — May 24, 2013 @ 12:42 pm – May 24, 2013

    And Wilmington is clearly the better for it.

    There’s your lesson: LGBT bigots and pandering to them do nothing to improve a community and quite a bit to destroy it.

    That is because LGBT bigots have no interest in WHY the Scouts exist; they just want to destroy them and their values.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 24, 2013 @ 4:56 pm - May 24, 2013

  34. Ted B. is a funny one, Heliotrope.

    He decries what liberals have done to society, but he endorses and supports liberalism and antireligious bigotry, such as his fellow LGBT bigots screaming and attacking corporations for funding the BSA.

    Perhaps if he recognized that the BSA does a tremendous amount of good, especially when compared to the promiscuous bigoted liberals who are attacking it, he might see the problem with his pronouncements.

    The simple fact is this: the BSA is allowing bigots like Dan Savage and Joe Jervis who see children as sexual objects to set their morals and values.

    And corporations are stupid enough to allow bigots like Dan Savage and Joe Jervis who see children as sexual objects to dictate their giving.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 24, 2013 @ 5:01 pm - May 24, 2013

  35. I don’t attack religion, as a former Scout I criticize it’s unwelcome recent intrusion where it doesn’t belong.

    Scouting was not a religious organization for 90-years until it was hijacked….

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — May 24, 2013 @ 6:10 pm - May 24, 2013

  36. Interesting post over at independent gay forum
    http://igfculturewatch.com/2013/05/21/religious-rights-losing-battle-of-the-bsa/

    Comment by rusty — May 24, 2013 @ 6:56 pm - May 24, 2013

  37. I don’t attack religion, as a former Scout I criticize it’s unwelcome recent intrusion where it doesn’t belong.

    Scouting was not a religious organization for 90-years until it was hijacked….

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — May 24, 2013 @ 6:10 pm – May 24, 2013

    LMAO.

    The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath or Promise the member declares, ‘On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.’ The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members.

    What were you doing when the Scout Oath was being recited, Ted B? Lying? Crossing your fingers?

    Oh, that’s right. You’re LGBT, so you don’t actually have to believe what you say or act in a manner consistent with your principles.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 24, 2013 @ 7:27 pm - May 24, 2013

  38. Interesting post over at independent gay forum
    http://igfculturewatch.com/2013/05/21/religious-rights-losing-battle-of-the-bsa/

    Comment by rusty — May 24, 2013 @ 6:56 pm – May 24, 2013

    Yes it is, rusty, especially since the commenters there who are going on about teen suicide openly endorse and support telling gay teens and others to kill themselves.

    Or when you realize that these same liberal commenters support and endorse those people who have pushed the HIV rate among children and teens to twice that of sub-Saharan Africa.

    In short, their concern for children and teens, like yours, is not reflected in your action.

    But we already know that, given how you’ve stated that V the K’s kids should have been aborted.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 24, 2013 @ 7:31 pm - May 24, 2013

  39. The recognition of a supreme being HARDLY makes Scouting a religious organization any more than the use of a Bible makes a Courtroom a Church.

    And I happen to be a holder of Scouting’s “God and Country” medal—which is much rarer than the Eagle badge—which I think makes me more knowledgeable of religion’s place in traditional Scouting than you.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — May 24, 2013 @ 7:50 pm - May 24, 2013

  40. Oh, there’s more than that, Ted B.

    A Scout is reverent. He is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties and respects the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion.

    So given you and your family’s obvious bigotry and hate towards other peoples’ religious beliefs, a la your ranting about “evangelicals” and “fundamentalists”, what were you doing in order to get this? Lying? Crossing your fingers?

    Oh, that’s right. You’re LGBT, so you don’t actually have to believe what you say or act in a manner consistent with your principles.

    And what I find most telling is this: you could have founded your own organization for gay youth and gotten all that sweet, sweet corporate lucre while nominally pretending to help children.

    But you didn’t. Instead, you went after and attacked and sued the Boy Scouts to harass and punish them and, in the process, to DENY far more children the opportunity to be Scouts and have access to those resources.

    You don’t give a damn about kids. You only cared about your petty, vindictive antireligious bigotry and hate. And as a result, places like your Wilmington, your Philadelphia, and your Newark are cesspools without opportunities for kids to learn anything other than gang-banging.

    Are you proud of yourself, Ted B?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 24, 2013 @ 8:03 pm - May 24, 2013

  41. There you go again Miss Rita Beads

    http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l569/rusty98119/IMG_20130520_100640_zps4c2cd236.jpg

    Comment by rusty — May 24, 2013 @ 9:03 pm - May 24, 2013

  42. Really, rusty, you are rather dense.

    You support and endorse telling people to kill themselves because they don’t vote the way you want.

    You told V the K that his kids would be better off dead than with him as a parent.

    And you openly mock and berate people with religious beliefs who were caring for AIDS patients while you were off making more of them.

    I don’t expect any better of you. You aren’t capable of any better.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 24, 2013 @ 9:47 pm - May 24, 2013

  43. I disagree with the decision never mine incense coercive power was brought against scouting by gay activist.
    I see a spit coming similar to when our church left the Episcopal Church for the ACNA.

    Comment by Scatcatpdx — May 24, 2013 @ 10:31 pm - May 24, 2013

  44. FTR. . Plenty more from where that came from

    http://www.vthek.net/2012/07/almost-first-rate-pron.html

    James is a wonderful person for adopting three boys, but what would one say if one of those adoptions was a girl?

    Comment by rusty — September 24, 2012 @ 9:41 pm – September 24, 2012

    Comment by rusty — April 28, 2013 @ 3:32 pm – April 28, 2013

    Comment by rusty — May 25, 2013 @ 12:14 am - May 25, 2013

  45. Oh Miss Rita Beads,

    Really?

    Smooches
    http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l569/rusty98119/abfeea64.jpg

    Comment by rusty — May 25, 2013 @ 12:19 am - May 25, 2013

  46. ND30 you are a strange bird.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — May 25, 2013 @ 9:42 am - May 25, 2013

  47. ND30 you are a strange bird.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — May 25, 2013 @ 9:42 am

    That’s high praise coming from the likes of you.

    It must seem strange to encounter someone who thinks for themselves and doesn’t submit to the ‘herd mentality’, which is so common these days. I’ll bet you find it more than a bit threatening, too.

    Comment by Jman1961 — May 25, 2013 @ 10:14 am - May 25, 2013

  48. I am genuinely surprised about this:

    Kaitlyn Hunt, 18, was expelled from school for dating and having sex with her 14-year-old girlfriend, who was a fellow player on her basketball team. Hunt was arrested and charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12 to 16 years.

    I thought “mentoring” among same-sex couples was commendable and a step toward enlightenment and an act of courageous diversity.

    Kevin Jennings was made Obama’s “Safe Schools Czar.” Jennings was the founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and he was appointed by Obama in no small part because of his GLSEN work.

    Gateway Pundit, back in 2009 had a very interesting post about Jennings and GLSEN. Here is a nugget from that post from a group that reviewed a handful of books on the GLSEN reading list for school children:

    We were unprepared for what we encountered. Book after book after book contained stories and anecdotes that weren’t merely X-rated and pornographic, but which featured explicit descriptions of sex acts between pre-schoolers; stories that seemed to promote and recommend child-adult sexual relationships; stories of public masturbation, anal sex in restrooms, affairs between students and teachers, five-year-olds playing sex games, semen flying through the air. One memoir even praised becoming a prostitute as a way to increase one’s self-esteem. Above all, the books seemed to have less to do with promoting tolerance than with an unabashed attempt to indoctrinate students into a hyper-sexualized worldview.

    Now, with this Jennings guy being a “czar” and “guru” for public school sex education, I thought that the gay and lesbian activist world had pretty much made the “gay victim card” an instrument against a case like the Kaitlyn Hunt from happening.

    To be clearer, I thought that gays in the scouts and gay PDA in schools and gay liaisons in school bathrooms were all off the radar and considered to be diversity protected.

    To my knowledge, no one is going to the streets in a mass demonstration to keep gays out of scouting. Of course I don’t watch the MSM channels, but if there were a major “keep-gays-out-of-scouts” focus out there, I know the MSM would go wall-to-wall in covering it.

    Are we on the horns of a dilemma here? Has society “accepted” gay sex between two (only) sensible adults who wish to live out an ideal marriage, but society is still edgy about the “icky” side of gay stuff?

    Put another way, what are the “boundaries” of the normalization of gay lifestyles? The easy answer is that everything goes and it is nobody else’s business. But that is such a pointless dodge from facing the reality of how society functions.

    What would be the reaction to an advanced scout working on a project to help a tenderfoot discovery his sexuality? Or, the reaction if an advanced scout were to be blocked by the scouting leaders from helping a tenderfoot from discovering his sexuality? After all, the only clear difference between the two boys is that one is gay and one might be. So, tending the garden by the gay in helping the other one to grow blossom would be good thing. Right?

    Comment by heliotrope — May 25, 2013 @ 11:11 am - May 25, 2013

  49. Jman1961, I would like see gay teenagers treated just like any other teenagers. How would would you like to see them treated?

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — May 25, 2013 @ 11:19 am - May 25, 2013

  50. Jman1961, I would like see gay teenagers treated just like any other teenagers. How would would you like to see them treated?
    Comment by SC.Swampfox — May 25, 2013 @ 11:19 am

    I’m in favor of that as well, but here’s the biggest roadblock to achieving it:

    When so many people (most of them well intended, like you) continually make the fact of a person being GAY their primary consideration, and by their words and deeds (both explicit and implicit), try to force everyone else to make it THEIR primary consideration.
    The plan, ostensibly, is to show how much common ground exists, but the execution is to relentlessly point out what the differences are, even when the differences have no bearing on the issue at hand.

    Think of it this way:

    …not judged by the color of their skin their sexual orientation, but by the content of their character

    Makes sense, right?

    Comment by Jman1961 — May 25, 2013 @ 11:40 am - May 25, 2013

  51. I’d go so far as to say that there are too people for whom it is their sole consideration.

    Comment by Jman1961 — May 25, 2013 @ 11:52 am - May 25, 2013

  52. Dan, good post. I thought you made it crystal clear that while you believe the Boy Scouts should allow gay people to participate, you don’t want it done by government edict.

    Rusty, I agree. Good post at IGF, and some excellent comments there.

    Ted, excellent points as well.

    I also agree that private organizations determine their membership. But I also believe that it’s in the best interest of all involved to allow gay people to participate. I believe progress has been made in allowing openly gay teenagers* to be boy scouts. However, the message is still that being gay is wrong, because once the scout is no longer a child, he can no longer participate. It’s almost as if the Boy Scouts are advocating gay adults to begin the process of becoming ex-gay when they become an adult. I’m guessing the Boy Scouts will see the problems with this themselves, and within ten years, will vote to allow participation of gay adults as well.

    * Perhaps I’m wrong, but I get the feeling that many think when a teen comes out as openly gay, it automatically means he is engaging in sex. This is no more true than straight teens.

    For me personally, I was a boy scout until I was 14. I made it to second class (no pun intended). I don’t recall there being anything regarding sexual orientation. It was assumed everyone was straight, I suppose, and anyone who was gay didn’t say, mostly because he kept quiet about it outside of scouts as well. When people started realizing that homosexuality should not be kept in the closet, the Girl Scouts went in the right direction, while the Boy Scouts did not.

    I thought “mentoring” among same-sex couples was commendable and a step toward enlightenment and an act of courageous diversity.

    Heliotrope, I would say no more so than “mentoring” among opposite-sex couples is commendable and a step toward whatever and an act of courageous whatever else.

    Think of it this way:

    …not judged by the color of their skin their sexual orientation, but by the content of their character…

    Makes sense, right?

    Jman, I agree with this. In terms of the topic, with regards to gay boy scouts, it shouldn’t be their primary consideration either. When I was a boy scout, sexuality was definitely not the primary concern, but of course, sometimes fellow boy scouts did talk about girlfriends, or talk about girls they were attracted to, or even talk about having sex with girls, imagined or real. I recall on a camping trip, we had a chaplain talk to us about sexuality. I’m sure this continued well after I was no longer a scout. But while it was becoming acceptable for a gay teenager to talk about boyfriends as it is for a straight teen to talk about girlfriends (outside of scouts), etc., that apparently was not allowed in the Boy Scouts until now.

    Comment by Pat — May 25, 2013 @ 12:16 pm - May 25, 2013

  53. that apparently was not allowed in the Boy Scouts until now.

    Pat, were you openly gay when you were in the Scouts or were you in the “don’t ask, don’t tell” mode?

    Were you actually “not allowed” to talk about your boyfriends or boyfriend fantasies, or were you avoiding reactions that you would react to as bullying and stigmatizing?

    I am not trying to pry so much as to clarify. Perhaps some in society want to mold the scouts to accept the sexuality of gays as “normal” and not worth remarking about. Others in society may want to mold the scouts to ignore and look past the sexuality of gays and “avoid” the whole issue. Others in society may want to mold the scouts to be leaders in promoting the “gay agenda.”

    The problem with all sweeping generalities is that the presumptions underlying the generalizations are not as universal as the people making the generalization might believe.

    Will we see a time when there is a real or tacit push for scouts to recruit gays for statistical purposes? The politics of minority “inclusion” has been well worked out.

    Comment by heliotrope — May 25, 2013 @ 1:15 pm - May 25, 2013

  54. Jman1961, Let it be known, I don’t like the far right or the loony far left. I am a gay man. I have to deal with it and those that know that I am gay have to deal with it. I don’t go around waving the gay flag and I don’t get anyone’s face about the issue. I consider myself conservative on almost every political issue, but I am a social liberal when it comes to gay rights.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — May 25, 2013 @ 3:02 pm - May 25, 2013

  55. Heliotrope, just to give some perspective, I was a boy scout in the late 70s. I was definitely not openly gay in the scouts, or anywhere else. I was in “why am I not attracted to girls like everyone else?” mode.

    I am not sure what was allowed or “allowed” regarding talking about boyfriends, but my perception was that anyone who talked about a boyfriend, talking about a cute boy, etc., would have led to bullying of some form. And if I had done that, I’m thinking that Asst. Scoutmaster (our Scoutmaster was more of a figurehead) would have had a talk with my father about it, and strongly suggest to him that he have me cool it with the boy talk. Again, I don’t know this as fact, but my perception of what would most likely have happened.

    There are different agenda out there, and I can’t speak to others, only mine. For most people, it’s the age when one would be a boy scout where one starts becoming aware of their own sexuality and sexual attractions. And let’s face it, the reality is that some boy scouts are going to realize that they are gay while a boy scout. So what should a boy in that situation do? Does the BSA really want this boy to quit simply for being gay? Or stay, but become ashamed of his sexuality? Or now, be okay with his sexuality because he is still only a kid, but can only remain a scout as an adult, if he renounces his sexuality? Anyway, this last question will be one of the questions for the BSA will likely be looking into for the next few years.

    I don’t know what the future holds in terms of some kind of inclusion quotas. I certainly believe it should not happen regardless. I’m guessing it won’t happen, partly because the BSA will allow participation by all gay persons soon enough. And it will be more internal pressure if they believe that gay persons aren’t joining because the perception is still that gay persons are not welcome.

    Comment by Pat — May 25, 2013 @ 3:42 pm - May 25, 2013

  56. Is the issue from the BSA’s point of view about the risk of sexual abuse by a gay scout leader?

    I doubt it. Instead, the old stereotype that gay men are a bunch of pederasts trying to seduce adolescent male “catamites” has been replaced by a new stereotype: that LGBT people in general are quite pushy about evangelizing against homophobia and in favor of “inclusiveness.” And once LGBTers manage to grab the microphone, they don’t know when to shut up, and will shamelessly play the “Won’t Someone Think of the Gay Children” card to advance their adult political obsessions.

    So, if Jimmy says that Billy is a “faggot,” a closeted gay scoutmaster would presumably say “Jimmy, calling someone faggot is neither Friendly, nor Courteous, nor Kind,” and just leave it at that (lest he accidentally uncloset himself by belaboring the issue). Maybe in severe cases he’d make dark insinuations about taking away Jimmy’s “totin’ chit” (Scoutspeak for temporarily suspending knife-carrying privileges).

    Whereas an out-and-proud gay scoutmaster would hector Jimmy endlessly with statistics about how 87% of LGBT youth have committed suicide, attempted suicide, thought about suicide, and/or have watched Heathers on cable; and follow up by trying to get the whole troop involved in making an “It Gets Better” rap video as a service project. Or, at least, the BSA assumes — and not entirely without justification — that a homosexual scoutmaster would tend to behave this way if the policy permitted him to be Openly Gay.

    Comment by Throbert McGee — May 25, 2013 @ 4:42 pm - May 25, 2013

  57. Dammit! Just lost a comment and I have to log off.

    Comment by Throbert McGee — May 25, 2013 @ 4:43 pm - May 25, 2013

  58. Does the BSA really want this boy to quit simply for being gay? I do not think this was ever the case. For the most part, hetero boys banter about someone being “gay” rather than go into witch hunt mode. I base this on years of experience working with high school aged kids in public schools, private schools and military schools. In no case, do I know of a case where the adults in the schools were ferreting out gays.

    Or stay, but become ashamed of his sexuality? What is the administrative course of action that would prevent a gay person from being “ashamed” of his sexuality? How does the organization go about identifying and addressing the specific issues that cause one to be ashamed? How does the organization go about and addressing the extent to which being “ashamed” resides principally within the one ashamed or forces aimed at the person or the combination of the two? Does the administrative source need to find and identify gays in advance of his becoming ashamed and arm him with special coping skills? Should the administrative source attempt to create an environment in which negativity about homosexuality is addressed as an organizational infraction?

    Or now, be okay with his sexuality because he is still only a kid, but can only remain a scout as an adult, if he renounces his sexuality? Can an openly gay person be a scout leader? I believe that is your question. I have no idea. But that question tacitly addresses what “duty to God” and “reverent” and “morally straight” mean in the scout oath and the scout law. Therefore, it is apparent that the Judeo-Christian ethic is on trial with the scouts.

    The core problem with attacking the Judeo-Christian ethic revolves around the word “normal” which is defined as: The usual, average, or typical state or condition. When dealing with sexuality among males, “normal” is bifurcated into “normal” for heterosexuals and “normal” for homosexuals in terms of sexual orientation. Since heterosexuals are at least 95% of the populations by most studies, it is highly likely that scouting population would generally parallel those percentages. This, I presume, is the core of the conundrum when dealing with boys who are in the midst of dealing with their hormones. Teens in particular are obsessed with what is “acceptable” and what is not. What are we actually asking of these teens and their largely volunteer leaders?

    Comment by heliotrope — May 25, 2013 @ 6:18 pm - May 25, 2013

  59. Heliotrope, the BSA by accepting those under 18 but bannng those over 18 has only opened a new can of worms. It doesn’t make sense. My guess is that the current policy won’t stand for too long.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — May 25, 2013 @ 6:41 pm - May 25, 2013

  60. Heliotrope, before this recent vote and after I was a boy scout, I don’t know what BSA did, in general, to a boy scout who came out as gay. I guess it differed within different troops. On a similar note, I do know that scouts who were openly atheist were prevented from attaining Eagle Scout. Perhaps they are more strict against atheists than gay scouts. My recollection is that apparent hetero boys would not go on witch hunts to ferret out gay peers, but I’ve seen many cases (outside of scouts) where peers perceived to be gay were name called and bullied.

    As for the shame, that’s up to the BSA. For starters the BSA allowing gay adults to participate will help in ridding the shame. After that, they have to figure out how to deal with the sponsors that continue to regard homosexuality as sinful, as you suggest. Many enterprises run by the Roman Catholic Church do employ openly gay adults without issue. I’m one of them. So, I think the BSA could figure it out, if that’s the direction they want to go.

    As for normal, here’s one way to think of it. Most people are not left-handed or Armenians, for example. But we typically don’t throw “not normal” in their faces when it comes to their identity or characteristic. No one would think of saying that a boy scout could be left-handed or Armenian, but as an adult, they have to start using their right hand, renounce their ethnic background, or they cannot belong to the scouts any longer. As to expressing negativity, perhaps whatever policy they have when persons express negativity against persons of different races or religions could work.

    I guess I don’t see of the difficulty of an openly gay man have with “duty of God,” “reverent,” and being “morally straight.” I don’t think most people interpreted “straight” to have anything to do with heterosexuality except to those who used it as an excuse to bar gay people from being a boy scout. Also, I don’t think we are asking teens or the volunteer leaders too much here. When I was a boy scout, we were taught to be tolerant and accepting of persons of different religions, cultures, etc. I don’t see a big problem with including homosexuality here. As for the teens, the ones who are “morally straight” won’t have difficulty with this either.

    Comment by Pat — May 25, 2013 @ 7:04 pm - May 25, 2013

  61. I’m sure there were already gay scouts and gay scout masters.

    Comment by Leah — May 26, 2013 @ 11:32 am - May 26, 2013

  62. Leah,

    Me too. Sometimes people can do whatever they truly want to do without the benefit of shining a spotlight on themselves. And, I suspect the gay scouts and gay scout leaders will just stay the course without jumping on the stage of a side show. They probably have worked out their priorities and their agendas don’t have room for things that are not great concerns to them. They likely understand that most people just don’t care and have no interest is stirring up a problem. The testimonials of gay scouts on this thread would indicate such. Of course, there might be a BSA Star Chamber in operation where gays are ferreted out and banished, but I am not aware of it.

    Comment by heliotrope — May 26, 2013 @ 12:28 pm - May 26, 2013

  63. Heliotrope, I agree with you and Leah that there are already gay scout leaders. But you illustrated the issue as I see it. A left-handed scout leader can use his left hand, An Armenian scout leader can talk about Armenian culture, and a straight scout leader can talk about his wife. But if a gay scout leader mentioned his partner, he would be “jumping on the stage of a side show.”

    Granted, this is the policy of BSA, and a gay scout leader needs to abide by the rules. And these rules are similar to the past rule of the U.S. Military. In fact, since I’m sure there is no BSA Star Chamber, the policy is basically “don’t ask, don’t tell.” So the gay scout leader has to have different priorities than straight scout leaders. And I guess we can debate about whether straight scout leaders keeping their sexuality a secret (e.g., no mention of wife or children) would be a great concern to them. As long as BSA believes this is fair, just, and best for the scouts, the policy will stand, as it should be. I just don’t think they will believe that is the case much longer. We’ll see.

    Comment by Pat — May 27, 2013 @ 11:23 am - May 27, 2013

  64. Scouts, but not scout leaders.

    They wouldn’t, and they shouldn’t let a heterosexual male be the leader of a girl scout troop. There should be no possibility for a sexual relationship developing between a mentor and the kids that are being mentored. It’s a blatant conflict of interest.

    Comment by gastorgrab — May 27, 2013 @ 6:55 pm - May 27, 2013

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