The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) voted Monday to end their blanket ban on adult homosexual troop leaders. Coming just two years after the organization lifted its ban on openly homosexual scouts, the policy change will allow church-sponsored Scout units to maintain the ban (for now). The Associated Press reports on the story:
The new policy, aimed at easing a controversy that has embroiled the Boy Scouts for years, takes effect immediately. It was approved by the BSA's National Executive Board on a 45-12 vote during a closed-to-the-media teleconference.
"For far too long this issue has divided and distracted us," said the BSA's president, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. "Now it's time to unite behind our shared belief in the extraordinary power of Scouting to be a force for good."
Yet Monday’s move will do little to end the division and distraction because, whether or not there’s a shared belief on Scouting’s power to do good, there certainly is no shared belief today on what good is. And certain quarters have already registered discontent. Writes the New York Times:
Despite [the] compromise [for church-sponsored units], the Mormon Church said it might leave the organization anyway. Its stance surprised many and raised questions about whether other conservative sponsors, including the Roman Catholic Church, might follow suit.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today’s vote,” said a statement issued by the church moments after the Scouts announced the new policy. “When the leadership of the church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with scouting will need to be examined.”
With Mormon-sponsored units accounting for 17 percent of boys involved in Scouting, the church is in a position to initiate a devastating splintering of the BSA, something Gates said he was trying to forestall. And traditionalists do have an option at the ready: Trail Life USA, a scouting organization started in the wake of BSA’s 2013 capitulation to our careening-off-course culture, upholds the Christian sense of virtue that used to define the Scouts.
Nor will the BSA’s move end attacks from the Left. While Gates was concerned, as the AP put it, that the national “ban was likely to be the target of lawsuits that the Scouts likely would lose,” the status-quo attacking Left accepts nothing less than complete submission to its ever-changing will. Chad Griffin, president of the homosexuality-activist group the Human Rights Campaign, wasted no time in stating that the BSA must now disallow even church-sponsored units from excluding homosexuals. And Kenneth Upton, a lawyer for the homosexuality-activist group Lambda Legal, said that the BSA’s new policy wasn’t sustainable. As he put it, reports the AP, “There will be a period of time where they'll have some legal protection. But that doesn't mean the lawsuits won't keep coming.... They will become increasingly marginalized from the direction society is going."
And while our culture’s marginalizing of morality is the main issue, lawsuits are used to grease the slippery slope to perdition, and they warrant discussion. It’s important to note, for instance, that our long-accepted precedent that the government can trump freedom of association has led us to this point. As to this, consider: No one questions that you have a right to include in or exclude from your home whomever you please. Why should you lose that right merely because you erect a few more tables and sell food, start a bakery, or run a youth organization? It’s still your private property, paid for with your money and created by the sweat of your own brow.
Yet under the pretext of preventing a small percentage of the population from discriminating unjustly — which is often remediable via market scorn and ostracism — we have accepted that Big Brother can dictate what kinds of discrimination are allowable based on the ever-morphing mores of a civilization adrift.
And what is acceptable discrimination, anyway? Who decides? Not only can even racial discrimination be justifiable at times (e.g., a West Indian restaurant hiring only blacks for purposes of authenticity), but is freedom of association any freedom at all if people are only allowed to associate in popular ways? The whole purpose of constitutionally guaranteed rights is to protect even the unpopular.
Moreover, does the BSA’s new policy really constitute movement toward equality? Or is it the enshrinement of a double standard? As I wrote in May:
After all, if having homosexuals as Boy Scout troop leaders poses no problems, why not allow normal men to be Girl Scout troop leaders? What’s the difference? Are homosexuals immune to sexual temptation?
By essentially saying they’d trust homosexuals with Boy Scouts but not normal men with Girl Scouts, Gates and his fellow travelers have gone beyond equality — they’re implying that homosexuals are superior to straight men. And by saying they’ll ignore the danger of sexual temptation with homosexuals in the BSA while holding normal men to the traditional standard, they’re effecting a double standard that favors homosexuals.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen such bias, either. When Gene Robinson left his wife and children to be with his homosexual lover, the decision was not only called “brave” by some, but he was rewarded years later by being elected an Episcopalian bishop in 2003. Now, question: If a straight man left his family and violated his marriage vows to be with his mistress, would he be called brave or a dog? Would he be elected bishop or likened to Beelzebub? In both cases the men are attracted to someone else more than to their wives. But in one case it’s called adultery — in the other it’s called liberation.
(By the way, Robinson just can’t help being brave; last year he announced he was “divorcing” his “husband.”)
What’s going on here? Disconnected from Truth and governed by emotion, we now operate not on principles but prejudice. It’s not what you do — it’s what you are.
And what we are is a civilization disconnected from reason. Leftists believed homosexuals were being singled out by the BSA, but as I also wrote:
Think about it: An organization has no more way of knowing a person is a homosexual than that he’s an adulterer or fornicator — assuming he keeps his behavior private. And would the BSA accept an “open” adulterer or fornicator, someone who wore his anomalous sexual behavior on his shirtsleeve, as a troop leader? It’s inconceivable. So leftists not only want homosexuals to be able to advertise their sexuality, but also to be free from the consequences any other group would suffer for doing so.
We need to stop focusing on equality and start focusing on quality — of philosophical foundation and moral stature. And very few people seem to believe in equality, anyway. That is, except as a pretext for destroying freedom and replacing the instilling of virtue with the imposition of vice.
Photo: AP Images