Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Boy Scouts...

Pewsitter had the headline: "I have no problem with the Boy Scouts' decision."

I assumed it would be a link to Fr. James Martin, S.J., last Thursday, he posted:

As a former Cub Scout and Webelo I support the Boy Scouts' welcoming everyone into the Scouts. As a Catholic I support the recognition of the fundamental human dignity of every person. - Fr. Martin, S.J.
When I clicked on the Pewsitter link I discovered it was a different author, with a very different take on the matter.  It was Eric Erickson, editor of RedState.  (Never heard of him BTW.)
The Boy Scouts of America now begin the winding down of their ability to serve as a moral beacon teaching clear Judeo-Christian morality and while I don’t have a problem with them doing it, I do choose now to opt out of considering supporting the Boy Scouts of America. - Eric Erickson 
Mr. Erickson's take impressed me as more Catholic than Fr. Martin's. 

Long time readers know that I like and respect Fr. Martin, although I often disagree with him on issues related to homosexuality. 

A day or two ago I expressed my opinion on the Boy Scout decision in the com box of one of my other posts.  For what it is worth, I'll restate it here:
My greatest disappointment is that a boy, Boy Scout age, can be convinced he is gay or SSA. It bothers me that kids have been so sexualized in childhood.

That said, male friendship - good male friendship would be the best thing for young men who believe they are SSA. Thus, the fact any boy is accepted into Boy Scouts might be fine - unfortunately, in this particular case it means affirming a boy for his sexual preference.  It is a short step to the gay Boy Scout becoming the gay Scout Master.

I think some one needs to found a Catholic Boy Scout organization as a substitute - the way Fr. McGivney did with the Knights of Columbus, as an alternative to the Masonic Lodge - TN

I think my comment segues well with the rest of Erickson's post:
My son will not be in the scouts. While I have no problem with the scouts allowing in self-identified gay youths, and I believe churches should welcome in gays, I do not believe an organization that works to foster morality and strong character in young men can continue to do so while allowing in young men who identify as gay if the homosexual act is to still be considered a sin.

To be sure, being gay is not a sin. All of us have temptations. But to act on that temptation and engage in sin, is sinful. We live in a day and age where many expect the government to subsidize birth control because sexual behavior in and out of marriage is the norm. Society no longer recognizes homosexual behavior as a sin, nor does it recognize sex outside of marriage generally as sin. Government now subsidizes the behavior.

While churches should not turn away gays and should preach the full Gospel to us and them and require us all to repent, an organization like the Scouts will no longer do so in the context of teaching healthy morality and character to young men. The moral component to the Scouts will collapse in favor of knot tying, tent pitching, and badge collection.

While being gay in and of itself is not a sin, we fool ourselves to think that secular society does not rapidly then move to the act itself as another form of normal. The truth is, for Christians the homosexual act is a clear sin and an organization such as the scouts that lets in gay scouts will not long maintain its compass in declaring the scout fine, but his conduct not. The scouts will lose that distinction just as society has and will, over time, allow gay scout masters. The wall is breached and cannot be repaired. - Eric Erickson

I'm not convinced same-sex attraction in adolescence is necessarily fixed for life - promoters of sexual fluidity would happily agree with me - but that isn't my point.  I have problems with the way children and young people are sexualized at such early ages, encouraged to make sexual preference choices even before adolescence.  Today kids are sexualized far too early, and it is generally considered healthy.  I was sexualized as a child - not just through sexual abuse, but through bad example - particularly the sexually irresponsible behaviour of my parents.  I knew too much too early.  Many people who have been abused and or sexualized at an early age know the experience can lead to promiscuity and depression later on.  No degree of social acceptance and approval can repair the damage.  I expect time will demonstrate that for those who think otherwise.

"Recognition of the fundamental human dignity of every person" and acceptance of SSA youth is one thing.  Approval of homosexual acts - sin - is quite another... "we fool ourselves to think that secular society does not rapidly then move to the act itself as another form of normal" sexual behaviour.

Little by little.

Good News, Dr. Taylor Marshall intends to start a Catholic Boy's Scout group!  He should consider Charles Untz as one of the patrons.

From Bishop Jarrell:  "National media have reported that the Boy Scouts have changed their policy and will admit 'openly gay' young men," Jarrell wrote in his letter. "I note that the policy adopted does not use those words. It states: 'No youth may be denied membership in the Boys Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.'"*

Jarrell goes on to explain that his position, and that of the church, is to promote tolerance rather than exclusion.

"The new standard adopted by the Boy Scout of America does not provide an obstacle to continued sponsoring of scouting," Jarrell said, "as long as Catholic principles of morality are consistently applied." - Source

 *I did not know that.


  1. A question: what do you mean by "sexualized"?
    Another: at what age do you think a boy should learn about sex?

  2. Kids are sexualized through exposure to media - music, entertainment, the internet, and in some cases sex ed. classes in school. The culture has been saturated with sexual images and bad example.

    I suppose a young boy should learn about sex when he asks. I think parents have the responsibility to determine that.

  3. I should also add, my first sexual experience that I can recall was about 4 or 5, and that was way too soon to learn about anal sex.

  4. Wow Terry, that is WAY too young. Im' sorry for that and I hope it wasn't an adult. I think that am early negative experience would make one have a conflicted view of sexuality....(not saying you do or don't..just that it would and I hope you don't because of it)

    Anyway, the whole gay scout thing is stupid. While I don't think they should throw a scout out for being gay, how are they finding out. When I was in scouts it was not exactly a sexy place, so how does the issue of sex even come up? When a scout insists on sing a long show tunes? He makes campfire blueberry orange muffins for the troops?He ties the yellow scarf in countless trendy ways? I think everyone gay or straight needs to let kids be kids, and whatever they might develop into, the discussion is off the table.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.