Fourteen years ago, I wrote in The Sentinel concerning a looming Supreme Court case involving Scouting and homosexuality (interestingly, the article is still online here: http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1999-08-15/news/9908130283_1_scout-oath-boy-scouts-scout-uniform-shirt). Of course, the Court at that time supported the Scout’s right to set standards for leaders and boys which existed for more than 100 years until they votes this week to change.
Through massively successful strategic planning, the Gay movement has swung popular opinion in our country into a clear majority who support “gay rights.” But let’s be very clear, Scouting historically stayed away from personal sexual matters. It was never part of their agenda. Only when a boy or leader acted in manners outside of normal, safe behavior would action ever be taken. But the Gay movement could not abide a “don’t ask, don’t tell – this is not who we are” position in Scouting. The Gay movement seems to seek complete cultural acceptance, normalization, and even endorsement of its agenda, nothing less. So the issue is not solved yet for Scouting, and the Gay movement will not stop until Gay leaders are also part of the Scouting movement.
Here is the hard and difficult truth: men and women are different. Theistic religion (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) universally recognized this until only a few decades ago. But it is still true that children require a father and mother – not only for creation (yes, this is still the case, no matter how creatively we manipulate the process), but for nurture. Popular opinion may shift, but basic nature does not change. It will always still require a man and a woman to make a child (again, recognizing our scientific ability to manipulate this, the basic fact remains). Even if 99% of a culture comes to believe 2+2=5, the truth of reality does not change. Sexuality is not fundamentally different.
And before they cue the cries of “Hate!” and “Bigot!” (rhetorical bully tactics that simply avoid the hard facts), my article 14 years ago mentioned that my beloved brother was a gay man who died in 1999 from AIDS related illness. Further, I am one of those people who will stick with the last 5000 years of human culture rather than the last 50 years of experimentation on this issue. Now cue charges of my support for slavery and racial discrimination, a false equivalence that has emotional strength, but no logical connection.
In Scouting, theistic belief and practice has also been a standard – but this will necessarily have to fall in light of this self-imposed changed with respect to sexual expression in Scouting. Sadly Scouting is no longer what it was and will lose thousands of supporting charter organizations and millions of boys and leaders. Like religious denominations who celebrate their progressive diversity of thought and openness to new ideas, Scouting will shrink into complete irrelevance. And unless a new organization that holds to old simple ideas rises up, boys and young men in America will be the losers.