Thursday, May 30, 2013
Robert McCartney reports in Washington Post Metro on church groups withdrawing from BSA funding
Robert McCartney reports in the Washington Post Metro section Thursday that the Washington area council of the Boy Scouts of America has already lost some donors, and now is trying to emphasize “faith” rather than sexuality. McCartney comes back and asks why a nationally recognized character-building organization can’t accept atheists. The link is here.
Although the BSA is a private organization, and constitutional libertarians (including Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty) agreed with the Supreme Court’s narrow ruling in 2000, that the BSA could do what it wanted, it’s true that in the past it has had tremendous influence on character norms. When I was in the Army (Vietnam era, stateside), officers were expected to participate in sponsorship.
So what is the BSA’s message? Beyond honor to duty, God, country? One of the values is self-reliance, taking care of oneself in practical ways, particularly in emergencies. “Be prepared.” As an immediate corollary, be prepared to take care of others in practical ways. That obviously matters in a world that is unstable because of an increasingly volatile climate and becoming unstable because of bad actors and enemies – although all of these factors have always existed.
So why this fetishal obsession in some quarters with male homosexuality? Of course, it’s easy to say that a lot of it is religious. Or, as Bill Maher says, “religulous”. Then there’s the idea of privacy and close quarters. The United States military has learned to cope with that (along with “unit cohesion”) But, here, some say, you’re talking about underage teens, so that’s a difference.
Overt exhibition of sexuality is supposed to have no place in scouting activities. All of this comes down to outward acceptance of an immutable “property” of a personality.
When I was a boy, I was pushed for a while into Cub Scouting, and even into “football”. It didn’t go very far. It seemed that society was sending conflicting messages. Girls were to be respected and sexual explorations were to be avoided. No problem, But then it morphed into something else. Girls were to be protected, even sacrificially, because they were future mothers. Boys were to channel some of their energies, at least indirectly, into the reproductive needs of the family and community. Already there was a logical contradiction at some level. Sex now was bad but eventual fatherhood was almost mandatory. Homosexuality made one an enemy of the future of the family. At an individual level, that hardly made sense.
At least the recent episodes of the soap “Days of our Lives” have presented an interesting view of homosexuality and reproduction.