February 25, 2008
Routing the Boy Sprouts
For some reason, Michael Medved was going on about the ultimatum by the City of Brotheley Love to rout the Cradle of Liberty Council of the Boy Scouts of America... unless they relent and start welcoming openly gay scouts and scoutmasters. If they don't, they'll have to start paying a rent of $200,000 a year on a property they have occupied for over eighty years. Since they can't afford that rent, they will be evicted.
I say "for some reason" because this isn't a new story; the actual vote in the Philadelphia City Council (16 to 1) was taken in 2007, and the Wall Street Journal ran an opinion piece about it on February 16th this year (may require paid subscription). So far as I know, the only thing that happened today was that the WSJ published some letters to the editor about that opinion piece.
Neither hither nor yon. Medved took it upon himself to defend the Scouts, which meant defending their "morally clean" policy -- which the BSA has interpreted, and not without good reason (it is a religious organization with strong Christian roots), as meaning no openly gay scouts or troop leaders. Alas, Medved had one of those rare days (this is irony, in case you missed it) when he was unable to articulate an effective defense of a conservative principle. In particular, one gay caller -- yes, I know he was gay because he affected the Standard American Gay Accent... and if you don't know what I mean, you must live in a small town -- tore Medved a new, ah, I mean to say, ripped him up one side and down the other shoe.
So Medved just fumfahed around and shouted about the Bible; the caller filibustered while the host burned.
All right. So let's examine the question that Michael Medved could not effectively answer: Why, apart from Judeo-Christian religion, shouldn't the Boy Scouts have openly gay scoutmasters and members?
First, let me answer a related question that sometimes crops up (from the truly extreme haters of the Boy Sprouts): Why don't the Boy Scouts allow girls to join?
I think we all know the reason why: S-E-double-X. Scouting is about male bonding, about boys getting together to hike, to work on projects, to engage in acts of service to humanity... all in an atmosphere where they don't have to think about love, dating, or sex. Is there anybody -- outside of a meeting of the ACLU -- who isn't aware that when you have a bunch of boys together, the dynamic is completely different from when you have a mixed group of boys and girls?
Since the vast majority (about 98%) of boys are heterosexual, when they are around girls, they experience certain feelings and biological urges. Boys in Scouting are at precisely the age where such feelings begin, rage out of control, and only after several years become familiar, normal, and controllable.
I'm about to get really, really explicit; if that bothers you, cover your eyes while you read the next few paragraphs.
Those of you who don't happen to be male may be unaware of this; but for most boys, when they first become pubescent (or even slightly before), they are unable to control their erections; it just rises and won't fall. Girls, did you ever wonder why so often in junior high (middle school), boys would walk around with a really distressed, embarassed look on their faces -- and their notebooks pressed tightly against their laps? Well, now you know.
The erection can be caused by almost anything related to females: A girl wearing a halter top or miniskirt (in my day), or even by the rear end of a cute female teacher, jiggling while she writes on the blackboard. Or by a sexual daydream sparked by some cute female fellow student across the room... the one you'd never dare talk to because you know she would laugh in your face. (Yes, even popular kids have those same anxieties.)
It's honestly a relief for 13, 14, and 15 year old boys to get away from girls, so that they're not constantly worried about embarassing or humiliating themselves, flushing deep red, being convinced that the girl they're working on a project with has suddenly read their minds about what they fantasized about her last night. I'm convinced that's a major draw of the Boy Scouts, though I never had an opportunity to be a member: When boys are out hiking and horsing around, telling stupid guy-jokes, comparing LSD experiences, and laughing at the sartorial taste of the science teacher, they have an incredible sense of freedom, relief, and camaraderie.
Mix in a few 13, 14, and 15 year old girls, and the boys would be hiking on egg shells: Anything they said or did would have to be planned and carefully considered, and would carry the threat of imminent death by embarassment. Besides, it's hard to hike with your backpack turned around and pressed tightly against your lap.
Then, of course, there is the very real threat of actual sexual activity. I will here offer a very rare personal revelation, a confession, if you will. Hang on, this may be shocking:
Back when I was 13, 14, and 15 years old, I would have jumped at the chance to have sex with a girl. Almost any girl. Even more shocking, women I have talked to (when they were adults) frequently admit that when they were that age, they were also very attracted to boys and might well have acted on that attraction, if the boy pushed a little... and were they given the opportunity.
One critical function of society is to give young teens no such opportunities.
Besides the emotional problems that often afflict sexually active young teens, there is the danger of pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. And for whatever adults were responsible for the welfare of those kids, there are obvious liability issues.
Thus, for all those reasons, the Boy Scouts do not admit girls; the Girl Scouts do not admit boys; and both organizations for the most part segregate the sexes. I'm sure there are some functions both boys and girls attend, but most activities, meetings, and functions are monogendered.
But what does that have to do with gay Scouts? Before answering, let's ask the next seemingly irrelevant question: Why don't the Boy Scouts have Scoutmistresses along with the Scoutmasters?
Forget the obvious answers. I know Scouts sometimes go skinnydipping in wilderness lakes; but they could wear swimsuits. And the Scoutmistress could avoid entering the shower facilities when any boy was present. Consider only the problems that cannot easily be prevented.
First, having a woman leading boys to a remote, private, or sequestered area brings up all the problems associated with having girls among the campers. Second, she may be tempted to mother the boys -- or the boys may perceive her as mothering them -- when what they really need is fathering. Boy Scouts need to be led by men for the same reason that boys growing up need fathers: Because in general, only a good, strong, decent man can teach young boys how to grow into good, strong, decent men. (Just as girls need a strong, loving, nurturing mother to grow up to be strong, loving, nurturing women. That's why children ideally need a male father and a female mother... but that's a whole 'nother post.)
Finally, there is one other issue that needs to be addressed, and it's disturbing: There are ephebophilic women who are attracted to teenaged boys; and there certainly are teenaged boys who are attracted to older women. It's not difficult to imagine terrible sexual problems arising -- whether real or imagined -- when young, teenaged boys are led on hikes or retreats by a reasonably young woman.
To name just a few:
- Boys trying to "sneak a peek" at the Scoutmistress while she showers or goes to the bathroom;
- A boy being traumatized when the Scoutmistress accidentally walks into the shower facilities, not realizing he hasn't finished;
- Boys sexualizing the Scoutmistress while talking to each other (or holding certain secret kinds of "contests"), thus losing respect for her as a leader;
- Actual sexual contact between one of the boys and the Scoutmistress;
- And yes, even forcible rape.
Looming over all of this, from the perspective of the BSA as an organization, is again the issue of legal liability: Can you imagine the lawsuit that would result if a 15 year old Boy Scout and his 32 year old Scoutmistress were caught in a compromising position? The troop would certainly be sued out of existence; the Boy Scouts of America could follow, depending on how big the judgment was and whether the troop or council had been forced by the organization to accept that woman as a Scoutmistress.
So with that background, let's turn -- at last! -- to the real question: What about gay Scoutmasters and Boy Scouts?
Gay men and boys
First, everything said above about female Boy Scouts (except pregnancy) and about Scoutmistresses applies to gay Scoutmasters. Yeah, everything... and more:
Scouts would always be wondering if the Scoutmaster were "checking them out." If he entered the shower area while they were using it, it would make virtually all of them extremely sexually uncomfortable... probably worse than if the Scoutmistress did.
It's terribly unfair for gays and liberals to retort that the boys should "just get over it." They're at a very vulnerable period of change in their own lives, becoming sexual beings. It's incredibly cruel to make them confront being in intimate circumstances with open homosexuals at the same time.
If the gay Scoutmaster is magnetic and charismatic (as many heterosexual Scoutmasters are), the boys might mistake admiration for sexual attraction, knowing the sexual preference of the Scoutmaster (projection); they might become terrified that they were "secretly gay," even if they, themselves, didn't realize it until just now.
Sound crazy? Kids of this age have all sorts of terrors, and this is a very common one: "What if it turns out I'm really gay?"
- Anytime the Scoutmaster privately counsels a boy (which is one of their jobs, I believe), no matter how innocuous, questions will arise in the mind of the individual Scout, his friends, and his parents. If a Scout is himself gay, and he spends any time with the gay Scoutmaster, you can magnify those questions a hundredfold.
- And what should the Scoutmaster do if one boy wants to ask a lot of questions about homosexuality? Especially if the boy thinks he might be gay himself. Should he answer, and open up a whole new Pandora's Box of threats and liabilities? Or should he reject the kid, possibly driving him into depression or self-loathing?
- Even when there is no personal contact, having an openly gay Scoutmaster raises the specter of sex in a situation that should be completely asexual.
Allowing openly gay boys to become Boy Scouts would open the same barrel of worms as allowing gay Scoutmasters: Among other issues, how could sexual situations and discussions be avoided among young teens -- if one of their number says he is attracted to others? Unlike in the military, we're not talking about adults; we're dealing with adolescents who are none too certain about their own sexuality.
And of course, assaults would occur; and on the other side, some gay Scouts would insist that every slight or disciplinary action was motivated by "homophobia." It would be just as much of a nightmare as the openly gay Scoutmaster.
Finally... what happens if, heaven forbid, a Scout returns from a multi-day hike and accuses the gay Scoutmaster of having sexually assaulted him? The legal jeopardy for the BSA would be off the scales.
If the Scoutmaster were heterosexual, he could more easily defend himself from the charge; but a gay Scoutmaster would start out with two strikes against him, in the jury's mind. At the very least, one strong defense -- "of course I didn't have sexual contact with him because I'm not attracted to males!" -- would be out the window.
There are plenty of gentlemen on the left who have the intense, messianic desire to sue the Boy Scouts out of existence -- just as there are those (many of the same people, in fact) whose greatest dream is the sue the Catholic Church out of existence; and the way the latter picked, and which almost succeeded (and still might), was to sue on behalf of "children who were molested by priests."
It made no difference that by "priests," they meant openly gay priests; by "molested," they meant, in 95% of cases, gay priests engaged in consentual sex with their supposed victims; and by "children," they meant, in the vast majority of cases, a male parishoner aged from 16 years old -- to 25 years old.
I'm sure I'll get attacked for this... but having sex with older teens and young-looking young adults is normal gay sexual behavior for a huge chunk of the gay community: Gays who hunger for twinks are a much bigger percentage of all gay males than men who hunger for Lolitas are a percentage of all straight males.
For obvious reasons, this applies very strongly to accepting gay Scoutmasters: It the BSA were insane enough to allow this, then it is inevitable that [openly gay] Scoutmasters would be sued for molesting [having consentual sexual contact with] Boy-Scout children [of 16 and 17 years old].
If the gay Scoutmaster actually did, in fact, have sexual contact, the legal damages would threaten to bankrupt the entire organization; but at least everyone but the most extreme could agree that he was a criminal.
However, if the gay Scoutmaster were likely innocent, it could be worse. Those who supported gays in scouting would fell compelled to champion the cause of the accused, while those who opposed the policy would seize upon the accusation to show that even a false charge damages the BSA.
The legal brawl would tear scouting apart: There are some crimes so heinous, not even innocence is a defense. Civil war would erupt within the ranks of the BSA, and those who oppose having gay Scoutmasters would end up seceding from the BSA, leaving the cherished name Boy Scouts of America as the property of those for whom social acceptance of gays is the most important issue in life. The Boy Scouts of America would have been conquered and colonized by GLAAD, Lamda, and the Man-Boy Love Association.
Just as the Civil Rights Congress became nothing but a Communist front, the BSA after that split would become nothing but a gay front group, agitating for everything from same-sex marriage to the right to create and distribute gay teenaged porn. That is the way of the Left; that is how they fight... and that is often how they win.
So why didn't these dire results come to pass when the Girl Scouts declared absolute neutrality on sexual preference?
- Like it or not, society simply doesn't take lesbianism as seriously as it takes male homosexuality... and it never has. Thus, the social and legal problems that result are not as destructive to the organization as a whole.
- Many local Girl Scout councils ally with Planned Parenthood and other feminist organizations, causing the Left to consider all Girl Scouts to be potential allies;
- Finally, because Girl Scouts of the USA has never been woven as deeply into the fabric of America as has the Boy Scouts of America... so it's simply not as much of a target of the anti-American Left as is the male counterpart.
You have to understand: Most of the problems that would result from the BSA deciding to accept openly gay Scoutmasters stem not from the Scoutmasters themselves, or even from the Boy Scouts, but from the desperate quest on the part of leftists to destroy the organization. And those destructive activists are perfectly willing to play on the fear many Americans have of gays "corrupting" kids, if such fear will help destroy the Boy Scouts.
The Boy Scouts cannot even consider allowing openly gay men to serve as Scoutmasters, because it would open a security breach a mile wide, through which the forces of destruction would pour in a never-ending stream. Just ask the Catholic Church: Aside from a tiny handful of actual child molesters (like Father John Geoghan in Boston or Father Brendan Smyth in Ireland), the Church "sex scandals" by and large comprised gay priests having consentual sex with teenaged boys and young men... many over the age of consent. It was the greatest crisis of the Church in modern times.
And that is exactly what would happen in the BSA: A certain number of gay men would become Scoutmasters just for the sexual opportunities... and those men would strew legal apocalypse in their wake.
So that is my answer to Mr. Medved's agitated, filibustering caller: The Boy Scouts cannot allow openly gay men to serve as Scoutmasters or openly gay boys to join the Boy Scouts because, in the end, it would either destroy the organization -- or at the least, put it through a crisis very much akin to the one the Church suffered some years ago (and which reverberates to this day).
It's too bad that gay men cannot contribute by being Scoutmasters, but they can find other ways to support Scouting, if they want. And it's too bad that gay kids can only participate by not talking about their sexual preferences; but since Scouting isn't about sex anyway, Scouts shouldn't talk about sexuality, even if they're heterosexual. There is no inquisition; the BSA doesn't launch an intensive background investigation and dating history before accepting a kid into the Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts.
So just don't talk about it. Again unlike the military, joining the BSA is a privilege, not a right and not a duty. Abide by the private religious organization's rules... or go somewhere else.
And state and local governments should simply stop trying to dictate suicide to the Boy Scouts, and focus instead on how Scouting can truly help millions of kids across the country. Diversity means diversity of thought, not just race and gender; so why not show some tolerance for those who believe in traditional morality?
The motto of the Philadelphia City Council, and all the Philadelphia City Councils across the nation, should simply be -- live and let camp.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 25, 2008, at the time of 6:49 PM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/2842
The following hissed in response by: rambler
Amen, brother, amen.
As the father of five sons, four of whom were Scouts (three Life scouts and one Star), I couldn't agree with you more.
My oldest son was molested by an adult camp counselor when he was fourteen. The counselor was also a teacher at a high school. We didn't find out until seven or eight years later - after the statute of limitations had lapsed.
On the other hand, most of the leaders of the troop itself were great guys - all very charismatic and good role models.
Even then (20+ years ago) there were rules that there was to be no one-on-one counseling. There had to be at least two adults meeting with a scout.
I also agree with you about the Catholic Church - the whole "molestation" thing was blown out of proportion. Yes, there were a few bad apples in the priesthood. And years ago, no one understood how to deal with such acts - so the Church would transfer the priest to a different parish or a new assignment.
What I do not understand is why the city council of Philadelphia and other cities don't tell the gays to pound sand. The Boy Scouts are a wonderful organization - it gives scouts a chance to learn to do things for others as well as for themselves. We need to speak out and not let the gays run things.
The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael
I don't draw the line in the same place as you do, Dafydd, but it's close. I don't want any men to be Scoutmasters who define themselves by their sexuality. I don't care if they are Homosexual or just Heterosexual swingers... if they are openly and obviously sexually active or they identify themselves as such, they have no place leading Boy Scouts. If they keep their sexual activity to themselves and don't identify themselves by their sexuality, then I have no problem with it. Even if they are gay.
Hugh Hefner as Scoutmaster? No. Rock Hudson as Scoutmaster? Sounds good.
The major benefit brought by groups like the Boy Scouts is to have experiences in a controlled environment that will make you a more assured, more generally 'able' member of society. The safety of the moderated group allows for small mistakes to be made, corrected, and learned from. Adding sexuality of any kind to that type of a program would make every mistake made by the kids much more powerful, every failure much more permanent. I'm a believer in Sex Ed (providing the instructor has a basic knowledge themselves... I've been shocked in the past at what has been taught.. oy.) however, the ability to make small social errors and recover from them is invaluable. The ability to succeed through competition without the need for a loser is magical. Mentoring is just not recognized as the miracle that it can be.
But having a Scoutmaster who's identity is based on his Sexuality is to enter Sexuality into any and all activities run with that man. All scouts are trying to get the approval of the Senior Scouts and the Scoutmaster. If the Scoutmaster is identified as a Sportsman, you will work that angle, if he's an engineer, you will appeal to that. It's a natural way of determining status in a group. Scouting gives you defined ways and steps, but that isn't the only way to get approval. Now, figure in a Scoutmaster who is openly and notably sexual, and you can guess how the Scouts will try to impress the Scoutmaster.
So yeah, on the lawsuit front, allowing openly gay Scoutmasters would kill the organization. But allowing openly sexual straight Scoutmasters would be just as damaging to Scouting, and the Scouts.
I was never a Scout, but while I didn't attend their Church, I was a member of a 7th Day Adventist kids group called 'Pathfinders'. Same thing, different priest I guess. Our adult leaders were fine, but the Senior Pathfinders were notoriously sexually active; it destroyed our little group. Only went for one year, glad I left when I did. Screwed up a bunch of kids.
The following hissed in response by: Daga More
Very good read, well thought out, until the very end, if Scouts cant talk about sex, what were we (was a Scout from Cubs to Life (never did get my Eagle) at least in my troop, if you were one of the older Scouts one of the main topics of conversation was Sex/Girls, a very distant second was guns and falling way behind in third was cars/trucks.
The following hissed in response by: eliXelx
One does not put out lines of cocaine in the presence of an addict; one line isn't enough; he must have all, and as quickly as possible.
One problem; you have to know that person is an addict
So with gay scoutmasters; if openly gay keep him far, far away from your children! if you don't know, find out!
The following hissed in response by: snochasr
Yes, very sound logic, indeed. Now tell me again why that very same logic supports the exact opposite conclusion when we're talking about gays in the military?
The following hissed in response by: eliXelx
snochasr; "snow chaser"??
I haven't seen any underage boys in the military!
Also, I'm not sure how many Master Sgts. play "Sheik of Araby" with their recruits.
"I'm the Sheik of Araby,
your "love" belongs to me;
At night when you're asleep,
Into your tent I'll creep..."
"Creep" being the operative word!
The following hissed in response by: Fritz
Dafydd, you bring up some points I had never considered, but upon thinking on them they make perfect sense. Back when I was a Scout, there wasn't much talk or attention paid to whether or not a boy was gay or believed in God as long as the boy was willing to respect the Scout's ways of holding religious services and so on. As I recall our Sunday service when camping out lasted about fifteen minutes and was totally nondenominational, and I even remember one member of the troop who openly admitted to being agnostic about God, but he was willing to sit quietly through the service and the rest of us all liked him and it was never a problem. So I was rather upset with the Scouts when they started pushing the part about gays and religion, but after reading your post I can now understand why. And yes, in the tents there was lots of talk about sex after the lights were supposed to be out. I probably learned more about sex at Scout camps than anywhere else until it came to actual experience, but sadly there was no place there to practice much of what I learned until later. Yes, I am so old the schools did not teach sex education when I attended. It didn't take much talking at that age to get everyone pretty horned up and I can see that might cause problems for gay boys that I had never considered.
I wish there was a solution because I think that the Scouts have just as much to offer gay boys as straight boys, and I personally would have no problem with gay Scoutmasters, but I can now see where it could create problems outside of just the legal ones. Also, it really is a shame that small segments of society have taken it upon themselves to dictate to the rest of us through litigation. While the ACLU has done some things I approve of, they have done more that I disapprove of. In the beginning the ACLU actually seemed to want to assure we had our rights, but anymore they appear to want to dictate their own views upon the rest of us with the end result that every crackpot now has a well-funded legal team at his beck and call no matter how silly his demands. I find it appalling that someone would take personal affront at having the word God on money. Very frankly, people that easily offended should be offended. In fact, maybe we should start a campaign to offend and ridicule them. Perhaps some day they will learn that the whole world doesn't revolve around them, but I doubt it.
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
Yes, very sound logic, indeed. Now tell me again why that very same logic supports the exact opposite conclusion when we're talking about gays in the military?
Because (a) people in the military are adults, and (b) they're not out taking recreational hikes... they're busy defending the country.
I don't know about you, Sno, but I actually see a distinction between a 14 year old boy -- and a 22 year old Marine.
Call me wacky.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at February 26, 2008 12:50 PM
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
There seems to be a bit of confusion, probably due to my overly compressed writing style.
When I said that the Boy Sprouts wasn't the venue for sex talk, I didn't mean among the Scouts themselves when the lights were out. I meant openly, between the Scouts and the Scoutmasters. As a structured discussion or with the participation of the leaders.
There is nothing anyone can do to stop a secretly gay Scout from suddenly telling all his friends that he likes boys... but somehow I don't think that will happen very often.
Teaching kids about sex is not the job of the Boy Scouts; neither is continually bringing up the subject of odd sexual practices... which is just what happens when you have an openly gay Scoutmaster leading a troop of Scouts.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at February 26, 2008 12:59 PM
The following hissed in response by: hunter
The war against Scouting is one of the more disgusting aspects of the left.
The following hissed in response by: seascoutmom
You make some good points some I agree with some not but what about the boy scout program Sea Scouts? This a wonderful co-ed program that is offered by BSA. Boys and girls together out on long cruises. Seems to be working fine for the past 35 years. I am not aware of any problems of the ilk you describe.
Post a comment
Thanks for hissing in, . Now you can slither in with a comment, o wise. (sign out)(If you haven't hissed a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Hang loose; don't shed your skin!)
© 2005-2009 by Dafydd ab Hugh - All Rights Reserved