April 28, 2010

Irony of Ironies: Boy Sprouts May Be Sued to Death - for Homosexual Molestation!

Hatched by Dafydd

First, the Left filed hundreds of lawsuits against the Boy Scouts of America demanding that they be forced to allow gay scouts and gay scoutmasters into the organization. That tactic failed when the Supreme Court found that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was a private, religious organization, and that it had a First-Amendment, free-association right to set standards of morality for membership.

But now the BSA must defend many lawsuits filed by former scouts who allege they were molested by gay scoutmasters.


At least now we know why the Boy Scouts have steadfastly refused to relax their standards. As I have argued before, sending a pack of barely pubescent boys into the woods, in charge of a man who finds young boys sexually attractive, is a prescription for disaster -- whether or not the scoutmaster does anything: All it would take to cost the Scouts millions in damages is for a troubled lad to falsely claim an openly gay scoutmaster molested him; most jurors would be far more inclined to believe that accusation than if all evidence showed that the scoutmaster was strictly heterosexual.

I certainly will not second-guess the facts of the present case, in which a jury has ordered the Scouts to pay $18.5 million; I have no reason not to believe the jury's decision that the victim was indeed molested, and that the Scouts knew that scoutmaster had a history of molesting boys. But doesn't this underscore the urgency of keeping openly gay boys and men out of the Boy Scouts in the first place?

  • Most worrisome is the destruction a real molester can inflict, both to the victim and to the BSA itself, its reputation and its finances.
  • But think of the harm a Boy Scout can cause via a false accusation against an openly gay scoutmaster.

    Whether due to emotional problems, revenge for some real or imagined insult, fear of exposure after he himself makes unwanted advances to the scoutmaster and is rejected, or if he makes the charge for purely mercenary reasons -- either the lure of "jackpot justice" or if he is bribed by those who hate the Boy Scouts -- such an accusation, false though it be, can devastate the organization. Enough of them can destroy the organization utterly, a potential with which a large number of utterly ruthless enemies of the Boy Scouts must be well aware.

  • Even without molestation, boys just going through puberty may have an exaggerated fear of molestation or ogling; what an adult should be able to handle might still traumatize a teen.

    An embarassed boy may be terrified that the scoutmaster might see him undressing or in the shower; he might be afraid to ask questions about his bodily changes; knowing that the scoutmaster in general finds boys or yound men physically attractive, the boy might well not want to be seen with the scoutmaster, worried that others will draw the wrong conclusion. As mentoring is a primary function of the Boy Scouts, an openly gay scoutmaster or an openly gay scout cannot help but cause problems.

    I had a friend in junior high (now called middle school, for those readers just recently graduated from junior high); call him M. M. was rather high strung as it was; then one day he found, stuffed in his school locker, several pages of gay porn pictures. I thought it was kind of funny (no, I didn't put it there); but M. actually broke down sobbing, right in front of other schoolboys. Imagine how that affected his subsequent career at that school...!

Simply put, it's not something that young boys should have to confront if they don't seek it out, and certainly not while bonding nonsexually with other boys on scouting trips.

I detour now to contrast openly gay scoutmasters or scouts in the Boy Scouts to openly gay soldiers in military service, thus responding before the point is even raised. The most important distinction is of course age: There's a vast difference between an eighteen year old military recruit and an eleven year old Boy Scout. The former is expected to be able to handle sexual subjects -- as well as, you know, killing people -- without hysteria; the latter may have no personal experience with sexuality whatsoever... and may be very, very vulnerable.

Also, by the time a person is old enough to be in the military, he almost always knows his sexual preference; he is much closer to being fully formed as a sexual being. But a pubescent or even pre-pubescent boy may still be confused or uncertain about his sexual identity and not prepared to confront the subject in such a visceral or tactile way. He just wants to hike and earn merit badges, not wonder whether he really has the hots for his scoutmaster or tentmate or just likes and admires him a lot.

Finally, I passionately believe that one of our fundamental rights is to defend the society in which we live; it's an extension of the fundamental and universal right of self-defense. Contrariwise, nobody has a constitutional "right" to be a member of the Boy Scouts of America; it's a private club, like a bowling league or a synagogue.

The BSA is among other things a religious organization; and as such, it promotes a moral code that is necessarily "divisive" and "exclusionary": It divides the population into those fit to join and those unfit to join, and excludes the latter. Among other things, you cannot profess disbelief in God and still join the Scouts; but of course, Wiccans, Druids, worshippers of Crom, and even atheist agitators are legally allowed to join the service. Recruiters are forbidden by law from discriminating on the basis of religion.

Thus I demonstrate no contradiction or hypocrisy in supporting the full integration of openly gay servicemen while simultaneously opposing the same integration among the Boy Scouts and similar youth organizations. In fact, I'm hopping mad that the Girl Scouts appear to have caved completely on this subject... though of course, it's nowhere near as bad for a lesbian scoutmaster (scoutmistress?) to lead girls into the woods than for a gay male scoutmaster to lead boys into the woods. (If you can't see why, ask in comments.)

Thus my defense of the policy; now my fear about the legal strategy itself. Anent the lawsuit in question and the $18 million verdict it spawned...

I have no information about the provenance of this suit, but here is my worry: The Left, having been thwarted by the federal courts (which finally held that the BSA is a private organization, so can exclude gays and atheists without violating anyone's civil liberties), might now take a different tack -- and use accusations of gay molestation to sue the Boy Scouts out of existence.

Of course, this would send a message precisely the opposite of what the Left's first line of lawsuits sent; but if our national socialist movement had the chance to destroy one of its most hated enemies, the Boy Sprouts, would the Left really care how it did so? It may already be sponsoring, or even inventing out of whole cloth, such lawsuits; just as I'm sure many of the similar molestation suits against the Catholic Church were discovered and promoted, if not actually fabricated, by leftists more interested in destroying the Church than obtaining "justice" for the (real or fake) molestation victims.

What a sick irony that would be. I certainly hope the Scouts can weather this storm; what a dreary world would be revealed by the BSA's obliteration.

Cross-posted on Hot Air's rogues' gallery...

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 28, 2010, at the time of 7:32 PM

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The following hissed in response by: LarryD

OK, let me get this straight.

You hold that there is a right to serve in the military?

So it doesn't matter how old, decrepit, and fat I am, I can impose myself upon the military?

The above hissed in response by: LarryD [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 29, 2010 7:09 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


You hold that there is a right to serve in the military?

I said no such thing. I said I believe in a "fundamental right to defend the society in which we live."

  • I did not add, "by serving in the military."
  • Nor did I add, "and be paid for it."

I do believe that the right does imply that it's fundamentally wrong to exclude someone from the military for reasons that have nothing to do with actual military necessity -- and everything to do with mindless prejudice or meaningless handwaving. Everyone should be permitted to defend our society in any way he is qualified to do so, provided there is an opening in that area.

For example, it should not be legal to bar someone from the military because the letters of his name add up to an unlucky numerological sum, or because he was born under a bad sign, because he has one blue eye and one brown, because he is left-handed, because he doesn't have blond hair, or because he's black.

Similarly, but of course more controversially, I believe it's equally wrong to bar someone from military service because she is a woman or because he or she is homosexual.

But it's perfectly reasonable to bar someone from military service if he is not in good enough physical shape to do what soldiers must do. He can defend his society some other way... working for the DoD or DHS, for example, or a private defense contractor, or protecting American interests as a lawyer arguing before international tribunals.

Protecting this right of course involves a judgment call, probably by a federal judge; but the security of society demands that we not compromise societal security by rejecting good potential servicemen and servicewomen for frivolous reasons.

Do you, LarryD, believe the military should be able to tell a strong, athletic man he cannot be in the Marines because he is an atheist? To me, telling him he cannot be in the Marines because he's gay is equally senseless.

However, because the BSA is a private, religiously oriented oranization, they can indeed say they will only accept applicants who profess belief in God and who are strictly heterosexual.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 29, 2010 6:44 PM

The following hissed in response by: Da Coyote

You've written a very good summary, as is your usual. Thanks.

The above hissed in response by: Da Coyote [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 30, 2010 7:15 AM

The following hissed in response by: levi from queens

When I was a boy scout leader, we were told at initial training to be a little bit (but just a little) suspicious of a man who wished to lead scouts without having a son in the pack or troop. The reason of course is that these men are disproportionately likely to become scout leaders either because they are predators or out of aesthetic appreciation of adolescent boys. And aesthetic attraction will sometimes lead to horrible results.

I had always thought that scouting's eternal difficulty with making sure that boys in their care for a weekend of camping were kept safe should have been a part of their response to the Supreme Court case.

The above hissed in response by: levi from queens [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 30, 2010 8:01 AM

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