Boy Scouts should not feel pressured to include gays

By Daniel Taylor

Published: Sunday, April 21, 2013

Updated: Sunday, April 21, 2013

Over the past few months, tension has been mounting both within and without the Boy Scouts of America as they consider a major policy change that would allow openly homosexual individuals to become members and serve as leaders within a troop.

The BSA conducted a survey which made no direct mention of the ‘gay ban’ but rather sought to determine where the majority of their membership stood on the matter of homosexual scouting.

The survey that was sent to nearly 1.4 million parents consisted of 13 questions which dealt with topics like: Should gays be allowed to serve as scout leaders, and should homosexual boys be allowed to share a tent with other scouts?
This has been an issue of growing concern over the past decade.

 In 2000, the Supreme Court upheld the BSA’s right to exclude homosexuals under its membership rules. Since then, the BSA has faced opposition from gay rights activists and even lost funding from financial supporters like Merck & Co., UPS and Intel.

It is true that the BSA’s gay ban is technically discriminatory by definition, but what those opposing it fail to realize is that discrimination is at the heart of every organization.

Clubs, fraternities, colleges, etc., all have specific criteria to which potential members must adhere if they wish to join.  So why do these individuals want so badly to be a part of an organization with which they so vehemently disagree?
That is like walking into a Pizza Hut and demanding that they serve you a Big Mac.

Why should the people who have put in the time to build a successful organization, such as the BSA, have to yield to the demands of an outside minority?
Such is the hypocrisy of the Left that drives them to tout a convoluted message of ‘tolerance’ without understanding the ignorance of what it is they are preaching.

If the Left wants to intelligently debate this subject, they need to quit using an argument that is predicated on the false, deceitful claim that homosexuality is an intrinsic, biological trait.

However, the Right which seeks to uphold foundational morals, needs to utilize the evidence and facts that exist beyond the realm of religion.

That being said, one should not be demonized or thought ignorant for basing their opinion on religious teachings.

In a culture where morals are considered to be the crutch of the narrow-minded, it is becoming increasingly difficult to try and uphold the values upon which our country was founded.  Since 1910, the Boy Scouts has held itself to a high standard of timeless morals that has served them well in making them the distinguished organization that they are today.

Now, gay activists act as if they are trying to eradicate a fatal flaw within the organization, ignoring its long history of success and founding principles.

Issues of sexuality have no place in the BSA, but by allowing openly gay troop leaders, young scouts might be forced to confront questions of sexuality that no 11-year-old should have to think about or answer.

Though the BSA is not considered a “Christian organization” anymore, they still are made up of and supported by numerous churches and religious groups that believe in their godly principles.

The bottom line is that the freedom for which so many have fought and died allows us the ability to make choices based on our personal opinions.

Sure, there are crazies on both sides that voice those opinions in ignorant and hurtful ways, but that cannot be allowed to detract from the real issues.

The Boy Scouts are well within their rights to exclude homosexuals.

They should not have to back down and give into bullying from the sexually confused Left which has no legal right supporting their demands.

The BSA is a private organization, and as such is allowed to set its own standards by which all members must abide.

However, the beauty of it is that those who disagree with their rules can do what Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, suggested when confronted about his support of gay rights — take your business elsewhere.  
Perhaps those wishing to pitch their tents toward Sodom should form their own ultra-tolerant organization and leave the Boy Scouts alone.



Bike Guy
Wed Apr 24 2013 22:11
To clarify some obvious confusion that reigns in much of the American South: The BSA is not and has never been a Christian organization. This is a recent and uniquely American misunderstanding. It has always been non-denominational.

Scouts remain non-sectarian and do not discriminate against gays or any group in other leading Scouting nations, such as France, Canada, Mexico, Australia, or the UK, where Scouting was founded.

I was a Scout in NYC in the 60s and 70s and tolerance ruled. We were Jews, Chinese, Protestants, Blacks and we didn't meet at a church. The focus was on nature and the outdoors. I never thought of the Scouts as a particularly religious group and there was no ban on anyone, including gays.

The ban does not represent a longstanding position ("since 1910") as the author insinuates. The ban was put in place only in 1992 under Mormons pressure. Mormons are 2% of the USA but today control more than a third of troops. Mormon Scouts rarely form mixed groups and often meet in churches and hold religious services, completely against Scouting's non-sectarian founding principles. No wonder they seem to have confused the troops with their churches.

The Christian conservatives who support this ban are hypocrites. Jesus never once mentioned homosexuality but clearly did not like divorce. I have heard of no push to expel divorced men. No rules prevent ex-cons, adulterers, alcoholics, or single men living with their girlfriends from being Scout leaders. Conservative Christians are silent on all. The ban is really about fear and hatred of gay people.

Not surprisingly, the same regions (Utah, the South) and the same religious groups (Mormons, Southern Baptists) that fought the integration of African-Americans in the Scouts thirty years ago are fighting the integration of gay folks. Fear and hatred seem to be their hallmark.

The ban on gay teens and gay men has absolutely nothing to do with sexual abuse. The Scouts own experts have told them that "no evidence that homosexuality is a risk factor for abusing others, nor is there any evidence that homosexual adults have a negative effect on children." That is a red herring to generate fear.

An overwhelming majority of Americans (55% to 33%) want to end ban against gays and lesbians. That would be a landslide in presidential terms. Even among those families who have remained in Scouting, who are generally more conservative, in three of four regions the majority of parents want to end the ban (surprise! The South is the holdout). Teens nationwide want the ban to end since those under 30 overwhelmingly view gay people simply as fellow citizens.

We can each believe the other is immoral. I believe that people who drive giant gas-guzzling SUV's are immoral. But I have no desire to keep Hummer-driving parents out of the Scouts. Muslim Scouts don't ask to expel those who drink alcohol and Jews those who eat pork. As Americans we respect diverse beliefs even if we do not share them.

BSA has a choice. They can bow to Mormon and Southern Baptist pressure and become the Boy Scouts of Conservative Christians or they can return to their non-sectarian roots and remain the Boy Scouts of America, for all Americans.

I look forward to rejoining the Scouts. I have faith that if at the Jamboree we meet Mormons and Southern Baptists (and Hummer drivers!) we may disagree on what is moral, but we will all somehow get along and perhaps even learn from each other. That is the American way.

I quote Scouting's English founder, Lord Baden Powell:
"Buddha has said: 'There is only one way of driving out Hate in the world and that is by bringing in Love.' Scouting's aim is to produce healthy, happy, helpful citizens, of both sexes, to ERADICATE the prevailing narrow self interest, personal, political, SECTARIAN [my emphasis] and national, and to substitute for it a broader spirit of self-sacrifice and service in the cause of humanity."

Wed Apr 24 2013 18:07
Thanks for the article! We get too many nowadays here at ETSU pushing the gay agenda down our throat. It is time more people stand up and say, we have a right to oppose this agenda and not get bullied by the VERY few heterophobes, such as those posting in the "Facebook" comments. Because of people like them, we have to come and "hide" so we are not dealing with their verbal abuse and attacks because we do not support their agenda. Thanks again for having the courage!

We also need more Christians to start posting in Viewpoint as well. When I first came to ETSU there were some, but Sam bullied them off. I have prayed every semester for him to be GONE and refused to pick up a paper if he wrote anything in it. Now that he is GONE I pray we have Christian writers back!

Wed Apr 24 2013 15:03
You make great points! If you don't like their inclusion criteria, then simply don't join! It's not discrimination if it's a private club. Keep up the good work, Dan!
Tue Apr 23 2013 23:46
Freedom lover
Tue Apr 23 2013 23:13
So amazing, that so many self proclaimed ,intelligent people don't get it!
No organization, straight, gay, left, or right should be coerced into accepting people into
their private membership that don't fit their membership requirements!! Can some one please tell me how it's discrimination?? If you haven't noticed gays aren't the only group that don't fit the boy scout requirements. Girls don't fit their requirements either. Maybe girls could come up with something to join like the boy scouts. Oh wait, they already did that...
I especially like the statement used quoting the CEO of Starbucks. Take your business elsewhere! Why not start your own "gay" boy scouts and make one of the requirements for all members to be gay. You have that right,but quit using your choice of who you sleep with stomp on the rights of others. Shameful!
David H
Mon Apr 22 2013 09:51
Yes, please equate discrimination of "gays" to wanting to order food at a restaurant.
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