Broke Scout Mountain

Ken Hutcherson and James Hansen

It seems the Boy Scouts of America are going to be issuing a new merit badge for tolerance this year. Late last week, the leadership of BSA decided that they were going to open their tents to young scouts who are practicing homosexuals. Well, that sounds like a really good idea that will have absolutely no potential consequences whatsoever.

Scouts honor…BSA finally caved to the vocal minority within their ranks who want to further this agenda while simultaneously ignoring the vast majority of participants’ values, morality and religious convictions. Isn’t this exactly what our country needs? Another institution founded, funded and franchised by people of Christian conviction bullied into submission by those outside the mainstream?

Watch out, Girl Scouts. Next year you might have to sell cookies dressed in drag.

Parents…imagine your son is 12 years old. He enjoys the outdoors and loves scouting. Would you have reservations about him sharing a tent with a young girl his age if they were gone for the weekend? Come on…don’t be such a buzz-kill. What’s the worst that could happen? Are you afraid that they might go on a different kind of scouting trip?

Now imagine sending your son on a camping weekend where he shares a tent with the president of a Jr. High LGBT club.

The homosexual youth has already declared his intentions. Would you honestly want your child to be put in that compromising of a position where his tent-mate has announced he is attracted to people of the same sex? Well, if you wouldn’t allow the first scenario to take place, how, in good conscience, could you permit the second?

Much of this begs the question of why sexual preference is even being discussed in this context. After all, “A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.” This isn’t the place or the platform to even discuss sex, straight or sodomite.

But the homosexual agenda marches on, and they have made this an issue that will force the American Church to either shrug in frustrated compliance or to stand with fierce courage. With 70 percent of BSA’s membership coming from religious organizations and ministries, what will the Church do about this? Will we reform from within or will we lead a mass hiking trip to find a safer, cleaner campsite that fits with our core values?

The irony to these recent developments is that all scouts still take an oath to be “morally straight.” Perhaps this is too antiquated or ambiguous for modern sensibilities, but we’re pretty sure the decision laid down last week by the leadership of BSA is going to complicate matters for those who take this oath seriously.

Essentially these children are being put into a round room and told to spit in the corner. It doesn’t work. It’s inconsistent. And sadly, it’s another example of a good organization forgetting their heritage. What’s worse is that BSA actually thought they had brokered the perfect deal: welcoming homosexual students while continuing the ban on openly homosexual scout leaders. Fabulous. Now they’ve just reduced the age of those who can sexually proselytize. We wonder, though, will they still think it was a good idea when the litigation begins? Rest assured, there will be discrimination lawsuits against straight scouts faster than you can rub two sticks together and start a fire.

For believers, this world is not our home. But we should leave the campsite cleaner than when we found it. In a world that has lost common sense and common decency, it is the Church that has the responsibility to speak with unity, clarity, and sincerity. Pay attention, People of God. It was the Boy Scouts last week. Who will be next?

2 Comments Posted

  1. I just listened to you talking on the radio. I was really struck by your honesty and your ability to parse the various situations that we are in. I hope that you live a long time and that your messages reach all of the multitudes of every color. We desperately need more teachers, speakers and leaders like you.

  2. Gentlemen,
    As an Eagle Scout, father of an Eagle Scout and former Scoutmaster and current Charter Org Rep for our Pack, Troop and Crew I offer this view.

    While I would prefer the BSA not have to deal with the issue I’m OK with the fine line the BSA took. Here’s why. A boy joins Cub Scouts at 6 years old and in First Grade and crosses over to Boy Scouts at 10.5 or at 11 or 12 he joins Boy Scouts without prior Scouting experience. At 6-12 years old he is pretty clueless about his sexuality. Rarely do we get a boy joining Boy Scouts beyond age 13. Venturing is a bit different as we get young men and young women at 14+ without prior Scouting experience or girls coming from Girl Scouts.

    So in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts we’re not going to have “openly gay” boys joining the organization. We will have boys that have been in the program since 1st grade or 5th grade that at some point in their High School years may decide that they are gay. I won’t get into the nurture versus nature aspect of it. Now you have a 15 year old who has been active in the Scouts, loves the program and decides he’s gay. This has happened many times over the last 100 years. He may be struggling with this decision, he may be looking for a trusted adult he can talk to about this. He may feel that he can’t go to his parent just yet. The Scoutmaster may be that trusted adult, or it could be his pastor, rabbi or a teacher. With the old policy the BSA put up a wall so the boy may not come to the SM. Kids going through this have been known to commit suicide. Maybe just maybe by tearing down the wall the Scout might reach out to his adult leader and get the help he needs to deal with this challenge and a needless suicide averted. Do I really want to be that leader, not really. There are certainly more qualified people to help than me, but if a Scout comes to me as his trusted leader I don’t want a wall between us.

    The BSA polled their leaders, chartering organizations and parents before coming to this decision. There was a definite difference between the 30 something parents and the 50 something parents. The younger ones didn’t see it as a big deal while the older did see it as an issue. I’m 50 something, my son has aged out. I’m not the future of the BSA even though I’m still an active leader. The parents of Cub Scouts and future Cub Scouts is the future of the BSA.

    Bottom line for me, if I’m there for “the boys” I need to be there for all of the boys. Not just the straight A student, from a 2 parent home in the suburbs, that plays three sports, sings in the church choir and is well on his way to be an Eagle by 15 and college right after HS. We need to be there for the troubled kids as well, if not especially for the troubled kids. I’ve seen the BSA make a huge difference in some of those kids from broken homes.

    I’ve not had to deal with a Scout coming out while in our program but I know it is has happened in other units. I’m sure at least 1 or 2 of the 130+ Eagles or the untold boys who didn’t quite make it to Eagle from our Troop over the past 40 years came out as gay sometime after they left Scouting.

    I understand both sides, I’ve struggled with this decision by the BSA and I wish we didn’t have to deal with it, but do and they have. It is now up to the leaders to make it work.

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