In case this was another news item you missed in the media furor of "look over there at the Duggars, something happening with a reality show family is much more important that the bogus release of a handful of carefully screened emails by the Secretary of State on the Friday before a holiday weekend so she can claim 'transparency' when everyone knows it is a farce!", Robert Gates, the former Secretary of Defense and inexplicably the current President of the Boy Scouts of America publicly called for the scouts to permit men who engage in same-sex sexual deviancy to have unfettered and often unsupervised access to vulnerable teen and preteen males. Or more simply to allow openly homosexual men to be Scout leaders. According to Gates, allowing males attracted to other males to be Scout masters is the only way for the Scouts to survive.The Boy Scouts are being fed the same lie that was force fed to mainline denominations and capitulating will have the same disastrous result— Arthur Sido (@ArthurSido) May 23, 2015
Gates said several states had passed laws protecting employment rights based on sexual orientation.
"Thus, between internal challenges and potential legal conflicts, the BSA finds itself in an unsustainable position," he said. "A position that makes us vulnerable to the possibility the courts simply will order us at some point to change our membership policy. We must all understand that this probably will happen sooner rather than later."
Gates cited his experience with a California court's decision that sparked the end of the military's so-called don't ask, don't tell policy, which banned gays in the services, and said the Boy Scouts of America must act before it is compelled to do so by the courts.
"If we wait for the courts to act, we could end up with a broad ruling that could forbid any kind of membership standard, including our foundational belief in our duty to God and our focus on serving the specific needs of boys," he said. "Waiting for the courts is a gamble with huge stakes."
Gates noted that the U.S. is changing and "we are increasingly at odds with the legal landscape at both the state and federal levels."
"The one thing we cannot do is put our heads in the sand and pretend this challenge will go away or abate," he said. "Quite the opposite is happening."So unless one allows the already tiny percentage of homosexual males, a number immeasurably smaller when you look only at those who want to be Scout leaders, to take positions of leadership in Scouting, the organization will certainly die from legal challenges. Keep in mind yet again that leaders in Scouting, especially scoutmasters, have an intentionally major impact on the formative years of young men. Now more than ever with so many male children growing up in homes without fathers and largely aimlessly, we need young men to be mentored by adults that instill needed virtues. Instead what is being proposed here is a cowardly capitulation, throwing young men into the fires of Baal rather than stand on principle. More on this in a moment.
Let me say at this point that I have no skin in this game, at least not directly. We tried Scouting for a few years but my boys just weren't into it. Besides that I have some very serious concerns over the Scouts tendency to blur the distinction between Christian faith and love of country and pushing moralism apart from the necessary new birth. Because Scouting is so deeply tied in with faith and includes faiths that range from questionable to outright heresies, it amounts to unequal yoking. All that aside it has generally been a net social good in this country. teaching countless young men practical skills and moral values that make them better citizens. It is also an organization that takes all of the traditional red blooded, patriotic American values and wraps them up neatly with a bow and that makes them a critical target for those who want to destroy any notions that some behavior is unacceptable and other behavior is more beneficial to society as a whole.
Back to my point. In the face of ever more strident and vicious attacks by homosexual activists and their cronies in the media, many are preaching surrender. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em or at least let 'em join you. Being sacrificed in this move by the Boy Scouts, and it will happen, it is only a matter of time, are the young men who love this organization and who desperately need it. My reasoning on this is simple. First, Scouts take an oath that includes a promise to be "morally clean". Setting aside yet another problematic issue for Christians, namely the swearing of an oath, mankind has always more or less universally understood homosexual behavior to be the epitome of what is not "morally clean". Some with an out-sized voice in America might be seeking to silence those who express what our culture and what the Bible have always taught, something confirmed as unnatural and harmful by nature itself but that doesn't change it.
Secondly, and this is the more disturbing issue, there is something that ought to make anyone with an ounce of honesty and common sense concerned about having adult men who practice a form of sexual deviancy and have a proclivity toward sex with people of their own gender being placed in a position of trust and access to young men at a vulnerable time in their lives.
This is going to get a little uncomfortable and awkward but it needs to be said. Why do we not have adult men taking teen-aged girls on overnight camping trips? Why are we so careful to select chaperons of the appropriate gender to watch over teens? Because the vast majority of men are attracted to women and even though they lack the emotional maturity of an adult woman, teen aged girls do have the physical body of an adult woman. That doesn't mean that all normal, heterosexual men are pedophiles, just that it is common sense to not put adults in a position of authority with vulnerable teenagers of the opposite sex. We have seen this often enough with coaches, teaches, clergy, etc. to know that it is a dangerous business. It is something we don't want to talk about because it is an unspoken social taboo but it needs to be said, especially since those social taboos are being knocked down at an unprecedented rate and you don't have to look far to see the same arguments being used to advance the normalization of polygamy, pedophilia and other deviant behavior. It is not a sound practice for men and women to make close friendships of people of the opposite sex who are not their spouse. That all too often ends disastrously. That is doubly true when forming an intimate relationship where one party is at a vulnerable age and the other is in a position of power.
Let us not make the mistake here of accepting the counter-argument that heterosexual men and homosexual men are value neutral when it comes to tending toward or against sexually deviant behavior like pedophilia. I have heard "Just because someone is homosexual it doesn't make them a pedophile!". That is true. However, two additional observations here. Pedophilia is largely a crime of opportunity like theft, some people steal when they have access to something of value and some people abuse kids when they have access to kids. Secondly, and don't miss this, people who are homosexual have already exhibited a willingness to engage in sexual deviant behavior. Advocates for homosexual normalization have done a pretty solid job to remove that truth from our cultural conversation but it is still the truth. So pretending that homosexual men are the moral equivalent of heterosexual men is ridiculous, homosexual men by definition disregard sexual morality. There is already ample evidence that having heterosexual men in positions where they have access to teen-aged girls is a bad idea, why would we want to double down on that by putting homosexual men in that same position?
Why would the Boy Scouts do this? For the same reason that "churches" and corporations alike capitulate at the barest whisper of bad publicity, namely that all institutions are conservative in the sense of being risk averse and mostly interested in self-perpetuation and this aversion to risk and bad PR goes up the larger the institution becomes. Kevin Williamson writing for the National Review says:
For those among the shrinking minority of Americans adhering to something like the Scouts’ longstanding view of homosexuality — that it represents a set of choices and behaviors that constitute at the very least a bad example for children — Gates’s decision must be understood as simple moral cowardice: The gay-rights movement is energetic and totalitarian, and its demands are fortified more often than not by the dictates of judges. Faced with overwhelming cultural and political pressure, Gates did not have the mettle to lead the Boy Scouts of America as a kind of Nockian remnant, keeping the tablets until such a time as civilization once again returns to certain eternal truths.His less than subtle snarkiness aside, that is pretty much it. Gates has no interest in leading a diminished, counter-cultural Boy Scouts. He wants to pretend that this move will "save" the Scouts and perpetuate the institution. With that sort of incredible vision and lack of spine he ought to be appointed to lead the United Methodist Church or the Episcopal Church, or at least what is left of them, after the Boy Scouts die.
I already said I don't have skin in this game so why do I care? The Boy Scouts neither need nor want my permission or advice. I care for two reasons. First what is happening here is not irrelevant because I am not personally involved in scouting. As I have argued before, something can be a non-Kingdom issue and still be important because how we live as a society, even for the unregenerate masses, matters and this is a serious issue. Young men in this country are already at serious risk and putting them into this situation is dangerous and it is dumb. Second what is happening here with the Boy Scouts is pertinent to conversations happening all around us in the church. That is what I want to look at next.
Common sense aside. this is going to happen anyway. It might happen this year or next but it will happen and the once venerable Boy Scouts will allow homosexuals to be leaders in Scouting. What is going to happen after that is predictable. The Boy Scouts will welcome people with an admitted sexual deviancy into their ranks to placate a tiny minority. Many, many Scout parents will understandably withdraw from the Scouts and likely form another organization. Like many mainline denominations the Boy Scouts will fade into irrelevance and die, which is precisely what those pushing this change want. Just as in the cases of "gay marriage" and homosexual clergy, the aim is to remove a social structure that dares to suggest that any behavior, no matter how destructive, ought to be avoided. I don't believe for one second that homosexual activists care about getting married or having gay clergy or spending their weekend in a tent rather than having brunch and reading the New York Times, their aim is to destroy these institutions via compromise and fear because these institutions, flawed as they are, serve as a mirror to their own deviancy. They will be destroyed and it will happen in the name of survival.
The Boy Scouts are being told by their own leader that they must kill themselves in order to save themselves.
Those being pressured in the church to accept and embrace homosexual normalization had better pay attention to this. Like Lucy pulling the football away as Charlie Brown gets ready to kick it over and over, the church is told again and again that we need to get with the times in order to survive and every time we do, the culture laughs and pulls out the football. "We have to have women pastors", "We have to stop talking about modesty", "We can't talk about sin", "We need to welcome practicing homosexuals", on and on and every time the timid in the church do as they are told, it ends up gutting that part of the church. Then a new compromise is put forth as the latest salvation for the church in a hostile culture and Charlie Brown the Church lines up once again to kick a ball that everyone knows will not be there. You would think we would learn but common sense is no match for the human desire to be acceptable by others. In another analogy, many parts of the church are like the scrawny kid at school who gives the bully his lunch money and thinks that makes him his friend. I just kind of came up with that, it doesn't add anything to the post...
Pay attention to what is happening here church because there are voices all around us, both inside and outside of the church, telling us that we need to kill ourselves to save ourselves. That isn't an option. If we believe the words of the Bible, and that is a question that needs to be asked a lot more than it is, We ought to expect to be on the outs with the culture, in fact if we aren't something is wrong. Trying to win the world while at the same time being buddies with the world in a religious version of Stockholm Syndrome is foolhardy and contrary to Scripture. When voices in the church cry "Compromise!" remember that doing so has never helped the church and even worse is an act of direct and willful disobedience. I am far more concerned with the opinion of Christ, Paul, Peter and John than I am with the opinion of Robert Gates.