Today is a sad day in the history of Scouting. Please indulge me one last time… for now. I expect if you’re involved, or even interested, in Scouting you’ve heard the results of the BSA’s change in membership policy. You may agree, or not, and I do not. But at the end of the day, many—hopefully most–of us will cowboy up and muddle along.
I am disappointed that our organization that bills itself as having “timeless values” folded so easily to outside pressure. And Yes, I do see this as an assault from outside Progressives bent on tearing down any institution of traditional values. This is not the end. They smell blood in the water and will circle the BSA like sharks. The attacks on adult membership standards continues, and they will double down on atheism. Moral relativism is alive and well as men of principle shirk their duty.
As a practical matter, this issue remains one more element of Character. While the statement reaffirms that “sexual conduct” is contrary to the virtues of Scouting, have we ever withheld rank from a boy who was sexually active? Have we withheld leadership from adults known to engage in extra-marital affairs? Should we? How about youth caught drinking? Drinking and driving? Bullying?
We say one thing, we do another, and society in general convicts us of moral hypocrisy.
And today they are right.
The Boy Scouts of America Statement (23 May 2013):
“For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been a part of the fabric of this nation, with a focus on working together to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.
“Based on growing input from within the Scouting family, the BSA leadership chose to conduct an additional review of the organization’s long-standing membership policy and its impact on Scouting’s mission. This review created an outpouring of feedback from the Scouting family and the American public, from both those who agree with the current policy and those who support a change.
“Today, following this review, the most comprehensive listening exercise in Scouting’s history the approximate 1,400 voting members of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Council approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone. The resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting. A change to the current membership policy for adult leaders was not under consideration; thus, the policy for adults remains in place. The BSA thanks all the national voting members who participated in this process and vote.
“This policy change is effective Jan. 1, 2014, allowing the Boy Scouts of America the transition time needed to communicate and implement this policy to its approximately 116,000 Scouting units.
“The Boy Scouts of America will not sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue. As the National Executive Committee just completed a lengthy review process, there are no plans for further review on this matter.
“While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting. Going forward, our Scouting family will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth in order to help them grow into good, strong citizens. America’s youth need Scouting, and by focusing on the goals that unite us, we can continue to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.”
Myself, I am troubled by the change, and how it was accomplished. I’m not interested in telling other people how to live their lives, but there are many different things I can do with my time… things which align with traditional values. I think after Summer Camp, I may take a break from the BSA and re-visit those values.
Yours in Scouting,
- BSA membership resolution passes with more than 60 percent of vote (scoutingmagazine.org)
- Scouting isn’t for Everybody
- To Sacrifice our Principles for Popularity
- Physically Strong, Mentally Awake, Morally Straight