CE Forum: Quit the Boy Scouts or Stay & Fix Them (or is there even a problem)?

Boy Scouts 2Welcome back to the Catholic Exchange Forum!

Once again, the guidelines (which in fact apply to all comments at CE):

-keep it as short and streamlined as possible

-keep it on the subject

-no vulgarity

-be respectful of other people’s human dignity

The question for this week is:

Should Catholics quit the Boy Scouts or stay in and fix them (or is there even a problem)? Here are two great Catholic articles to help get the conversation going:

1) http://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/thoughts-for-catholics-impacted-by-the-boy-scouts-of-america-membership-policies/

2) http://www.catholic.com/blog/todd-aglialoro/to-god-and-my-country-why-were-not-quitting-scouts

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  • CharlesOConnell

    Homosexualists have greater urgency to subvert scouting than other institutions because the masculine friendships that can mature there pose the greatest threat to their campaign to groom vulnerable youth for seduction, “gay-straight alliances” and “anti-bullying campaigns” notwithstanding. Therefore, just as no practicing homosexual should get access to young people, no confused, vulnerable or SSA youth should be excluded, as long as the BSA will encourage the vocation to chastity among all boys and young men.

  • Victoria

    I would be inclined to stick with scouting as these articles recommend, but it must be remembered that these are our children we are risking. It’s all very well to be noble and vow to work to keep the BSA as much a moral compass as it has been. But parents must be watchful, much more than previously, and take care to warn their sons against predation, even among boys their own age. If I were a father, I would be going on all campouts with my son.

  • pnyikos

    I hope this turn of events will lead to more parental involvement with the Scouts; as a former Scout and former Assistant Scoutmaster, I’ve seen how much better a troop can be when the parents are involved in the right way.

    But involvement can be misguided and can go too far. If every father, or even more than one or two per troop, were to go on each campout, it would be a case of “too many cooks spoil the broth.” I would instead suggest that parents seriously consider being Assistant Scoutmasters, and put in all the extra work this entails, so they can be better tuned to the actual programs of the troop.

  • SWOJM

    We have just left the Boy Scouts removing our son from an organization that tries to suggest “reverence” as a core value while simultaneously allowing for the possibility that a 12 year old would self identify as a homosexual. This is how Rome fell folks, cancerous from the inside out. This is only the first step for the prevailing agenda in this country for people who make up a minuscule fraction of the overall population.

  • RobAndVicky

    We firmly believe that heterosexuals don’t display their sexuality out in the open, otherwise men are called “womanizers” etc.

    Homosexuals shouldn’t be encouraged to display their sexuality in the open, either, in a youth organization or not.

    As Catholics, we show every person dignity and love– but we keep in mind we do not encourage immoral behavior. We are deliberating what we should do for our family.

  • Michael

    The Boy Scouts are one of our last vestiges of true values and tradition. Is there anything left that the liberal left will not infiltrate? Can’t they leave us something? How can we raise any groups of young people with proper values for the future. If God was willing to stay his anger against Sodom for the sake of just 10 righteous people; then in that same way we might be able to stay his anger against us. But how can we have even 10 righteous people or any if we aren’t allowed to protect them against the evil that exists in our societies. Are the liberals and humanists going to force the Boy Scouts to become part of our modern day Sodom?

  • Poppiexno

    Quit!

  • anne

    My son and his cousin were a victim of a young man in our Catholic boy’s group at the age of 12, both of these boys were taught about purtiy but had no idea what to do when they were bullied into these acts.. The boy was not outwardly homosexual but impurity and difficulty in controlling himself brought us to this situation. We did not see it coming. As parents, we have to be extra vigilant in this age of impurity. Pray, listen to your intuition. You won’t be sorry for doing that.

  • Subvet

    Nobody was ever checked for the sexual orientation prior to joining the BSA, it was a nonissue. So the topic should have never been addressed by the Scouts. In doing so they’ve neatly fallen into the trap of trying to prove a negative, i.e. “we’re not homophobes”. Now the damage is done and it falls onto Catholics and those like us to make a strong stand for the values we have. It’s time to disassociate from the Scouts completely, anything less is just sitting on the proverbial fence.

  • jake

    Our son is just beginning to embark on his Eagle. We will be leaving. So very sad for our country and our boys.

    Thank you Father Lappe for your public leadership.

    http://www.starofthesea.net/index.php/our-parish/blog/626-fr-lappes-response-to-new-boy-scouts

  • John

    Our kids are at the age to start scouting but I’m not subjecting them to a social experiment in the hopes we can fix it. There are great Catholic alternatives out there.

    http://servantofcharity.blogspot.com/2013/05/boy-scout-alternatives.html

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    At
    the ages where boys will be participating in Scouts, there is no
    concrete sexual identity. Instead, boys are increasingly being raised in
    a society that holds boyhood and masculinity as negative and dangerous
    things, attempting to force a more and more feminine or gender-neutral
    role on boys. It’s a small wonder that many young men think they’re gay
    when they aren’t allowed to express themselves.

    If
    there is any place these young men need to be, it is in a safe,
    nurturing environment where boyhood and manhood are cultivated and
    positive male role models are the norm. They should be somewhere where
    it is encouraged to explore what it means to be a growing young man, and
    given the tools to develop the skills, dignity, courage and pride which
    come with being an independent, functional, self-reliant young man.

  • HuskerID

    I really struggle with this issue. As one who grew up with unwanted same-sex attraction, activities like Scouting are just what I needed to help me be more comfortable in the world of boys and men and thus deal with my own gender identity issues. I would hate to see a boy kicked out of Scouting because someone found out he struggled with same-sex attraction or perhaps he admitted that to a leader. On the other hand, I don’t think boys of Scouting age should be announcing or, obviously, acting on either their heterosexuality or homosexuality. And I’m glad that BSA did retain their ban on openly gay Scout leaders.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    Is this his decision, or yours?

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    Confused young men are not cancers. They are confused young men needing correction and guidance.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    Why? To avoid being seen as people who eat with sinners?

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    You can either stand outside of these organizations and shake your head, or you can join up and pull them back toward the Right. Disassociating only leaves them in the hands of those who would corrupt them.

  • Carroll

    We’re staying!

  • SWOJM

    A society that supports such diseased thinking is cancerous. This has all been tried before and it resulted in the fall of those societies. It is a break in logic and morals and there is nothing to stop this country from heading down this same path. Every flag will fall save the flag of Our Church.

  • SWOJM

    Oh, and the boy in the painting should be adjusted, his wrist is too straight.

  • Shannon Russell Candler

    I don’t think any boy scouts are married and so they should not be sexually active; therefore this should not be a question. I don’t believe any boy should be identifying himself as “gay” at these early ages. Many young people of both sexes have mixed impulses early on and the best thing we can do for them is protect them with strong limits and values; and be vigilant. Having said that if some does identify themselves as “gay” it is not fair to others to put them in an uncomfortable situation with them; like sleeping in a tent or having to change clothes with them. My daughter had to share a room in college with a young woman who called herself bisexual and it was not fair to her; she could never completely relax even in her own room.

  • Lee

    How wonderful for this young man to accomplish so much. What has the Scouts decision have to do with his opportunity to reach this milestone? He no doubt has learned good things the years he has been a Scout, so now it is another chance to learn more of what the world is like, preparing him for the REAL world you want him ready for. Is it cheating him from finishing something he maybe has been looking forward to achieving? He will be facing these challenges after he leaves your side, so give him the support he needs now. I am Catholic, and I appreciate the fight, but sometimes you have to stand firm weighing the consequence of your personal decision.Who will look back and be sorry for what?

  • Diana Searcy

    Sodom & Gomorrah is a pivotal story, gives clues into the perverse nature of the act and ultimately changes the soul of our humanity. As the story reveals there are men who wanted to “lay” with the angels. These men were unable to accept that was not going to happen. So they thought that they could just force themselves, “rape” these angels. The angels sent Lott and his family away, as they prepared for battle. I am of course paraphrasing the story but, my point is what may seem simple is really complicated when it involves our souls. We have to follow Gods command. He knows what’s best for all of us. Don’t send our youngsters into that battle, they may run into a situation when no is not accepted.

  • Subvet

    No, to avoid the appearance of condoning their behavior.

  • QuoVadisAnima

    I might be mistaken, but I believe that’s from a Norman Rockwell painting.

  • QuoVadisAnima

    Guidance which they will not be getting under the BSA’s new policy, which is essentially “don’t ask; don’t tell”

  • QuoVadisAnima

    When the Apostles were debating the issue of whether or not the Christian initiates would have to be circumcised and follow the Jewish laws, the decision was no – but with some exceptions such as abstaining from the offerings to pagan idols. Why? After all, they knew the pagan gods were not real. Because it would create scandal by appearing to participate in (or condone, as Subvet says) false worship creating confusion & misunderstandings (particularly doctrinal ones).

  • QuoVadisAnima

    Is that what a boy who publicly announces that he is homosexual looking for? And what is the BSA policy now for how leaders are to handle such a situation?

  • Marc Williams

    Pull out. We must stand on principle and shield and protect our children as best we can. The BSA leadership are deluded if they think they have purchased peace, as the activists won’t stop with this victory, as they won’t stop with the legalization of same sex marriage. They have already announced that they will go after the scouts about their policy of no gay scoutmasters. The same relentless economic, legal and media pressures will be brought to bear. Then they will find an example of some poor youth claiming to be transgendered, employ the same tactics and so forth.

    The left are moral and cultural nihilists. Their ultimate goal is the cultural and legal disestablishment of male and female sexual differences and the BSA are merely one front in the accelerating cultural blitzkrieg. Some in their camp honestly believe themselves compassionate and well-meaning, but the movement is satanic and at root a death wish.

    In the same vein I will be withdrawing from the Republican party when it accommodates itself to same-sex marriage, which it appears it soon will do.

    People of traditional moral values are the bedrock of the BSA and the Republican party. Without us they can’t survive or be what they purport to be. We must stand on principle and hope we can force them to do the same.

  • pnyikos

    While pulling out is certainly an option we can exercise if things get really bad, I think the most we should do at this point is to draw a line in the sand and say that if the BSA crosses that line, then we will pull out.

    Did you read the first article linked by the CE editor? It is by a canon lawyer who explains why this first step of the BSA is still compatible with Catholic standards. In a linked postscript, he explains that he was exclusively concerned with what the formally expressed policy of the BSA is, and not with the issue of where this is likely to lead the organization. In that, he links another fine essay.

    Catholics pulling out en masse now would only ensure that your worst fears will come to pass.

  • SWOJM

    It is. I was just being a jerk. Sorry about that.

  • SWOJM

    Excellent point.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    What a young man needs and what a young man goes looking for are quite often VERY different things. And the policy should not change. A scout outing is no place for sexual activity. There are coed Venture Crews, and the rules there are already in place. If someone is unwilling or unable to follow the rules, they can be shown the door.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    Excluding them actively prevents us from ministering to them. Shall we evict them from Mass as well?

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    And so we don’t attend gay pride parades, nor do we allow the trappings that often come with homosexuality into our troops. But that does not mean we evict those most in need of our care and teaching. Are we to look at a child and say “I do not agree with the way you have been taught, and so I will not teach you the correct way”?

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    Why not? There is no reason teachings need to be adjusted for “gay” scouts. A positive example is a positive example.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    There is the opportunity to show love here, and there is the opportunity to sew the seeds of hate. Will this young man be given the opportunity to show other young men that there is dignity, strength and honour in their masculinity, or will he be forced from a course the tracking of which he has spent years because of those same boys?

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    And so should we act to mend the cause of such diseased thinking, or treat the victims like lepers? Which is going to heal, and which is going to let the wound fester?

  • sarah

    Young men should not be penalized for their sexual orientations, whether those orientations are disordered or not. He may find himself attracted to a member of the same sex, but if he is not acting upon those urges, then should he be excluded from normal activities that involve other men? Scouting is a great way for young men to be involved with their communities and also to become leaders. By excluding young gay men, would we be telling them they aren’t worthy of being active members of the wider world community?

    We all remember being teenagers. For some kids, the more a parent screamed, threatened, abused, or just reprimanded, the more rebellious those kids would become. If we don’t include these young men as members of the community, might it force some of them to turn away, be rebellious, and actually act upon their urges, when they might not have acted otherwise?

    Allowing a gay person to participate as a scout is not condoning the gay lifestyle. Excluding him would be prejudiced as he is excluded for the person he is. It’s one thing to exclude a person for their actions, it is quite another to exclude them for the person they are. Pulling one’s son out of scouts because there may be gay scouts present is prejudiced and sets a bad example for one’s son. It is also a disservice to one’s son as it doesn’t allow him to participate in the community.

    FYI Straight people aren’t attracted to every member of the opposite sex. A gay man isn’t attracted to every man whom he encounters and is less likely to be attracted to a man he knows will not respond favorably to his advances or whom he knows is unavailable. In the wide majority of scout troops your sons will be safe.

  • Subvet

    Ministering to them can be done in other enviornments where my children don’t get exposed to an unnatural and sinful “lifestyle” without my presence. You may find the concept strange but a father’s first responsibility in this area is for the safety and wellbeing of his kids. As I (not you) will be the one to answer to God for that I see no reason to give your comments any serious thought.

  • Joe

    For anybody looking for a great Catholic alternative to Boy Scouts, I would suggest looking into Blue Knights Boys Club. It teaches the faith in a fun and exciting way and has the added benefit of allowing you to run your group indepent of any large national organization that will potentially try to impose its idealogy on you and your children. You can find more information about Blue Knights by going to http://www.blueknightsboysclub.com

  • QuoVadisAnima

    This is only intended as a general analogy so please don’t misconstrue it into some sort of insult – when we have a child who is causing problems in a classroom, why do we sometimes remove that child from the classroom and put them in a juvenile hall or a special needs classroom? After all, the child has problems and we should not just turn them away – so shouldn’t they be around “normal” children so that they can learn to behave “normally”? Aren’t those troubled children the ones most in need of our care and teaching?

  • QuoVadisAnima

    True, they are often different things, but that is part of the point here – a young man who announces himself as homosexual in an organization that already explicitly states sexuality is not supposed to be part of the scouting “experience” is apparently looking to make a point (probably with encouragement from activists) not asking for help. I pity the scout leader who sincerely tries to help a young man whose enablers are lying in wait to use them to further their agenda.

    As you state, the rules were already in place – what was the need for this restatement of them, then, if that’s all this is?

    The confused boys who could benefit from scouting aren’t going to be throwing down any guantlets in public daring the BSA to kick them out – they will remain as they already were, learning how men act & interact in positive, non-sexual ways.
    They are the ones who are likely to suffer because of the activists being allowed to participate – as are the leaders who try to do the right thing for the wrong person – and the other boys who are at least as confused on this issue as the many grown ups whose example most of them are probably not sure which to follow anymore.

  • QuoVadisAnima

    Sort of like that guy who overthrew Hitler?… and Stalin? … and Mao?…
    ;-)

  • Marc Williams

    I have read the article and considered the point that the BSA’s statement of a change in policy is carefully measured and does not undermine or contradict what it has always stood for in principle and practice. Then in what sense is this, in your words, a first step? And a step toward or away from what exactly? Furthermore, why did they resist for so long adopting a policy that really represents nothing threatening to their mission?

    Secondly, the BSA has handed another public relations victory to the LGBT movement. The BSA can make the distinction between mere orientation as opposed to behavior (as the church correctly does) but the impression given to the wider culture will be that they have “evolved” and tacitly, if not explicitly, given a moral stamp of approval to homosexuality. The dramatic shift in public opinion the past twenty years is due almost entirely to a relentless, well-orchestrated and, in many instances, intimidating PR campaign. This additional PR victory can only serve to sap the nerve of many hitherto opposed to the public moral acceptance of homosexuality.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    And how did these shining examples you’ve provided treat homosexuals? Was it with Christian love and discipline?

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    I’m afraid I disagree. Firstly because a 12 year-old-boy standing up and announcing at a scout meeting that he’s gay under pressure from adults is being abused. This is exactly the kind of young man we need to look at and go “So what? Be who you are, not what some horde tells you to be” and then go back to first-aid. It’s like the four-year-old brother of 4 older sisters who asked his parents when he’d be allowed to wear dresses, and they said “Oh, he’s TRANSGENDER” instead of explaining the difference between boys and girls. That young man most likely isn’t gay, but as you have said, is being pushed down a path by people who make him feel important and tell him he is.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    I don’t find it insulting, but it is flawed. One’s sexual identity, while true or not, is not “trouble-causing”. And I absolutely agree: These kids are going to need a bit more time and attention than other boys, and are likely to need being watched for signs of abuse. Just like troubled kids in the classroom.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    You know, I’ve always found it interesting, folks who make a statement and then storm off. Yes, I’ve been active on this site. I work nights, and it helps keep me awake. I’ve also been an active scouter for more than twenty years. This is a subject which could tear the organization apart, and I’m concerned.

    I take delight in a free, polite exchange of thoughts and ideas. If a group of people who genuinely seek truth speak and work toward that goal, they will eventually find it, whatever their starting point. Stamping off in a huff will never help anything.

    And as for why I’m bothering to reply to someone who has already said they’re ignoring me, well, this is a public forum. Perhaps someone will read this and gain something from it. If so, cheers. Try and keep your internet conversations polite and in the spirit of love.

  • jake

    There is a bigger life lesson here. He has been a part of the decision, and he is learning something much more valuable; to stand for his Faith against an agenda. This isn’t really about the boys, it is about the homosexuals destroying the traditional values. It is painful, but to stand for what you believe often times is such.

  • JohnE

    My sons are in cub scouts and I am a den leader. My main concern was with the possibility of having openly homosexual leaders, and thankfully that did not happen, so we are staying for the time being. Scouting is about forming boys into men — which means that in some ways they are not yet formed. However, if scouting meetings become some sort of forum for young boys to “come out” to their peers as a way to have homosexual activity be considered as good and normal, then I won’t allow my boys to be subjected to that and we will leave. I don’t see why the policy had to be changed. If a scout mentioned something like that to me in private, I would not seek to have him removed — that’s not open and avowed homosexuality. Unfortunately, I fear this policy change is only step one. I have a feeling we’ll probably have to quit before they make it through the program.

  • Allen Hebert

    There is a problem, the solution is to either leave in protest (as we did), or work to fix it. The decision is up to each concerned parent, discernment about what someone is called to do is most appropriate. I had my boys in scouting for the leadership development and outdoor skills. But the acceptance of being gay as something normal and acceptable caused me to look for other alternatives to meet these two needs of my boys. There are plenty of good options, and maybe even better options. We are opting for something that involved Dad too.

  • pnyikos

    I did not mean to imply that there are other steps to come by calling the recent decision a “first step.” Like you, I hope there will be no more steps in that general direction.

    I agree with your second paragraph. Yes, the wider culture sees this decision differently, and that includes right-wing groups who distorted the description of the decision, with one aim being to garner signatures to various statements protesting the decision.

    I just hope that the truth will come through to those people who are faced with the decision whether to have their sons become, or continue to be Scouts.

  • QuoVadisAnima

    So we are going to leave it to untrained volunteers with no guidelines to follow to help them? (Except that “don’t ask; don’t tell” means they aren’t even supposed to address it at all, so how will that work? And when we have kids with special needs kids, they require extra time & attention that will necessarily come at the expense of everyone else in the troop – do Scouts give that same gift to troubled & delinquent boys?)

  • QuoVadisAnima

    My slightly facetious point being that not all fights are the kind where one can just jump in and triumph – some are the kind where you die on the hill. It’s one thing for a parent to make that choice & quite another to sacrifice one’s child to it – esp. since it can have some unintended negative eternal consequences on one’s own child.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    I suppose it just depends from which side you charge the hill.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    Forgive me if I’m blunt, and if I’ve already asked this, but have you recently been an adult leader for a scout group? There’s a great deal of training involved. Troubled and… troubled boys require more attention by leadership. This is why it’s important to train youth internally. By the time they’re Boy Scouts, the meetings should be at least partially youth-lead.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    I agree. I’d just hate to see a boy’s work “taken away” by his parents over politics. I’ve seen it before on other issues.

    And you’re absolutely right. It has nothing to do with the kids. That’s really the point that I stand on for letting gay youth in. We need to be more concerned with taking care of the kids and less about whose parents show up to the all-rainbow parade.

  • misterheche

    Prof. Anthony Esolen of Providence College has a good essay on this
    issue (linked below) and captures the reality that there are so-called
    “chaste” behaviors that derive from one’s sexuality (holding hands,
    professions of love, etc.).

    If one assumes that such “chaste” behaviors are not banned under the new
    Boy Scout policy it seems clear that a male scout engaging in such
    behaviors with another male (perhaps even a another male scout) would
    not violate Boy Scout rules. Such behavior would, however, violate
    Church teaching, because the behavior is homosexual by nature. (Church
    teaching holds that the homosexual inclination is not sinful, but acting
    upon it is.)

    Thus, it seems to me that the new rule is incompatible with Church
    teaching, and the concept of Catholic Boy Scout troops is no longer
    possible.

    Esolen’s essay:

    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/2285/the_invisible_boy.aspx#.Ua4mnJyOmSo

    Dr. Dr. Denise Jackson Hunnell also has written an essay which notes the
    myriad ways in which the new Boy Scouts policy conflicts with Christian
    morality:

    http://www.truthandcharityforum.org/a-cloudy-future-for-catholic-boy-scouts/

  • misterheche

    You raise a number of valid points, however overnight camping in tents and cabins is a complicating factor, and to my knowledge is an issue the Boys Scouts did not address.

    No reasonable adult would think of putting teenage
    males and females into a tent or cabin together overnight due to privacy issues
    and also the temptations that would ensue.

    What then about the
    boy scout who suffers from same-sex inclinations? By the same reasoning
    he could not be assigned a tent with other boys, be they straight or
    gay. Would he get his own tent? How awkward would that be for both him
    and the troop?

    It seems that there are many practical details
    that have to be worked out, in order to reconcile the rule change to Catholic
    teaching and morality.

  • Aging Flower Child

    You are right about the tent thing. True story: my husband was 12 years old and went on his first overnight scout trip. He was put in a tent with a 14 or so year old boy who was offering oral gratification to any interested boy in camp. My husband declined but had to endure other boys traipsing in for this extra curricular activity. This was many years ago. It was so unspeakable he never told anyone about it until he was an adult. So, if this is all ‘OK’ now – is there an increase in this type of activity? Will adults be reluctant to address the activity because it will be perceived as ‘prejudice’ against them?

  • Gail Finke

    That’s true but what if the guidance is to “come out” because you are born that way and you should act on whatever impulses you have, even if you are only 12? That is the guidance many LGBT organizations would like all children to have. I don’t see how it is compatible with Scouting.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    It’s not. In Venturing, a part of the BSA, we deal with youth ages 14-21. There are very specific rules and regulations, along with training on how to deal with “impulses” common among coed groups of that age. “Well my mom/moms/dad/dads say that it’s perfectly FINE to do xyz” “Well, not here it isn’t. There are rules here, you agreed to follow them, and if you can’t follow the same rules as everyone else you’ll have to find some other way to spend your time.”

  • Gail Finke

    Thanks for the explanation. My point, though, is not what is happening now — but what could happen if the same cultural forces that caused this change do not let up. Look, we all know that sometimes people are content with a symbolic action or decision that doesn’t change anything, and that may be the case here. But at other times, an initial “no big deal” action is the beginning of a sea change. Look at smoking (which I am not endorsing). It is now illegal to smoke almost everywhere in Kentucky, where they GROW TOBACCO for cigarettes. That doesn’t even make sense. But not smoking has gone from a common sense health issue to a moral crusade, and all bets are off when something becomes a moral crusade. “GBLT” stuff is now a moral crusade, and I don’t think that a little thing like a Boy Scout policy is going to make any difference in the long run.

  • Ian Rutherford

    The deck within the organization is stacked to prevent any correction. The board is made up of CEOs who actively promote the homosexual agenda. The whole survey and voting circus were just for show. Please explain concretely how to “fix” the organization when the board is appointed by unknown people, has secret meetings and can only be removed by people who depend on these companies funding to keep their nice salaries?

  • Ian Rutherford

    We left. The entire process was meant to produce this result, no matter what was said publicly. The new policy declares any sexual desire to be morally equivalent while the BSA had argued that sodomy was a violation of Scouting at its core in its arguments before the Supreme Court.

    The new policy guts the argument made at the Supreme Court so it will only be a matter of months before some openly homosexual scout applies to be a leader and the national organization rolls over because they can’t win in court anymore.

    A couple of other clear examples of where the BSA is heading:

    1) Remember how the national office revoked the charter of the troop in Salt Lake City for wearing its uniforms, against BSA policy, in the Sodomy Pride Parade a few weeks ago? Neither do I. National said it supported the council and the council said that it asked the leaders to sign an apology which they refused to do. To date, no further action has been taken.

    2) Remember how the national office revoked the permission of the Greater New York Council to be affiliated with the BSA for ALREADY violating the new policy and saying it will allow openly homosexual leaders? Neither do I. National has done nothing.

    There is an end goal in mind at the national level and the current policy isn’t it.

    I recommend dusting your feet and starting a troop with the Scouts of St. George.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    To this day local policies are decided by local groups. And local leadership is still the ones doing the actual leading and teaching.

    As for national, the board is made up mainly of volunteers elected from regional executives. Where are you getting this cloak and dagger nonsense?

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    The point of the BSA isn’t to be moral crusaders. It’s to educate young men in a way which will create strong, dedicated, knowledgeable adult citizens and fathers. The BSA doesn’t protest, doesn’t force anyone to join, and isn’t here to judge. If YOU want to see a change in the culture, then YOU must be that change. If you want to see a change in the BSA, you’re going to have to volunteer to lead and help teach these boys.

  • Ian Rutherford

    Please show me the guidelines for electing the board as well as the meeting minutes. The “cloak and dagger” shenanigans of the voting meeting were documented by the CEO of the Palmetto Council in his resignation letter.

    Please explain how local groups will decide policy when the national office has mandated this new change when less than a year ago they promised never to do such a thing.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    Well, here’s a channel where you can watch live broadcasts of their sneaky-sneaky meetings:
    http://www.livestream.com/bsanationalcouncil

    Local groups have always had the power, with their sponsor, to lean on national to make changes specific to their group. That’s half the point of having a sponsor.

  • Ian Rutherford

    These aren’t their board meetings or the board meeting minutes. Less than a year ago national promised that this wouldn’t happen and a year ago said the previous policy was the best thing for Scouting and that the discussion was closed.

    Before they announced publicly that they had abandoned that position, how were the local units supposed to influence on an issue that supposedly had been settled?

  • Betty Borrough

    While I appreciate your defense of God’s command, I am a little bit offended by your invocation of Sodom and Gomorra as a story condemning homosexuality. Any decent scholar knows that the original text says nothing about homosexuality, but about hospitality. After the men of Sodom threatened to rape the angels Lot offered his own daughters in their place. This is because the men were interested in invoking their unchecked power. If they were homosexual, why would Lot think that his daughters would satisfy the crowd?

    Invoking a text that doesn’t say what you say it does simply gives our opponents ammunition, and is thus harmful to our cause.

  • Sam

    Gay activist are pleased that churches all across America are dropping their Boy Scout Charters. With the Churches out of the way they can push their anti-Christin views on the Scouts.

  • JohnE

    Perhaps. I suspect (hope) that for some places it will have little effect and things will pretty much run the way they were before. Those places where the effects of the policy are most felt will likely see a decrease in membership. Scouting is a time commitment that many parents already have a difficult time making. If there’s some question as to whether it will even continue to be a good influence on their sons, the decision to opt out just got a lot easier.

  • 3rd Gen T

    The problem is that the national BSA and many districts have chosen to lobby for gay rights. They chose to ignore the voice of their members. The national BSA is now distorting facts.

    As far as guiding youths, how can I as a Catholic guide a youth who joins while publicly announcing that he believes sodomy is correct and acceptable behavior? What do I tell the other scouts when that boy shows up with his boy friend? Or worse how can I justify letting him tent with another scout – isn’t that the equivalent of letting a boy and girl tent together? The BSA has lost all sight of reality and is now motivated by money and politics – things that have no place in a “value-based” organization.

  • 3rd Gen T

    This in not the same – by promoting scouting, you are now, in effect saying that you support and condone homosexual behavior. “Openly gay” in today’s society means that you believe gay sexual activity in not only acceptable but a morally correct behavior. How will you minister to them without violating their rights?

  • 3rd Gen T

    What do you plan to do when a gay scout bring his boy friend to a troop meeting? Gives him a kiss? Or joins the troop? You will not legally be able to lecture him on the evils of homosexuality. If you do, you’re church had better be prepared for the law suits.

  • 3rd Gen T

    Scout leader of over a decade here with lots of training. There will be no training on this that will fix the problems it creates. If a child is “Openly” homosexual, you CAN NOT lecture him or discuss his sexual preference without violating his rights. You CAN NOT separate him from tenting with other boys. You CAN NOT prevent him from wearing female underwear if he chooses. In all likelihood, you can not even prevent him from tenting with his boy friend if the other boy was a member of the troop. You really need to stop oversimplifying this issue. There is a clear agenda here and it has nothing to do with homosexual boys being allowed in a troop (non of us cared before). A troop having a Catholic sponsor will not change this and opens the door to all sorts of legal issues.

  • 3rd Gen T

    No – part of every dollar you send the the BSA is being used to lobby for gay rights. Two of the districts in my state of Connecticut have made it clear that they will “continue the fight” on gay rights and THEY’RE USING OUR DONATIONS TO DO IT!

  • 3rd Gen T

    During it’s Supreme Court arguments, the BSA said that homosexual behavior violated the Scout Oath’s being “Morally Straight”. This change means that the scouts “Timeless Values” are not timeless and does threaten their mission. It says that their are no moral absolutes – that morality and values are subject to political pressure and public opinion.

    By the way, the majority of scouters who took the clearly gay biased survey the BSA used to justify this move, were opposed to a policy change. Try finding that on the BSA’s website.

  • 3rd Gen T

    I agree except that I can’t see the “work to fix it” strategy. The paid scout leadership has controls all of this and they will not allow anyone who opposes their view to reach higher levels in scouting.

  • 3rd Gen T

    No you can’t – they are now in control of people who are promoting this agenda. They will not let anyone who opposes their viewpoint move into positions of power. The membership was opposed to the change while being strong-armed, bullied and lied to by certain districts who actually lobbied for it using scouting resources. It’s time to move on and away from the BSA.

  • Allen Hebert

    I can’t see it either, but it is a possibility, no matter how remote. For us, we have decided to start a Scouts of St. George troop. So far we have a lot of interest.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    You deal with same-sex attraction the same way that you deal with opposite-sex attraction: You patiently explain that the scout meeting and tent are no place for either the discussion or the actual carrying-out of these activities, and explain that if your youth can not follow the basic rules of scouting they will be removed from it.

    If that boyfriend is a member of your scouting unit, you deal with them the same way that Venture Crews have dealt with coed camping. A homosexual would need to be tented on his own. It’s really not that complicated. You create an environment where a confused young man can see positive masculinity and a place where a teenager does not feel that he has to use his sexual identity to rebel. We are Catholic. They will know us by our love.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    Mr. T the Third,
    No, I support an organization whose national leadership sometimes caves to unrelenting social, financial and political pressure. This simply makes a bit more work for those of us at the local level. Nobody sees what national policy is. They will, however, see us doing good works, feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, and educating young men on how to live their lives in an upright manner and how to take pride in their masculinity, something which society has for decades been trying to take from them.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    His boyfriend has no place at the meeting unless he’s considering joining the troop.

    You pull out the BSA policy manual, available on the website, and with another adult so as not to violate the two-deep leadership policy explain the BSA policy on PDA.

    I’d give the young man our new member’s packet, make sure that he knew where to get a handbook and a uniform, make sure his parents had parental consent forms and the appropriate forms for his physical. Oh, and a schedule. And then I’d get the young man started on his Trail to Eagle. Same as any other young man who joins my Troop.

    Why would I discuss, let alone lecture a young man about sex during one of my scout meetings? It is and has always been a violation of the BSA policy to do so. I am not their parent. I am not their church. I am their Scoutmaster. I am there to ensure that they have a positive, safe experience among good male role models. These young men are confused, nothing more, nothing less. They are not lepers. They are not criminals. They are not tax collectors.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    You need to go over your training again. You most certainly can put him in his own tent. And you should not be discussing sex during a scout event anyway. It’s not your place. And why the HELL are you worried about a young man’s choice of underwear?

  • 3rd Gen T

    You’re still oversimplifying – Where in the “basic scout rules” does it say boys can’t hold hands? And how do you explain to boy friend to the other Catholic scouts? And “positive masculinity” – we’re talking about openly gay boys. Do you understand what that means in today’s society? You seem to have no idea.

  • 3rd Gen T

    Or we can do the same things in association with organizations that are aligned with Catholic moral teachings. Did you even read what I said?

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    Sure. I mean, breaking off and doing their own thing worked wonders for the Protestants.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    In your youth protection. Which you should really know. And it’s not your job to explain a boyfriend, nor should it be an issue if the boys aren’t PDAing.

    I’m talking about boys who are generally too young to have a concrete sexual identity who are being told by society at large, and sometimes their parents, that their confusion is an indication of homosexuality. I’m talking about boys who have been told that wearing girl’s pants and makeup is the ideal of being male. I’m talking about boys who are told that perfectly natural male roughhousing is dangerous and “bad” from the day they enter public school.

    And there have been gay scouts in scouting for a very long time. Policy is now, as it has always been, that we don’t ask young boys their sexual preference, and that they are not to make it an issue.

  • 3rd Gen T

    What do Protestants have to do with the Boys Scouts? The Protestants disagreed with Church teachings and splintered. Here the Boy Scouts caved to pressure of those who disagreed with its doctrine – exactly the opposite. BTW have you read the Scout’s new definition of “morally straight” – it’s political correctness at its best.

  • 3rd Gen T

    Really? Where does it say that? And how could you legally justify it? I hope you are ready to go to court when they sue you, your troop and your sponsoring church. Just look at recent case and keep up on current affairs.

    I’ve been a Scout leader for over a decade, but I won’t put scouting above my faith.

    It’s also interesting that you sidestepped my other comments.

  • 3rd Gen T

    You need to review what happened – the national survey did not show support for a change. Yet national made the change. They tore the survey apart grasping for something and decided that there is support from younger parents. Now they are using statistics to back up their moral change – how’s that for “timeless values”? Just read the new (politically correct) definition of “morally straight” on the national website.

  • 3rd Gen T

    And what about the local councils such as ours in Connecticut that are supporting Gay rights using our funds? Time to move on to an organization with true convictions.

  • 3rd Gen T

    Eugene – There is a difference between loving the sinner and saying the sin is no longer a sin.

  • 3rd Gen T

    It is condoning the gay life style since the person is openly saying that homosexual behavior including sex acts are not sinful. Being “openly gay” in today’s society is not the same as being gay and seeing the sinful nature of your behavior.

  • 3rd Gen T

    Seriously? You’re so desperate to put a positive spin on this that that’s the argument you came up with? Even in the rate instance that this case might be right – how do you propose to “push” him down a separate path without getting sued by the parents?

  • 3rd Gen T

    Why would you stick with an organization that is 1) clearly heading down a path that is contrary to Catholic teaching? 2) Uses your money to fund those beliefs. 3) Has no true and lasting values? 4) Would lie to and deceive it’s membership? 5) Would change policy despite lack of membership support? 6) Is easily influenced by major donors / money or social pressure (both contrary to what the program supposedly teaches)?

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    And so instead of helping with a Reformation of the Scouts, you are advocating splintering off and doing one’s own thing.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    http://www.scouting.org/Training/YouthProtection.aspx
    A leader at what level? Have you ever worked with a Venture Crew?

    And what legal issues? The Guide to Safe Scouting is *VERY* clear on how we go about preventing hanky-panky in the scout tents between male and female scouters. It is a logical and reasonable step to extend that to supposedly out-of-the-closet homosexual scouts as well.

    How could I legally justify it? It’s Scouting Policy, clear and simple. The same exact way I justify not tenting male and female scouters in the same tent.

    Sir, the man who keeps bringing young boys in ladies underwear and dodging my questions on the topic has no business accusing me of dodging questions.

    I’m just sayin.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    You know…

    I’ve been working with kids for fifteen years in scouting. The one thing that I’ve learned above all else is that kids are AMAZING bull-shit detectors. Kids know that actions *mean* something. So tell me. To a young, sexually-confused man, what action speaks louder:

    Excluding him from an organization which presents a positive, affirming view of masculinity and all that entails while claiming that it is your faith which excludes him

    or

    Embracing him in that same organization and letting him see that there is nothing wrong with being a good, strong man in the world, and that he need not cave to social pressures.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    A positive spin? You’re advocating… you know, I’m not even sure you’re advocating anything. You’re just tearing down an organization with a hundred years of leading men down a positive path.

    And that’s the funny thing about Scouts. If you’re leading correctly, and from what you’ve been posting that isn’t an accusation that I’d make…

    if you present the boys with a path, they’ll explore it on their own. That’s why it’s called leading, not forcing.

  • 3rd Gen T

    I’m an ASM and former Cub Master – I’ve also served on the District level as a Committee Chairman. Two boys tenting together is not the same – show me where it discusses that in any scout training material. You can not prevent an openly gay boy from tenting with another boy – period. Stop deferring to boys and girls – while you and I see the similarities, the law does not or we wouldn’t have transsexual boys or girls being allowed to use the bathroom of their choosing. BTW “logical and reasonable” are not the same as legally defensible.

    I have yet to dodge any of your questions, while you have continually avoided addressing my comments directly. A scouting group which is sponsored by a Catholic Church represents that church in the community – you are a leader in both the scouts and the church in that regard.

  • 3rd Gen T

    Yes we’re looking at going in that direction to.

  • 3rd Gen T

    Nice language for a Scout leader on a public forum! And yes kids know that actions mean something – saying that being openly gay is correct behavior sends a powerful message to Catholic youths. BTW Eugene are you actually a Catholic Boy Scout leader or just someone trolling this website?

  • 3rd Gen T

    No it’s a question of loyalties – are you loyal to the BSA no matter what or your God and church? I’m not tearing down anything – that was already done by the national scouting organization when they tossed 10o years of “timeless values”. Eugene just read the national BSA’s new definition of “Morally Straight” to see how politically correct the BSA has become. My sons (both scouts – 1 eagle scout – and both OA members) and I are looking at alternatives. Sadly, I find that many Scout leaders hold scouting in higher reverence than anything else, including their church and family.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    The Church, as the sponsoring organization, is responsible for selecting the leadership of the scout packs, troops, crews and ships associated with her. I can understand that you’ve never dealt with a coed unit, so I’d once again advise you to look over the venture and sea scouting manuals. It is the adviser’s job to make sure that everyone is acting in a safe manner in line with Scouting’s principals. In fact, that’s very nearly all of his or her duty. The Guide to Safe Scouting tells us very clearly how to deal with hormonal teenagers and temptation.

    And dealing with these problems is simple. Buy. Single. Man. Tents. Trade with other troops for them.

    But hey, perhaps if we tried to actually work around a problem, if we tried to adapt and overcome these kinds of obstacles we could present a picture of male leadership that young boys would aspire to so that they in turn would lead their own boys into positive masculinity.

    But that would involve not taking our ball and going home.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    My name is Corporal Eugene Edward Yeo, late of the First Cav Division. I earned my Arrow of Light in 1995, my Eagle in 1999 and began Venturing in 2000. I became an Associate Adviser of Venture Crew 1862 out of Perry, NY in 2005, and joined the Army out of Buffalo, New York in 2007. I’ve deployed to Iraq twice and managed to come home both times. I’m a Christmated Ruthenian Catholic currently working toward a degree at Monroe Community College, and I’m forming a crew in Rochester, New York.

    And My name is right here for everyone to read, sir.

    I have the strength of character to know that young men under my leadership, no matter WHAT they have been told that they ARE or what they WILL BE will come out better for the experience.

    I am not afraid of my youth, sir, no matter what their parents, teachers or society tell them they are.

    I will love my youth. I will instill in them love for God and Country. I will give them every skill I am able to teach. I will teach them to be responsible citizens.

    And that, sir, is my message. I have nothing else to say to you. And you have had nothing to say to me for quite some time. Good day.

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