[We published this work in September, when the moral wobblies among Boy Scout leaders first hit. Now that the group is considering affirming the homosexual lifestyle, it’s a good occasion to reconsider the scout brand and what might happen if it commits organizational suicide in an important marketplace. — DJT]
The Boy Scouts of America recently reaffirmed its ban on open homosexuals as leaders. The statement was announced as the culmination of a two-year study by the chief national executive and national president of the youth organization.
“The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting,” said Bob Mazzuca, chief scout executive.
He adds that the existing policy remains in the best interest of scouting and that there will be no further action taken on the resolution.
However, that may not be the end of the story.
Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T and an executive board member, will be joining fellow board member James Turley, CEO of Ernst & Young, to help change the current Boy Scouts of America gay leader ban, according to the website Change.org, a group pressing the BSA to abandon the old ways by admitting gay adults to positions of authority.
If BSA compromised, free market awaits with solution
As a leader and father of an enthusiastic young boy scout, I am following this story closely. I enjoy my time volunteering for the BSA. I find the hundred plus years of scouting history offers a deep connection to the men who have lived, worked, fought for and even died for our country. To me it’s good to know that the program that teaches a young boy to grow up, lead and provide for his family, be responsible — in short, to be a man — is largely unchanged from the time of its founding in 1910.
A common thread emerges in many conversations I’ve had with scouting moms and dads: “If the BSA national committee changes its policy on homosexual leaders, we will just have to leave and start something new.” Note the reaction is not one of indignation and protest toward that prospect. None have said: “Well, we will contact the media, or bring a lawsuit, or stage a huge protest.”
The response is usually in the vein of the American can-do spirit of creating something new.
Progressives and homosexuals say the Boy Scouts of America is out of touch with today’s changing values. The time has come for the BSA to embrace all behavior and no longer pass judgment. They allege American mothers and fathers would welcome the fact that their 12-year-sons are being led, mentored and guided by homosexuals.
To test their theory, I have a suggestion: Let the free market decide.
If the homosexuals are correct about cultural mores in their favor, they should create a structured scouting program led by homosexuals to compete with the BSA. In their new group, these gays would mold and instruct the men of tomorrow. Parents all over the country would leave the BSA en masse and flock to the gays’ enlightened youth program, or so they might hope.
Quiet subversion easier than open competition
The obvious problem with my suggestion is that this proposal for a gay scouting knockoff group would take an enormous amount of creativity, ingenuity and self-determination. It is by far easier to highjack a 100-year-old institution than to create a new one to compete against it. Radicals have little practice in creating anything, since for generations their method has been to work from within to take over and change existing social constructs, not create their own to drive rivals out by competing in the free marketplace of ideas.
As the philosophical architect of the modern social progressive movement, Saul Alinsky, wrote in Rules for Radicals, “The first step in community organization is community disorganization. The disruption of the present organization is the first step toward community organization. Present arrangements must be disorganized if they are to be displaced by new patterns…. All change means disorganization of the old and organization of the new.”
Homosexuals and progressives would not attempt to run the risk of developing a free-market competitor to the Boy Scouts of America because they know it simply could not compete. Millions of families believe in teaching boys to be courteous and kind to individuals, regardless of their lifestyle choices. But at the same time boy scouts stand firm in what they believe to be true and immutable within the natural order.
There are countless families that believe it’s important to teach sons the Scout Law and to live it out in all they do.
Old virtues and scout law
At the same time, the overwhelming majority of these families understand what study after study shows. Children raised by a mother and father in a home where the values enshrined in the Scout Law are taught and lived out grow up to be healthier, better adjusted and more well-rounded citizens. These parents strongly believe that teaching boys to grow up to be strong men who provide for and protect their wives, children and country, is the thread that holds the fabric of the nation together.
If these progressive and homosexual groups are correct, if America has determined that the BSA is an antiquated and outdated model for leading the youth of our country, they need to offer a waiting nation an alternative. Don’t expect to hear of any such group being formed.
Who can blame these groups for wanting to infiltrate, subvert, take over and overturn the heritage of the Boy Scouts? If I were in their shoes, I wouldn’t want to compete against that track record of success either by starting a challenger organization.
A man whose identity and calling is wrapped up in being a homosexual will find few things with which to agree in Scout Law:
A scout is:
James Hindman is a homeschooling dad of six children and works in the insurance industry. The Boy Scout leader is a deacon at Chattanooga Primitive Baptist Church.