The experiment is for a good cause.
Egalitarianism, openness, caring, moderation, modernity. Gays are people, too. The scouts are updating a code of ethics in an era of tolerance. “Clean” doesn’t mean what it once used to. Yes, acceptance of others different from ourselves.
In the experiment, the Boy Scouts of America has taken into its left hand a revolver and is set to place the muzzle in its mouth. A jerk of the trigger will issue a blast, but no exit wound or corpse. Instead, it will send ricocheting around its head a tumor, a glob of post-modernism fragmented down to the cellular level. The result? Confusion, anger, paralysis, a collapse of market share and brand-name — maybe a nosebleed.
The BSA’s trustees are meeting in Grapevine, Texas, Thursday to determine whether to allow openly and avowed homosexual boys as members. Seeking to learn more about the implications for local economy in the downflow of a radical step, I chat today with James Hindman, a scout leader and homeschooling dad from Soddy-Daisy who has seven children and works in the insurance field.
Is chivalry big enough include the homosexual?
Mr. Hindman, a regular at Panera Posse on Friday mornings, wants to talk first about the boy scout code of honor. Codes of honor matter much to Christians.
Scout law includes “chivalry at its essence,” he says. A man must be “trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent, a friendly person who is not always looking for contentious argument, picking fights. *** He’s the kind of guy who puts the needs of other before himself. That’s straight out of the scriptures,” Mr. Hindman says. “So often in America we have this me-first attitude.” With an earnest home life and home education, Mr. Hindman and his wife, Tara, encourage children to put others first. They teach Clay and other sons manly chores and domesticated duty.
A boy should learn to care for the needs of the fairer sex, Mr. Hindman says. He should not take a seat when a woman is standing. He should get the woman’s car door.
Homosexuality, prohibited in Christianity as a sin and prosecuted as a capital offense in times when Christianity was more widely believed, is before the 120 members of the council. Half of the proposal — to allow adult poofters to serve as adult volunteers — was set aside after public outcry. The little brother of that proposal, to allow gay boys into the campground hearths, is limping along.
“The overwhelming majority” of councils are opposed to the plan, Mr. Hindman says. About 70 percent of scout troops are “faith based.” A Middle Tennessee council after taking a survey voted to denounce the proposal. In a survey, 66 percent said no, 15.7 percent gays should be allowed, the Tennessean reported.
The standing policy is effectively a don’t ask, don’t tell rule. Talk about sexuality is not part of the scouting program, and Mr. Hindman says it would be improper for him to open a conversation with a boy, asking, “Are you gay?” or “Do you ever have homosexual desires?” The current rule prevents sexualization of relationships, and keeps sexuality out of view as irrelevant to tasks at hand. “Today, those kinds of situations don’t come up at all.”
Many devoted scouts when they win merit badges remain in the organization as registered adult volunteers. What happens when the gay boy graduates and insists on staying on after his 18th birthday? “There will be lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit,” Mr. Hindman warns.
I ask about the virtue of cleanness rule for scouts. Would that be set aside, leaving only 11 commands? How can a homosexual be clean by definition?
Mr. Hindman cited Robert Bayden-Powell who in the early 1900s took seriously the admonition that “as Christians we are not to be just hearers of the word of God, but doers also,” which includes being “a clean young man.” Beyond personal hygiene, cleanness refers to “clean in everything that you do.” “It’s more of a heart issue as well in a way that amounts to serving God. You are putting yourself last, putting others before you. Having a life that is clean *** that is a moral obligation as well,” Mr. Hindman says. “A 17-year old, there shouldn’t even be a question of sexuality to one who isn’t married and is still living at home and who is involved in mentoring 12 year old boys who are coming up alongside them.”
Leading is impossible for any boy who is sexually active, who is not being morally straight. “You can’t do that if you are an open and avowed homosexual.”
Mr. Hindman says the question of sexual purity is one that is best understood in terms of God and his commandments, and indicated that if Christian morals are not enforced there will follow a “flood of dissipation,” a term St. Paul uses in 1 Peter 4.
Scouting’s future with gays? Look at military debacle
A big story today as been the disgrace of sexual abuse in the federal military. “Not only is it a crime. Not only is it shameful and disgraceful,” President Barack Obama said about abuse of females in the military. “But it is also going to make our military less effective.” The Pentagon and the president recently agreed to put women in combat brigades and bring the feminism and modernism into a bastion of male conservatism, the armed forces.
A similar disaster is in the making in the scouts, Mr. Hindman warns. If the Boy Scouts of America let gay boys in, the distinction between gay boys and straight adults will soon be made to fall. Groups of sterile and childless homosexuals have as an ultimate goal a “total breakdown of any kind of moral framework or fiber, the fiber that holds the American family and American institutions together. They know eventually that those will break down.”
How does it benefit the homosexual lobby if is there is confusion and destruction in the scouts? I ask. “I think the No. 1 tactic of a progressive liberal group in America *** is to tear down, to cause confusion, to break down, to infiltrate, to subvert — those are things that are key in the play book of progressives who want to try to change the social structure of America.” These are wise and necessary steps to make Christian-connected institutions “crumble from within,” upon which wreckage they can build a revised social order.
Caving it violates the scout law to be brave, not give in to boisterous and noisy minority. “Someday, we are going to have to stand up” and resist.
National disaster — victory for local economy
If the national brand is destroyed, a huge opportunity is created for creation of new organizations, I suggest. How might a national disaster allow for local initiative and self-determination?
To start with, if gays are OK’d “a significant membership loss” is ahead that could reach 600,000 scouts, plus countless volunteers. “The free market will step in at that point. If this change takes place, *** we’ll have to think very hard about our involvement with the boy scouts” and maybe start local groups. Christians should pray that God will not allow this change to take place, the scout dad says.
The marketplace always has a solution when a brand falls into public disfavor, Mr. Hindman says. When the girl scouts went to seed with feminism, American Heritage Girls stepped up to serve families with Christian or traditionalist perspectives. Disenchanted boy scout families would probably create locally flavored, locally controlled friendly societies serving young men and their training, our interview indicates.