It is not surprising that the Religious Right’s anti-gay brigade charged into high gear after the announcement that the Boy Scouts of America are considering changing the policy banning gays from being Scouts, and lesbians and gays from serving as scout masters. The rhetoric is, of course, predictable as well with warning of pedophilia and worse occurring if the BSA makes the change.
The American Family Associations Bryan Fischer took to Twitter to claim that “Jerry Sandusky is now the poster child for the Boy Scouts of America.” Of course, this ignores the fact that the BSA helped straight pedophiles cover their tracks and hide from law enforcement. Of course, to people like Fischer, there are no straight pedophiles, even those who molest children of the opposite sex.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council took to the idea of morality and lambasted the move saying:
“The Boy Scouts of America board would be making a serious mistake to bow to the strong-arm tactics of LGBT activists and open the organization to homosexuality. What has changed in terms of the Boy Scouts’ concern for the well-being of the boys under their care? Or is this not about the well-being of the Scouts, but the funding for the organization?
“The Boy Scouts has for decades been a force for moral integrity and leadership in the United States. Sadly, their principled stances have marked them as a target for harassment by homosexual activists and corporations such as UPS which are working to pressure the Boy Scouts into abandoning their historic values.
“The mission of the Boy Scouts is ‘to instill values in young people’ and ‘prepare them to make ethical choices,’ and the Scout’s oath includes a pledge ‘to do my duty to God’ and keep himself ‘morally straight.’ It is entirely reasonable and not at all unusual for those passages to be interpreted as requiring abstinence from homosexual conduct.
“If the board capitulates to the bullying of homosexual activists, the Boy Scouts’ legacy of producing great leaders will become yet another casualty of moral compromise. The Boy Scouts should stand firm in their timeless values and respect the right of parents to discuss these sexual topics with their children,” concluded Perkins.
The idea that homosexuality was synonymous with decadence and immorality stems from the days when homosexuality was something that only the rich and decadent could afford to engage in because they had the coin to make the Church look the other way.
Perkins also stated that
A departure from their long-held policies would be devastating to an organization that has prided itself on the development of character in boys. In fact, according to a recent Gallup survey, only 42 percent of Americans support changing the policy to allow homosexual scout leaders.
These are the same people who have claimed that same-sex marriage would lead to the collapse of civilization, that homosexuality leads to a rise in all sorts of diseases, and that a greater number of pedophiles would get away with molesting more children. None of these things have happened, of course.
One executive with the anti-gay Southern Baptist Convention told their propaganda arm editor Richard Land that “It boggles my mind to think the BSA would make such a move,” said an executive in the Southern Baptist Convention who asked not to be identified. “If they have counted the cost of this decision in terms of relationships and numbers, then I believe they have miscalculated that cost.” Apparently, members of the BSA’s top executive team met with leaders of the Mormon and Catholic Churches and the Southern Baptist Convention about the possible policy shift.
One Million Moms also added their voice to this claiming that “Next week, the Boy Scouts of America will decide on whether it will keep a long standing policy of not allowing homosexuals to serve as volunteer leaders, or to change that policy and allow open homosexuals to participate in the scouting program. If the BSA departs from its policies on allowing homosexual scoutmasters and boys in the program, it will destroy the legitimacy and the security of this iconic institution. While news articles conclude the latter as a forgone conclusion, the final decision has not been made.”
Of course, we are waiting for a legitimate explanation rather than the excuses pushed by these groups as to why gays should not be allowed into the Boy Scouts.