Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Boy Scout Brewhaha

I am the proud mother of an Eagle Scout and the proud wife of an assistant scout master who spends hundreds of hours each year volunteering with the scouts. As a scouting parent, I am not very involved--camping, roughing it outdoors and other activities that scouts enjoy don't appeal to me. However, I KNOW Boy Scouts are about the best character forming organization there is for boys, and even for the adults who volunteer.

So--what do I think about the scouts accepting boys who admit they have a same-sex attraction? NO BIG DEAL! Scouting is NOT an organization that focuses on sex, sex education, etc. That' just not what it's all about. Scouts are expected not to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage--gay, straight or solitary sex, as part of the Scout Law. So the fear that there will be a bunch of homosexual sex happening at scouting activities is ridiculous. Are all scouts observant of this law all the time? No, but the Scout Law, like the Ten Commandments, exists to set expectations and keep the boys on track. They are accountable to it.

What do I make of all the fearful parents who are worried that their boys might be exposed to or in the company of boys with same-sex attraction? Get over it--boys with SSA are in your parishes, in schools, in gym classes, on sports teams, and in the activities that your kids engage in already. The world has not ended. There is NO reason to believe that scouting activities will be any different.

I've also heard the laughable comment that boys with SSA might discuss their "crushes" with other boys who are discussing their crushes on girls. Are you kidding me? Have the people who have expressed those concerns ever hung around boys of scouting age? I have NEVER heard a group of boys discussing their crushes--even when they don't know I'm around. It doesn't happen. These are BOYS not girls.

If a scout troop has strong adult leaders and takes the Scout Law seriously, I can't think of any better or safer place for any boy to develop character, and I can't think of a better place for boys to learn how to become the kind of men our Church and society need.

Are there legitimate things to worry about? Yes. Like many, I fear that the Boy Scouts MAY follow the culture and accept homosexual behavior as normal, okay and just another choice. I fear they may allow openly practicing homosexuals, who are engaging in sinful behavior, to become leaders. All involved in scouting must be vigilant. However, that's not happening right now.

Of course I support the rights of parents to pull their kids out of scouting, start up alternate programs, etc. But let's not jump the gun here. Scouting still is a great place for boys, and would a really tough act to follow.