I have the greatest respect for Erick Erickson (“k” added 6/18/2013 thank you stevemaley), but consider him wrongheaded on this whole change in Scouting policy (http://www.redstate.com/2013/05/24/i-have-no-problem-with-the-scouts-decision/,http://www.redstate.com/2013/06/08/a-faith-to-stand-firm/). I have responded to both of Erick’s post on this subject and have taken some of the the slings and arrows of others who agree with Erick. I will congratulate all that they are posting as responsible thinkers and not tossing “f-bombs” and other degrading comments, despite the emotional content of the subject.
As I said in response to one of Erick’s posts I also do not know what a homosexual 11-year-old (or even a 16-year-old) looks like. I have seen boys that I would have bet would be homosexual bring their boys back to Scouting. Scouting requires boys and adults to be morally straight, and they are somewhat revising how the program defines the boy. If they can keep the predators out (both of boys and of girls in the Venturing program) I will be happy with their policy. The kids are not the problem; Scouting teaches its boys the 3 R’s of youth protection (recognize, react, report) and leaders are similarly required to be trained. http://www.scouting.org/youthprotection.aspx So the subject is not avoided, it is trained about. I am not confident that a boy will report on an adult leader, however. See the whole Catholic Church priest pedophile scandal, and Scouting’s own scandal in the 1970’s. It takes a while for kids to decide to come forward.
I have had Christian, Jewish, and Muslim boys as Scouts. I have met Buddhist adult Scouters. As far as I can tell, we all believe that homosexuality is a sin, but that it is not important that we “weed out” boys that can fulfill morally straight. That is abstinence for Boy Scouts (NOT by Planned Parenthood definitions, however http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/birth-control/abstinence-4215.htm ) but true abstinence. A kid can slip and be forgiven because they are kids; however, a predatory kid would not be tolerated. The boys are encouraged to report and from my experience they will do so.
Where I fear Scouting may go is into the “mainstream” where atheism http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/why-johnny-cant-scout-if-hes-gay-hes-out-at-18-but-if-hes-atheist-hes-out-immediately/2013/06/06/37465d0c-ceca-11e2-8f6b-67f40e176f03_story.html, adult homosexuals, etc are all part of “morally straight”. If they do, then I will hang up my Scouting skills and donations.
As far as other organizations, scoutingforall.org has existed for a number of years, and scoutsforequality.com is a similar organization. Both appear to me to be mostly Scouting-bashing operations intent on harming Scouting in the name of homosexuality. People who believe in the benefits of Scouting contact their United Way group if on this list http://www.scoutingforall.org/data/layer02/wycd/unitedway2.html and decrement their gift, give directly to Scouting at http://www.stlbsa.org/give-to-scouting/pages/friends-of-scouting.aspx, and let their employers know why they have decremented their United Way pledge. GLAAD and similar have constantly badgered United Way from contributing to mainstream Scouting programs, and some programs like the Central Ohio program cutting gifts but are not advertising it (read The Dispatch article cited later). The United Way does not “come clean” on how they fund Scouting, some giving only to their “Learning for Life” type programs which have allowed homosexuals to be in them (these are in-school programs, hence much better supervised than a Troop program can be). Further, if you give a designated gift through the United Way, they usually will just subtract that from their planned donation to another part of the program.
If United Way is going to screen out part of the Scouting program (like the Central Ohio United Way does according to the article) then they need to say it. They don’t say so, because I am sure that many people would not give to an organization that discriminates against Boy Scouts. That is a local group decision so far, so we still get funds from surrounding counties as I understand it (except Licking County which has banned all Scouting funding ;http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/06/08/united-way-branch-drops-boy-scouts-funding.html ). However, gays who are behind this attempt to kill Scouting should have the decency to stand up and be counted as being against one of the best youth programs ever founded because it does not accept them. Scouting is too important and has done too much good to let it be killed by the Rainbow Gestapo.
The best quote I know of regarding what Scouting is comes from Alvin Townley’s book, Legacy of Honor. In this book, one of the interviewees says that Scouting “teaches hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, and camping (which) become the bait, disguising the lessons on character and leadership lurking at the program’s core”. We need these lessons desperately for today’s youth just like we did. The liberal fools of the homosexual left are seeking to kill the goose with the golden eggs because they perceive somehow that Scouting is harming them.
Sorry if I ramble. I just cannot stand by and let the Scouting organization, part of my life for so long, get maligned by the left and the right, which is what is happening here. Just going on sniping like the posts Erick did will not benefit the Scouting organization and does a disservice to both the boys and this country.
For those who are interested in my “creds” here is my background (which will probably identify me to friends, but that is the way it goes). I am a Scouting Veteran of about 50 years, having been in the program since I was a boy. I grew up with a love for Boy Scouting that I have tried to “pay forward” through my time in college, in the Army, and since I have been settled here in central Ohio since then. I missed Eagle due a badge called World Brotherhood becoming required, and my non-existent modern foreign language skills. However, my son made his dad proud by becomingan Eagle. My daughter has been a Venture scout and has often referred to herself as a Boy Scout.
I am a devout Christian and do not condone homosexuality. I left a mainline church about 4 years ago for their decision to allow active homosexuals be clergy. In Scouting I strongly oppose homosexual leaders because of the potential for predatory sexual behavior. Keeping the boys as boys and safe is paramount. For those who dispute this premise on homosexuals, I have read a lot; some of the better analysis is below.