Wingnuts Wig Out Over Possible Boy Scout Policy Switch

The anti-gay bigots are predictably freaking out over the possibility that the Boy Scouts of America may change their policy and allow local groups that sponsor the troops decide whether to let gays serve as scouts and leaders. The Family Research Council offered this weird statement:

For decades, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have heroically withstood attacks from homosexual activists. Now, officials from the organization have indicated that this may be about to change. The BSA says that it is “discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation.”

“Be prepared.” The motto of the venerable organization that has helped develop countless boys into men, preparedness is not only an aspiration, but a descriptor. Thus far they’ve been prepared to withstand the constant bullying by those who work to bring down all that the millions of dedicated Scouts and Scout leaders stand for.

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.

As the BSA board meets next week, it is crucial that they hear from those who stand with them and their current policy regarding homosexuality. Please call the Boy Scouts of America at 972-580-2000 and tell them that you want to see the organization stand firm in its moral values and respect the right of parents to discuss these sexual topics with their children.

Hmmm. Allowing gays to join and lead scout troops somehow violates the “right of parents to discuss these sexual topics with their children”? I’ll take non-sequiturs for $1000, Alex. The Worldnutdaily followed suit:

Considering that the United States Supreme Court has already sided with the Boy Scouts on this issue, and that a recent Gallup Poll shows most Americans side with the Scouts’ current policy, and that just six months ago BSA national spokesman Deron Smith affirmed the organization’s moral policy excluding homosexuals “is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts,” this current development illustrates – if nothing else – the brutal effectiveness of the relentless intimidation and economic pressure brought to bear on the Boy Scouts by gay rights activists and cultural extremists.

Notice something these two things have in common? When equality advocates urge the Boy Scouts to stop discriminating, that’s “bullying” and “intimidation.” But when bigots do the same thing, that’s perfectly fine. We persuade, they bully and intimidate.

25 comments on this post.
  1. Gretchen:

    Hmmm. Allowing gays to join and lead scout troops somehow violates the “right of parents to discuss these sexual topics with their children”? I’ll take non-sequiturs for $1000, Alex.

    Yeah, see, by “discuss” they mean “Don’t discuss, except possibly to condemn,” and the presence of perfectly normal, upstanding gay boy scouts and troop leaders makes it impossible to avoid discussing and extremely difficult to condemn.

  2. Avicenna:

    70% of funding for the BSA is allegedly from Church Groups.

    If the BSA really were about monetary benefits they would be sticking to their gay hating guns.

    It’s really sad. I loved being in the scouts, I wish more kids had that experience. I just don’t think the BSA give out the same experience that I had.

    The worst thing was when I wrote on it I found that the Southern Baptists were using the scouts to flog Jesus to kids. And a lot of fairly high ranking scouts who decide on policy are baptists hence the stance.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/amilliongods/2013/01/31/be-prepared/

    I understand a lot of people don’t see the value of scouts but it encouraged me to go out into the countryside more than my peers and taught me cool stuff. And it’s absolutely sad that the spirit of scouting was more about helping your fellow man than hating gays. It’s literally boiled down to this.

  3. ashleybell:

    So I wonder… How long after the civil rights legislation of the mid sixties was it still OK to publically make racist comments… Like, when did doing that become a liability…

  4. whheydt:

    Cue Tom Lehrer…

  5. tubi:

    From the WND quote:

    Considering that the United States Supreme Court has already sided with the Boy Scouts on this issue…

    This makes it sound like SCOTUS sided with the BSA in also hating gays. All the Court did was say that it’s constitutional for BSA to hate gays, not necessarily that the Justices were OK with it. Although, to be fair, some probably are.

  6. roscoe:

    You know, the Boy Scouts was never about nature, survival, or anything else we think of today. The Boy Scouts was originally formed to keep young boys from masturbating.

    Relevant Passage from Scouting for Boys.

    The wingnuts’ attitude about gays isn’t surprising at all in this context. These folks are so repressed, they believe that if a boy masturbates, “…it quickly destroys both health and spirits; he becomes feeble in body and mind, and often ends up in a lunatic asylum….”

  7. ashleybell:

    And just as an aside… I wonder what the enrollment rates in theBoy Scouts are these days. I was one when I was a kid and that was 40 years ago… Even then it seemed like a kind of sweetly archaic institution. And kids seem much more ‘indoorsy’ these days.

  8. ashleybell:

    @Roscoe @ 6

    …and they inadvertantly invented the circle-jerk…Har!

  9. John Pieret:

    Al Mohler is somewhat rational about this, pointing out that saying that it’s up to local troops undermines SCOTUS’ justification for allowing the BSA to descriminate because being anti-gay was a ‘core’ part of its mission and that its freedom of association right trumped any state nondiscrimination rules. But he had to throw in this:

    No group can remain divided on a question of such moral importance and urgency. Homosexual conduct and relationships will be condemned or celebrated. There is no middle ground.

    http://www.albertmohler.com/2013/01/31/limping-between-two-opinions-the-moral-evacuation-of-the-boy-scouts-of-america/

    How about keeping your nose out of other people’s bedrooms as a middle ground? If a heterosexual scout or leader started describing his sexual preferences and exploits during scouting events, he could be told to stop and diciplined if he refused. And, of course, any adult having sex with children under the age of consent is committing a criminal act. The same would go for homosexual scouts and leaders. It is not a “celebration” of homosexuality to admit it exists or to admit that homosexuals are persons with equal rights. It is an acceptance of reality.

  10. machintelligence:

    Avicenna @2

    70% of funding for the BSA is allegedly from Church Groups.

    If the BSA really were about monetary benefits they would be sticking to their gay hating guns.

    I think you are confusing sponsoring institutions with funding sources. The institutions (many of them churches) provide free access to a meeting space, but are only marginally involved in funding. Most of the money comes from United Way, corporate donations, personal contributions (read parents), and things like popcorn sales and garage sales.

    Losing big corporate donors has hit them in the wallet, hence the change in attitude.

  11. fifthdentist:

    “In fact, according to a recent Gallup survey, only 42 percent of Americans support changing the policy to allow homosexual scout leaders.”

    OK, fine, the majority has spoken. No Gay Scouts of America.
    However, since a majority of Americans think gay marriage should be legal I’m sure they will agree to abide by that popular opinion as well. Right?

  12. a2b2:

    I earned my Eagle rank in a liberal, non-church-associated troop. We had openly atheist scouts and leaders, and probably had closeted homosexual members. Since I think the official BSA announcement isn’t out yet, I’m still hopeful about a change coming to BSA’s policy towards atheism as well.

    If this change is a move to local control, I think it is not nearly as big a cultural shift as it is being made out to be. From my experience and the comments I’ve seen in many similar threads, most troops, councils, even districts already had the power to keep promising gay (and atheist) scouts and leaders around, if quietly. Troops and local administrators have the power to do just the opposite as well, to pressure out suspected gay and atheist members with or without the help or knowledge of the organization. It is certainly a strategic step for financial reasons, but I don’t think it will change most of the BSA at the local level.

    Of course, it is entertaining to see the wigging out. I’m eager to see how many people, currently quietly contributing, will come out with the support of their local groups.

  13. Avicenna:

    ashleybell…

    The British Boy Scouts have seen consistent increases in the total membership. There are a lot more scouts today than there used to be. I assume the same with the USA. Despite us mocking them we forget that they are actually pretty “fun”.

    And remember the Scouts were also ridiculously racist when they started up. A product of British Colonialism. However what they became is more important.

    I mean saying that they were against masturbation is all well and good but you guys still eat cereal despite Kelloggs being against it too.

  14. Abby Normal:

    Not allowing that unnatural freak, Rudolph, to join in their reindeer games, not bullying. He’s the bully for asking to join in. Is that about the long and short of it?

  15. raven:

    I understand a lot of people don’t see the value of scouts but it encouraged me to go out into the countryside more than my peers and taught me cool stuff.

    Religion poisons everything!!!

    It was supposed to be an outdoor recreation and adventure group. These days, its function seems to be to teach kids to hate gays and atheists. I’m at least one of those so don’t expect me to have a favorable view of the BSA.

    I wonder what the enrollment rates in theBoy Scouts are these days.

    According to wikipedia and other sources, it is trending down even though the population is growing. Their bigotry hasn’t done them much good. These days it is perceived as an organization run by the fundie xians and nonXian Mormons. Correctly.

    FWIW, there are a lot of alternatives being formed to the BSA. The

  16. raven:

    FWIW, there are a lot of alternatives being formed to the BSA.

    The BSA violated their own rules to deny the Wiccans a charter. They claim to be open to all religions but that is just a lie.

    The Wiccans formed their own group, the Spiral Scouts. Which BTW, is open to all religions including atheists.

    There are others. Camp Quest, etc..

    The one advantage the BSA has is a large installed base of property, summer camps all over the place in scenic outdoor areas. The older facilities are often owned outright.

    The younger ones in or near public land seem to be leased from the government. The government can’t lease land to groups that discriminate on preferential terms. In fact, they’ve lost some of their leases. Watch out BSA bigots, the pagans and atheists are coming for your summer camps!!!

  17. glodson:

    One of the best things about having a little girl is that I likely won’t have to deal with the Boy Scouts as she grows. Maybe they will get their shit together and rid themselves of this influence of bigots, both in terms of sexuality and religion(Not friendly to the atheists, I hear).

    As far as I know, the Girl Scouts are doing it right, and are much more inclusive, going as far to have young transgendered members. I know a Girl Scouts troop in Colorado admitted a transgendered teen last year, at the very least.

  18. raven:

    I assume the same with the USA.

    Not really.

    According to wikipedia, in 1999, there were 3.4 million scouts, 2011 down 20% to 2.7 million.

    Al Mohler:

    No group can remain divided on a question of such moral importance and urgency. Homosexual conduct and relationships will be condemned or celebrated. There is no middle ground.

    Al Mohler is simply evil. Under the leadership of his band of right wing extremists, the SBC has lost members for 5 years in a row, retention rates of young people are 30%, the SBC tossed centuries of their own principles, and it is on its way to being cut in half in a few decades.

    Live by the lie, die by the lie. It couldn’t happen to a nicer group of slime molds.

  19. Michael Heath:

    raven writes:

    Al Mohler is simply evil. Under the leadership of his band of right wing extremists, the SBC has lost members for 5 years in a row, retention rates of young people are 30%, the SBC tossed centuries of their own principles, and it is on its way to being cut in half in a few decades.

    Sounds like he’s inadvertently heroic to me rather than evil. ;)

    I monitor Mr. Mohler so I agree he’s evil; I’m just having a little fun here after celebrating the trend you report.

  20. eric:

    Mohler (from@6):

    No group can remain divided on a question of such moral importance and urgency.

    First you have to demonstrate that it IS a question of moral importance. Maybe its more like handedness. Where’s your evilometer? When a church makes statements like this, IMO they’re arguing circularly – assuming at least part of their conclusion as a premise.

  21. raven:

    No group can remain divided on a question of such moral importance and urgency. Homosexual conduct and relationships will be condemned or celebrated. There is no middle ground.

    Mohler lies a lot.

    It’s a false dichotomy. There is too a middle ground.

    You can just ignore it as irrelevant to the BSA and none of your business anyway.

    The BSA is supposed to be an outdoor adventure group for kids. Not a propaganda arm of Oogedy Boogedy religious cults. Or a training ground for your tribal wars.

  22. Nathair:

    The Boy Scouts was originally formed to keep young boys from masturbating.

    That Baden-Powell condemned masturbation does not mean that the entire organization was formed specifically to meet that end.

  23. naturalcynic:

    The Boy Scouts prepared me … to expect hypocrisy.

  24. dugglebogey:

    I nominate this for the most predictable response to an announcement so far this year. Who will second?

  25. PatrickG:

    One day I’ll learn how to not use so many links… :)

    In brief, @Avicenna, as pointed out, 70% of the sponsoring organizations are religious (most from the SBC iirc, but I can’t find that link at the moment).

    For the national organization, the real money comes from corporate and foundation donations (that and selling approved ScoutWear). In the last six months, the BSA has lost several major donors, and Verizon looks likely to follow. Intel is the largest donor at $700,000, but the others weren’t giving pocket change; Verizon currently gives $300,000.

    Note that the donors who pulled out have (afaik) uniformly said the money would flow if the policy were changed.

    So yeah, this seems less like a bold moral stance than a craven attempt by the national leadership to staunch the bleeding. Make that craven and shockingly inept, as they really should have known that the SBC (and others) would piss themselves at the first suggestion that they might be required to expose themselves to TEH GAY at events like National Jamborees, or (softly now) have to recognize fornicatin’ murderin’ Jesus-hatin’ gay Eagle Scouts.

    Cowardice and incompetence — just what any “leadership” organization needs.

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