Thursday, February 7, 2013

Boy Scouts: If they fold

The Catholic News Agency reported on Feb 7 that the Boy Scouts of America signaled that it will “delay voting on the decision to reverse a ban on gay individual and troop leader participation within the organization until May.” Deron Smith, Director of Public Relations for the organization, said, “After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy."

The Boy Scouts of America, founded in 1910, has always represented traditional values that made our country great. Faith, patriotism, charity, honor and a sound work ethic are just some of the values that thousands of boys over several decades benefited from. However, the fact that Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board labeled the same-sex issue as “complex” is a real disappointment. The fact that this most basic of Christian moral principles needs a vote within the organization is a sad commentary on how one institution after another is yielding to social conformity.

Social conformity is always ugly in hindsight, after the dust has settled. But when it is occurring, that is, as people clamor for it and as circumstances favor it, conforming to the moral trends of the day is ever so attractive and almost irresistible. Still, it is the easy way out. And worse yet, it is a sure sign of cowardice.

We must know that human instincts toward social conformity are stronger than our instincts to help those in need. They can overwhelm the sincere desire to do the right thing. To cite an extreme case scenario, the German people knew this firsthand during Hitler’s reign as the Jews were being openly persecuted (and then exterminated behind closed doors). Albert Einstein, in fact, complained that many good people stood by and watched the degradation of his fellow Jews. There are plenty of historic examples to this effect. But we also know this in our personal lives. Many of us have known people who stood passively and watched their children get abused by their spouse, yet did nothing about it. Whatever the case may be, when the majority of people are doing x, y and z- whether it is right or not –then such a perception has behavioral consequences.

Instead reacting to accusations of being bigoted and unfair to homosexual people, Christians are going to have to make up their mind to take pride in who they are. And who are they? The disciple of Christ is, first of all, is one who is willing to die for Him. To die for Christ means that we are at least bold enough to give voice to His teachings. And what are his teachings on human sexuality and marriage? Through the constant tradition of Church and through Scripture we, as Christians, know that marriage and consequently, sexual activity, are exclusively reserved for a man and a woman. To promote or to acquiesce to any other alternative arrangement is to do society a great disservice. What is more, it is violate the most fundamental right of a child to be conceived out love and to be reared by a mother and a father.

If the Boy Scouts of America folds and does what everyone else seems to be doing, that is, given in to social pressure- sometimes orchestrated by the gay rights movement -then they will cease to be a great organization. After all, if they cannot stand up for the most fundamental right of a boy to have a mother and a father, according to God’s design, then soon enough they will fail to stand up for other values that are essential in transforming a boy into a man.