Friday, February 8, 2013
Why Do Conservatives Fear Gay Scouts?
With the decision to repeal a discriminating exclusion of homosexuals in the Boy Scouts of America coming up a lot of emotions are running in overdrive. Many people who are gay and straight are currently showing either their support or outrage toward lifting this discriminatory membership policy, which excludes homosexuals (and atheists) from being members of the BSA organization.
The BSA is a great organization that I was once a member of. Around my early freshman year of High School I started to realize that I was gay, and it was around the same time I found out that the BSA discriminates against gays. I felt so ashamed at first, like I had done something wrong, so I quit the scouts. But I also felt so ashamed afterward that I never came out. I was very confused about the way society expected me to be and how I was not meeting up to those standards. My self confidence deteriorated significantly, and my social skills became nearly nonexistent. Not to say that I was the most popular or well liked person in school, but there was most definitely a difference between the ‘Boy Scouts me’ and the ‘after Boy Scouts me’. All because some people decided that homosexuals do not fit the criteria of an organization that promotes good vales and teaches great life lessons. What a fucking shame.
My boyfriend was also a member of the Scouts, and his father was too, as well as a Scoutmaster. He knew he was gay and accepted it at an earlier age than I did. He completed everything the Scouts ask of him in order to obtain his Eagle Badge up to completing his Eagle Project. He came so close to being awarded with his Eagle Badge accomplishment when he told the BSA to fuck off, and that he was gay and that he wanted nothing to do with a discriminatory organization. Wish I had done it that way, but instead I gave into the belief that I was unsuitable to be a Boy Scouts because of who I was. Does anyone have a time machine I could borrow?
Seriously, if I had stayed with the Scouts I would have had much more self confidence in my High School years, plus I would have had more great times with my fellow Scouts, learning new ways to be self sufficient and self reliant, while at the same time having awesome and daring adventures across the United States.
I love the Boy Scouts of America, and I think that they teach young men the skills and values that are useful in nearly every aspect of life.
But the question has to be asked. Why would an organization like this discriminate against homosexuals? And why is it that when people try to put an end to this kind of discrimination that conservatives come out and act like it would be the end of the world?
“Oh my God, we could have gays in the Boy Scouts, Martha!”
Newsflash folks, we already have gays in the Boy Scouts! I was a Boy Scout who is gay; my boyfriend was a Boy Scout who is gay. As far as we know any volunteers we that we knew while we were in Scouts could have been gay.
Just like in the military, the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy was in affect, like majorly. That was good and all, I guess. But what happens to a soldier or a sailor when his commanding officers found out he was actually gay? He was discharged, end of story. And the same thing is happening to good gay men all across the nation. Men who never brought up their sexuality because it had no place in a Scouting or military atmosphere have been persecuted and discharged upon discovery of what they do in their own private time with the ones they are intimate with.
The BSA and proponents of this anti-gay member policy say that if homosexuals are allowed to be members of the BSA that they will be required to talk about sex with our children and make it policy that homosexuality be brought up during Scout meetings. They fear that once homosexuals are allowed in that we will have to explain to our kids that Scoutmaster Rick is gay and that means he likes other men.
But the Scouts have never been about teaching children about sex. It even says so, right in the Scoutmasters Handbook from 1972:
Rule number 1: You do not undertake to instruct Scouts, in any formalized manner, the subject of sex and family life. The reasons are that it is not construed to be Scoutings proper area, and that you are probably not well qualified to do this.
So with this rule being stated, why is it that the BSA has to exclude homosexual members? Do they believe that because they are homosexual they will undoubtedly indoctrinate children and teach them about sex?
The right-wingers make a great point on this too, and that is that Scouting is not about sex. They’re absolutely right, couldn’t agree with them more on that statement. But if that’s the case then why is it that the BSA is discriminating against a group of people because of their sexual preference? If Scouting is not about sex why do they make it an issue to discriminate against a certain group of people because of who they have sex with? Doesn’t that whole line of thought kind of go along the lines of saying, ‘Scouting has everything to do about sex’?
I guess what I am saying here is that homosexuals who want to be members of the BSA never wanted there to be an issue about sex, or their sexuality. They never wanted it to be brought up, nor did they want to bring it up. And why is that? Again, it’s because Scouting is not about sex (says so in the Scoutmaster’s Handbook of 1972), and it is certainly not about your Scoutmaster giving your kids any type of sexual education.
The people who made this issue about sex are the conservatives, mainly the Mormon Church. They are the ones who claimed that homosexuals would HAVE to be appointed to Scoutmaster positions and that they would HAVE to be allowed to talk about sex and sexual orientation. This can’t be further from the truth.
With the presences of homosexuals already in the ranks of the Boy Scouts, don’t you think this would have happened already? Like I said it’s just like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, as long as no one knows you are gay you are fine, so just keep your mouth shut.
Well many people have done that but it backfired on them, big time, and they are released from duty unwarrantedly. There are many men who have been Scoutmasters, who kept their sexual orientation quiet, and did not talk about sex or their own sex life to their troops. But, once someone they knew saw them with another man, or at a gay bar (which makes me wonder why someone who went to a gay bar would try to blackmail someone else who went to a gay bar….politics…) and they get proof then it’s all over. That Scoutmaster is now fired for having a private life, a private life that had nothing to do with Scouting.
This is what is wrong with this whole thing. Not only does it cause young men who believe they are gay to think that they are wrong and sinful but it also persecutes those who worked hard to earn their position, only to have it stripped away from them because of their private life…which by the way, never came up in Scout meetings.
So what are they so afraid of? I have already shown that homosexuals are no more at risk of abusing children than heterosexuals, and I have already shown that homosexuals don’t want to take over and start teaching sex. So why is it that they have such a bug up their ass on this?
Well it goes back to the Christian God and organized religion in general. The Scouts have been hijacked by the Mormon Church, for all intents and purposes. And we all know the Mormon Church’s track record with gay and civil rights. They believe that homosexuality is wrong and against God. And since one of their laws is to, “Do my duty to God,” they believe that gays do not do their duty to God.
OK, being an ex-Boy Scout I know that the BSA allows people of all faiths.
FROM SCOUTING FOR ALL:
“The BSA, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training.”
Meaning that Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, etc can join the Boy Scouts of America, but what of the homosexual? And the biggest word there is “nonsectarian”, meaning that they will not relate to specific religious sect or political group. So then why are they trying to say that they can’t exclude homosexuals when they don’t relate to any specific religion? And even then, what if a member is homosexual and a Christian? Is it right to cast him out for his sin?
FROM BRIAN GRIFFEN:
“I thought only ‘he without sin shall cast the first Prius.’”
I have tried really hard to discredit many of the claims made by the religious right-wing on this issue in order to restore some type of sanity or rationality. But one voice doesn’t do enough. You need to speak out against this as well whether or not you’re a new reader, older reader, liberal reader, or conservative reader. You should at least look at the argument I’m trying to make and just for once step away from politics, and step away from that ‘I think along the party-lines’ type of rationale and start thinking for yourself a little bit. I mean, really, are homosexuals that much of a threat to society? We’ve been living with them for thousands upon thousands of years, and they are the ones out to destroy the fabric of society?
I had this discussion with my boyfriend and he said that if there existed a type of radar that could locate homosexuals (a gaydar if you will) than we would find homosexuals within every nook and cranny of our society. They are our neighbors, they are our friends, and they’re our cops, firefighters, nurses, doctors, teachers, and politicians. They make up the fabric of society like everyone else does.
Republicans often make the claim that citizens are paranoid, especially with this new gun control debate, and they like to say that people who are against guns just don’t trust their neighbors enough. And this is true to a degree. But can’t the same be said for them? They are happy to say that trust is a huge issue and that there should be more trust toward your fellow American, yet they discriminate against homosexuals teaching their children because they don’t trust them to not abuse children. Isn’t this the same argument?