(SHNS) Terry Mattingly: Boy Scouts, Catholics and the future

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For Catholics, he wrote, the key isn’t to be pulled into speculation, but to seek a logical and compassionate application of all church teachings linked to homosexuality.

The line between orientation and behavior is crucial, due to a clarification issued by the Boy Scouts: “Any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting.”

This firm statement, Peters argued online, “seems wholly in line with sound Catholic teaching against sexual activity outside of marriage and stands in welcome contrast to the indifference toward premarital sex shown by some other youth organizations. Aside from youth programs expressly oriented toward chastity, I know of no other secular organization that so clearly declares all sexual conduct by its youth members to be contrary to its values as does the Boy Scouts.”

Read it all.

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4 Comments
Posted July 13, 2013 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Br. Michael wrote:

“Any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting.”

If so then why should any member of Scouting feel compelled to announce that he is homosexual or demand that he be accepted as such?  The very act of announcing ones homosexual sexual behavior has the effect of sexualizing that which should not be.  The Catholics are fooling themselves if they think that homosexuals don’t intend to sexualize scouting.

July 14, 6:01 am | [comment link]
2. Catholic Mom wrote:

The homosexuals are not going to sexualize scouting.  At least not as things stand now.  (Anything, of course, is possible in an indefinite future).

The issue here is that there have been scouts who, upon reaching Eagle rank, have said “in order to obtain Eagle, I have to conceal the fact that I am gay (by belonging to an organization that specifically says gays cannot be members and not admitting that I, therefore, should not be a member) and the very integrity which I learned in Scouts compels me not to lie about that.”  At this point they were kicked out of scouts and Eagle rank was withheld.  This gave the gay lobby a huge club with which to beat the Boys Scouts over the head.  That club has now been removed. 

Scouting is a local, private, activity—the truth is, if they don’t want you, they can keep you out.  They cannot, now, however, make kids with a gay orientation feel that they are liars or hypocrites by accepted rank advancement under false pretenses.  And that’s probably a good thing. 

As for the leadership—nobody gets to be a leader unless the other leaders accept you.  There are already gay people who are leaders because the other leaders have found them acceptable.  And there have been non-gay people who were pushed out of leadership because the other leaders found them unacceptable for other reasons.  And that, too, is as it should be in a private organization.  Generally the leadership tends to be a very tight group who can all work together.  Those who cannot work together or who have some other agenda find themselves leaving.

July 14, 12:06 pm | [comment link]
3. Branford wrote:

Sorry, Catholic Mom, I don’t buy the

there have been scouts who, upon reaching Eagle rank, have said “in order to obtain Eagle, I have to conceal the fact that I am gay (by belonging to an organization that specifically says gays cannot be members and not admitting that I, therefore, should not be a member) and the very integrity which I learned in Scouts compels me not to lie about that.”

Lie in what way? Do other Eagle Scouts go around saying “in order to be an Eagle Scout with integrity, I have to announce I’m heterosexual”? No, they don’t. Those Scouts who felt the “need” to announce their homosexuality did so in order to further an agenda, perhaps unwittingly. This is the beginning of sexualization of the organization, if only because it now has become something other scouts and parents have to worry about. I know some scouts are concerned about camping trips now, if one of their members has announced he is homosexual. What does that mean? How does that play out on trips, even if the rules say it’s behavior, not orientation? That’s the problem. First, it’s putting the homosexual scout in a situation of temptation—not that that would not have been the case if he hadn’t announced his homosexuality, but by announcing it, it puts his behavior under a microscope. All around, a bad decision by the BSA, and one that will gradually widen until it applies on a national level to scout leaders. (How do you turn down the Eagle Scout who announces he is homosexual from a leadership position?) Very, very troubling, and the Catholic Church will end up caught in the middle.

July 15, 10:17 am | [comment link]
4. Catholic Mom wrote:

This is simply not a sustainable position.  The Boy Scouts are in very real danger of simply going under.  They are struggling for their very existence, financially and in terms of membership.    They have developed a position that says;  1) we teach that homosexuality is wrong 2) we teach that sexual behavior by young people outside of marriage is wrong 3) we will not turn away a scout solely on the basis of his sexual orientation.  It’s a position with integrity and one that allows them to go forward.  It satisfies the Catholic Church, it satisfies most of the evangelical churches that support scouting, and it appears to satisfy the Mormons.  They’re in this position because nobody else supported scouting.  Did you?

July 15, 12:25 pm | [comment link]
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