Monday, February 11, 2013

Defending the Boy Scouts, Part I

Last week the national leaders of Boy Scouts of America considered whether to alter their long-standing position to exclude those involved in homosexual behavior from leadership and membership. The decision was put off until a future meeting in May.

When it came up, I was a little surprised. The fight against the Scouts has been quiet for some years, since a 2000 Supreme Court ruling in their favor, that a private organization is allowed to exclude a person from membership when “the presence of that person affects in a significant way the group’s ability to advocate public or private viewpoints,” a right validated through the Constitution’s First Amendment freedom of assembly clause.
I wasn’t aware of the most recent pressure—which is purportedly to eliminate discrimination but in reality is intended to destroy the organization. I’m a little late for writing about last Wednesday’s vote, but I’m ahead of time for the May vote.
The method of pressure is to remove a large percentage of business donations, which have helped the organization function as a non-profit for over a century. The discrimination argument, while it may appeal to surface-thinkers, means that an organization—any organization—must be what outsiders, rather than members, say it must be. This may be better understood with a comparison. 
T-shirt from Rudy's Barbecue in Houston, TX
A favorite restaurant feature here in Texas is the barbecue place. I don’t know what this means elsewhere, but here it means slow-cooked smoked brisket and pulled pork, sliced up and weighed in front of you, and handed to you in paper dishes that you carry to seat-yourself trestle tables, where you lay it out on sheets of paper you tore off as your own personal tablecloth. There are no plates. Plastic forks and knives are optional. Typically you put the meat of choice on slices of bread and pour on some secret recipe barbecue sauce. Our family’s favorite such place is Rudy’s, which is set up like a truck-stop gas station with the restaurant instead of a mini-mart. The sauce (regular Rudy’s Sause and Sissy Sause varieties) are so good that extended family members request that we ship it to them as Christmas gifts. Rudy’s sells T-shirts that say, “I didn’t claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables.”
In other words, this is a place with a certain belief and lifestyle.
Suppose someone comes in and sees the success of Rudy’s and wants to expand. It’s a chain, so it’s conceivable someone could want to have the opportunity to manage a new franchise. But suppose this potential new manager has a different philosophy: “I like everything you do here at Rudy’s; it really works. And clearly it’s profitable. I want all that. But I’m really troubled by all this death to animals. I think we need a kinder, gentler Rudy’s that caters to the vegetarian Texan.”
I expect the head honchos at Rudy’s would laugh in the guy's face and say "No; that isn’t possible. You can’t successfully feed people Texas barbecue without meat."
Suppose, in our hypothetical, there’s some pressure put on the organization by PETA; protesters come and picket in front of the restaurants and harass customers, discouraging the usual customers from going inside and spending their money on the meat they want. What should Rudy’s do?
Well, for one thing, stay in Texas, where meat eaters are likely to scoff at the protesters and go get their meat anyway. So loss of funding doesn’t translate as well to this metaphor. But let’s take a look at the motives of the change agents. They claim to admire the success of the original organization. They want to continue the success—but they want to take away the main reason for the success: really good meat served up pure and simple.
That’s what’s happening with the Boy Scouts. People outside the organization say they admire the outcome, the building of boys into men of strong morals and integrity. They want to keep getting that result—except that, instead of all that emphasis on morality and integrity, they want to emphasize “tolerance,” particularly tolerance of sexual immorality, instead.
You can’t have a successful barbecued meat restaurant by insisting that the eating of meat is immoral. You can’t have a successful organization to help parents raise boys to moral men by insisting that having a standard of sexual morality is immoral.
You know that if Rudy’s were to give in to the vegetarian potential manager, the business would fail. That is a given. Also know that, if the Boy Scouts were to cave and accept homosexual behavior as equivalent to married heterosexual behavior, the Boy Scouts would fail in their mission. That is also a given.
The simple question for the change pushers is this: why don’t you form your own organization that appeals to those who share your beliefs? Why walk into an organization you don’t share beliefs with and insist they adjust to your beliefs?
The real answer to that is that they do not simply want to slightly adjust an existing organization, which they believe would be an improvement for all the world; they want to destroy that organization. Not everyone has that ultimate goal. Some are simply listening to the talking points and following along with the crowd. But if you look at the requirements for civilization, and you look at the adherence to those civilizing principles within the organization, you can identify where BSA lands on the Spherical Model. People who dwell only in the southern hemisphere of the spherical model choose control of others, and they choose savagery. They do no love civilization, so there is no reason to assume their motives are pure.
In Part II we’ll look at the evidence that leads to this conclusion.

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