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Apr 29

Why We’ll See Homosexual Scoutmasters (and What That Says)

This may be the future, scary?As the date of the Next Boy Scouts National Council meeting approaches on May 20th, everyone is wondering if they will accept homosexual scoutmasters. Officially the resolution only talks about teens, “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone,” yet I wonder if this is just a first step to add scoutmasters in a year or two.

I think we will see homosexual scoutmasters in the next few years. Why? Because of how they view the role of the scoutmaster. They are two ways to view scoutmasters, coaches or youth ministers: technicians or mentors.

I also want to touch on the issue of gays as boy scouts. It’s a separate issue. However, the two issues are often combined unjustly by both sides. I’ll treat them separately.

Technicians and Mentors

A technician is someone who knows an art, a craft, a skill. A mentor, on the other hand is someone who is a model for life. I only need a technician to fix my car or teach me piano. A mentor may not have certain skills but has a moral life you want to emulate, or you want your son to emulate.

If a scoutmaster is seen as only someone who teaches how to tie knows and start a fire without matches he is a technician. Telling gays they can’t is then discrimination. If the scoutmaster is a mentor, then we can prohibit those whose moral life does not conform to the morals we want to teach our problem.

The national organization has already accepted the technician view of the scoutmaster. If they have not already fully embraced that model, this meeting will probably be the last straw of accepting it.

I’ve scanned a whole slew of blogs and news stories on this issue and I have yet to come across one where a single top-ranking Boy Scout leader has pointed out that the scoutmaster should be a mentor, model, etc. One could argue that the official resolution is just about teens, but the debate has been more about adults than teens. If anybody at the top-level believed that scoutmasters were mentors, they would bring this up – I could even see a liberal bringing it up in a twisted way to support lifting this ban.

The mentor role of prohibiting can easily slip into discrimination if not applied evenly. I doubt they will do this. This would mean prohibiting not just gays but men who are publicly known as dishonest businessmen, adulterers or drunkards. Homosexuals have a solid case if they argue that the Boys scouts don’t prohibit these categories of moral issues. Without exceptionally strong moral leadership, I doubt they could prohibit these guys.

Basically, the boy scouts are stuck between either kicking out a bunch of other scoutmasters, or accepting homosexual ones. It comes down to the mentor or the technician.

Scouts in Trouble

Gay teens in Scouts are a very different issue because they generally aren’t mentors, and because teenage homosexuality is often just a phase. It doesn’t seem right to kick them out just because they are having this difficulty; when a teen is going through a tough phase we should try to bring him closer, not push him away.

On the other hand homosexual teens could create problems. Imagine the division in the group if Johnny is flirting with other boys or if Adam and Steve start going out. You can’t just have full acceptance since that will then be used to protect these behaviors. Unfortunately in our society accepting gays means accepting every gay behavior not just the person.

Somehow you need a nuanced view. Individual troops can accept homosexual teens but can also send kids away for disruptive homosexual behavior. Something like the view of the Church that loves the homosexual yet hates his sexual sins. I hope that the members of this council have the wisdom to see this distinction.

In recent weeks there’s been a bunch of debate over information - misleading or accurate – put out by people on both sides of this possible policy change. I can’t add to what’s been said on 20 other blogs.

The willpower to really take on a view of scoutmasters as mentors is lacking. As a homosexual man can fix my car, he can teach knot-tying. This meeting may only accept gay teens but not leaders; however, unless they change their mentality, they will eventually accept homosexual scoutmasters. Then, the scouts will now join the long list of groups that have fallen to pressure from the homosexual lobby; and they won’t be the last.

Two footnotes:

I hope they won’t become live scouts in my homeland (Canada) where they present the option of attending gay pride events on their own website.

I listed 3 options on this blog post 2 months ago when this issue first came up.

8 comments

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  1. EdinburghEye

    What about parents who love their children., and therefore want their gay and bisexual sons to have older gay mentors? Indeed, what of parents who have straight sons but who want them to have older gay mentors as a bulwark against homophobia?

    Most parents don’t reject their children, or try to make their gay children hate themselves. So most parents will be fine with gay scoutmasters.

    I hope they won’t become live scouts in my homeland (Canada) where they present the option of attending gay pride events on their own website.

    Glad to know that Scouts Canada, like the original Scouts in the UK, does not discriminate against bisexual or gay young men or ban bisexual/gay leadership. The promotion of discrimination and encouragement of dishonesty by the BSA is profoundly against the spirit of the Scouting movement.

    1. Matthew P. Schneider, LC

      Thanks for the comment. I think you miss two points.
      1. All homosexual sexual activity is immoral (I’m not arguing this but assuming the Church’s teaching here)
      2. Many teens are all transitional homosexuals and will grow out of it if given the right help.
      Therefore, until a homosexual is beyond the age for scouts years, it is good pedagogy to treat him as transitional to see if he will grow out of it.

      1. EdinburghEye

        1. Many good Catholic parents would disagree that they should teach their children there is no moral difference between promiscuity and monogamy, between adultery and life-long faithfulness, between rape and loving consent. Yet that is what the Catholic Church wants them to teach their lesbian and gay children. Loving parents will refuse.

        2. Teenagers need to be given confidence and honesty to know their own hearts, not told “oh you’ll grow out of it” and encouraged to pretend their feelings for others are not real.

        Therefore, for loving and responsible adults, if a teenager comes out, it is rotten pedagogy to tell them their feelings are “transitional” – and even worse to instruct them that all sexual activity they can ever have is immoral.

        1. Matthew P. Schneider, LC

          1. Obviously homosexual rape or promiscuity is worse than homosexual fidelity – there is a difference even though they are all sins. Just as heterosexual adultery is worse if rape than if consensual event though both are sins

          2. I may not have stated what I meant correctly. We should not force every teen to “grow out of it” since not every one will. Yet at the same time it is a worse error to affirm it wholeheartedly as that may keep some who would otherwise grow out of it to do so. Giving positive understanding husbands and fathers as models is not to deny that the teen may be gay their whole life or to punish their gay-ness, it is to show them a good path.

          3. Honestly, if there was a celibate gay man as a leader, he would then be a model and I think it would be good for the teens. However, with how things are now in the USA, I doubt it would be possible for an organization as vast and varied as the boy scouts to have such a policy, while smaller Catholic organizations could.

        2. EdinburghEye

          1. How do you expect to teach gay teenagers self-respect and give them role-models for developing good relationships if you tell them that no matter what, they’re sinning?

          2. The notion that adults can change a teenager’s sexual orientation by telling them they could grow out of it is a foolish one. Also, foolish to instruct a gay teenager that they can never find a good path.

          3. Nonsense. Straight scoutmasters aren’t expected to be celibate, nor should gay scoutmasters be.

        3. Matthew P. Schneider, LC

          You have clearly gone outside Catholic doctrine now. All Catholics are called to chastity but for most that’s marital chastity, if they don’t get married, chastity is then celibacy.

          Some teens who never become homosexual adults go through a phase where they find guys sexually attractive. It is not changing their orientation but guiding them to what their orientation is – they’re straight like 90%+ of the population.

          If you want to discuss things with respect for Catholic dogma, continue. If you post again without respecting it, I’ll block you to avoid a never-ending discussion that is getting off track.

        4. EdinburghEye

          You have clearly gone outside Catholic doctrine now.

          Of course. Good parenting of lesbian and gay children is not possible within Catholic doctrine, as any good Catholic parent would tell you, and in any case, the Boy Scouts are not a Catholic organisation, not even a strictly Christian organisation, as Baden-Powell would tell you: any young man willing to make the Scout Promise and live by the Scout Law is able to join.

          All Catholics are called to chastity but for most that’s marital chastity, if they don’t get married, chastity is then celibacy.

          *nods* I’ve noticed the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church in opposing same-sex marriage, thus opposing the ability of lesbian and gay Catholics to live chastely. Many Catholics of course don’t oppose same-sex marriage, but much the same reason as good Catholic parents don’t teach their lesbian and gay children to hate themselves.

          Some teens who never become homosexual adults go through a phase where they find guys sexually attractive. It is not changing their orientation but guiding them to what their orientation is – they’re straight like 90%+ of the population.

          Can I put it plainly? Adults messing about with teenage sexual orientation because they are convinced that the teenager’s feelings and needs don’t deserve to be respected, are committing abuse. That applies strongly to homophobic adults who think that they can “guide” a lesbian or gay teen into becoming straight.

          If you want to discuss things with respect for Catholic dogma, continue.

          As should be clear, I have no respect for the Catholic dogma that requires lesbian, gay, and transgender teenagers to feel guilty about their normal sexual orientation or gender identity. I have immense respect for Catholics who responsibly care for their children and love and support them, despite what dogma tells them they should do.

        5. Matthew P. Schneider, LC

          Thank you for proving my point: to be faithful Catholics, we may need to leave BSA for something else.
          For me, and I believe most of the audience of this blog, being Catholic is the core and BSA or non-BSA is less important.

          If every teen who ever felt sexually attracted to guys is gay, then every teen who ever feels attracted to girls must be straight. (Which is either A riduculous or B would make a much larger percentage bisexual and a bisexual can live happily married to someone of the opposite sex.) The simple fact is that many younger teens are confused on this issue and we need to help them become unconfused. Giving them active homosexuals as models simply increasing their confusion rather than clarifying it.

          I don’t know why you think celibacy means requiring “lesbian, gay, and transgender teenagers to feel guilty about their normal sexual orientation or gender identity.” I am a celibate heterosexual and don’t feel guilty about my sexual orientation.

          Finally, please define “Marriage” before you claim that gay marriage would allow them to live chastely.

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