27 Apr The Scouts Stick to Their Guns
On April 26, John Seewer’s article Lesbian Scout leader ousted in Ohio; parents upset discusses the removal of a lesbian scout leader in Ohio, after a complaint was made about Ms. Jennifer Tyrell to a local scouting professional. Tyrell, by all accounts cited, demonstrated forthrightness and honesty with local scout leaders with respect to her sexual orientation, and served well as the den mother of Pack 109. Some parents have complained about Tyrell’s removal. A Boy Scouts of America spokesman said of the Tyrell situation: “In this case, the policy was understood by her and her fellow volunteers but not followed.”
Why, then would the Boy Scouts wish to remove a leader of opposite sex to the scouts, who, as a lesbian, presumably would have no sexual interest in the scouts, and who has served valuably in the local Boy Scout organization? While Seewer focuses only on parents who were upset with Tyrell’s removal, he does not indicate whether other leaders or parents supported it; there may be more to the story. Notwithstanding, several good reasons clearly justify the Boy Scouts of America’s actions. I will focus on two of them.
The United States Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the Boy Scouts of America was justified in banning gay male leaders. Accepting a lesbian leader in scouting might be the first step towards the capitulation of the Boy Scouts or the judiciary in accepting homosexual leaders generally in the scouting organization. While many homosexuals have never abused a child and would never think of it, tragic accidents have been documented wherein children have been ruined by homosexual perpetrators. Most notably in recent days is the Penn State debacle. The Boy Scouts have the right to make a determination and set the rules on what they think is appropriate interaction for children and what does and does not meet their values as an organization.
In addition to the protection of children, society must be protected. Acceptance of homosexual leaders in scouting would be another step towards the societal normalization of homosexuality — a distinct departure from America’s Judeo-Christian moral standard. General Douglas MacArthur, speaking of the devaluated morality of his time, made the observation: “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline.” I hasten to add that many factors contribute to America’s moral decay. If we fail to morally revitalize our society, I predict the wide-spread acceptance of homosexuality will prove to have been a crucial turning point on the road to that decay.
The Boy Scout organization is under no obligation to affirm homosexual behavior (the ultimate goal of gay advocacy) and they make clear their position in this statement regarding the Jennifer Tyrell incident:
“Our focus is on delivering the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. Our mission does not include teaching young people about sex or sexual orientation, and we do not believe it is Scouting’s role to introduce this topic in our youth development program.”
The courage of the Boy Scouts should be admired and emulated.