During one of the terms of President William Jefferson Clinton, “Character Counts” was the motto of a Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree. President Clinton attended the jamboree, and several of the scouts were seen nudging each other in the ribs and pointing at the motto on the program. They’re not stupid.
Bill Clinton, if you will remember, was rolling in scandal from his days as Governor Clinton of Arkansas. Rumors swirled all around him of infidelity, womanizing, murder, and all that goes with someone who lacks character. Once he was President Clinton, not much changed. His shenanigans with intern Monica Lewinsky, among others I’m sure, showed that he was not a man of strong character. Not the kind I would want in a President of the United States anyway.
This past week, I have received a variety of emails from a variety of organizations telling me what some good alternatives to the Boy Scouts of America program might be now that openly “gay” boys are allowed in the scouting program. I read one letter from a man who is a third generation Boy Scout and Eagle Scout, who is now pulling his membership from the Boy Scouts. I am not surprised at any of this. I knew that if the decision to allow gay scouts was carried, there would be fallout.
Quite frankly though, I am divided as to how I feel about the fallout. Do I believe that the National Board for the Boy Scouts of America made the right decision to allow gay boys into its organization? No, I do not. Do I believe that radical homosexual lobbies will be satisfied over this decision to allow “boys only.” No. Already they are (figuratively) sharpening their knives and preparing for round two. That said, the need seems to be greater than ever these days to help struggling youth, especially boys. I can think of no better boys’ organization in the world that teaches boys the critical importance of leadership, team work, work ethic and goal setting and most importantly, the development of a strong character, like the BSA.
So this is my question, to which I do not have an answer. Do we leave boys to flounder on their own without an organization like the BSA? After one hundred years, do we pack up and go quietly into the night? The thing is, nothing makes me want to dig my heels in more than when someone coerces me or guilts me or especially threatens me into making a decision that I do not agree with, or one they want me to make. I don’t want to leave boys without direction who need exactly that.
My second question is this, are we underestimating the character strength of our own boys when we pull them from the BSA? Are we afraid that homosexual boys might make them want to be homosexual boys? If homosexual males comprise two percent of the population, would homosexual boys be a real threat to the BSA organization? As I said, I have no answers. For now, I’m going to have to think about it.
The Court of Honor I attended for my 11-year-old son this past Wednesday, has me in no hurry to defect from the scouting program. I saw stalwart boys sitting next to extraordinary parents who all were waiting for their sons to receive a merit badge they had worked hard to acquire. I saw them lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance. I’m just not ready for that to end. But for now, what a quandary I am in. When the day comes that homosexuals are allowed to be scoutmasters (and I’m sure that day is coming), I will be in a quandary no longer, as the BSA will have an even shorter life expectancy than it has now.