Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Something Rotten in the Boy Scouts

Norman Rockwell Boyscouts
There’s deception going on in the front office of the Boy Scouts. It includes deliberate misrepresentation of polling data, and threats to pack an upcoming meeting with anonymous and unqualified voters so that the Boy Scout policy on homosexuality gets forced on the majority of Scouts and parents who don’t want it.
The Boy Scouts are considering changing their policy of not allowing open homosexuality in either their Scout or leadership ranks. The policy has placed the Boy Scouts in the buzz saw of the zeitgeist and up until recently they have resisted. There are some weak-kneed leaders who want to throw over the policy and appear willing to violate the Scout Law to do it.
The Scout front office released the result of a national survey and “listening” process that purported to show that the Scouts—boys, parents, leaders and donors—favor a change in the policy. The Boy Scouts say the process reveals great changes in attitudes and that a majority of those at all levels of Scouting “tend to agree that youth should not be denied the benefits of Scouting.”
This was dutifully and even triumphantly reported in the mainstream press. The only problem is the news reports were wrong. And the news reports were wrong because the Boy Scouts misrepresented the results. One close observer of the Boy Scouts calls the poll “a pack of lies.”
Do Scouting parents want to overhaul the policy and allow open homosexuality in the Scouts? The Executive Summary of the Poll says, “yes”, but the numbers say “no.” Fifty percent of Cub Scout parents support the current restrictive policy while 45% oppose it. A whopping 61% of Boy Scout parents support the current policy.
How did Boy Scout leadership get anywhere near the assertion that a majority of those in Scouting support homosexuality in Scouting? Part of what they did was what is known as a push-poll, a questionnaire designed not to elicit an accurate opinion but one designed to change opinions.
Here’s the most sympathetic scenario presented to the respondents: “Tom started in the program as a Tiger Cub and finished every requirement for the Eagle Scout award at 16 years of age. At his board of review Tom reveals he is gay. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for the review board to deny his Eagle Scout award based on that admission?”
Read this way, you may conclude that it is not right or just to deny Tom his award. Even so, the numbers show that a majority of parents still continue to support the current policy.
What is going on here? Deception, that’s what. There is a small group on the Executive Committee of the Boy Scouts who want this policy to change. What they face is a membership that largely opposes the measure. So, they try to get their way by lying about a poll. But there is more deception than that.
The Executive Board took up the issue a few months ago and after a tsunami of protest punted the issue to a vote of their National Council set to take place on May 20th. There are usually 1400 voting members of this body who qualify through strict criteria. Insiders have been told there may be an additional 2,000 voting members at the upcoming meeting. Who are they? The Boy Scouts leaders aren’t telling. Are they trying to pack the meeting? It sure looks that way.
A group of Scouting parents have grown alarmed over these deceptive practices and have hired not one but two lawyers to represent their interests and not just their interests but the interest of fairness and making sure the Boy Scout Executive Committee sticks to their own by-laws that are very clear about who can vote. There are legal issues here and this whole process could end up on court.
On the eve of the vote the Executive Committee will make a presentation on this issue to the National Council. The Executive Committee is the group driving this change and is the group presenting these deceptive numbers. You can be sure in that meeting there will be no presentation from supporters of the current policy, and you can be sure the Executive committee will continue to spin their deceptive tale about how most of Scouting is fine with open homosexuality in the program.
All this goes to show once more the lengths of deception that some will go to advance an agenda that is offensive to most Americans. They cannot win an up or down vote so they lie about a poll. They cannot convince regular people so they have to pack the meeting.
The number one item in the Boy Scout law is to be trustworthy. The process ought to be stopped and there ought to be a housecleaning and all these untrustworthy guys should get the boot.


  1. "Scouting is fine with open homosexuality in the program." Homosexuals will be in the program, not homosexuality. Now, what is the Church's teaching on homosexuality? It is against discrimination of homosexuals and against homosexual sex. Scouting is not a program of sex. It's scouting. What is the author afraid of? He must think all young gay men are molesters! How silly.

  2. The real driver of the policy change are "public accommodation laws" designed to enforce the "equal protection of the laws." The Boy Scouts are afraid of lawsuits. That's why the Executive Board is making this change. It's legally necessary.

    1. Again, as I've said elsewhere here, let's stop assuming the worst of every young gay man or boy. Jesus taught us to think well of others. Al, you need to pull back on your fears of gays. You just don't understand them.

    2. In Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, the Supreme Court upheld the policy against gay scout masters. The Court accepted that "morally straight" meant what the Scouts' claimed it meant, including no gays allowed.

      I think the Scouts realize that young people do not want to be associated with backward views of gays. The same is happening in the Republican Party. If the GOP wants young voters, it must change on same-sex marriage.

  3. I visited the author's web site and discovered he's an extremist. Here is an exact quote from his mission statement: "C-FAM publishes and promotes scholarship related to the proposition that the UN and other international institutions harm a true understanding of international law and in the process undermine the family and other institutions man requires for a just, free and happy life." Talk about on the fringe of sanity--the UN "harms a true understanding of international law"!!! The world would be in complete chaos without the UN and its many fine nongovernmental organizations.

    1. Oh that's nothing. Take a look at his writings at Crisis Magazine. He's full of, ah, yeah, that.

    2. @anonymous
      The world would be in complete chaos without the U.N.? Are you kidding? A careful examination of history will show you that the U.N. has actually caused more problems in the world than it helped. I'm not sure what the UN has to offer, but to give diplomats the right to double-park on the streets of NYC. Also, if believing in traditional family values puts me on the "fringes of sanity", then count me on the fringe.

    3. If you're "not sure what the UN has to offer" then study and learn. For example, take a look at the depth and quality of the NGO's (non-governmental organization) associate with the UN that feed, clothe, and care for the world's poorest. A little study will surprise you.

  4. The Norman Rockwell painting captures our ideal image of a wholesome American boy in the pre-WWII era. The image still resonates, but the Country is far from that ideal, for good or ill. I doubt the boy in the painting would have been a Catholic in any case. He's a good Presbyterian or Lutheran or Methodist.

  5. Gay scouts. How terrifying. Maybe one of the 'normal' boys will ask a gay boy for oral sex. Wasn't that the 'norm' at English boarding schools?