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The Boy Scouts of America – one of the last truly great American institutions, which for 100 years has prepared tens of millions of boys for responsible manhood – is reportedly on the verge of changing its policy on homosexuals.
As NBC News first reported yesterday, BSA is talking about reversing, as early as next week, its decades-old policy of excluding homosexuals as adult leaders and scouts.
Considering that the United States Supreme Court has already sided with the Boy Scouts on this issue, and that a recent Gallup Poll shows most Americans side with the Scouts’ current policy, and that just six months ago BSA national spokesman Deron Smith affirmed the organization’s moral policy excluding homosexuals “is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts,” this current development illustrates – if nothing else – the brutal effectiveness of the relentless intimidation and economic pressure brought to bear on the Boy Scouts by gay rights activists and cultural extremists.
Indeed, yesterday Smith did a complete 180 in disclosing in a press statement that BSA is now discussing ending the organization’s decades-long moral standard and, instead, deferring to the local chartering organizations to decide what their own membership standards will be – “consistent with each organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs.”
“The policy change under discussion,” Smith explained, “would allow the religious, civic, or educational organizations that oversee and deliver scouting to determine how to address this issue.” In other words, the BSA would abandon its prohibition on homosexuals and every local Boy Scout troop or Cub Scout pack could do whatever it wanted.
As one might expect, traditionally minded Americans are alarmed. They warn this change would spell the end of the Boy Scouts as they have always known it – a quintessentially American, moral and God-based private organization, as exemplified in the Scout Oath “to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins pinpointed the main reason for the BSA’s change of thinking – namely, the attacks on their funding sources by activist homosexuals. Said Perkins:
“The Boy Scouts of America board would be making a serious mistake to bow to the strong-arm tactics of LGBT activists and open the organization to homosexuality. What has changed in terms of the Boy Scouts’ concern for the well-being of the boys under their care? Or is this not about the well-being of the Scouts, but the funding for the organization?
“The Boy Scouts has for decades been a force for moral integrity and leadership in the United States. Sadly, their principled stances have marked them as a target for harassment by homosexual activists and corporations such as UPS which are working to pressure the Boy Scouts into abandoning their historic values.”
However, there is a second, largely unmentioned and potentially even more devastating reason that such a move on the part of the Boy Scouts’ national leadership would spell serious trouble for the organization, one that goes beyond the sad fact that many good people would walk away from the BSA for abandoning its principles.
Although under-reported in the press, the BSA, like the Catholic Church, has had a long struggle with predatory scout leaders embedding themselves in scout units and using the authority, familiarity and good will that goes with that position to sexually exploit boys and young men.
Two decades ago, journalist Patrick Boyle was the lead author of a comprehensive five-part Washington Times series on the large number of cases of predatory scout leaders. The series served as the basis for Boyle’s book, “Scout’s Honor: Sexual Abuse in America’s Most Trusted Institution.” Boyle wrote:
On an average of more than once a week for the past two decades, a Cub Scout, Boy Scout or Explorer has reported being sexually abused by a Scout leader.
An investigation by The Washington Times shows that at least 1,151 Scouts have reported being abused by their leaders over the past 19 years, making sex abuse more common in Scouting than accidental deaths and serious injuries combined.
In that time, at least 416 men have been arrested or banned from Scouting for molesting the boys in their care – and experts say the real number of abusers and victims is probably several times higher.
Those are among the findings of an investigation that turned up abuse by Scout leaders in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
“I was naive to think the Boy Scouts was such a safe place,” said the mother of a Maryland boy abused by his Scoutmaster. “I thought the Boy Scouts was a sanctuary.”
In fact, the examination of sex abuse in Scouting reveals a long-standing paradox for the nation’s most revered youth group: For 80 years the Boy Scouts of America have given boys some of the best experiences of their lives, but for 80 years some men have used the Boy Scouts of America to have sexual relations with those boys.
“That’s been an issue since the Boy Scouts began,” said James Tarr, the nation’s chief Scout executive from 1979 through 1984.
In his reporting, Boyle does not implicate homosexuals as such, but refers to all of the predatory adult scouters as pedophiles or molesters.
Hold that thought while we fast-forward to today:
In 2010, the London Guardian newspaper reported that “America’s Scouting movement is fighting to keep secret thousands of ‘perversion files’ on suspected child molesters after it was ordered to pay record damages over the sexual abuse of a former Scout.” Describing a “growing scandal threatening to rival the crisis hitting the Roman Catholic church,” the UK paper reported that BSA “has been accused of covering up decades of child abuse” to protect the organization’s reputation.
It reported that an Oregon jury heard the case of former scout Kerry Lewis, “who was repeatedly assaulted by a former assistant scoutmaster, Timur Dykes, in the 1980s.” Dykes, the paper reported, “had admitted to a superior in the Scouts that he had abused boys, but was allowed to remain in the organization and is alleged to have sexually assaulted several other children who are also taking legal action.”
Get the picture? Just as in some Catholic dioceses, someone in authority with the Boy Scouts made the unwise and unprincipled decision to protect the organization rather than rat out the perpetrator and protect children.
The judge in the case overruled the Scouts’ attempts to keep the jury from seeing about 1,200 files kept by the organization on suspected pedophiles. Kelly Clark, Lewis’s lawyer, told the jury that while the files were often used to remove child abusers from the Scouting movement, many were allowed to remain in the organization. He said that the Scouts rarely alerted the police and when they did, the movement asked the authorities to avoid publicity. Clark told the jury that the Scouting leadership had been “reckless and outrageous” in failing to warn parents and boys about the problem.
The jury agreed and awarded Lewis $18.5 million, the largest-ever award to a single plaintiff in a U.S. child-abuse case, according to the Telegraph.
The files shown to the jury “were not made public and are just a small part of what is believed to be a cache of as many as 6,000 held at the Scouts’ headquarters in Texas, dating back to the 1920s,” the report added.
“We said they had 75 years of secret files about pedophiles, and that’s the way the evidence came in. I think that fact in itself was just staggering to the jury,” said Clark, Lewis’s lawyer. “They had a regular practice of placing guys on probation and then they would allow them to continue to be active in Scouting, not unlike some of what you saw in the Catholic church.”
Now the big question in all this, of course, is the following: With these sex-abuse cases within the Boy Scouting organization, just as those within the Catholic Church, are we dealing with actual “pedophiles” or with predatory homosexuals?
Virtually all defenders of the gay agenda will angrily denounce the mere suggestion that homosexuals could be victimizers here, or that the two groups could even overlap.
Yet while the London Telegraph and many others note the striking similarity between “pedophiles” in the Boy Scouts and “pedophile priests” in the Catholic Church, there is a disturbing if little-known reality to all this:
Contrary to the media myth that the Catholic Church’s problems are primarily with “pedophile priests” – terminology which safely absolves homosexuals from suspicion – the major portion of the church’s sexual-abuse problem has been the infiltration of its seminaries by homosexuals. In fact, widespread cases of predatory homosexual priests created a full-blown crisis for the church.
“The real problem the Catholic Church faces,” explains Father Donald B. Cozzens, author of “The Changing Face of the Priesthood,” is the “disproportionate number of gay men that populate our seminaries.”
Or as former California Congressman Bob Dornan put it, “the Catholic Church in this country has been penetrated by an aggressive homosexual network.”
And National Review senior writer Rod Dreher put it even more bluntly: “This is chiefly a scandal about unchaste or criminal homosexuals in the Catholic priesthood. … The overwhelming majority of priests who have molested minors are not pedophiles – that is … among the rare adults sexually attracted to pre-pubescent children. They are, rather, “ephebophiles” – adults who are sexually attracted to post-pubescent youths, generally aged 12 to 17. And their victims have been almost exclusively boys.”
“Pedophilia” is, by definition, sexual contact with a pre-pubescent child. Most of the boys molested by “pedophile priests” have been pubescent teens. Likewise, in the scout world, although we can comfortably indulge the fantasy that there is a wide gulf between the land of homosexuals and the land of same-sex pedophiles, this does not comport with the known facts. (If you want, you can read Scientific American’s explanation here – but bottom line, many of these sex-abuse cases, whether in Scouts or in church, do not involve actual pedophiles.)
The Washington Times – which for its in-depth investigation reviewed “internal Scout records and tens of thousands of pages of court records from around the country, including confessions of molesters and testimony from children,” and also interviewed “molesters, families of victims, Scout leaders, sex abuse experts and lawyers” and analyzed the cases on a computer database – discovered the following:
Each year from 1971 through 1989, an average of at least 21 male Scout leaders and camp workers were banned from Scouting or arrested for sexual misconduct with Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Explorers. The acts ranged from proposing sex acts and fondling boys in their sleep to performing oral sex and intercourse with the children.
Pause-button, please. Cub Scouting is for boys 7 to 10, the Boy Scouts is open to boys 11 to 18, and Explorers (which was replaced in 1998 by Venturing) is for 14-to-20-year-olds. The average age of puberty for males in the U.S. is 13.
Although it’s politically incorrect in the extreme, it has to be said: In the homosexual subculture, sexual attraction toward young teen boys is far more prevalent and prized than gay activists would like you to know.
Moreover, predators are known to go where the children are. And that means the Boy Scouts are arguably at even higher risk of sexual-abuse on a broad scale than the Catholic Church was and is. That is why BSA has instituted one of the best Youth Protection Training programs in the world, as a direct response to predators in their midst.
How ironic and unfortunate, then, that the Boy Scouts are now being so pressured that they are contemplating opening themselves up to lawsuits, to disgrace, and to huge jury awards and out-of-court settlements. After all, by changing their policy on homosexual leaders, the BSA would be adopting a more overt and inviting stance toward homosexual leaders than the Catholic Church ever did – essentially advertising for homosexual adult “scouters.”
If you do not think lawsuits, test cases, de facto recruitment and de facto affirmative action will not follow adoption of this policy, then you do not understand the political and moral left. If you think the vast gay rights lobby will finally leave the Scouts alone, once the policy reversal occurs (if it does), you do not understand the left.
Just as bed-and-breakfasts, photographers and many other business are routinely sued today by homosexual activists as a tactical means of advancing their position, the scouting organization will likewise fall prey to this long-term legal strategy if it betrays its own commitment to being “morally straight.”
America is in a time of great crisis on many fronts, and much that is good we are in danger of permanently losing. The Boy Scouts of America is one of the most important and loved and truly valuable organizations in American history. It is literally a sacred trust between one generation and the next. The Supreme Court is on their side. Public opinion is on their side. God is on their side.
Why on earth would they trade all this away by giving in to pressure from people who detest them and everything they stand for?
A little bit of America will die if the Boy Scouts organization gives in to the pressure and makes this decision. You might want to let them know how you feel. You can reach the Boy Scouts of America at 972-580-2000. Tell them how much you appreciate them – and tell them to stand strong.