Saturday, August 3, 2013

My problem with the boy scouts

I am not a scout, never was one, never cared for it. However, I have had friends growing up who were and I can say that while I didn't care to be one, it was fun for them and I'd support that. Today, after a long break from writing, I am back with this issue: My problem with the scouts.

In the recent months they have come under fire for their stance on homosexuals and now that they're more accepting, they have slid back out of the limelight. I honestly believe they should have accepted homosexuals in the first place and just left it at that. However, there are others that believe their very presence is a sin and these people are called scout parents. If you were to ask a child if they care whether their friend is gay of not, more often than not you would receive a non committal grunt indicating they really couldn't care less. Ask a parent, and that's when the phobia and the hate starts.
I find it bothersome that homosexual people are boiled down to single issue people. Yes, their desire to be treated equal have made plenty of homosexuals very visual in the news, but there are two problems here. First, straight people support them at rallies as well. Second, even after the rights rally is over, they have other things they want too, whether it be immigration reform, pro-choice/life issues, taxes (yes, them "queerosexuals" pay your national defense too), or just getting to the store to get things for dinner. Like any of us, they are more than our biggest political issue.

Why am I so bothered about this right now? Well, I went and stuck my nose somewhere I knew would rile me up. I was doing research on varying types of political interest groups and came across this gem on the Family Research Council website, courtesy of one Rob Schwarzwalder:

"We also have to face the fact that homosexual predation within Scouts has been a significant problem. Is every homosexual a pedophile or predator? Of course not; no one suggests, or should suggest, that. Yet the abuse that has taken place in the Scouts has been initiated by homosexuals."
I would like to immediately point out that this person is saying that all of the sexual abuse has been done by homosexuals. There hasn't been a single straight or bisexual person that was abused and is taking it out on the kids, at least, according to him.

And then we have this:

"Many of us have homosexual friends, neighbors and family members. It's my hope that all believers treat them with love and respect. Yet as a Christian, I affirm Scripture's teaching that the only appropriate sexually intimate conduct exists between a man and a woman within marriage. This means I don't want, as role models or life-influencers for my sons, heterosexual adulterers or fornicators-or homosexuals. This is grounded in the teachings of the Word of God, not hatred or bigotry."
Alright, I'll be controversial and say it is his right how to raise his family and whether or not he accepts homosexual behavior. However, he makes the massive assumption that because a scout master is gay, that means the scoutmaster is incapable of teaching right from wrong. How can one "treat them with love and respect" when one isn't willing to trust that they aren't some kind of evil, anti-Christian, homo converters? It makes me wonder whether this person has ever taken a class administered by a homosexual teacher. I have, many classes in fact, and I can say that in all of my experiences, they don't teach any different than the heterosexual teachers.

This author has boiled morals down to a single issue: who's company someone prefers in the bedroom. Morals are a complex set of issues that span many subjects, to boil a person down to one issue and deny them the same respects you give anyone else is, in my opinion, one of the most amoral things possible. If we were to turn the tables on this man and choose another issue, let's say loving thy neighbor, then he would fail miserably.
The biblical proof that "god hates fags" (to quote the Westboro Baptist Church) is a quote from Corinthians and a quote from Leviticus. In researching the Corinthian quote I found a number of different translations carrying different meanings. Then we come to Leviticus and yes, I will trot out the old argument. Why? Because it is true. If you're willing to go back to Leviticus for unbreakable, rules, then you better be prepared to live by all of its rules, this includes bans against: eating fat, eating blood, touching an unclean animal, letting your hair become unkempt, going to church up to 33 days after giving birth to a boy (66 for a girl), spreading slander (Baptist churches are predispositioned to fail at this), practicing divination or seeking omens (no more reading your horoscope), trimming your beard, cutting your hair at the sides, getting tattoos, mistreating foreigners (that's 95% of the south there), Blashpemy (punishable by death), and eye for an eye. Christians are more than happy to forgo many, if not all of these and more under the guise of "well, it's only meant to be a guide, not unbreakable rules." Some of these rules are great, such as the ones stating you are not allowed to bear a grudge, mistreat foreigners, or use dishonest weights and scales.
The counter to my argument is that some of these laws are either immoral or illegal and we need to be better. However, I'm going to pull the same counter they would use against allowing homosexuality: it is a slippery slope. It clearly states in the bible that any blasphemy means the blasphemer should be put to death, how far do we go until laws such as that become seriously considered?

We live in a time where the close-minded tribe mentality from over two millennia ago can not guide us. Such materials, when taken literally, can be used to oppress and harm people who have done nothing but simply exist. Homosexuals are one such group and they deserve better. When we reduce them to only one aspect we have trouble seeing a whole person, only an issue. A gay scout master is still a scout master, he will still teach right versus wrong, survival skills, and all the other skills the organization teaches, the only difference is when he goes home it will not be to a woman.

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