Good Riddance, I Guess …

After vote allowing gay kids to become Boy Scouts, some families call it quits

As many Scouts and families rejoiced over the BSA’s decision to partly end the membership guidelines that had drawn criticism from supporters of LGBT rights both inside and outside the organization, many others decried the move, with some BSA members making  the tough choice to pull out of one of the nation’s most popular youth organizations.

The article then goes on to tell the sad stories of Aaron Butler from Roseau, Minnesota and Mike Miller of Mount Holly, North Carolina, who had the unenviable task of explaining to their young boys exactly why they couldn’t be in the Scouts anymore.  Aaron Butler’s son Evan cried for a full ten minutes when his father told him it was because the Scouts “weren’t honoring their own law” …

“They say it — ‘On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep [myself] physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight,’” he said.

Aaron Butler and his son Evan, who may realize in later years that growing up to
be “just like dad” might not be such a lofty goal. (Photo by Dan Koeck)

Now I know that the Old Testament and the letters of Paul condemn the act of “man lying with man” … although what it meant back then is far different from what we assume it means today.  However, even if we are to ignore that distinction altogether, I’m not so sure it says anything about simply being gay.  And since we’re talking about kids around the age of eight or nine joining the organization, I really don’t think that’s a problem.  Hell, even as they get older, the idea behind staying “morally straight” should apply to any sexual activity, regardless of one’s orientation.

I also wonder what Aaron’s stance is on scout leaders who have been divorced and subsequently remarried.  Or if they had children out of wedlock?  What if they engaged in premarital sex?  Did they keep the Sabbath?  Honor their parents?  Hell, if we’re forced to go back to the Old Testament for condemning homosexuality, then you might as well kick out every kid who eats shrimp during the next Boy Scouts Clam Bake.

In other words, there’s a pretty long list of sins that we as a secular nation have stopped caring that much about.  However, if Aaron is truly concerned about the BSA no longer honoring its own code, he might want to look into its policy regarding the aforementioned transgressions to make sure they stay true to their code.

Then we have Mike … who is confusing the Boy Scouts of America with freaking church:

“It was hard to explain to a 9-year-old the complexities of why I was telling him that we had to quit,” Miller said. “He told me, ‘Daddy, it should be like church. Everybody should be welcome.’”

Miller said he then told Cody that the point of going to church is to seek forgiveness — not for being all-inclusive.

“I said, ‘These people aren’t asking for your forgiveness,’” Miller, 51, told NBC News in a telephone interview. “What they’re doing is saying, ‘this is what I am and you have to accept me like I am. I’m not coming to try to change.’

“Be it right, wrong or indifferent, the Bible that I read says [homosexuality is] a sin,” he said.

The bible you read also tells you to put them to death, but even you have the good sense to know that’s wrong.  Why?  Where are you drawing the line?

What’s more, I see no reason why it would be so hard to explain to a nine-year old that he’s being yanked out of the Boy Scouts because they decided to allow homosexual members, and your interpretation of Christianity has a problem with it.  Maybe that’s because he’ll ask why God doesn’t like gay people, and why he thinks they should be put to death just because of their sexual orientation.  Your son might start reading the bible, and realizing all of the other things that anger God.  He might come to the conclusion that his own sense of love, altruism, and empathy is far more useful and infinitely better than the capricious will of an ancient war god whose laws are constantly cherry picked and wielded as clubs by people who are desperate for an excuse to act like assholes to people they didn’t like to begin with.

I will also reiterate my comments about the other sins that no one seems to care about in our current generation, like divorce, adultery, and premarital sexy times.

Finally, Mike is under the impression that scouting has the same purpose as going to church, in which you are to ask … someone … for forgiveness for … something.  Not sure what, since I thought that was one of the numerous reasons to go to church, along with providing a sense of community and to encourage people to live a life that emulates that of Jesus:  love, compassion, mercy, charity, and peace.

All in all, I feel sorry for the kids.  It’s not their fault that their parents give the impression that they just don’t like gay people, but are willing to excuse other equally egregious sins among their peers.  In the end, if parents and children of those who are opposed to this new policy leave, it will change the BSA even more quickly, and within a generation this entire discussion will be ancient history.

Now, if they can only make their own version of Thin Mints …

This entry was posted in Freedom from Religion, Religion and Public Life, Society Marches On and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Good Riddance, I Guess …

  1. anatu13 says:

    The Bible does not, in fact, condemn the the practice of homosexuality, outside of the laws in Leviticus, which Christians do not follow. See PART 3, EXEGESIS, in: Essentially, there are only 6 instances in the Bible commonly thought to reference homosexuality. 2 are in Leviticus. 3 refer to homosexual prostitution or rape. In the last, _some_ instances of homosexuality are punishments, but they are not sins.

    • Sorry, I may have been a little vague with my wording … but I agree that what we understand and interpret as homosexuality is not the same as those things called out and condemned in the bible. I’ll throw in an edit to make it more clear, if it helps.

      • anatu13 says:

        Cool–thanks! There is really no solid basis in biblical text for Christian condemnation of homosexuality. It is sad that many people base their beliefs on inaccurate translations.

  2. Well, you and I (as I’ve said) think a lot a like. What state did you say you live in? (Don’t tell me “denial.” My husband tells me that one all the time!) I didn’t see this specific story about the dad who withdrew his kid. Figures. I agree with you here: “I also wonder what Aaron’s stance is on scout leaders who have been divorced and subsequently remarried. Or if they had children out of wedlock? What if they engaged in premarital sex? Did they keep the Sabbath? Honor their parents?” I DO care because I find it incredibly hypocritical to judge others while going around and breaking the rest of “God’s laws.” Live and let live, right? Wonder who said that…

    • I’m in Portland, Oregon … so there’s not a whole lot of risk involved in my identifying as an atheist like there is where you live.

      I think some of these Christian dads should remember John 8:7 when Jesus said “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, or Luke 6:42 … “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye?”. It’s easy for them to claim the moral high ground when they’ve decided that their own sins aren’t noteworthy anymore.

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