It seems inevitable. The Boy Scouts are now “rethinking” their ban on members and leaders being openly gay. How long did we really think that the actual oath of the Scouts with the words “morally straight” would remain unchallenged?
We have all heard the “evolution of thought” argument made, that, for example, public opinion is shifting in favor of same-sex marriage, and that it is only a matter of time before it is mainstreamed. The same sex lobby has used a very effective strategy of gradualism.
The advocates of same-sex marriage insist at the beginning of legislative sessions that nothing but the full recognition of marriage equality is acceptable, and then when a proposed bill comes up to a vote they accept whatever they can get. The whole process starts over again year after year until same-sex marriage is legalized. In this way, they alternate from defending full legal recognition as the only constitutional remedy for discrimination to pretending that they are only looking for basic protections. FInally, if this is not successful, judicial malpractice solves the problem.
Some call this a “slippery slope.” I call it “erosion.” “Slippery slope” denotes a present condition that will lead to a future repercussion (bad precedent leads to worse consequences). “Erosion” denotes an ongoing process in which present and future only differs by the degree of deterioration (the longer the cause is applied the worse the effect). One might say I am splitting hairs, but it is a better explanation as to why we should all know what is coming.
Moral erosion is also why agnostic natural law arguments alone will not divert the trajectory of the cultural decline. Erosion is an ongoing process which by nature accelerates the longer it is allowed to go on. It cannot be stopped by degree. Either the weathering process completely ceases and the embankment is shored up, or the erosion continues. There is no middle ground. Natural law arguments are important and necessary. The political side of things require that we distinguish between the shared interests within a pluralistic society and the interests of those of particular confessions, but a godless society, is just that: godless. As long as it remains so, by necessity moral erosion must continue.
We are not on a slippery slope. We are in free fall. The ground is not sliding away. It is just plain gone. It becomes increasingly more difficult to use reason in discourse about public morality because the emotional argument has been used to trump everything. It has trumped a reasonable definition of marriage and gender. It has trumped any discussion of objective morality. It has trumped legal history and tradition. And of course, all this sensitivity training has practically criminalized manhood. Ironically, in the age of rebellion, firm conviction and decisive action in the face of vehement opposition is a hate crime.
The irony is even more excruciating if we consider that “last bastion” of burgeoning manhood which is the Boy Scouts. It is a universally recognized institution that cuts across cultural and religious devisions. It is American as apple pie, and can be as Catholic as a priest with an irish surname. It is also iconic of the give and take that is exchanged in all heathy cultures between fathers and sons. Not every Scout Master is the father of a Boy Scout, and not every Scout has a father that is his Master, but the institution has been set up according to that dynamic because it is so fundamental. And because it is fundamental it works like gangbusters in many diverse situations and conditions. “Let’s turn boys into men by the good example of their fathers,” we say. But they say, “No, let’s make sure that everyone feels good about themselves.” The emasculation of the Boy Scouts. How obscene.
My friend, Thom Girard was a Scout Master, and his son Marc went into the water after his father to save him. There was nothing feel-good about this. It was just plain, unadorned manhood passed on from father to son. But such things cannot be permitted. And so, the effete lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to them and opposes their actions; he reproaches them for sins against the law, and accuses them of sins against their training (Wis 2:12).
A further irony of all this is the causal relationship between the broken relationships of fathers with their sons and same-sex attraction in males. Any discussion of this is also forbidden. And that is ironic too, because the whole emotional argument is about compassion and concern that is made real by being truly present another person. Perhaps the accusations of homophobia are subconsciously about just that, a lack of personal presence, of genuine concern for the welfare of another person. How is a normal relationship between a father and son part of the problem?
It is not inevitable. The erosion can be stopped. But that would mean that we need to turn back to the Father who is present. It would mean that those who are in a position to do something must man-up. And the image that comes to mind is not some knuckle-dragger swinging a mace. The images that I think of are much more apocalyptic than that: a king on a cross, a lion that is a lamb, a lamb that is slain, and man on a white horse with a sword coming from His mouth whose name is THE WORD OF GOD (Rev 19:11-16).
What does it take to get men to turn away from sin? This is a fight that will take us all the way to Jerusalem.
“What does it take to get men to turn away from sin?”
Suffering, but that only works sometimes.
“We are not on a slippery slope. We are in free fall. The ground is not sliding away. It is just plain gone. It becomes increasingly more difficult to use reason in discourse about public morality because the emotional argument has been used to trump everything.” Amen. God save us all and give us strength for perseverance as we carry our crosses to Calvery. Mary give us HOPE so we don’t give into despair.
Excellent article, Father. (Coming from the mother of a son who loves the boyscouts.) I feel like not only do I need eyes in the back of my head, but under my feet, on top of my head and on either side of me. We are hit from all sides these days.
Calls are being answered at the National Service Desk for the boyscouts seeking your opinion on the matter at 972-580-2330. A representative will answer and ask if you are for or against the policy change.
Emails are also being accepted at firstname.lastname@example.org?