The Dishonored Patrimony of the Boy Scouts

Nobility is a patrimony of excellence handed on from one generation to the next.  Fathers consider it their responsibility provide their sons with a better and more honorable life than they themselves have had.  In turn, sons consider it their responsibility to treasure what they have received, to respect it and preserve it, and again, to augment it for the next generation.  This is the ideal.  The tradition of chivalry is one of the means by which it is strived for.

One can rightly say that the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have had the same noble responsibility, and tragically have failed to preserve and hand on the excellent patrimony of scouting in America to the next generation.  Instead, through their capitulation to the homosexual agenda, they have created a profound contradiction between the broadbased ideals of scouting and the natural law.  Worse, they make it impossible for Catholics to clarify and lift-up the scouting ideal in the light of the full revelation of Christ.

One of the great assets of the Boy Scouts is that it is an institution which has universal extension and influence.  Individual groups can be formed with a specific identity, which makes possible the Scout’s integration into the life of specific churches, and yet the Scouting ideal is not dependent on any individual confession.  Prior to the sell-out of the leadership, what this provided for was the defense and promulgation of the universal values the natural law, expressed in ideals such as “moral strength” and “character.”  As ambiguous as these expressions are, there is no question that the Boy Scouts of America has been a great and positive institution throughout the country, not just in Catholic parishes.  However, where it has been allowed to grow in Catholic environments it has been particularly fruitful and an opportunity for indirect Catholic evangelical witness.

One of the reasons why I have backed away from promoting the Knights of Lepanto, and Squires of Lepanto, as an organization, is because my own experience has shown me that such restorationist groups run the risk of orbiting around themselves in ever tighter circles. There are undoubtedly benefits to the formation of elite groups of well-educated and well-formed Catholics, but there are also liabilities.  They Boy Scouts has been uniquely equipped, as an organization dedicated to the transformation of boys into men, to be more or less universal (catholic with a small “s”), and yet directed to and encouraging of excellence, to the point of teaching and rewarding it.

It has been a brilliant idea, and in practice that idea has been tremendously fruitful.  It is hard to imagine a substitute.  The destruction of the patrimony of the Boy Scouts of America is an unmitigated disaster.  May God have mercy on us.

26 thoughts on “The Dishonored Patrimony of the Boy Scouts

  1. I have been both immensely pleased AND immensely troubled by my involvement in Boy Scouts. I don’t regret anything I did–I earned my Eagle rank in 1992–but I DO regret some of the things I DIDN’T do. Somewhere around age 16, I recall being surprised to notice that, even though the Scout Law included being Reverent, I never did hear anything about HOW we ought do that best. While various denominations offered awards for investigating religious ideals more carefully, these still did not cause anyone to openly discuss various forms of prayer.

    I ultimately decided–some 10-15 years later–that Scouting essentially reflects the Protestant world-view of the original founder, Lord Baden-Powell. While certainly this makes sense and I never felt compelled to leave Scouting exactly, I did think it rather disturbing that even Catholic troops would fail to mention anything of use on the subject.

    I actually did briefly consider leaving Scouting when I was a Life Scout, precisely because I had begun to worry that I wasn’t necessarily fulfilling the requirement to be Reverent as well as I could. I actually began to consider myself slightly hypocritical in that sense, though I could not have articulated the idea in that manner at the time. I finally decided that I wasn’t intentionally committing any neglect, so I didn’t need to leave the troop, but I DID begin to wonder whether it might be best if Catholics should consider something else.

  2. My youngest son has been involved in the BSA for 3 years now and has LOVED LOVED LOVED it. He’s not an athlete and this has given him the opportunity to chum with other boys in an active way. Since I have had to attend many meetings, I have to say that I have been SO impressed. The men involved in my town are all fathers whose sons are part of, or have been a part of, the Troop. I don’t believe the topic of ‘sex’ ever comes up in a meeting directed by the leaders. I have tried to understand what all of this recent hullabaloo is about. I realize the Scouts have supported the makings of a moral man, which is fantastic. They also accept boys of all different faiths and some of the teachings of the different faiths DIFFER. Duhhh. So, we try to find that happy place in the middle where we can all meet and I don’t have a problem with this to be honest.

    So, the Scouts will now allow gay boys into the ranks. I have read things that say they will be ‘promoting the homosexual lifestyle’ but I do not think this could ever mean to OPENLY PROMOTE it. Perhaps I’m being naive but here are my initial thoughts:

    1. Gay boys have ALWAYS been a part of boyscouts — probably since day 1. In the past, as with all activities, they just kept it silent.
    2. I’m more concerned about gay LEADERS, to be honest. I wrote a very firm note to the boyscouts a few months ago on this. I am pleased that, for now, gay leaders are not allowed. i realize this opens the door to it perhaps. sigh.
    3. I believe gay boys should be allowed to participate. Nowhere in our Catholic beliefs are we to exclude ANYONE. We do not ‘encourage’ them to live out their sexual desires because it is disordered. But we love and accept them and try to help them in their journey towards Christ. Scouting is a fine place for them, imho.
    4. From what my husband and I have witnessed thus far, sexual topics do not come up. I don’t believe there is a place for it at all —- this is a sex-free zone and thank God for that since it’s oozed its way into just about every other area where teenage boys congregate.

    Am I missing something??? I was under the understanding that they just needed to pull it out of their by-laws that homosexual boys aren’t allowed.

  3. Jen,

    Here is an article from a reliable source with which I am sure you can sympathize.

    Of course, there have always been gay Boy Scouts, which is exactly why there is a big question as to why the national organization had to tackle this issue. Why would they make such a play as this unless there is an agenda?

  4. Wow — EXCELLENT article from the cannonlawblog!! Thank you for pointing me to that since I’m sure I will need to share it with others.

    You are wondering if there is an agenda to all of this. I personally think they were pressured politically. Do they receive federal funding??? I was under the impression that their by-laws specifically stated that homosexual boys were not permitted. If this is the case then that by-law NEEDED to be modified. It’s anti-Catholic because it’s unChristian. My hope and prayer is that we will see no difference in the scouts. But we will surely all need to keep our eyes wide open.

  5. Jennifer,
    I too followed the link to Dr Peter’s page. I must say I vigorously disagree with his assessment about the state of things.
    Amongst other things, he attempts to draw a distinction between “participation in activities” and “being a member”. Having been a Scout myself many years ago, I can say that I think such a distinction will be worthless. If someone wishes to participate in Scouting events for very long, he’ll need to formally join the troop. Otherwise, he’ll need to find something else to do.

    I think much of the rest of Dr. Peters’ assessment reflects a hopelessly optimistic view of the impact this decision will have on the program. I’m sure the BSA will do their level best to demonstrate how nothing has changed in Scouts, yet people who’re interested in a program that still teaches something moral will likely be sorely disappointed. Keep in mind, boys in a troop most likely won’t be forced to discuss matters of sexuality amongst themselves. Not at first anyway. What probably WILL happen though will be changes to various materials that might be used for training Scouts. Merit badges that might even hint at something related to sexuality–such as First Aid or Family Life–might well need to be changed because someone will insist that a gay youth might be hurt by some otherwise innocent reference to something.

    Then too, we’ve already heard from various activists who’ve made plain they intend to continue their crusade to require Scouting to change. Now that they’ve won this battle, they’ll be starting in on insisting that the BSA allow openly gay men to be adult leaders.
    Remember, some of these guys have been about their effort to impose change for some 25 years or more. James Dale actually sued in 1990, apparently he didn’t wish to change his attitude even one iota. He wished to require the Scouts to change theirs.

    I see you also mention something about how homosexual youth were not allowed, that this needed to be changed. I must ask:
    What do you think that really means?
    In my memory, I can recall no time when Boy Scouting ever even asked about hetero- vs homo-sexuality. If sexuality came up at all, it primarily referred to the notion that boys needed to be responsible. At the time that I read that in my Scout book, I figured that they mostly meant that if a boy became sexually active and got a girl pregnant, he’d better be prepared to help raise the child. Never in my wildest dreams would I have assumed that they could mean..anything else really.

    Point is, if that was the idea they lived by until now, why did they need to change anything in the first place? If a program generally doesn’t discuss matters of sex at all, why would they have any need to admit to homosexual Scouts in particular?
    I have never heard–or discerned–any logical explanation for this aside from the idea that “gay rights” activists wish to use the Scouts to make their llfestyles appear “normal”. Otherwise, they’d have no need to say anything at all.

    If you would contend that failing to recognize same-sex attracted boys would be un-Catholic, I would contend that insisting that boys even worry about homosexuality or heterosexuality might well be brutally anti-Catholic. The only reason they really have for mentioning such a concern at all is..attempting to make boys feel that it’s “OK to be gay”. That’s not even close to being compatible with the morally straight requirement in the Scout Oath.

  6. John –

    First, as a female, I obviously did NOT grow up attending the boyscouts. My husband also never attended as a child. Most of what I/we know has been through my/our last three years observing through our son’s eyes. I have spoken extensively to the leaders in our troop and been totally impressed. I see these older boys in the high school were I substitute teach. These are GREAT kids from GREAT families who are the leaders. Up to date, I have no complaints. However, don’t worry — I do not plan on burying my head in the sand over this issue. My husband and I are going to be watching very carefully over the next few years to see how all of this unfolds.

    That being said, I will address some of your very good points that you made.
    1. Membership vs participation — like you, I really didn’t understand what he was getting at with this. I do know there are BSA expo’s that are open to the public for participation. Other than that, I didn’t think a boy could ‘participate’ on a regular basis without being a member. They want your dues, after all!

    2. The blog article to which Fr. Angelo pointed stated the following: “(2) An official statement accompanying the new policy “reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting.” Such a statement, oft repeated, seems wholly in-line with sound Catholic teaching against sexual activity outside of marriage and stands in welcome contrast to the indifference toward premarital sex shown by some other youth organizations let alone to some group’s partnering with the likes of Planned Parenthood. Indeed, aside from youth programs expressly oriented toward chastity, I know of no other secular organization that so clearly declares all sexual conduct by its youth members to be contrary to its values as does the Boy Scouts.”

    I totally agree with what is stated above. Sexual discussion is not appropriate. Period. I don’t think too many parents will stand for anything short of this — even amongst the most liberal. Period.

    3. You mentioned the possibility of having badges that could start to push an agenda. i guess I will play a ‘wait and see’ with this. And this is where I usually struggle with my beloved orthodox Catholic family members (to which I feel I belong). We sometimes can start to extrapolate things and pull out of groups or activities because of the ‘what if’. We then start to look like extremists who are not open to participating in activities with anyone unlike ourselves. Once we get labeled as such, we lose all credibility and this is not good!! I don’t think the BSA is asking the boys to worry about hetero or homo-sexuality. I think they are appeasing some federal push or heading it off. We are all crying ‘wolf’ and I’m not sure that’s appropriate quite yet.

    4. I am not saying that some of your concerns aren’t legitimate. I think they could have easily stated that the boyscouts are open up to ALL boys. End of subject. But because they probably state that it’s open to all boys regardless of race and creed —- they now must state this latest ‘discrimination’. i agree — it’s hogwash. And I definitely feel quite sure that they will begin to push the envelope in allowing gay leaders into the ranks. I have told my husband that as long as our son is in the scouts, my husband must attend these sleepovers!! One never knows, regardless of this latest change in policy.

    5. I think as a parent, you must notice how your individual troop behaves. Like anything, it’s hard to compare apples to apples. For example, there are Catholic schools that are very obediently Catholics and there are Catholic schools that really should remove the ‘Catholic’ from their name! There are public schools in inner-cities that are HORRIFIC and there are quite conservative rural schools. So, if you feel your particular troop has people in there with an agenda, by all means go elsewhere or get out!

    6. I also feel that some of these ‘morality’ oaths seem to be empty words by now. Morality, as we sadly know, has become relativistic. I would not be surprised if these portions of the oaths get removed. That will be a sad day indeed.

  7. Jennifer,
    I understand the points you make and would like to be able to be encouraged and optimistic about the changes that’re likely in Scouts. Unfortunately, I’m inclined to take a much more pessimistic view of the situation, not because I like being pessimistic, but because I think it wise to consider what’s likely to happen based on past experiences.

    I’ve read the statements from the Scouts too. I think they’re optimistic, not realistic. While the idea that they don’t condone sexual conduct certainly fits Catholic teaching, I think it highly unlikely that they’ll be capable of maintaining such a rule. Considering that we have boys and girls of youthful age constantly wanting to “push the limits” of what’s allowed and what’s not regarding “sexual contact”, I can’t imagine that boys who’re same-sex attracted will be any easier to handle. Sooner or later, if you have two boys who claim to be gay, they’ll likely be walking somewhere, then insist on their right to hold hands. At that point, you’ll have to have someone decide whether this constitutes sexual contact or not. Or you’ll have something else equally dumb arise, and boys–or parents–will raise a royal ruckus when someone says no.
    Keep in mind, many of the activists who’ve been pushing for this change could quite easily have chosen almost any other approach to expressing their views, but that wouldn’t have any impact at all on kids.
    Yet they’ve been hounding the Scouts for at least 25 years because the Scouts dared to tell them “no”.

    As to being branded an extremist, well, I think if you’re a Catholic who intends to practice Catholic faith routinely and seriously, I think you’re already in deep trouble. Don’t forget that one of our federal agencies already brands mere pro-lifers as “extremists”. They do so because we dare to object to abortion.

    I think it wise to remember that, as of 1950 or so, nobody had ever felt any need for sex education in public schools. For better or for ill, parents and churches had always handled such concerns. Then along came the sexual revolution and somebody insisted that kids NEEDED to know about sex in high school–or Jr High–because..because THEY, the expert, said so.

    Ultimately, I think it quite likely that troops won’t have much choice on these matters. Even if the overall organization insists that troops will have autonomy on this, bear in mind that such a view could be changed if the “head office” doesn’t want to get into another battle in court against a stubborn gay rights activist.
    If you think that sounds absurd, keep in mind that it took maybe a few lawsuits against a few Scoutmasters and troops, or even the mere threat of same, and the BSA had all the adult leaders going through all sorts of extra training about sex abuse and making sure that we wouldn’t be accused of same, or if we were, that we’d have ample recourse to defend ourselves.

    I don’t care much for being a worry-wart, but I think we have ample cause to think that such problems will almost certainly arise.

  8. I don’t think that scouting as developed by Lord Baden-Powell necessarily reflects a Protestant mindset. After all, Baden-Powell published after consultation with then Abp. Bourne of Westminster. And he (B.-P., that is) also thought highly of Ven. Fr. Sevin’s implementation of his program (the Catholic Scouts de France in 1920).

    On the other hand, Reverend and dear Fr. Angelo Mary, could not one argue that the structure of the Boy Scouts, its openness to all confessions, is what made this new policy possible? As a member of a traditional parish I am well aware of the dangers of isolation, but becoming involved in a Catholic scouting movement has made my family, as well as the other families involved, actually less isolated than we had been, while still keeping our focus on the salvation of our souls and those of our children.

  9. Baden-Powell may have consulted with the Archbishop, David, but the organization still reflects a distinctly Protestant state of mind. It may not be at all obvious at first glance, but Protestants and Catholics DO differ, sometimes dramatically, in the manner they use to give reverence to God. I recall being shocked during my mid-20’s to realize that..the worship that we did as Scouts..often differed only slightly from the worship that many Protestants did ever. I thought it small wonder that so many Protestants struggled to deal with faith; they seemed to me to have a very shallow knowledge base. If you don’t know that a Rosary or other prayers exist, you won’t offer them. Certainly I don’t remember that Scouting ever focused much on prayer.

    As far as being isolated goes, I think that raises an interesting question: From what or whom do we fear being isolated FROM?
    We can say what we wish about evangelization and outreach to those who don’t believe, but ultimately, we need to recognize that Scouting and many other aspects of life ARE being influenced more and more by..people who’ve made plain that they have no interest in believing anything, nor do they intend to be held to account to any standard they can’t change.

    I read an article earlier today (well yesterday now) in which a prominent Scout leader and activist had declared that his troop would be leaving the Scouts, mostly because the Scouting movement had already left THEM. I regret to say that I’m inclined to agree. I recall the last I volunteered with Scouts, I noticed that the program seemed to be determined to aim in a very different direction from what I thought it should.
    I think it quite possible that many other, smaller groups will wind up forming in the next several months, precisely as numerous groups take this change as a last straw and decide that they need to start over. I think it regrettable, but I think many have begun to realize that the BSA has taken on a view that can’t really work too well. They’re deciding that enough nonsense is enough nonsense, and going their own way.

    • @John, if by “the organization” you mean the BSA (as well as WOSM, the organization of which it is a member), I agree that its structure reflects a Protestant frame of mind, which in modern times has turned into indifferentism. It’s the pedagogy that I would say is sound (of course many scouting organizations have abandoned Baden-Powell’s pedagogy to one degree or another, but that is a separate discussion).

  10. There is something that I would love to SHOUT out to my fellow orthodox Catholics — and this BSA thing is a perfect example of what I feel we must view carefully.

    Many of us have come to a place in our Faith where we realize that Christ has established a Church, HIS Church, and He has placed leaders in our Church to help guide us in life. Therefore, we cannot pick and choose what we want to believe or not. We are called to obedience and through this obedience we find true freedom and true love. We find peace and we find joy. We desperately want to guide our children and loved ones to this. So, we rightfully find circles of friends and parishes that we know will help us with this immense task.

    We look at the world outside of the Church (and sadly even within the Church) and see such incredible evil. Sexual sin is now HUGE and it has oozed its lies into every organization out there. This causes us who have children to be very afraid. And, quite honestly, I think if you’re NOT afraid then you’re either completely clueless or faithless. We need to be very afraid. But what do we DO with this fear? What I see some well-meaning orthodox Catholics do is to lock themselves up into their homes —- closing all shutters and locking all doors. The only folks they let in are folks who believe exactly as they believe. The only time they come out is to run errands, go to Church or gather with other like-minded individuals. I am not trying to be judgmental here and I am not here to bud into anyone’s business. I, too, am tempted to just cover my children up and protect them from it all and to a certain point, we are called to some protection (esp when they are very young).

    But, I always hear Christ calling me into the deep — He calls me out of my house and out with all the brokenness. The images that come into my head as we leave the safety of our homes is that we must cross over rivers, and large fields, and oceans, and deserts, etc. Therefore, we all need each other DESPERATELY. We cannot have an ‘us and them’ mentality. It is all US US US. Those rivers we must cross have fierce alligators ready to gobble us up. But amongst us are those who know how to maneuver through these rivers and they can guide us. In some of those large fields are mines and thanks be to God there are those who know how to maneuver these mines and get us safely across so we NEED them. There are wonderful sailors who can get us safely across oceans and have the tools to protect us from sharks. And, the beautiful thing is that as we are getting across these dangerous places, OTHERS can look and say, “Oh, I think we should follow him/her because they are getting safely to the other side and yet they seem like they’re decent, normal folks and happy, etc.” If we never get out into the deep, we never have that same impact on the world and that is what we are called to do! Therefore there is risk involved. Some of that risk is that we could lose one of our own children — God forbid. But I don’t see what other REAL choice Christ has left us!! His love is one of sacrifice.

    So what does this have to do with the BSA? It has EVERYTHING to do with it. If we all bail out of the BSA, what then???? Instead, we must swarm the BSA. I am actually hoping that my husband and I can take over the CAtholic teaching arm in our troop and really work with these boys!! We must get across this ocean and pray a few will not fall for the lies that have oozed into it. That is what I want to SHOUT from the rooftops. If the BSA has fallen to this, then THIS is where we NEED TO BE. Our boys and our families need to NOT desert. We need to appear rational and normal to others (even though at times we might feel totally crazed and abnormal). If we have isolated ourselves so badly, then as we cross the minefields no one will want to follow us. It becomes an ‘us and them’ because we will have made it so! God save us from this final, selfish act driven by fear.

    In His Sacred Heart — Jen.

  11. Bravo, Jen!
    Love conquers all things. Those who ‘hide’ from the world are placing the bushel basket over their heads rather than becoming the light for all to see. Fear is a tool Satan uses to debilitate us from performing corporal and spiritual works of mercy!
    Continue trusting in His infinite mercy,and our Lady’s maternal intercessions, Jen. You will become a beacon for the fearful Catholics, as well as the Protestants.
    Jesus came into the world for the sinners (all of us)….you are imitating Him by staying in the BSA. Spread the Good News!
    BE NOT AFRAID! 🙂

  12. St James 2:14 ~ “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?…”

    1 Peter 2:11 ~ “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and sojourners to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against the soul. Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles, so that if they speak of you as evildoers, they may observe your good works and glorify God on the day of visitation.”

    1 Peter 3:13 ~ “Now who is going to harm you if you are enthusiastic for what is good? But even if you should suffer because of righteousness, blessed are you. Do not be afraid or terrified with fear of them, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts….
    17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.”

    1 Peter 8 – 10 ~ Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins.

  13. Jennifer, Marie,
    If you would shout out to all the world that love conquers all, I would shout back that love can’t conquer anything if the Word will be knowingly rejected. If you would declare that we need to be out in the world with courage, I would declare that people have begun to look at alternatives precisely so that we might BE courageous and loving. If, in the current debate, you would see fear and withdrawal from the world, I would see courage and a willingness to engage the world, an insistence on reminding the world that morals exist and can’t be changed.

    If you would wish to become the Catholic teaching arm in your troop, I would point out that such an “arm” strikes me as being a direct blow against the unity of the troop. If one arm teaches that homosexual behavior might be sinful, but the overall body teaches that actively homosexual youth can be accepted, you’ll wind up with a fight over whether or not the arm teaching against homosexual conduct may be offered at all..with a very good chance that the moral teaching against homosexual behavior will lose.

    I think it’s a great thing to want to evangelize by means of Scouting. I must warn you though that I don’t think the official Scouting movement will allow for worthwhile evangelism any longer, assuming they ever really did in the first place.

    I think you’re seeing a large number of people considering alternatives precisely because they’re growing very weary of a stubborn “big-tent” philosophy that ultimately fails to teach substance in morals. I think you’re seeing a large number of people wishing to find alternatives–or begin new ones–precisely so they have the freedom to teach more directly about what the Word actually teaches.

    That’ll mean there’ll be open disagreement amongst various groups of various offshoots of Scouting. I think that’s inevitable and OK. Catholics, Protestants, and various other groups have long differed significantly on key concerns; I think it’s time we ceased subordinating those to a sense of unity that doesn’t reach very deeply.

    It’s time that we be willing to express our religious identities much more clearly than before.
    That’s what the world needs most.

  14. I have no experience with boy scouts but my daughter was in girl scouts for one year. The troop leaders were very faithful women of our parish and I was very pleased with the group until we attended an event with all the other troops in our area of mixed beliefs. There was a new-age vibe that made me very uncomfortable (this was maybe 10 years ago). So I expressed my concerns about it and pulled her out. I was the only one, though. I agree with you about courageously defending and evangelizing our beliefs. The only way people are going to see the light of Christ is if we put it out there. However, I felt a little differently about putting my children in the battlefield especially when they were in their early years of formation in the Faith. My personal opinion is they need that firm grounding/foundation before they are ready. Additionally, I didn’t want her making a pledge/promise to a group that is not Catholic. Just another opinion! 🙂
    No need to fear. Jesus is Victor. 🙂

    In Christ,
    Marian

  15. John – I know that you are frustrated and I don’t blame you. I am, too. We have different ways of dealing with our frustration, I suppose! You say that the Word is being rejected so therefore you cannot shout that Love conquers all. But, the Word has always been rejected by the masses which is why Christ WANTS us out there! This is nothing new. You say that large numbers are looking elsewhere for alternatives to the BSA. I am not yet seeing large numbers — I’m reading about a few. I’m praying that most stay with the BSA to keep the status quo.

    As for hopefully my husband and I being allowed to teach the Catholic lads, I am hoping homosexuality doesn’t even come up!!! What I would like to do instead is discuss why we have a teaching Church. I would like to talk about reverence which is lacking. I would like to talk about obedience to this Faith and setting an example. I would like to discuss the Sacraments — getting to Mass each week, getting to Confession, keeping your eyes and ears free from all the smut. Supporting one another in these things. If the question of homosexuality were to come up, I would need to be clear to parents that I will ONLY teach what the Church teaches.

    I am not necessarily disagreeing with you in that this could very well be the beginning of the end of the BSA. I’m just not willing to jump ship yet. I still feel there’s a lot more we can do — if not for our own sons, then for someone else’s.

    Marie – hugs. And, like you, I did not care for the Girl Scouts. We didn’t last long with that Organization either. DEFINITELY much further down the slope of secularism plus even as a secular group, which I’m not opposed to joining some of those, I didn’t see what good they were really doing for the girls or for society. I didn’t see where they were developing girls into women.
    The women who ran it were very nice and all. It just seemed pointless to me. :p

  16. “I am hoping homosexuality doesn’t even come up!!! What I would like to do instead is discuss why we have a teaching Church. I would like to talk about reverence which is lacking.”

    Over the past five days, Jen, I’ve been reading several statements. Statements from the BSA, from the pro-change advocates, from the Church, from other churches, from lots of folks. I’d say the Church has mostly–for the moment–declared that parishes may keep Scout troops because the boys–and leaders–are expected to remain celibate. I would like to be able to think that the pro-change factions merely want to give same-sex attracted boys an opportunity to address the fact that they ARE same-sex attracted, but can still be holy. I would LOVE to think that would happen. As much as it sounds odd, I’d like to be able to think that the BSA has begun to merely reflect the lack of complete Catholic teaching in Scouting, thereby following a needlessly hard-line stance.
    Sadly, I don’t think I can afford to declare that I believe events will pan out that way.
    Keep in mind, some of those who sought this change have been after the Boy Scouts for about 23 years now. Mr. James Dale actually sued the BSA in 1990 on grounds that he felt they’d acted to “discriminate” against him. Even as he, himself, had apparently declared himself to be gay.
    Many others, even whole groups of people, have been attempting to badger any corporate or public interests into failing to donate to Scouting for the same reasons.

    If any advocate had merely wished to help boys address their sexual struggles, I think they could readily have done so without lawsuits and without financial or political harassment. Instead, they’ve chosen to interpret “civil rights” precisely as they please, and they vigorously attack almost anyone to disagrees. By the way, you probably know that public schools have suffered the same kind of onslaught.

    I don’t know whether anything will change immediately. I think it all too likely that in 10 years, assuming the BSA lasts that long, that many will look at what has changed and begin to wonder how it all managed to come to..whatever point it has come to.

    I distinctly recall thinking some 10 years ago that most adults likely would be thinking pretty hard about whether they REALLY wanted to be involved, precisely because of the degree of hooey they had to endure to help out. And. for what it’s worth, I recall thinking that the reasons why the boys, themselves, would want to be involved were becoming rather more limited.

    Even as of 10 years ago, things had changed enough that, while I visited a troop again when I arrived back to the ‘States from overseas, I decided I’d simply had enough.

    I think it time to look at alternatives to the BSA precisely because I think the movement has become too worried about being politically correct.
    Judging by many of the comments I’ve seen online, I’m not even close to being the only one.

  17. Prof. Taylor Marshall who runs the faithful Catholic blog “Canterbury Tales” has started a Catholic version of the Boy Scouts in response to this descision. This new initiative looks very hopeful and is getting a great response. They are called the Scouts of St. George. Please let others know about this and pray for its sucess. Here are a few links for more info…

    http://www.taylormarshall.com/2013/05/why-im-starting-new-boy-scouts-my.html

    http://www.taylormarshall.com/2013/05/catholic-scouts-of-st-george-9-ways-to.html

    http://www.taylormarshall.com/2013/05/photo-scouts-of-saint-george-logo-mock.html

    • @Andrew,

      I wish the Scouts of St. George well. I have to be honest and say I have my reservations about such an organization for reasons already mentioned. But I would be happy to be wrong.

  18. Recently I read that the founder of the Boy Scouts was greatly inspired, in part, by a great book on Catholic Chivalry. That book was “The Broad Stone of Honour” by Kenelm Henry Digby.

  19. I’m certainly behind in my perusing of Father’s blog, and late to this party to be sure, but I’m compelled to chime in. I sense within the comments here an attempt to navigate a path through the field ahead using positive language and thinking. I hear similar chatter lately about moving ahead with the “new rules of the road” regarding marriage as it goes morphing state by state. All the positive thinking in the world, replete with faith in platitudes like “love conquers all” will not deactivate the acid that is being liberally applied about the foundations of all things that are A) traditional, and B) critical to the society most of us were raised to live in. There IS an agenda at work with this decision, unquestionably. It’s part of a patient plan, and it creeps inch by inch, decision by decision across our country and world. Agendas drive towards a destination by their very definition. Absolute victory is their goal. An important toe hold has just been placed in the midst of scouting. Another inch, and a critical one, was just taken. Scouting has been a bastion of traditional values for decades, and it has been penetrated. Did we merely remove “unfair” language from the by laws of scouting, or did we really just stupidly move the oppositions ball from the shadow of their own goalpost down to our own 20 yard line? They’re going in for the score, you can count on it, and before you can say “2 point conversion” you’ll have gay troop leaders and rainbow merit badges. What rationale will we use to inhibit this now? Just look at recent state battles over marriage. Civil unions never satisfy this lobby, despite adequately addressing most of the setimental arguments one is barraged with in the media during the deliberations on the subject in the halls of government? They are simply back the following year to fight for full marriage rights… and again, from our own 20 yards line, because we were “kind” enough to hand them the ball there, thinking happy thoughts about equality and fairness. This lack of contentment is most certainly because none of the battles being fought over “rights” are actually about rights at all. Its about validation at its core. They will be validated and accepted, even if you need to be beaten down with the law in order to achieve it. Hang on to your hats ladies, because a lawsuit is coming to a campground near you. The scouts allowing the opposition into their fold officially is an unmitigated disaster.

  20. Despite I had not took part in this discussion, I have followed the implementation of the gay agend around the world by internet and in my own country! I would give many exemples and there are many signs that gay agenda there is not a theory of conspiracy. Unfortunately there are very real conspiracies and their goal is the total destruction of the Christian Society. For me, the French people are a good exemple as we have to fight. Despite the French governement has approved the gay marriage, the conservative French made protests eve bigger and they stil fighting against that badly disguised persecution against the Christians.

    2 Maccabees, chapter 15

    16“Accept this holy sword as a gift from God; with it you shall shatter your adversaries.”

  21. Mr. V, Your thoughts are very well written and I must agree with much of what you say. “There IS an agenda at work with this decision, unquestionably. It’s part of a patient plan, and it creeps inch by inch, decision by decision across our country and world. Agendas drive towards a destination by their very definition. Absolute victory is their goal. An important toe hold has just been placed in the midst of scouting.”

    There is NO DOUBT an agenda with those behind this recent move. There is an agenda amidst the sacrament of marriage, as you mentioned, and there appears to be an agenda within a small group of religious within our very Church. But, have we all bailed out of the sacrament of marriage because of the small percentage who want to bring it down? Do we bail from our Apostolic Church because there is a ‘gay ring’ within some of our bishops? No. We stay and we fight. We don’t fall for the nonsense but we don’t leave it either. We fight in hopes to ‘save’ it even though, as with marriage, it seems rather hopeless at the moment.

    Why would the Scouts be any different? Granted, no one HAS to be a Scout — it’s a choice. But, it was always a good choice. I say we wait and see what happens. I say we train our boys how to hold onto what’s good and function with that. It’s the story of our world quite honestly. We, as parents, will need to become more involved so we can protect them but I don’t think we’re ready to remove them from the Scouts as of yet. There is a priest, Fr. Emmerich Vogt, who likes to say that we must ‘detach’ but we shouldn’t ‘amputate’. By leaving the Scouts, we are amputating. By staying involved but not taking part of what’s wrong with the Scouts, we are detaching.

  22. I wouldn’t suggest anyone leave scouting, but nor would I whole-heartedly promote staying, either. (A sad statement coming from the uncle of an Eagle Scout and brother of a long time scout leader, I might add.) To stay and witness, or cut and run, is a parental decision to be made case by case. Anyone involved in scouting knows that much is handled and managed at the local level, regardless of mandates from the brass at the national level. You may notice little or no immediate change. It’s been fairly well demonstarted that the Girl Scouts have been infiltrated by the modernists in recent years, too, but there are still strong groups all around the country, run by the same people who have been running them for years. It may take the dictates from above some time to trickle down in the Boy Scouts as well. Barring the dreaded lawsuit in your state or locality, and the threat of the legal stick, it could be business as usual for sometime. My point in writing what I wrote was not to make you do either- or, but rather, simply to sound the call. They will continue to make their inroads. Inch by inch, scouting may be forced to change right around you. Folks like you, who have been the heart and soul of scouting for years may become “incompatible” with the scoutingfuture. You’l conform or be expelled. If not you, then perhaps the parent that joins in 2, 3 or maybe 5 years. However, it’s coming, and the system of government with which we have saddled ourselves in ignorance, and the culture we have forged in the same ignorance– both of which have slipped off their respective axis– probably won’t stop it. I hope you and your son have time, and that he has an excellent run with his troop. I hope he makes Eagle. My nephew is now a grown man, and by almost any measure, a great guy. I credit his parents and scouting for it. May you have the same experience if you stay. Vaya con Dios.

  23. I didn’t know the status of the Scouts’ response. I was hoping (almost sure!) they’d have successfully fought the same-sex-attracted supremacy agenda, which is not of man but of the father of lies. This is one more time of late when old people like myself say and mean it, “I’m glad I’m not raising kids in this generation.”

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