May 23 2013
Today, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have seen a resolution pass that changes its membership policies and issued a press release. Please read the link in the previous sentence if you have not read the resolution yet. Please, do so, as the rest of this post will refer to it.
Shortly thereafter, as you can find elsewhere, people have decided to deride the decision as going too far or not far enough. Among Catholics out on the internet, the lean seems to be nearly entering into hyperventilation that Scout units affiliated with Catholic parishes are going to go to Sodom and Gomorrah in a hatbox.
I took the survey. I was one of a large majority who took the survey and who believe it unjust that a young man could not receive Eagle rank because of homosexual tendencies. Go to paragraph five of this FAQ to find the justification that the BSA has to make this decision. I made this choice because of what the Catholic Church teaches on homosexuality. Only three paragraphs appear in the Catechism. Do go and read them, as this post will refer to them.
I support this change because to do otherwise would, in my view, be unjust discrimination against Scouts who have homosexual tendencies. Our Church openly challenges our culture regarding homosexuality. She expects those with homosexual tendencies to live chastely, as per their state of life. If severe, these people might never receive sacramental marriage (please note that this does not mean that all single people have strong homosexual attractions, but only that some may). By forgoing marriage, they become eunuchs for the Lord. I digress.
Some people have expressed concern regarding what this will mean to other Scouts, especially regarding child abuse. The BSA has been at the forefront at striving to prevent child abuse, period. It has learned much from when numerous cases of sexual abuse came to light. Scouts and their leaders are trained in how to recognize signs of child abuse, how to avoid child abuse, and how to report it. At least once every two years (it may be yearly), leaders are to be retrained in youth protection. In the front of every handbook is a pamphlet that the Scout and his family are to read and sign regarding youth protection. The BSA takes child abuse very seriously.
Another concern has been raised regarding the nature of units chartered to religious organizations. The chartering organization determines ultimately who may or may not be a leader of the local unit. The local Scout council might remove a leader if that person violates policies, but oftentimes will leave that decision to the chartering organization. As such, if a church is a chartering organization, then the church leaders will determine who may or may not be leaders. The chartering organization appoints a representative who signs the adult applications. If the adult does not meet the standards of the organization (say, a church), then that person’s form will be incomplete.
As an Eagle Scout (1993), I am pleased with this decision. As a Catholic, I am pleased with the decision. I know many people are concerned about this decision. I pray that this post assuages some of that concern.
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