An Unprincipled Position
Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 3:00am
"Elijah came near to all the people and
said, “How long will you
hesitate between two opinions?
If the LORD is God,
follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did
not answer him a word."
1 Kings 18:21
group can remain divided on a question of such moral importance and
Albert Mohler Jr.
The announcement last week that the Boy Scouts of America may soon
rescind its national policy prohibiting the participation of openly
homosexual members and leaders fell like a thunderclap. The B.S.A.
national board is expected to approve the change early this week,
just six months after that same board had announced that no change would
be made, citing the unanimous recommendation of a special two year study
committee. Back then, the B.S.A. CEO said that
the "vast majority" of Boy Scout
parents supported the existing policy.
That was then, but this is now.
Just six months later, the B.S.A. board is prepared to capitulate to
massive pressure from gay rights activists and their allies, some inside
the board itself. The proposed policy amounts to a local option,
with each Boy Scout unit deciding its own policy. As for the Boy Scouts
of America -- the national group says it will "under no circumstances"
dictate a national policy on the question of homosexuality.
This capitulation and the
abandonment of the B.S.A.'s longstanding policy will, in the end,
please no one. The
new policy is a half-measure that amounts to cowardly moral evasion.
No group can remain divided on a
question of such moral importance and urgency.
Homosexual conduct and
relationships will be condemned or celebrated. There is
Back in 2004, the B.S.A. maintained that
homosexual conduct is
"inconsistent" with the "morally straight" requirement of the Scout Oath.
Now, the B.S.A. will claim to
have no position whatsoever on the issue. This
fails the test
of seriousness. Those who
believe that homosexual conduct is sin cannot endorse the new local
option policy, and Scouting units that hold to this position will
inevitably be marginalized.
Those who celebrate and demand
the normalization of homosexuality, on the other hand, cannot and will
not be satisfied with a half-measure like a local option.
The predicted response now comes
in the form of an editorial in the Jan. 30 edition of The New York Times.
After pointing to the B.S.A. policy proposal as an indication of the
nation's moral shift on
homosexuality, the paper
then complains that the policy "falls far short of the clear and strong
renunciation of anti-gay bigotry that is called for." That will
be the emphatic judgment of the cultural left and of gay rights
activists. It is also inevitable, given the nature of this controversy.
The new policy, says the Times,
is "an unprincipled position" and a "partial
move" that "should hardly satisfy" those
demanding the full inclusion of
homosexuals at every level and in every Boy Scout unit. At this
point, the editors go for a killer strike on the B.S.A.'s "unprincipled
position." In their words: "The new policy would, however, undermine the
rationale the Supreme Court voiced in 2000 when it affirmed the right of
the Scouts to discriminate against gay people.
The 5-to-4 ruling turned on the
court's acceptance of the Scouts' claim that being anti-gay was a 'core'
part of its mission and that its
freedom of association right
trumped any state nondiscrimination rules."
This is a key insight, and an
indication of just how unworkable and unprincipled the new policy
proposal really is. As the Times editors continued: "Now that the
group is on the verge of making
it can no longer claim that discrimination is a "core" purpose --
and therefore state
nondiscrimination rules should apply to the Scouts. The
halfway policy change would
inevitably invite litigation."
That is an understatement. The
"halfway policy" will also invite the obvious realization that the Boy
Scouts of America is now abandoning what the group claimed was a "core"
belief and conviction just 13 years ago.
The new policy reveals what will
stand at the core of the Boy Scouts of America's national policy -- a
vacuum of moral conviction.
This will not only fail the test
of litigation, it will fail the test of moral sense. On this
much, both sides in the controversy over homosexuality are agreed.
The Boy Scouts
of America will destroy themselves by this policy change. If they
will not believe that argument when it comes from the "vast
majority" of parents, or from the churches and faith-based groups
that sponsor the greatest number of Boy Scout units, perhaps they will
hear the argument now coming from the editors of The New York Times.
Then again, maybe not.
Source: Adapted from
an article in Baptist Press by Albert Mohler Jr. here:
Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB),
with links to the
"Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be
Call or email me if you have questions.
"Saint Pete", Sr.