Scouting is for Honor, Not Sex and
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 8:00am
I joined Cub
Scouts when I was 8 years old. I earned ranks of Bobcat, Wolf,
Bear, Lion and Webelo Scout, earning the Arrow of Light. I loved
being a Cub Scout and then a Boy Scout.
Starting in 1983, I served as an adult
Scout Leader for 14 years (Serving as a Den Leader, Cubmaster,
Merit Badge Counselor, Scoutmaster, Asst. Round table
Commissioner, Unit Commissioner, District Award of Merit
Recipient, WoodBadger and WB Staffer).
My son, Pete Jr. is an Eagle Scout.
My Grandson John has already earned his Arrow of Light as a Cub,
and transitioned to a Boy Scout Troop.
That's three generations
I hope and pray it is still around for the
next one. - phh
An adaption of the article by John Stemberger
Boy Scouts are one of the great jewels of American culture.
of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is a result in no small part
organization’s commitment to a set of ideas and principles that have
guided the program for more than 100 years. Until recently, the BSA was
unwavering in its conviction that these values and principles were
But now those values are under attack.
The Boy Scouts are the victims of
an aggressive, well-funded and relentless campaign to inject sex and
politics into Scouting. Homosexual-rights activists have aggressively
pushed a handful of top BSA leaders to consider changing its
long-standing policy of not allowing open homosexuality in the Boy
Scouts. On Friday, the Boy Scouts offered a resolution that caves to
that outside pressure and could pass when the national council votes on
it in May.
Virtually every news story on this topic erroneously frames this issue
as the Boy Scouts “bans gays” or “discriminates against gays.” This is
simply not true. Contrary to what the media might report, the Boy Scouts
do not discriminate against homosexuals. The BSA membership application
does not even ask about sexual orientation.
To make matters worse, there is a deliberate campaign of misinformation
about who the Boy Scouts of America are and what they stand for. The
media has been complicit, throwing around cries of “discrimination” and
“equal rights” following the lead of these activists.
The great irony of this is that, while on one hand, the national media
claims Scouting bans homosexuals, on the other hand, they have been
consistently showcasing homosexuals Scouts and leaders in uniform who
have been in the program for many years, all who are claiming with a
straight face that somehow the Boy Scouts do not allow them.
The fact is that veterans of Scouting will tell you there are currently
Scouts and adult leaders in uniform who have same-sex attractions and
who are in good standing with the program. They are discreet, though;
they are private, they are discerning, and most of all, they conduct
themselves appropriately in front of other young boys. Further, there
has never been a witch hunt in the BSA to find or remove its members
with a same-sex attraction.
So if homosexuals are already allowed in Scouting, then what is the
national controversy about?
The real issue is this:
Homosexual-rights activists are not satisfied
with membership in good standing and being allowed to fully participate
like everyone else. They want to be able to openly promote
homosexuality. They want to promote a gay-rights political agenda. They
want to act out publicly and be “loud and proud.” They want to
inappropriately inject sex and politics into the BSA program, where
children as young as six years old are involved. Not on this dad’s
watch. This behavior and open homosexual conduct is exactly what the
current BSA policy prohibits, a prohibition that we as parents demand
that the program reaffirm if it wants our continued support.
There is nothing stopping those who do not like Scouting’s stable and
time-tested membership policies from creating their own organization
without changing ours.
Changing the BSA membership policy is completely unnecessary. It solves
no old problem and will only create myriad new problems for the
organization, including upending parental control over the issues of sex
and politics, forcing political agendas on young children, and
transforming the Boy Scouts into yet another battleground for the
In February, BSA National Council leaders instructed committees to
“listen to perspectives and concerns” in the Scouting community before a
vote on May 22 and 23, which will determine whether to make a change to
the existing policy.
Hearing that BSA leaders say they are in a listening mode, concerned
parents, Scout leaders, Scouting donors and Eagle Scouts from across the
country have joined the OnMyHonor.Net national coalition to say to the
voting delegates of the national council sex and politics have no place
in Scouting. When it comes to young boys, parents should have the final
say, not agenda-driven activists.
Former U.S. Rep. Richard T. Schulze, Pennsylvania Republican, a
recipient of the rare Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, recently
commented, “What kind of a message are we sending to our young people if
the very leaders who are teaching Boy Scouts to be brave cannot even
find the courage to stand firm and avoid caving in to peer pressure from
Hollywood and political activists?”
I could not agree more.
We implore the delegates to the National BSA Convention to affirm
Scouting’s current membership policy along with the principles of the
hard-fought and won 2000 U.S. Supreme Court case of BSA vs.
protects Scouting from further legal attacks and sets the program back
on the firm foundation of principle for the future."
Note: The article above has been adapted
from an article written by John Stemberger, an Eagle Scout and
president of On My Honor OnMyHonor.Net
, the official
coalition of concerned parents, Scout Leaders, Scouting Donors, Eagle
Scouts and others affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America who are
united in their support of Scouting’s timeless values and their
opposition to open homosexuality in the Scouts.
Impact of Open Homosexuality in Scouting
CONSIDER THESE POINTS
The Boy Scouts
have been one of the most successful organizations in America
for more than 100 years. Countless boys and young men have had
their lives changed by their participation in Scouting. Why is
there a sudden need to coerce the Scouts into changing
their existing policy, which has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme
mission and message of the Boy Scouts is clear, and
changing their policies
to appease one group will only encourage other interest groups
to demand that the Scouts make more changes to please them.
For example, an atheist organization is calling for the removal
of “God” from the BSA oath.
A change in
policy would mean that young boys will be forced to consider
issues of sexuality that have nothing to do with Scouting and
which are the exclusive
right of parents to discuss with them.
pressure to change the
policy for the most part comes from outside the Boy Scouts,
who only last year completed a two-year study in which Scout
parents overwhelmingly said they wanted to keep the present
policy. The organization has
a responsibility to its membership
first and foremost.
Why should the
Boy Scouts become a laboratory for social experimentation or a
forum for scoring political points with pressure groups?
well-documented, socially and medically destructive effects of
homosexual behavior on individuals, families and communities,
compassion and prudence
should lead us to discourage any cultural promotion of
homosexuality as a moral and normal activity. Media
reports indicate that
homosexual experimentation among high schoolers has increased
considerably in recent years as schools have presented
homosexual activity as normal, desirable and even "cool."
young people are being steered onto a behavioral path that they
and their families will sorely regret and which will even cost
some of them their lives at an early age.
An honest look
at the evidence of 70 years of psychology, therapeutic research,
the history of the entire human race, and the moral codes of all
the great civilizations tells us that homosexuality is not only
universally discouraged as learned behavior but can also be
temporary, controlled, or even changed.
not bigotry - must impel us to
support healing for
homosexuals who want to change their orientation.
Homosexual behavior, like other destructive vices,
can be learned -- and
no circumstances should it be promoted, and by
no means should we be
forced to be "tolerant" of another person's choice that
undermines traditional values and families.
really is a demand for a boys’ organization that includes
homosexuals, it should have no trouble thriving. Is it fair to
ask the Scouts to surrender their values to the homosexual
agenda? There is
nothing stopping those who do not like Scouting’s stable and
time-tested membership policies from creating their own
organization without changing ours.
is little doubt that the Scouts will lose significant membership
if they change the policy. And many faith-based organizations,
because of their religious convictions, will drop their
sponsorship of Scouts.
exodus of parents, boys, troops, denominations and sponsoring
organizations. Just as
Canadian scouts saw a 50%
drop over five years as a result of this same policy change in 1998,
those involved in Boy Scouts of America
will leave in historic and unparalleled numbers because of a loss confidence in the uniformity
and consistency of Scouting values.
Any of the proposed new policies
... (e.g. 1. "leave it up to the chartered organization, or 2.
"allow gay scouts but not gay adults") ...
will transform the program
into a risky proposition for parents inappropriately introducing and
exposing children to open homosexuality further contributing to
their hyper-sexualization. This behavior and open
homosexual conduct is exactly what the current BSA policy
prohibits, a prohibition that we as parents demand that the
program reaffirm if it wants our continued support.
It is simply insufficient for BSA to adopt such a policy and
leave the decision to local councils and troops. It will expose
both BSA and local troops that choose to adhere to the old
policy to substantial litigation—litigation that they cannot
afford and that they risk losing.
A flood of litigation by
gay activist groups against the BSA, as the BSA would
protection provided by its win in the U.S. Supreme Court in Dale.
Unlike the consistent policy on homosexuality the BSA had in the
very close win (5-4) in Dale, this
new policy would instead express
the opposite belief that open homosexual conduct is entirely
consistent with Scouting’s code. Federal Courts would have no basis
to uphold the part of the new policy that still doesn’t allow adult
leaders who openly engage in homosexual behavior. Every Scouting
unit in the nation could be sued under the anti-discrimination laws
of the city or state where its located. While the BSA might win some
lawsuits, it would lose many others, at the cost of many millions of
dollars. Only the attorneys
win, as the BSA is drug through the mud, only to be severely
crippled or destroyed.
Organizations that strive to maintain
a consistency of their message by limiting the membership and
participation of certain individuals in the organization typically
have their First Amendment free association rights affirmed.
Consistency is key.
Now is not the time for
BSA to waver in its adherence to its first principles.
Changing the BSA
membership policy is completely unnecessary.
It solves no old problem
and will only create myriad new problems for the
organization, including upending parental control over the issues of
sex and politics, forcing political agendas on young children, and
transforming the Boy Scouts into yet another battleground for the
According to the Alliance Defending
Freedom Report, there are
critical legal consequences of giving in to the demands of activist
groups who seek to tear down any organization that does not
compromise and submit to their agenda.
Action Item #1: BSA
issue a public statement reaffirming its long-held position that
it does not “grant membership to individuals who are open or
avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a
distraction to the mission of the BSA.” Because of
the recent internal organizational discussions about changing
this policy, it is necessary for BSA to publicly affirm the
policy so that no question can be raised challenging its
consistent adherence to this position.
Action Item #2: BSA
should take immediate steps to to disassociate itself or revoke
the charters of any councils and/or troops that are in open
defiance of BSA’s policy. The presence of these groups within
the organization does not automatically mean that BSA may no
longer maintain its policy. But if BSA is aware of these groups
and intentionally continues to associate with them and their
openly homosexual members, a court could conclude that their
presence does not interfere with BSA’s First Amendment rights.
This would remove any argument that the values for which BSA has
so long fought are somehow now unimportant to what being a Scout
Action Item #3: BSA
should take a bold stance for the good and noble values it has
long taught to the boys and young men who have been shaped and
molded by BSA throughout the years. Many opponents try to paint
BSA with the brush of bigotry, as if its only purpose is to hurt
gay youth. But quite to the contrary, the concepts of being
morally straight and clean are the values that build societies
that reflect what Boy
Scouts are individually. Those who oppose our values
today espouse theories of sexuality where sexual identity is
infinitely variable, gender expression is wholly subjective and
disconnected from biology, and biology itself is deemed
irrelevant. This is a
poor substitute for the values espoused by the BSA since its
founding in 1910.
BSA is in a unique position. Its
brave stand for the right
of private associations to adhere to moral values set a national
precedent that has protected not only BSA and its members, but
countless other organizations that also require members to affirm
and abide by their morals and values. We are well aware
of the growing tide of voices calling for BSA to abandon its
principles. But now is
not the time to trade Baden Powell’s moral principles for the
current agenda of those on the left.
Standing firm requires
the type of courage that has epitomized BSA and its members for over
a hundred years. It is a bravery noted by the Court in
Dale, which said that “the fact that an idea may be embraced and
advocated by increasing numbers of people is all the more reason to
protect the First Amendment rights of those who wish to voice a
also be interested in these previous Scouting related blog posts
Leave the Boy Scouts Timeless Values Alone - Posted
An Unprincipled Position - Posted 2/3/2013
The picture below was taken at the
Jamboree in 1989 at Fort AP Hill near
I was Scoutmaster
of the Longhorn Council Contingent Troop 1714.
I am on the
row, far right. Pete Jr. is sitting on the 1st row, far left.
Scouting has been doing fine since 1910; Leave the Boy Scouts Timeless
"Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be
Call or email me if you have questions.
"Saint Pete", Sr.